There's an old saying I have heard that has stayed with me since I was a kid....

Change before you have to.

Finally, parts of America are starting to wake up from a deep sleep and recognize their racist history towards African-Americans is no longer tolerated and starting to take action.

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I've seen products like Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben's, and Mrs. Butterworth just to name a few positioned themselves to be rebranded to eliminate racist ties and now it has made it's way to East Texas as the debate of renaming a local high school with a deep racist past is again brought to the surface.

On Monday (June 22nd), protestors assembled at the Tyler ISD board meeting where they were asking for the name change of Robert E. Lee high school.

A petition from with over 10,000 signatures is calling for the East Texas high school name change because they feel it's inappropriate to continue to allow a confederate soldiers be the spearhead for an educational establishment where students of different ethnic backgrounds attend - and I agree.

I just can't imagine attending a school or having school spirit for an individual that bears the name of someone who has caused oppression to my ancestors and even today as I face the same oppression of systemic racism.

The Confederacy lost the Civil War back in 1865 which dissolved the Confederate states, and abolished slavery.  However, certain states in the south continue to fly and recognize the Confederate flag, and historical figures that represent the Confederacy is a constant reminder that we are still a nation divided.

I honestly feel that until that Confederate flag is put to rest and laws are to follow for equality for African-Americans, we will honestly feel as if we belong here in the good ole U.S.A.. Until then, I will continue to question anybody who thinks differently.

If you are proud of that flag and what it stands for, then I can be equally vocal and use my voice to protest the racist history that comes with it.

Shawn Knight | TSM
Shawn Knight | TSM

Oh, and while we're at it, let's change this street sign too!

Are we really ONE united nation under God?

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