When driving up to Holy Souls Hermitage on a many-miles-long one-lane, no-fault road straight up the mountain, I saw this flag hanging about 25 feet up. I understand that some who are not from here have some historical appreciation of General Lee, blah blah blah. Around here this flag hardly means more than death to anyone black. Racism is one of the things which makes me really quite angry. Yet, I laughed out loud the second I saw this flag as I knew immediately the intent was fraudulent, at least to a degree. Yes, it’s true that this is perhaps the most violent road with the most murders in Western North Carolina (which is saying really a lot). Yes, I really think it’s true that any black man might well not make it out alive if seen anywhere on this road, with the murderer forgetting about it seconds later. Nevertheless, it seems that a pact with LA’s Crips and Bloods was made on this very road, perhaps not far from this flag, at least that is what I was told by a friend, the lead negotiator, all of which was cautiously confirmed to me, three times, by the head of the local law enforcement. The flag is simply a smokescreen screaming “We’re racist here, and we will kill you.” The reality seems to be that far reaching drug deals can be made freely with anyone black, as it would never be dreamed, it is thought, that anyone black could ever possibly be on this road. Clever.
Having said all that, being white helps on this road. I wouldn’t want to be black and alone here. If a vehicle stops in front of you and one stops behind you, with a cliff to the one side and a ravine on the other, and the road only one car-width wide, there’s simply no place to go. Being a white boy myself, I never much feared driving on this road, even though one – how to say it? – “white trash” boy tried a number of times to ram my vehicle into the ravine. I can pretty much take care of myself.
But hey! I’m still waiting for my AncestryDNA results. It’s now been six weeks so I should know in the next few weeks where I come from. I can guess that there will be percentages from Scotland/Northern England; from Germany, from Poland. But, just for the sake of political correctness[!], I’m hoping for something from Africa as well. I mean, if that’s the case, I think I would advertise that on the back of my vehicle: I’m a Catholic priest, and Jewish, and Black, all at once, though I look to be 100% white boy. Wouldn’t that be a hoot in WNC? I wonder what the KKK grand dragon wizard guy, whatever they call him, down the road would think of that. I wonder if he would submit to a DNA test to see if he’s got any African background in him. :¬)
Nothing is as it seems. We’re all children of God. We’ve all crucified the Son of the Living God. He’s redeemed us all. None of us of ourselves are better than anyone else. We’re not against each other. We’re against the fallen angels. It doesn’t seem that way at first glance, but we’re actually not our own saviors. It’s all about Jesus. He’s the One. We just need to help each other get to know Him better, regardless of the unrepeatable circumstances whence we are called by the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.