Times have changed drastically for the worse. A Friday afternoon on the Set proved this. I was walking and noticed a Caucasian gentleman selling belt buckles. A few of the belt buckles had the Confederate flag emblem on them. I would have been outraged, but I was too stunned. I was repulsed by the fact that he thought it was okay to sell Confederate belt buckles on the campus of a black university. However, after I kindly let the man know that I was offended he removed the buckles I found to be most offensive.
Nonetheless, the displaying of the belt buckle wasn’t the most disturbing occurrence of the day. The man selling the belt buckles asked another black student if he was offended by the display. When the student hesitated, I got upset and repeated the question. His final reply was, “It’s a free country.”
That’s when I realized that ignorance on FAMU’s campus is reaching an all-time high. The problem is not only at FAMU, but the entire black community as well. To live in an era when blacks accept and respect the Confederate flag is sickening and embarrassing.
Perhaps some of us are unknowledgeable about the history of the flag. The flag originally represented the states that had seceded from the Union. One of the reasons for secession was a difference of opinion over the way the two regions made money. The North profited from industrialization while the South’s wealth came off the backs of slaves.
Newsflash: The slaves were black!
The same people who supported the Confederate flag raped black women, stripped and whipped black men in public and separated black children from their parents.
Some blacks look at the flag as a symbol of southern pride. I would ask those same blacks, and all blacks in general, to look at the flag in a different light. When you see the red, think of the blood that was shed when slaves were whipped mercilessly. When you see the blue, remember the ocean black slaves crossed, packed in a ship like animals. Look at the stars on the flag differently, also. Decide whether you’re going to be a star in the black community or just another ignorant brother or sister disgracing the race.
Rudy Jean-Bart, 20, is a sophomore public relations student from Miramar. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org