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The Fire and Jemele Hill

Teri Carter's Library

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My childhood friend tells a story. Her dad was having coffee with his buddies, down at the diner in south side, when one of them glanced out the smudged plate glass and yelled, “Get a fire extinguisher! Hey Donny, your truck’s on fire.”

Sure enough, small flames curled across the truck’s back window, the window draped with Donny’s now-burning Confederate Flag.

A cook ran out with an extinguisher to douse the flames and, while the flag was a total loss, lucky for Donny not much harm was done to his truck. But he was hoppin’ mad. Some n****r did this, he kept yelling, and he was gonna call the police, by God, and file a report!

Until, as my friend tells it, already laughing, the police car rolled up and two black cops got out. “Dad’s buddies gave him guff about that one for years,” she says.

How many of…

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