The statues and symbols that represent The Confederate States of America have again come to the forefront in The United States of America. I want you to take note right now how both of those nations are independent and different than one another. Hank Williams was wrong, If the south would’ve won I wouldn’t had had it made. Instead, I wouldn’t be permitted to love the people I love – my children couldn’t play at the same parks or drink at the same water fountains as their children. Not only that, The Confederacy was the enemy of the country I served for, The United States of America. If you love The Confederacy and the ideals of white supremacy, you’re the enemy of my country and you’re my enemy.
Betwen 2000 and 2004 I served in the United States Navy. As a veteran, I’ve guarded the lives of men and women of color, as they have guarded mine. They stood their watch, I stood mine, for one another. I’ve been served and have served people of color, not because I must, but because I could. It was a true honor to have served with the many women and men of color who I could call shipmates. If you don’t love people of color, you’re not just their enemy, you’re my enemy.
Over the last decade of my life some of the finest and best people I’ve ever known are people of color – I don’t just like them, I love them. They have taught and coached my children as their own, I have taught and coached their children as my own. We have stood beside one another on football fields, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, soccer fields and at lacrosse tournaments. These families trusted us with their most precious gifts – their children, as we did them. I have loved on their families, and they have loved on mine. If you don’t love people of color, you’re not just their enemy, you’re my enemy.
On April 9th, 1865 General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant and The Confederacy was no more. The Confederacy existed between 1861 and 1865, and they lost. The Confederacy does not exist any more, as it suffered a similar defeat to The Third Reich – they lost in compelling and convincing fashion and the world became a better place because of it. We, as the citizens of The United States of America are the victors. The victors of war get to enjoy the spoils, one such spoil is writing the history.
“To the victor goes the spoils” – William L. Marcy
For many years in America, there have been sympathizers to the southern cause. The man who shot and killed one of America’s most beloved presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was a Confederate sympathizer. James Earl Ray, the man who murdered Martin Luther King, was also a sympathizer to the ideals of white supremacy. Yet, I consumed the the media that was tolerated within the main streams of American culture. I loved to watch The Dukes of Hazard, with the Confederate flag emblazoned on that bad-ass Hemi. Some of us even went to schools named after those Confederate leaders. For what it’s worth, I still love that Hemi, but I don’t love that flag. Here we are in 2020, many southern Americans celebrating the monuments of an ideal that was defeated more than 150 years ago. Below is a chart of monuments built to The Confederacy by year and I can’t help but ask – why do the victors allow for this?
The short answer of why this has been allowed is because racism is not only tolerated in America today, it is celebrated. When the Allied Powers invaded and freed Germany from the Nazi regime, citizens and military alike destroyed symbols and statues that had been built to the Nazis. In America, we’ve tolerated the symbols of hate that The Confederacy built for too long. I’m here to tell you today, as a Victor who can enjoy the spoils of victory, I do not stand for this or with this.
In 2020 victorious American’s are demanding these statutes and memorials be taken down. Slave owner? Take it down. Leader of The Confederacy? Take it down? White Supremacist? Take it down. If you believe differently, you’re an enemy of the greatest country the world has ever seen, The United States of America. Today, we’re taking it all down so that our children will enjoy the spoils of victory that we have been promised since 1865. I stand with my brothers and sisters of color, in a chorus of love and unison when I say this – take them all down, we’re the victors and we’re rewriting the history books today.