Tag Archives: southern

I Am Not Naive

The other day I saw a local article that took me by surprise. Not the contents of the article but the fact that the reporter seem very surprised about what was found and what it meant. The article stated old bodies were discovered in graves on the property of The Medical College of Virginia (MCV). These graves were of slaves that were used (for labor?) at the school.

               What got me was people are surprised that slaves were used there. I stated in a blog I wrote a long time ago which said people need to think like it is some time ago, not like it is today when reading about yesteryears. Evidently the people that are surprised about this situation is viewing it like it is today. Yes, slaves were used everywhere back in the day. Not too long ago, some wealthy people were keeping people that worked for them as slave labor. They kept their passports, did not pay them, would not let them leave the house, and had them work very long hours because they were migrants.

               Let me explain why I am surprised about people around here being so naïve. The Medical College of Virginia is in Richmond, Virginia (Capital of the Confederacy), around the corner from the President of the Confederacy’s home (Jefferson Davis). The entire southern states had slaves as well as some places in the other states. Slaves were used to do anything and everything the White person could not do or did not want to do. They cooked, cleaned, did all the field work, and made things (horseshoes, clothes, buildings, etc.).

               As the doctors, nurses, etc. worked and taught at the college it stands to reason that either the school bought slaves to labor or the people there used their own slaves. That is not too hard to imagine, especially if you think as if it was the time of slavery. It would be expected. In fact, when I was growing up, those were the only jobs a Black person could get, labor at very low pay.

               A while ago graves were found (also bones in an abandoned well) of cadavers used in experimentation and teaching. It was never said if these were of White or Black people. I would assume most, if not all, were White. The reasoning for that is 1) there was a stigma that Black people were not like White people. 2) there was a lot of grave robbing during that time. 3) Black cemeteries were not close to White people. 4) In case you do not know this, free Black people could not live within the city limits. Therefore, graverobbers would have to travel a long way to get a fresh cadaver of a Black person.

               So, people can stop trying to make me think I am naïve enough to believe they are surprised to discover people used slaves at a prestigious school. If I remember correctly, not too long ago The University of Virginia (UVA) (which have a great medical school) found graves. I am assuming it was everywhere because Blacks were used for labor, free or enslaved, and experimentation (remember The Tuskegee Experiment). Why are people so naïve or is it a ruse to make us think they are?

The Flag

As I wake-up to take my dog out to the backyard for his morning rituals I gaze at the back of the house on the street behind me. The house is less than a football field away and each morning I see the occupants’ flag fluttering in the breeze. Each morning I see a Confederate flag flying in their yard. There are a few American flags flying in the front yards of the occupant’s neighbors. However, they choose to hide their flag in the back of the house and lower than the topmost part of the house’s roof.

               I understand why they fly the flag. I have been told more than once they want to continue to love and show their heritage. These people are proud southerners, and this is their way of showing it. I do not know about that sentiment because I know of northerners that also fly the Confederate flag and they have never been to the southern states nor know anyone that live in the south.

               The flag is properly named the Confederate Battle Flag. Please excuse my ignorance but I thought the Confederate States of America lost the Civil War. My understanding of a loser of a war is that all their spoils are taken by the winner. If that is the case then why are there monuments, plaques, books, memorabilia, and the still flying battle flags of the loser?

               As losers they have major bridges, roads, buildings, parks (local and national), military bases, and many other things dedicated to them and their proclaimed heroes. Heroes of what? There is a strong fight to not offend, tear down, destroy or rename anything that is Confederate. If it is Union, there is nothing said or done about it. This kind of thinking befuddles the mind. For someone not knowing history it would seem as though the Confederacy won the Civil War and the government in charge took the country from them.

               Yet, each and every day I see that flag flying and cannot say anything about it unless I want to start a huge mess. I do not know the people, never met them. I see them occasionally and never wanted to have a conversation with them. They may be nice people, but I know that deep inside them I am not wanted in their neighborhood. I am not sure if they want me to be alive because I am Black and I am an American, not Confederate. I do not know if they participated in the January 6th siege on the U.S. Capitol. I do not know if they are planning or is a part in the planning of another siege. They fly their flag which make me think anything is possible.

               I will fly my American flag and I am proud to have retired from the United States military. We have lost a few battles, but we are winners. Things are at last starting an attempt to change but there is a long road ahead. As the courts and laws change against things Confederate look around you for those that scream the loudest because of the attempted change. Are they American or are they Confederate? Look for the flag. That will tell you who they are.