I attended an Effingham Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, and requesting a spot on the agenda was Effingham NAACP President Leroy Lloyd. The subject matter was changing the use of the Confederate flag, the mascot Rebel soldier, and the “Dixie” fight song played at school functions.
Mr. Lloyd explained that symbols of the confederacy are hurtful and offensive to some in the community. Many people have expressed that removing them was simply asking too much. This quote came to my mind, and I wonder if it was part of the strategy: “If you want the moon, ask for the stars.”
The auditorium was full, and the crowd (mostly white) barely contained themselves. Rev. Franklin D. Blanks Jr. from Guyton, who spoke for the NAACP, exhibited what I can only describe as raw courage facing these angry people. NAACP supporters were quiet and respectful, and I was probably the only one shocked and surprised at the display of outrage by the opposition.
The black community doesn’t expect any results, but they stood up and asked anyway — in public.
I was so glad I was there to witness it. I will never forget it.