CONFEDERATE FLAG DEFENDER, political activist, former President of the Asheville chapter of the NAACP and 52-year-old black man, H.K. Edgerton was recently accosted by two black men while standing by his confederate flag in front of Asheville High School. Though he was appalled by the alleged violent actions of 19-year-old high school drop-out Andre Dewayne and 32-year-old Kevin Miller, he concedes, "I know and understand their pain because they've been lied to for so long. A lot of people know nothing about that time in history."
Describing the event, Edgerton recalls, "A man approached me quickly and when he got a foot away from me, he lunged at me, tried to grab my flag, spit on me, spit on my flag, bent my flag pole. Then another man, who was older, came. I thought he was going to stop him, but he joined in, striking and spitting on me and bending my flag even more." Edgerton said the incident left lingering injuries to his shoulder.
Though Edgerton empathizes with the anguish of the two men he asserts, "You have to know how to conduct yourselves. And give a man a chance to speak. Many people have heckled me and cursed at me. When giving speeches I've had blacks heckle me and they had to be removed in Columbia and Charleston, but never has anyone accosted me or my flag. It is my 1st amendment right to take a stand, and you must not violate my right to do so."
"Times have changed. In the old south a young man would have never approached an old gray-haired man like myself. We've gotten away from that. Had we been left alone by the northern carpet-baggers, we would be better off.
"Not one time did Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. put down the Confederate Flag. He wanted blacks and whites to sit and eat together. I asked Dr. Young, one of King's closest friends, what his feelings were about that flag. He said, Leave it alone. Let's do something about the things we can do something about, like our children selling drugs on the street. King could never have brought us all together the way he did if he had put down the (Confederate) Flag.
"It was the wealthy African leaders who sold the poorer Africans to the slave traders. Blacks want to speak of their African heritage, when it was their heritage who sold them out to slavery. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for blacks today to follow the Muslim religion, and Muslims practice slavery today. But no one wants to talk about that."