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This is my Confederate battle flag. Or, at least, it used to be. I put it in that trash can with my own hands and of my own free will and now it is the property of the Buncombe County landfill, to be interred beneath an inverted mountain of garbage forever. This is my sacrifice on the altar of peace.

Let’s not make any mistakes here. The peace I’m talking about is for me and me alone. My heart and mind will no longer be occupied, rent free, by squatters who keep me awake at night with their ignorant prattle. Any of you who think you can demolish a statue and change anyone’s mind is flat out wrong, but go ahead and try. Anger breeds anger and all of history bears that out.

I have turned my back on my anger and I am not looking back.

For those of us who are unfamiliar with the terminology surrounding single combat, the gauntlet, as it is referred to here, is a glove, presented to a person as a challenge. Refusal to take up the gauntlet was widely considered to be an act of cowardice, but I am not going there. I would prefer to think of it as an invitation to anyone who wishes it to challenge themselves, to stand up and show their courage; to excise the anger from their heart and be at peace.

This is doubtless going to be a long journey and I am sure there will be moments of moral and emotional conflict. I expect  it to last for the rest of my life. Here’s hoping it’s a long trip for all of us.