Building community

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.

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5 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing the letter. Lots of opportunities for letters like that in each community.

    Reply

  2. Amen!! I too shudder everytime I’m driving back from Lakeland or Orlando. That flag really needs to go!! (Could we make that a SURE problem – it’d be great to get a bunch of churches around that flagpole I’m just saying!!) Susan

    _____

    Reply

  3. Excellent letter. What of the pick-up trucks with the flag emboldened on windows, bumpers and license plates? Extracting hate from racists seems quite impossible. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying. Good for you, Phil!

    Reply

  4. Bob and Joan Jarrett November 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Congratulations,Phil. That is an excellent letter and we agree it promotes racism and hatred among our citizens – one nation under God.

    Reply

  5. Phil, i’m so glad you have written to the . Hooray for taking a stand on the awful flag.
    I Iwrite a number of letters to the editor. My letters are about education or guns but my last one brought a Sunday morning call froma gun lover who took reall issue with my comments. He obviously found my phone number on the internet and it was a bit intimidating. i wonder if you will get a response?
    thanks for writing.
    Fay

    Reply

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