Madison County Opinion...

 August 16, 2000

By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
August 16, 2000

Frankly Speaking

King's anti-South bigotry has back fired
Martin Luther King III caused quite a stir in Atlanta last week when he wrote to the NCAA asking them to move all postseason tournaments from Atlanta unless the Georgia flag is changed. Among the scheduled events are several final four basketball tournaments. Objections to his demand came from many sources, including the other so-called black leadership.
King's action creates problems for both the economic and political plans of Atlanta's black community. Those who hate all things Southern know that they are in the minority in their effort to wipe out Southern culture. Their plan was to keep their efforts quiet until after the November elections, then pressure the Governor and the legislature to abandon our beautiful flag. They know that if the flag becomes an issue in the election, they will lose big. King greatly increased the likelihood that the flag will be a major issue in the election.
Atlanta's black population contains a large number of wealthy and powerful businessmen. These "money men" are not fools. They have seen the figures from South Carolina where the NAACP boycott was a failure. South Carolina set new records for tourism during the boycott. Only those black-owned businesses that depend on tourists suffered any damage. A boycott of Atlanta by sports events will only harm wealthy black businessmen.
Threats of a boycott of the Atlanta area would have little political effect on Georgia. The majority of political power remains outside the city of Atlanta. These people will see no economic effect from such a boycott. And they would care less whether the NCAA tournaments are played in Atlanta, Chicago or Dead Horse, Utah.
Last Sunday on the Georgia Gang Program on Channel 5, host Dick Williams commented that if King and his allies succeed in changing the Georgia flag, their next project would be to blast the carving off the side of Stone Mountain. The two black members of the panel immediately responded that such a demand is already in the works. Recently, black protesters forced a new school to change its name. Another school refuses to fly the Georgia flag, using a rigged election to say students did not want the flag in their schools.
Anti-South actions of this type are creating strong response from pro-South Georgians. Thousands of people are signing petitions to the state legislature to not change the flag. Traditional Southerners are using the Internet to organize flag-waving demonstrations on highway bypasses. Letters to Georgia's legislative candidates have produced pledges from a majority to protect the flag.
Martin Luther King III's anti-South bigotry is backfiring in his face. He has made it unlikely that the Georgia flag will be changed anytime soon. He deserves the thanks of all traditional Southerners. Thank you, Mr. King!
Frank Gillespie is the founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at



Send us a letter

By Margie Richards
The Madison County Journal
August 16, 2000


For my daughter as she turns 18
Dear Miranda,
This coming Monday, your first day of college classes, will also be your 18th birthday. For the first time you'll be living "on your own," away from home - away from me. But you're ready for this, you've been ready for some time.
But then again, wasn't it just last week that you were starting kindergarten - on your fifth birthday?
You were so little, but you insisted on riding the bus to school the second day. Your legs were so short your daddy and I and the bus driver all chuckled as you hoisted your little backpack ahead of you up the bus steps. I wanted to help you, but I knew it was important to you to do it by yourself.
Your first real streak of independence came even earlier than that, when I dropped you off at "Ms. Debbie's" pre-school for your half-day.
Barely 3 years old, you insisted on getting out of the car yourself and walking through the gate to the door. I watched your little red-stockinged head bob across the lawn and fought a sudden urge to cry.
I never let you know I followed you, watching until you were safely inside the door.
You laugh at me still for crying every time I tried to read you and your brother "The Little Match Girl." Just the other night you were laughing about that. The reason I cried (still do) is because the picture of the little blonde match girl looks like you. And when she dreams of her grandmother, who has died, it makes me think of my mother. The combination is just too much.
I feel so proud and blessed to have you for a daughter. I know my mama would be proud of you too, although she never got to meet you on this earth. I have tried to teach you some of the things she taught me and in doing so, it has made me realize why our children are the only real legacies most of us have.
I stare at you and am amazed that someone so lovely (inside and out), so level-headed and wise, not just "smart," ever came from me.
And I'm staring too, trying to keep these memories and these days in my heart, because I know our time together is short and growing shorter. More and more, I'm no longer going to be a part of your everyday life. There's college now, and work, and old and new friends. Someday there'll be a career, a husband and most likely children that will keep you busy, involved in your own everyday world.
I find myself wondering if I've covered all the bases, done right by you, told you all the things I wanted you to know. And most important, although I've told you every day of your life - do you really know how very much I love you?
All those midnight (and after) talks - will you remember them? Sometimes we've giggled - sometimes we've cried, and sometimes we've done both. We've talked about everything, and I've always tried to be as frank and honest with you as I can.
And in the process I've learned as much about life from you, my baby, as you have from me.
Have your dad and I given you an example of what "real love" is - not just infatuation - but someone who is there for the bad times, as well as the good? Have you taken to heart what I've told you about liking, as well as loving, the person you choose to spend your life with?
The world you've grown up in is consumed with material things, where the motto is "to have more is to be more."
But I believe you know we are all precious and unique in God's sight and I think you know what I mean when I tell you that in difficult circumstances to "remember who you are."
Looking at you makes me feel I've not done a bad job as a mother - but I can't help wishing there were more time. If I could go back, I'd clean house even less and spend more days going on picnics or bike rides. I'd have lost my temper far less and "not sweated the small stuff" like dirty dishes or unvaccuumed carpet - but instead spent more time kissing grubby little faces and hands.
I'm not that great a cook - I have no great recipes to pass on (I've forgotten most of my mother's), I've never sown you an outfit like my mother did, or stitched a quilt.
Forgive me for the things I didn't do or did wrong, Miranda.
But these things I promise you: no mother could be more proud of a child and no one, besides God, could ever love you more.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager of the Madison County Journal.
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