College Student Protests Against The Confederate Flag - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

College Student Protests Against The Confederate Flag

Jason Whitfield had several supporters with him to fight what he considers an offensive, disrespectful flag. The 21 year old Alcorn State student said it was time for somebody to stand up and say the confederate battle symbol doesn't belong on a public display.

"I will stay down here until they come down, until that flag comes down," Whitfield said, "however long it takes."

Whitfield is spending summer vacation in Gulfport. When the St. John High School graduate found out the confederate battle flag was back on the beach, he decided to do something.

"I basically was tired of the talking, tired of the speaking, tired of pleading, tired of asking people to respect us," he said. "It was time for action."

So on Wednesday, Jason Whitfield went to the beach. He vowed not to leave until Harrison County removed the confederate battle flag that reappeared on Tuesday morning.

"It's time for good people to stand up for what is right," said Whitfield.

It didn't take long for the 21 year old to get some company. Up to a dozen African American men and women set up chairs under the flag display. They wanted the college student to know they supported his efforts.

France Brinkley was in the crowd. "I'm very optimistic that it will be helpful in bringing a message that there are some disenfranchised voices out here," he said.

The original eight flag display came down in 2000, because of the controversy surrounding the confederate battle flag. American flags went up last October, right after terrorists attacked the country. Now both sets of flags are up, and the controversy is back.

Just ask Earl Leonard. "Everyone was for the American flags that were up, no problem," the Gulfport man said. "But when you put this flag up, you disrespect everyone who is American. I don't care what nationality you are."

The protesters brought Gatorade and water down to the beach, to help Whitfield cope with the summertime heat. The college student skipped work so he could stage his peaceful protest against the confederate battle flag.

"They will come down because it's the right for them to come down," said Whitfield. "And what is just and what is right always prevails. So I don't have a doubt in my mind that those flags will come down."

Harrison County supervisors aren't paying much attention to this peaceful protest. Connie Rockco told me the board has made up its mind. She said the flags that are up now are the flags that will stay up.

by Brad Kessie

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