It sticks in my craw that not one member of the Republican Party, not one member of the Tea Party, and not one member of the Libertarian Party called out that racist Texas yahoo who waved the Confederate flag and gave a rebel yell in front of the White House during the government shutdown; not one and I am seething over that. I remember calling my parents in New York to say goodbye to them in January of 1987 because I was half convinced that I was going to get killed when I participated in second Cummings GA march the following day and so did they.
I remember the Confederate flags being waved by racist lunatics who had shotguns clearly visible in the back seat. I remember seeing signs like "N*****s ain't got no God!" and of a little boy getting slapped silly by his parents after smiling and waving at me as I marched past. I remember the sharpshooters on every overpass as our bus made the 35 mile trip from Atlanta to Cummings and I recall being told by the marshal on board not to rest my head against the window for fear that a sniper would shoot it off.
I recall the sign "Welcome to Cummings!" right next to which stood three people holding a large flag of the Ku Klux Klan; the flag that had a cross with a drop of blood in the center. I remember entering the town square just at its edge and being pressed against National Guardsman who stood between us and a murderous mob. I remember my college roommate saying "E, you wanted to see a Ku Klux Klansman well there he is!" and then looking over and seeing one of those clowns in full white sheets & pointed hood waving the Stars & Bars.
Yet most of all I remember seeing those three helicopters hovering overhead, the lowest of which was no more than twenty five or thirty feet above us and telling folks nearby that if one of those racist yahoos managed to shoot it down or it crashed on its own accord we were all dead. I remember how after the demonstration was over and we began to make our way back to the buses along the route from which we'd come, I broke ranks and rushed to the aid of a woman who had fainted and then hearing loud screaming as I stepped away after realizing that she was okay; only to be cursed out by my roommate who said that in the commotion I had nearly backed into that very Ku Klux Klansman I had seen earlier and who had caused the Guardsman to lower their face masks and charge into the crowd after calling one of them the "n" word and trying to throw something, probably a panic bomb designed to trigger a fatal stampede, and of course I recall that guard ordering me to look away as the National Guardsmen began to make their charge and my responding "Hell no! If I'm to die here I'm determined to see who does what!"
So from where I sit, the fact that those in the GOP, the Tea & Libertarian Parties stood silent in the face of that atrocity in front of the White House tells me that they are complicit in it; even if it is only a complicity of silence. You see people were enslaved because of that flag; people died because of it, and our nation was almost destroyed because of it. I am not interested in hearing sugarcoated platitudes or excuses for that kind of hateful conduct; to me words of dismissive justification are empty because I almost lost my life opposing that flag and for standing up against the hate and evil it represents.
To me that flag and all those who support it for whatever rhyme or reason are my mortal enemies. There is no middle ground; no room for compromise, accommodation, or debate with anyone or any party that thinks it is in any way acceptable; even if that acceptance is conveyed through one's refusal to speak out against it. The Confederate flag is pure evil, period, and by either embracing or showing tacit acceptance of that flag through a refusal to condemn it, the GOP, and the Tea & Libertarian Parties are equally evil; evil not only in their embrace of a hateful symbol of slavery, segregation, and Judge Lynch but of treason as well for make no mistake, that flag was ultimately created for one reason and one reason alone; to keep human beings enslaved and to forever rip the United States of America apart and if that wasn't the essence of evil then I don't know what is.