Regarding the Aug. 9 news story “Hundreds rally for flags”: I was at the Confederate flag rally in Hillsborough on Aug. 8. I showed up with several friends, local anti-racist white activists wearing “Black Lives Matter” shirts. We had signs lifting up the legacy of Southern, multi-racial movements for justice.
We had dozens of conversations with people there. Local Hillsborough residents were moved to tears, stunned and still struggling to understand this scary reality in their town. An older black man told us his stories of fighting the Klan since 1965, helping us hang a banner saying, “White People: What will we do to change our legacy of violence?”
It’s true many in the pro-Confederate movement are genuinely struggling to understand their Southern heritage and make sense of a world that feels like it’s collapsing around them. We engaged several of these people in conversation. But alongside the Confederate flag supporters, there was also a motorcyclist screaming white power and waving Klan flags.
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The GOP and pro-Confederate movement are creating cover for hate groups to rear their ugly heads and recruit.