Georgia Governor Candidate Blasts Republican Secessionists; Blacks and the Pledge of Allegiance

There’s been a rash of politicians-mainly Southern, always Republican-who have made comments to the effect that their states should secede from the United States. Given that these statements are being made a time when we have an African American President, the symbolism of this rhetoric is extremely disturbing.

General David Poythress is a Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia. He has this to say about politicians who would “cut and run from America”:

This is some text from the clip:

For years, Georgia’s 8th Grade students read in their history books about our state’s decision to secede from the United States back in 1861. Today, our students need only look at a daily newspaper to see that talk of secession isn’t just a thing of the past. In fact, four of the six Republican candidates said they would support Georgia seceding from the United States of America. This is outrageous.

This is absolutely disgraceful—it’s a slap in the face to every patriotic American, to anybody who has served under the American flag and to those brave Georgians who have fought and died for our country in Iraq…

What really offends me the most, is that none of these Republican secession candidates ever wore, for a single day, the uniform of our country, carried a weapon, or heard a shot fired in anger. Not ONE ever put their life on the line to protect our freedoms and liberty.

But they recklessly call for secession from America. They would in effect, ban the American flag and end the pledge of allegiance. They would say to the world that when they don’t get their way, they quit.

That’s just childish. That’s cowardice, not leadership… Real leadership means we work toward common sense solutions to protect American values, not just quit our country because we don’t agree with other Americans… United We Stand. Divided We Fall… Know this: when I’m the Governor of Georgia, I won’t cut and run from America… When I say the Pledge of Allegiance, I mean it.

I don’t know much else about the General, and let me make it clear, I am not promoting his candidacy. But this is an important and timely message, and I felt strongly that I should help to spread it.

In a related note: earlier this week, I attended a Juneteenth celebration that was held at the main library here in Washington, DC. During the event, one of the speakers asked everyone to rise and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Most of the people in the almost all-African American audience stood and said the pledge. But there was a bunch of people who did not.

I was troubled by this. Yes, this country has committed its share of offenses. Certainly, slavery and Jim Crow are evils that will forever stain the American legacy.

But darn it, this is our country too. During the Civil War, some 200,000 African Americans served in the Union forces. Many of them died in the cause of our freedom, a freedom that all black Americans enjoy today… and that many black Americans, sadly and unfortunately, squander.

My uncle served in World War II. He was a part of General Patton’s black tank unit. He took pride in showing me a Nazi swastika that he captured from German soldiers. And I took pride in hearing of his accomplishments.

Bottom line, we fought for this country, we built this country, we ARE this country. America is us.

I am proud to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Not necessarily for the America that is, but for the America that I want and am willing to work hard to create. I pledge that I will make America a better place, not just for me, or my family, but for the world community.

And that’s something we should all stand for.

PS: I don’t mean to imply that folks who don’t say the Pledge of Allegiance are unpatriotic or other wise “bad.” What I am saying is, I hope that people won’t see our nation’s horrible race history as a block to saying the Pledge. I’m not saying that we should turn our back on the past, but rather, turn our faces forward to the future, and pledge to the country we want to create, not the one we had before or even the one we have now.

I want to give a hat tip to the folks at Indigo Journal for turning me on to this story.

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One comment

  1. Slyram

    At my Black college in the history/ pol sci department, we did not consider “Black” to be a chapter in American history but America to a brief chapter in Black history since many if not most Africans came here before America was America.

    The way I see it, my folks built the South without pay and in bondage and the sharecropping era until the late 1960s was not much better. So, America is my nation; bought and paid for with blood, sweat and tears. While others also built the nation, they were compensated. When I hear people those families came hear in the last 100 years talk about “go back to Africa,” I am amazed that they fail to realize that we did not come here voluntarily and worked like slaves once here. My radical college friends considered the Native Americans as the real Americans with Black Americans right behind them.

    I will say that shortly after the Civil War, an island nation for former slaves to voluntarily population would have been my choice and I would have been correct because another 100 years of ugliness followed the end of the war.

    We are not equal Americans to most Americans in my opinion because we are super Americans after our contributions to building this great nation.

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