• 66°

My Turn, Merry Overholser: Under the guise of patriotism

Writer

Merry Overholser lives in Salisbury.

We lined Main Street to pay homage to our veterans as the parade rolled by. High school bands loudly and proudly played patriotic tunes. Veterans and groups supporting them waved and smiled, as did many of our local and state government officials, to recognize the veterans who have so valiantly served our country.

Sandwiched between N.C. Reps. Carl Ford and Harry Warren was a low-rider pickup truck decked out in several flags — American, Christian, POW/MIA and, much to my shock and dismay, a Confederate flag. This was the only vehicle whose occupants were not proudly showing their faces, but rather hid behind rolled up and blacked-out windows.

I have a few questions. If the occupants of that vehicle were so determined to make a showing at a community event, why were they not brave enough to reveal their faces?

Was participating in the Veterans Day parade a show of patriotism or an out-in-the-open slap in the face to veterans of color, their families and others who consider the Confederate flag a painful reminder of a horrific and hate-filled era in our history, which seems to be making a resurgence?

Why did this vehicle and its’ inhabitants not participate in the same parade at the VA? Were they turned away because their message was divisive? Did they participate on Main Street with the city’s blessing or just manage to sneak between Mr. Ford and Mr. Warren as they feigned obliviousness to the silent message of hate?

Parade organizers, where were you or did you give the OK for the “Veterans of the Civil War” to join in an event that should engender a feeling of unity? Will they be welcomed at Salisbury’s Holiday Caravan parade, while it has taken another group, who openly supports equality for all, eight years to finally be granted permission to participate?

As the parade wrapped up, I glanced across the street to see several families of color, spanning at least three generations, and wondered to myself how they felt. Was this another time when they were expected to keep their heads down and act as if it didn’t matter?

I walked across the street, but I was unable to approach them because I couldn’t find the words. It was way too uncomfortable for this white woman, so I can’t imagine what they felt; but we need to wonder, ask and listen.

Merry Overholser is a resident of Salisbury.

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Man faces sexual exploitation charge for images on Instagram

News

Defendant convicted in attempted murder case on the run after fleeing from trial

Business

Downtown Gateway Building to be renamed for late Paul Fisher

Coronavirus

Rowan County COVID-19 data for April 15

Local

Rep. Warren’s bill would prohibit parking in electric vehicle charging stations

Local

Historic Preservation Commission approves Integro Technologies expansion, Paint the Pavement project

Education

Faith Academy, RSS will negotiate over what goes, stays in elementary school

Crime

Teacher killed in Alamance County shootout with Mexican drug cartel

Coronavirus

Bill would give more tax breaks on COVID-19 loans

Nation/World

No response as divers knock on capsized ship’s hull

Local

Quotes of the week

Crime

Blotter: Man found on church property with litany of drugs

Crime

Man charged in connection to 2019 overdose death

Business

‘It’s our big time’: Salisbury Farmers Market reopens Saturday

Education

Schools capital funding still frozen as RSS sends local budget to county

Business

Shields, Cheerwine Festival receive N.C. Main Street Awards

Kannapolis

Duke University launches kidney disease study in Kannapolis for people of African descent

Education

Horizons Unlimited will hold in-person summer camps

Education

Education briefs: Catawba planning for more in-person activities, free summer school tuition

Coronavirus

County’s full COVID-19 vaccinations top 22,600

High School

High school golf: With Merrell, Mustangs back on top

Local

Spencer investigating rat problem on South Iredell Street

News

Livingstone, Mission House Church to host national ‘Black Voters Matter’ listening session

Education

Shoutouts