One of my most fascinating interviews on the Confederate flag of Mississippi was with two close friends, one white and black. I didn’t know that Thomasa Massey was going to bring Evangela Hentz to our appointment, which happened to be in the rain in Pearl Park in Rankin County. But she did.
Massey was wearing her “Pride, Not Prejudice” T-shirt with Confederate butterflies (!) that she had designed herself. The two women finished each other’s sentences, while telling us under a pavilion that being concerned about the Confederate and Mississippi flags is a waste of time better spent trying to solve other problems.
Hentz called the flag just an “inanimate object,” adding, “Stop letting it control you.”
“If you don’t breathe life into something, it will die,” Massey aaddedds.
The friends reject being offended over what Hentz calls “just a piece of cloth.”
“If everyone, I promise you, would take one hour out of every day worldwide, for 60 minutes and did not hate, the world would change,” Massey interjects.
Hentz cuts in. “Overnight, just about. Because you might discover the person you hated …”
“… is the person you need the most in your life …,” Massey said.
“… to complete you, to get you to that next step,” Hentz added. “I wouldn’t be as far as I am without her.”
“Same with me.”
“If I let that she’s a white person that likes the flag divide us, all that distance for what?” Hentz said.
“… a piece of cloth,” Massey finished as the rain hits the pavilion.