Dave Chappelle once introduced a character on his award-winning “Chappelle’s Show” who served as a satire on race in America. Portrayed by Chappelle, the character, Clayton Bigsby, is blind and a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He also happens to be Black.
Nearly 17 years after that skit first aired, some are comparing Chappelle’s character to a Black man who is defending the Confederate flag and statues that honor Confederate leaders.
Daniel Sims of Albertville, Alabama, is the only Black member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group that seeks to preserve Confederate symbols. His group is in opposition to the organization, Say Their Names, which is focused on getting a Confederate symbol removed from the Marshall County courthouse in Albertville.
“Regardless how the next person feels, I’m not gonna take my flag down,” Sims said during a recent interview with WHNT. “If I got anything to do with it, ain’t no monument gonna come down.”
Sims also shared that he was adopted and raised by a White family. “My whole family’s White, went to all-White schools, grew up in all-White neighborhoods. My grandfather was White, and he’s the main one who fought in this war here, and he taught me everything I know.”
The Confederate battle emblem and symbols were added by Southern states in response to Black progression following the Civil War. After slavery, Blacks began gaining political and economical power across the South. Racist Whites responded with lynchings in the streets and by enacting laws that legally prevented progress for Black citizens.
The Confederate flag was soon embraced by racist organizations such as the KKK.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, an uprising has occurred across the country and sparked greater awareness of racial disparities and injustices.
View the video of Sims’ explanation below.