A Facebook video of a woman railing against a man who backs the Confederate flag has drawn so much attention that the organizers of the festival where the image was showcased have been forced to respond.
Ybia Anderson, who is Black, recorded a man standing next to a 1969 Dodge Charger with a Confederate flag on top, which resembles the General Lee seen in the TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard.” While attending the Highland Creek Heritage Festival in Toronto Saturday, June 17, she said the man, who is white, wanted to “educate me on the Civil War.”
“This racist car with not one, but two Confederate flags on it is front and center,” Anderson says in the Facebook Live video. “It’s the first thing that people see when they walk into this festival.”
The man begins explaining his view as Anderson the vehicle be removed.
“It represents lynching and death of Black people,” she says of the flag. “They hung our people from f—— trees until our eyes bugged out.”
As the exchange became more heated, a festival worker intervened to quell Anderson’s profanity. She said she understood but noted, “People who look exactly like me and my son died, were murdered, because of that flag.”
“As a white man, you have absolutely no place to tell me whether or not I should be offended,” Anderson shouted at the man. “The fact that you can erase race from the story of the Confederate flag shows your privilege!”
Anderson continues to call for the car’s removal and later turned to another organizer, who told her to calm down. He added that in the future, they would likely not have the vehicle present.
“As a person of color — a dark-skinned person of color — you’re okay with this?” Anderson asks before turning to the first organizer. “I want this car gone in an hour or you will have hell to pay.”
In response, Paul Maguire, Highland Creek Heritage Festival committee chair, posted an apology on Facebook Sunday, June 18.
“We recognize that symbology can be profoundly evocative,” the statement said. “We did not, and would not, choose to present any element that brings to mind one of the ugliest periods of human history. The committee uniformly decries all actions of hate, past and present. … An offending symbol was present without the committee’s foreknowledge. Having identified the problem, we resolve to strive for greater sensitivity and preparation in the future.”
We regret that any person was made to feel unwelcome at our event. It has always been inclusive, with committee support…