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Dramatic Testimony Against Texas Confederate License Plate – VIDEO

Dramatic Testimony Against Texas Confederate License Plate – VIDEO

Last week, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles board of directors decided unanimously not to approve a Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate featuring a Confederate battle flag. Many people showed up at the DMV hearing Thursday to testify for and (mostly) against the measure. But one man stood out: Reverend George V. Clark of east Austin’s Mount Zion Baptist Church, an African-American who has lived in Texas his entire 82 years. He’s seen a lot of history.

Many dignitaries testified for far longer than Reverend Clark, but it was his testimony that won the day.

Texas Pastor: “I’m History Myself. I’m 82 Years Old.”

From The Texas Observer:

Instead it was the heartfelt words of a man who has lived through the many changes that have occurred in the American South for people of color: “Mr. Chairman and board, I chose not to do any research on history, probably cause I’m history myself. I’m 82 years old. I’ve lived in Austin all of my life. Served in the military. Worked for the State of Texas, retired. Currently pastor a church now for 42 years,” he began.

“It saddens me that the possibility exists that I might still be driving around the state and frequently see something that represents hate, something that has made people feel less than human, something that caused you in the past to drive along a highway and see a confederate flag where you need to stop, but you see the flag and you keep driving.”

His words reminded people who are not old enough to have lived through racial segregation not to flippantly dismiss the power of symbols, reminding us that we must vigilantly guard that for which so many have suffered and died.

Sons Of Confederate Veterans Will Sue

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, however, vowed to file a lawsuit if Texas rejected the plate.

Nine states have approved similar license plates, but Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina did so only after the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed successful lawsuits, Givens said. A suit in Florida continues.

From The Star-Telegram:

Perry has defended the historical value of Confederate symbols. Now running for the GOP presidential nomination, when asked about the proposal last month, Perry said, “We don’t need to be opening old wounds.”

“Again, he wasn’t in favor of the plates,” Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said after Thursday’s vote.

Marshall Davis, a spokesman for the Texas division of Sons of Confederate Veterans, told the Los Angeles Times that the group was “disappointed that the board chose not to support our heritage plates.”

You can watch Reverend G.V. Clark’s amazing testimony here:

 

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180 comments

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1:26PM PST on Nov 30, 2011

Interesting article.

5:43PM PST on Nov 23, 2011

I hate bigrotry. Your Bible is full of it. How is flying a flag OTHER than the AMERICAN FLAG
honoring AMERICA? Should we let every other country in the world come on over and fly their
flag and put ON THEIR FLAGS ON LICENCE PLATES?

12:04PM PST on Nov 22, 2011

@ Jane B: "They should secede and take their stupid flag with them. They are not real Americans. They are embarrassing real Americans before the world. Everybody around the world is laughing at
us. Fence off Rick Perry and all of his ilk."

Actually Jane, after all of your hateful talk & ignorance on the subject, I think that most people would rather laugh at you! LOL!

12:03PM PST on Nov 22, 2011

@ Jane B: "They should secede and take their stupid flag with them. They are not real Americans. They are embarrassing real Americans before the world. Everybody around the world is laughing at
us. Fence off Rick Perry and all of his ilk."

Actually Jane, after all of your hateful talk & ignorance on the subject, I think that most people would rather laugh at you! LOL!

4:36AM PST on Nov 22, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:49PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Ok Rose I do understand that since you had ancestors on both sides of the conflict you feel they are represented by the two flags. And yes the Civil War was incredibly bloody and there were family members fighting on opposite sides. It is not a happy chapter in our nations history.

The current US flag though does not just represent the triumphant North - it represents all 50 states and all US citizens, including your ancestor who fought on the Confederate side. So while I understand the desire to represent both your ancestor, it still feels controversial because there is that fact that the Confederate flag is a symbol of slavery. As to whether slavery would have ended if the South had won I have to say I doubt it because cheap labor was part of how the plantation economy of the South was profitable. Eventually I'm sure but it could have been another 50 years or more.

12:33PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Susan T: "In January of 1865 the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed by the Union states which ABOLISHED slavery. In April of 1865 the Confederate Army surrendered."

Thank God & and the millions of dead & wounded men, women, boys & girls - white, black & red! I am thankful that slavery ended, but I firmly believe that just as slavery ended in the North, slavery would have also ended in the South as it became more industrialized.

And you wrote: "Like Heather G I do not understand how you say flying the Confederate flag is honoring your ancestor who fought for the UNION army."

Perhaps I didn't explain that very well. I had one GGGG Grandfather that fought for the Union (he was wounded outside of Richmond). I had another that fought for the Confederacy (a Calvary surgeon who patched up soldiers from both sides& he was quite possibly at the same battle where my Yankee ancestor was shot!). I fly both flags, but the Confederate Flag flies beneath the U.S. Flag (the Union did, in fact, win the war; so out of respect & deference to the victors, the Rebel Flag must take 2nd place).

I understand that some people are offended. I'm sorry for that. I do not fly it to hurt anyone. And as I said before, there are many things that offend me, but I respect others enough not to dampen their passions. Thank you for the conversation.

12:32PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Susan T: "In January of 1865 the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed by the Union states which ABOLISHED slavery. In April of 1865 the Confederate Army surrendered."

Thank God & and the millions of dead & wounded men, women, boys & girls - white, black & red! I am thankful that slavery ended, but I firmly believe that just as slavery ended in the North, slavery would have also ended in the South as it became more industrialized.

And you wrote: "Like Heather G I do not understand how you say flying the Confederate flag is honoring your ancestor who fought for the UNION army."

Perhaps I didn't explain that very well. I had one GGGG Grandfather that fought for the Union (he was wounded outside of Richmond). I had another that fought for the Confederacy (a Calvary surgeon who patched up soldiers from both sides& he was quite possibly at the same battle where my Yankee ancestor was shot!). I fly both flags, but the Confederate Flag flies beneath the U.S. Flag (the Union did, in fact, win the war; so out of respect & deference to the victors, the Rebel Flag must take 2nd place).

I understand that some people are offended. I'm sorry for that. I do not fly it to hurt anyone. And as I said before, there are many things that offend me, but I respect others enough not to dampen their passions. Thank you for the conversation.

10:44AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

The Union Army should have defeated the South sooner than four years with its advantages in population (3 to 1), transportation, and industry. I think my dad said the Union had poor generals until Grant (think McClelland and his "slows", depression?) and the South had good generals and was fighting to defend itself and prove itself as a nation. But the Union naval blockade kept a lot of weapons out of Confederate hands.

10:33AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

I repeat to all those who remain in denial of the power of the Confederate Flag as a symbol of slavery -

SO WHAT that the causes of the war were not primarily altruistic or for human rights but for economic reasons;

SO WHAT that Lincoln was not an Abolitionist;

SO WHAT that the Emancipation Proclamation did not come until 1863 - 2 years into the war;

SO WHAT that the Emancipation Proclamation was primarily a political document and did not free all slaves -

In January of 1865 the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed by the Union states which ABOLISHED slavery. In April of 1865 the Confederate Army surrendered.

The North won, slavery was ended. Had the South won, slavery would have continued. DONE!!!!! DUH!!!!! THIS IS WHY PEOPLE SEE THE CONFEDERATE FLAG AS A SYMBOL OF SLAVERY!!!!! Use your brains people!!!!

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