Uncle T and the Uppity Spy (by Greg Newson)
He’s memorable. His 58 paintings depicting black confederacy, his laughter, his confederate cap and short gray jacket with general’s braid on the sleeves, and embroidered words on the back: I’m Uncle Tom. If that bothers you ask for a brochure or buy a book at newsonpublishing.com. He lectures about his personal hero, Thomas Stonewall Jackson, and his personal mission, monument protection. Last weekend, with a broken pipe in his hand, he chased some thugs down 42nd street in NYC who wanted to tear down his flags during his library presentation. The NYC policemen shook his hand and laughed, while videoing it. I said, he’s memorable.
A lot of people who thought they knew history, learned a lot of missing pieces this weekend. Greg begins with, “I’ll bet you knew…” Yes, of course. “But I’ll bet you didn’t know…” People learned about the thousands of white slaves who were processed in and out of Africa, the Barbary Wars. “Make the black man a victim, and we have to take care of him; that’s democratic, isn’t it?” he asks. They learned about slave owners who were black. Why, he asks, are the best black educational institutions located in the south? Because the south needed black men educated who could take care of themselves! Where are the worst places for blacks to live? Northern states, northern Democratic cities, where the blacks are told they are victims, to be looked after by the government, they are owed that. He explains today’s problems are not about color, but about control.
Greg’s ancestry is Jacksonville, Florida, families of slaves and also slave-owners. He grew up in Harlem and lives in Orange County, NY. He’s a former Black Panther and drug addict, and drug runner. I asked him when he left the Panther movement. He said, “When I studied their platform and realized they were lying to me. Then I got off heroine and got a job.” He told young people how making blacks victims, making them believe they are incapable, causes frustration, results in losing themselves, allowing Panthers and others to sell them a bill of goods. One of the visitors asked him, “What do you think of today’s political left?” He answered, “I don’t think about them at all. I got me two good right hands to work with. I don’t need a left!” Then he roared with laughter. The truth is, he thinks about them all the time. And don’t get him started on their monument desecration! He’s been fighting that for five years, he said. His mission is to tell both sides of the history, black or white, fill in the missing pieces, good or bad, honor history with the truth. And he laughs a lot. “Beats wailing,” he says with a laugh.
We parted Sunday afternoon, Greg to return to NY, where he says his dog is waiting to take him to divorce court, and me to head back south. I look forward to meeting Greg again, to hear more of his fascinating stories of the black confederacy, and to hear him laugh at life.