The president of an organization that reaches across racial and cultural lines to bring Americans together around the nation’s foundational principles says he condemns both the “white right group” and the “counter-protesters” who participated in the events in Charlottesville Saturday.
Bishop E.W. Jackson, the president of S.T.A.N.D., said in a Facebook video Saturday during the events in Charlottesville, “Both sides of this want us divided racially.”
They want to turn everything into a racial issue. They believe that somehow … our country really is black against white – we’re not that at all. We are a nation founded on principle – not race.
Both [sides] are more interested in racial division than they are in us becoming one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
The bishop also recommended that Confederate flags and monuments – aside from personal property – be placed where people who wish to view them can do so. He suggests that unifying objects – such as the American flag – be considered for public monuments and symbols.
Jackson explains he makes that recommendation, however, as an African-American who lives in Virginia, has run for office in Virginia, and has visited Charlottesville many times with his family.
“I have seen those [Confederate] monuments,” he said. “My family and I have not given them a second thought, to tell you the truth, because what do they have to do with us? Nobody bothers us, nobody’s harassing us. We never really cared.”
Jackson says he understands most people who fly the Confederate flag have a loyalty to their state, family, or history – and he is personally not offended by this.
“I defend anybody’s right to fly a Confederate flag on your pickup truck, on your property – put them anywhere you want,” he says, but advises these and other similar symbols not be on public property, primarily because they are easily used as a distraction from the really important issues.
The bishop adds that the insistence by some on the left that monuments to, or public buildings named after, founding fathers who owned slaves be removed or renamed is “preposterous” and “ridiculous.”
“You’re not going to find any person in American history who was perfect, just like you and I are not,” Jackson continued. “To deny the tremendous contribution to the notion of freedom and to the idea of each human being living out their God-given potential is also … preposterous … they illuminated the whole world with the idea of what it really means to be free!”
But the reality is those who want to exploit division, those who want to try to make something of it are gonna to continually either go back to defend the Confederate monuments or they’re gonna go back to oppose the Confederate monuments, and you’ve got the whole country and perhaps the whole world looking at Virginia like, “Oh, wow, Virginia, those people are really divided racially, aren’t they? They’re really against each other.” And, folks, it really just ain’t so. A lot of these people who are protesting in Charlottesville are from out of state.
Jackson said the increasing rejection of God in America, particularly by the left, has created an atmosphere in which people no longer comprehend the notion that “you can disagree with people and still love them … you may hate their ideas, but you don’t hate them, and you may be opposed to their policies, but you don’t want their personal destruction.”
“The further and further we get as a nation from God, the more love goes out the window, any sense of our common humanity goes out the window,” Jackson said, adding that those who called themselves the “white right” and held crosses and other Christian symbols “aren’t any more Christian than the last rats you saw in the sewer.”
“The farther we get from [God], the more people find reasons to hate one another,” the bishop said, noting that the country has made great progress in the area of racial equality, though some may not want Americans to enjoy that fact.