A Virginia man is in outrage after his feelings were “hurt” after water bottles and racial slurs were thrown at him over the weekend on July 12, 2015 during his Confederate flag parade that ended in a bit of violence. The 100-strong makeshift pride procession snaked its way through Southside Virginia from Chester to Petersburg, a town with a black population of over 77 percent, according to 2013 census data.
What was waiting for the group as they drive through town was not a collection of southern heritage supporters. As the Confederate convoy was making its way through Petersburg, an eyewitness video posted to YouTube shows someone in the crowd throwing a bottle of water at Chris Oliver’s pickup truck. Oliver, the victim in the incident, called police after he said his feelings were hurt from the townspeople disrespecting his parade.
‘“My initial reaction was, ‘What the hell?’” Oliver said. He explained could not understand why he had not been welcomed with open arms into the predominately black community while parading with his army of Confederate flag lovers. “There was people protesting, throwing bottles, hit my truck, hit numerous other vehicles, people yelling, yelling racial slurs,” he told reporters.
Angela Oliver, his wife, said that she was angry because his Confederate flag parade had come to downtown Petersburg as a “peaceful ride.” She insisted that what happened was surprisingly uncalled for and that she is upset over the destruction of, “our property that we worked for.”
The Olivers filed a report with the Petersburg Police yesterday. Esther Hyatt with the police department told reporters the incident is currently being investigated. Videos of the bottles being thrown and racial slurs being shouted at Oliver went viral on the Internet over the weekend, gathering over two million views. Though, the victim claims authorities told him they have not obtained enough evidence to make any arrests.
“The racial slurs are really what hurt me,” Oliver remarked. “You know, it’s uncalled for. There’s no need for that in today’s society.” Contrary to his belief, the Confederate flag demonstration in the predominately black town was not welcome in the slightest.
Confederate flag demonstrations are not being shut down in the greater Richmond area as the flag’s symbolism runs rampant through national news. Just under a dozen flag wavers still stand at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts just off North Boulevard in the Museum District.
Jerry Dyson of Colonial Heights, Virginia, told sources there are more flag runs being organized in the area. “We’re still here. It’s not going to go away,” he said. This time Dyson said the demonstrators plan to raise money to send to the families of the Emanuel Nine.
Just a few days after the Charleston massacre, Richmond also witnessed the vandalization of the Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederate States of America) statue on Monument Avenue. It was reported that a young man was taken into custody for spray painting “BLACK LIVES MATTER” on the base of the monument.
The Olivers insisted participating in the flag run through Petersburg is their right, and residents of the town should have respected that. Nonetheless, the Confederate flag parade that made its way through the mostly black southern town have people talking more about the flag’s relevance in modern society. Last week, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed legislation that banned the Confederate flag from all state grounds, including the flag that once sat on the front lawn of the State House.
By Alex Lemieux
Raw Story: Man calls cops after mostly black town ‘hurts’ his feelings by disrespecting Confederate flag parade
NBC 12: Confederate flag supporters want justice after bottles thrown during flag run
NBC 12: Organizers plan two more Confederate Flag runs in Central VA
Photo Courtesy of Gerry Dincher’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Photo Taken by Alex Lemieux