Aging with vibrancy, beauty, tears, and grace involves a commitment to hospitable, just, and compassionate community. This affirmation led me to submit the following letter to the editors of the Sarasota Herald Tribune this morning.
On a recent trip home to Sarasota, I turned south from Interstate 4 onto Interstate 75. There it was, the looming shadow, size of a semi-trailer, waving in the breeze; Mr. Lambert’s Confederate Flag.
The flag, according to Mr. Lambert, in a quote within the pages of this paper, represents “the valor of Southern men in their lost cause during the Civil War.” For Mr. Lambert it evokes pride. For me it evokes the shudder of racism.
The wish to have the Confederate Flag represent the valor of veterans is laudable. No woman or child or man should die from the bullets of divisive hatred within a nation. All those who died, all of them, deserve to be honored.
However, the Civil War is over.
Please put the flag away.
In his Thanksgiving day editorial, Jack Levine suggests that we use our “volunteer investments to build community” as a way to give thanks.
The flag at 4&75 is anything but that. It does not build community. It is an aggressively malicious, imperfect representation of who we are as a nation.
Please, take down the Confederate Flag at 4 & 75.