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January 22, 2008

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Michelle

Jay, I totally hear you as a fellow Cola.,SC resident. Our church is trying so hard to desegrate and break down those walls that are SO prominent here and it is exteremely difficult to do! The tension and roots extend so deep that we know it will have to be an act of God. But we feel this is what God has called us to in our community. He's spoken clearly to our staff that we're called for this. But it does seems almost a dream and more churches need to be doing it. Thanks for sharing..

david

Awesome post.

Chris

Well buddy, you know i love you and the fam. The thing that drew me to you, was your nonjudgemental attitude towards people period,specifically people of color. I can truly say that i have the utmost respect for you,and your honesty. Love u man!

D-PLUM

Dude,

I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I'm excited about your transparency, yet so very frustrated that all this is "still a dream." Not just for African-Americans like myself, but for all minorities in this country.

Jay, chills ran down my spine as I read what you wrote about what your state flag means to your friend... I CAN EMPATHIZE! Because whenver I see a confederate flag, it shouts out one thing to me: racism... and it angers me, it pains me. I've had several conversations with Christians over the years about the flag... they're usually always surprised to hear me voice my opinions/concerns about it... and I'm always surprised that they're surprised!

My friend, thanks so much for your honesty and the risk you took in posting your heart. I look forward to building upon our friendship, and wading through the sometimes-rough waters of cultural differences.

You're right: it starts with you... and it starts with me.

jay hardwick

michelle - so glad to hear the heart of your staff and church in breaking this stronghold. it's going to take time, a lot of love, a lot of forgiveness, a lot of self-awareness, and a lot of relationships...glad to know you guys are on the journey!

david - thanks for stopping by and thanks for the encouragement.

chris - you're way too kind. you're a great friend and the friendship lb and i have with you is one of the reasons why i KNOW we can do better! thanks for your encouragement...and for your example as well.

d-plum - thanks for the encouragement and for commenting from your heart. looking forward to spending time with you in a couple of weeks...and building our relationship as a means of helping dr. king's dream become reality. one relationship at a time!

and, for the record, our state flag is not the confederate flag. for years, the confederate battle flag ("stars and bars") flew atop the state house dome along with our state flag and the u.s. flag. after years of motions, discussions, votes, etc., the compromise was to take it off the dome and create a memorial on the state house grounds. it so happens that the location on the grounds is more prominent and more visible than it was when it was on the dome.

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