Seriously though. It’s about to get REAL.
This post was triggered by a “sighting” I had today… at the corner of Tripp Hollow and Tatnic Roads here in Brooklyn. Connecticut’s “Quiet Corner.” The QC. I could have named this Blog post “Tripp Hollow and Tatnic,” but then I might not have grabbed your attention the way I just did.
Last year, after a Facebook exchange with a friend, I was invited to participate in a group being formed in the Hartford area called “Friends for Social Justice.” What a wonderful idea, I thought… like minded people of different races sitting together in a cozy living room, sipping tea or wine and enjoying snacks, and discussing social justice. For starters, racial justice. Cool.
The post that sparked our initial exchange included this photograph, which I took in Plainfield on June 21, 2015. Right here in the QC.
Before I go further, let me remind you that this is NOT the Confederate flag, though I will refer to it that way in this Blog post. This flag is one of many Confederate “battle” flags. This one was used by General Robert E. Lee and, at the close of the Civil War, he asked that it be “put away.” The war was over. The North won. He also requested that the flag not be used at his funeral or grave. Facts.
This “sighting” occurred just days after nine people were murdered at a black church in Charleston… by a white man that they welcomed to their prayer group. And around the time the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol became a hot topic with the media, inciting a good portion of the American populace… no matter which side of the issue they were on.
Three days after I took this photo in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, called for the removal of the flag from their Capitol’s property. Proof that Republicans CAN do the right thing.
Isn’t it ironic that the conservative South finally admitted that the flag is wrong, but the liberal North is now poisoned with it’s presence?
These events… the murders in Charleston and the disputes over the Confederate flag… combined with the unacceptable number of killings of black men and women by law enforcement officers that were taking place throughout the country, prompted the formation of the Friends group.
Before our first gathering, I was also invited to a meeting of a group called “Standing Up for Racial Justice,” or SURJ, also in the Hartford area. It was a powerful meeting, attended by not nearly enough people, and one of the goals of the organizers was to send attendees home with a “Black Lives Matter” lawn sign.
I am a supporter of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. A huge supporter. And if you feel the need to tell me that “all lives matter,” please bite your tongue. Of course all lives matter. That is a given. Just pretend it’s called, “Black Lives Should Matter More Than They Do.”
I didn’t take a sign and part of me felt like a hypocrite because I didn’t. But I knew that if I put that sign in my front yard, up here in the QC, it would have disappeared within 24 hours. Remember, the “sightings” had already begun.
I have only been able to attend one of the Friends meetings, because the distance is prohibitive. But I am still committed. In the meantime, it IS about to get real.
Here’s a photo I took in Danielson later that same month. May I suggest that the size of the truck speaks to the size of a certain part of the owner’s anatomy? And, perhaps, the flag speaks to his intelligence quotient?
I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what I can do up here in the QC to be an active part of the fight against racism. Until now, though racism makes me insanely angry, I have thought that I need to be nice. Learn how to talk to racists peacefully. Be rational. Keep calm.
And today I decided… nope, I don’t.
When someone has gotten to the point they will display this symbol of hatred, I owe them no respect. I know, many still believe the Confederate flag is not a symbol of hatred. That’s bullshit.
The Confederate flag represents the Civil War. And the Civil War was started, primarily, over the issue of slavery. Fact.
Slavery represents racism. Fact.
Racism represents hatred. Fact.
End of story. Not debatable.
As I drove by that house at the corner of Tripp Hollow and Tatnic today, I decided that it’s time to call out the haters.
So, from this point forward, I will continue posting photos of Confederate flags that I see here in the QC and I will include their exact location. And I will share the information on Facebook, hoping that my shares get shared. And so on, and so on, and so on…
If there is nothing wrong with displaying this symbol of hatred, then there should be no problem. These haters should be happy when a photo of their flag goes viral. Right?
The people who live at the home in the first photo are spared, because the flag was removed in July. I’ll never know why they removed it, but they did the right thing. I still wouldn’t choose to break bread with them.
Potty mouth alert…
The fuckwhistle (I stole that name from a Facebook meme about Donald Trump) in the truck… well, it’s a big, red truck. And it has a license plate on it.
9 Tripp Hollow Road ~ Brooklyn, CT 06234 USA
2/1/2016: Today I drove to a neighborhood where I saw a mailbox with a Confederate flag on it a few months ago. It was on Church Street here in Brooklyn. It’s gone. I’m happy. And, without knowing why (or that they even are), they’re happy, too.
141 Brooklyn Road ~ Canterbury, CT 06331 USA