It is amazing that H.K. Edgerton does what he does as an African-American man — pay homage to a regime that stood for and defended the enslavement of my ancestors. What is so disturbing is not the fact that as a black man he chose to spend his day dressed in this manner, but that there were individuals that actually thanked him for doing so.
Who would see a black man donning Confederate garb and waving the "Stars and Bars" and react to him by thanking him, admiring him for remembering their "Southern Heritage"? It would seem utterly ridiculous to admire someone who is choosing to honor those that believed in the oppression, degradation and enslavement of anyone — especially those that share his racial classification. But I know that those people are out there, and that they indeed thanked Mr. Edgerton for what he was doing.
… These people thanked Mr. Edgerton for one reason, and they thanked him for one reason only, and that reason is because racism still exists. [He] made it safe for [them] to be nostalgic for a bygone era that is gone forever, thank God, because he is black, and therefore, if it is a black man wearing a Confederate uniform and waving that orange flag and one thanks him for doing so, then one can not possibly be racist, just as there are many "liberal" and "progressive" people out there who do not think they have any racist tendencies because they voted for a black man for president. See? Problem solved!
As the commentary in the June 9 issue of Mountain Xpress highlighted so eloquently ["Ending Racism"], racism is still an issue that is yet to be dealt with. So after much cringing and gagging while reading Mr. Edgerton's letter, as a young, black woman I would like to thank him for bringing attention to one of the pressing internal issues we as a community and a nation must address: racism and the ramifications of this ill. And now that Mr. Edgerton has done this good work, it is my sincere hope that he folds up that flag, loosens the jacket on that costume and goes back to the porch where he belongs.
— Natalie Bailey