Straight to the Top - 7/20 - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Straight to the Top - 7/20

Every week, WMBF News Director Matt Miller responds to viewer comments and emails in this week's edition of Straight from the Top.

Below is this week's unedited comment from mcphatter:

It's amazing to me that you would have a discussion about the Confederate Flag and not have anyone of color in attendance to discuss this issue on your show.  Yes, I know that the NAACP National Conference is going on this weekend in NYC but you could not find ONE person of color to discuss this issue?!  Basically, when black people see that flag, it is a sign of racism.  Period!  The internet is an amazing place to find out information.  Try it out and you will find out a lot.  You look at Neo-Nazi websites and rallies and guess what, there's a Confederate flag front and center almost every time!  These ignorant groups know that the flag is a sign of racism so why not YOU (educated whites)?!  The argument is "it's a sign of pride of our history", that's what I hear from white people in the South.  Really?!....You have pride in a sign or symbol that means racism to black people?!  I know that that's the basic issue with this flag....an issue of disrespect.  I'm a person in my 30s, grew up in Southern North Carolina and traveled over the border to South Carolina countless times.  I remember recent times in the 80s and 90s where the Klan has marched in our town (spitting their hate based on their 'right to free speech' until people got fed up with it and let them know that they didn't have a right to free hate speech), I've been chased away from areas by Klan members and have been called the N-word many times from people in my short time on this Earth.  Most of those times, it has been from a person who either had that flag on their car, on their hat or clothing.  And white people say they have "pride" in this flag.  I wonder is that really pride in their own history or culture (if they even know it) or is that really pride in the hate the flag still hangs over black people (a rebellion against the new order of political correctness)?  Now, like I said before...I'm in my 30s and I feel this way about "your" flag ....imagine how black people who are older than me feel about that flag?!....those blacks who actually went through the struggle of civil rights reforms - that flag is a smack in the face to all of their hard work.  Another argument I have heard is, "well, I have black friends or go to church with black people"....wow, thanks a lot for gracing us, black folks, with your presence...I'm sure your black friends would not want to see that flag.  Hey, if you really want to see their real reaction to that flag, go out and buy a flag for your black 'friend', wrap it up as a present and give it to them.....And just watch their reaction.  I don't think they will thank you for it.  Should a flag really be an issue that divides people in this country?  I think not.  But should black people be constantly reminded that they were belittled in a country they helped create?  Again I think not.  Will Smith, a non-treatening black guy who a lot of white people love (even as a 'friend') in movies these days made a song in the 80s called, "parents just don't understand"....well, to you Mr. Fortenberry, I would change that title just a bit about your "flag" to white people just don't understand and until you have been belittled by another group of people the way black people have by whites in this country, you just won't understand what that flag means to us.  Maybe you the State Representative you had on your show can ask your black "friends" about it sometime.  If they are really your friends, then they will definitely let you know about it without censoring their responses.  But I warn you that this is an issue that could threaten your 'friendship'.  Good luck with 'your' issue and it's a shame that the people of South Carolina have lost potential earnings because of it.  ACC Tourney - Welcome to North Carolina, a state that mostly uses its head rather than using the weak argument of "pride" to help its people.

P.S. oh, also your argument about the people of Mississippi still having the Confederacy in their flag?!  First point, only half of the black people in Mississippi can even read - literacy rate is the lowest in the country.  Since many can't read then I'm sure they are not going to vote especially for a referendum about a flag.  With one of the lowest average per capita incomes, people in Mississippi are just trying to survive and are not really worried about a flag.  Second point, Did you know that the Mississippi legislature passed a bill to repeal discriminatory civil rights laws that had been enacted in 1964 but ruled unconstitutional in 1967 by federal courts. Republican Governor Haley Barbour signed the bill into law not in the 1970s, not in the 80s, 90s...but this year!!!  Based on these facts, I think Mississippi is just a bit behind the curve of being politically, culturally, economically and civilly correct.  Mr. Fortenberry, an intelligent guy like you should not hang your hat on the actions of Mississippi.

Email your questions and comments to news@wmbfnews.com.

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