Flaggers Turn Out in Force at Lexington

This past week thousands hundreds dozens five Virginia Flaggers turned up at Washington and Lee University to protest the university’s new policy concerning the display of the Confederate flag at Lee Chapel.

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They were outnumbered by the flags they displayed.

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They engaged passers-by, changing hearts and minds.

vf wlu 0914 4The media coverage of the event was all one could wish for. Flagger spokesperson Barry Isenhour, who is to red shorts what Susan Hathaway is to red blouses and dresses, shared his insights about the Lost Cause.

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The following day Hathaway herself took time off from her non-appearances on the sidewalk by the VMFA to operate a booth by a reenactment. You can see how busy she was. There was also a Karen Cooper sighting, but people were disappointed to learn that surfer dude Grayson Jennings and Norwood “Tripp” “Shades” Lewis were nowhere to be seen. Their presence would have made at least a dozen Flaggers over several days.

No word on whether the Flagger bookstand sells copies of Connie’s Chastain’s latest dust jacket covers. The good news? This time there are more Flaggers than flags in the picture, which is an increasingly rare thing.

Somehow I don’t think this massive turnout will be enough to persuade anyone at Washington and Lee to change current policy. As to why Hathaway absents herself from sidewalk flagging, there’s been no explanation. Unfortunately for her there are no pictures of her outside of WLU for years past to recycle.

We have been assured that this spectacle will be repeated several times during the remainder of the fall semester at WLU. We wonder whether the results will be any different.

Are you angry enough yet? I’m sure the Flaggers are. As for the rest of us …

 

 

Another Confederate Heritage Advocate Shrugs Off Violence

From the SPLC’s article on the League of the South’s violent rhetoric:

This isn’t the first time the League has flirted with southern nationalists with a calloused trigger finger, however. Michael Tubbs, a former Green Beret and demolitions expert, and another soldier robbed two fellow soldiers of their M-16 rifles at Fort Bragg, N.C. “This is for the KKK,” the holdup men shouted as they fled. Tubbs pleaded guilty to theft of government property and conspiracy to transport guns and explosives across state lines after prosecutors later discovered a weapons cache.

Tubbs is now Hill’s chief of staff.

Reaction from one of the usual suspects:

(So? And gunrunner Eric Holder is Obama’s Attorney General. Tubbs served his time, did he not?)

Sweet southern boys, indeed.

In related news … guess who’s back in the good graces of the league of the South?

MJH

Matthew Heimbach, (former?) Virginia Flagger.

Quote(s) of the Week, September 7-13, 2014

It’s so hard to choose sometimes …

Want to know about slavery?

Slavery, was not my idea, was it yours, I did not own any,did any of you, I bet you cannot locate one single living person in America that owned a black slave, call me if you can. Oh, in my early life I kinda thought a couple of times they were talking about me, as I was working like a slave, but no, I was wrong, just some of my old memories were apparently coming through.

Yeah, we have the Eagles, Giants, Saints, what bout dem Mississippi Slaves, dem boys is good, score 47 points on dat dare field. Or , oh no, Redskins, how can you call them players R-E-D-S-K-I-N-S, we can call them, Panthers, or Bears, or Seahawks, or Dolphins, or Colts, or Indians, or RFeds, or sumpen, but not Redskins. BULLSHIT, LET’S CALL IT THAT.

Folks, have you heard about the illegal Immigration issues, and by the way, Obama says not to call the terroists, call them foreign combatants, u know wat I mean, just pretend along with me, use modern feel good names as we do not want to bomb ISIS unless we get an invitation. Yes, I suppose them invitations to come over and bomb the combatants is not a Hallmark Card is it.

Listen, modern day Morons and Morenesties, wake up, slavery was a biblical issue long before Starbucks was founded. Yeah, before Aunt Jemima pancakes, the plantations, and all that stuff, their was slavery. Before Dixie, and Cotton, Rice and Jambalaya, their were slaves. before America their were slaves. Eqypians, Greeks, Romans, Indians, Japaneses, Chinese, Pre Columbian civilizations all had slaves. AMERICA DID NOT INVENT THIS.

Good to know.

And then there was this:

The South seceded for many different reasons, slavery was part and parcel , but by no means No.1, I could also say, Southern women were a reason, or Southern Children, Or Southern Trees and flowers, or Southern farms, or Southern Rivers, or Southern Lakes, Pecans, Peaches, Palm trees, all are some of the reasons.

Pray tell.

Want a list? Here’s your list:

THE COLLECTIVE SIGNIFICANT REASONS FOR SOUTHERN STATES TO SECEDE WAS( ONLY A FEW LISTED, AN UNKNOWN LIST OF MANY MORE COULD BE ADDED).
Place your weight on each as you see fit, or add more reasons, but this was a complex issue, NOT A SINGULAR ISSUE.
* Independence from the Federal Central government which Southerners generally felt were biased in their dealings with the Southern states.
Most Southerners believed in pro-states rights, that each state was an independent nation, free to print it’s own money, run it’s government, make it’s own
laws, and basically be an independent nation exempt from outside interference. Lincoln was the last straw to many who wanted the state to be left alone and
now felt threatened more than ever by the noose that the federal government under Lincoln was likely to place around their necks.
* Independence from the Northern people who were at odds culturally with the Southern people in almost every way.
* Independence from Federal Tariffs and taxes.
* A belief that the lives of Southerners would be further controlled and harmed negatively after Lincoln was elected.
* A belief that life and commerce in the South would benefit from not having Northern interference or control.
* A fear of free black men running loose across the South and raping, looting and murdering whites, if a law was passed allowing an instant release of the
slaves.
* A feeling of economic harm to many portions of the Southern agricultural business if slaves were freed.
* A dislike of the North in many ways, one primary reason was a perception of an anti-Christian attitude and lifestyle of Northern people in general,
and this feeling is relative and exists today.
* As many independent reasons and thoughts as man can perceive or consider. The very idea of getting out from under the central government had been
discussed, talked about, proposed, discussed and considered since the nations founding 80m plus years previous. It was not a new idea, Lincoln was the
newest fear, and the likely hood is, had the secession not had happened, Lincoln would not have freed the slaves, although I do suspect it would have
eventually happened piecemeal as a result of efficiency and economics with new technology being introduced that would have made slavery obsolete.
NOW, I AM DOUBTFUL THAT THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BITTEN THE FRUIT OF SLAVERY IS THE ONE AND ONLY REASON FOR THE WAR AND ALL THAT WENT WITH IT, WILL NEVER STOP
TO TRY AND LEARN THE DEEP AND VARYING POSITIONS THAT SOUTHERNERS HAD IN 1861 ACROSS ALL THE DIFFERENT SOUTHERN STATES, BUT INSTEAD CHOOSE TO ONLY USE THE STATEMENTS OF A FEW AS THE ABSOLUTE REASON AND CAUSE, AS IT WAS NOT THAT SIMPLE, AND YOU WHO PERPETUATE YOUR MYTH, YOUR LIE, DO HISTORY AND AMERICA A GREAT DISSERVICE.

Discuss.

Seems to me that a lot of those reasons in the end are reduced to saying that white southerners who favored secession did so because they wanted to protect slavery and feared the consequences of emancipation. After all, even the issue of the tariff reminds us that the plantation economy, which relied on exports, was made possible by slavery … and so white southerners wanted a national policy that favored its regional economic interest.

Somebody’s Upset

I thought I’d share with you this tale of woe concerning the Museum of The Confederacy and the Confederate White House:

THE LEADERS AT THE MOC have for a few years refused to fly the confederate battle flag out front of the new museum building that sits next door and beside the old White House. The leaders have slowly, year by year infiltrated this institution, just as foreigners have filtered into America and are changing our customs and traditions and destroying America, these people are destroying the MOC. For several years a move has been underfoot where many in the black community have pushed for slave stories, and slave museums, and I am fine with it, with their money, time to do as they please, but leave our Confederate Museum alone. Not to be. You see, infiltrators, work within, they sneak in with false pretenses, get control and change things to suit their objectives. Another TROJAN HORSE. They first worked with the Black city mayor and council. and other Black anti Confederate groups, to take control, and as they have the museum is changing to a more Political Correct place, or simply put, screw the CSA we are turning the place into a political correct center, where we can bash the CSA AND ALL IT STOOD FOR BEFORE THEY ARE FINISHED AND ERASED. And just like every other thing they are put in charge of, it gets corrupted, defaced, lost and destroyed in a few short years, just as the MOC will.

Quite a snapshot of how someone thinks, no?

It appears a merger is happening between the MOC and the Richmond Civil War Center at the old Tredegar museum location, a Liberal controlled place to water down and destroy our past. This is rotten to the core and it makes med mad. Our nation is under siege, I for one, would avail myself into a group of Americans who want to take back control of our nation, but I am afraid I have waited too late as few agree with me it seems, and for this I am sad but determined to stay the course as things can change and I want to be a part of the change back to our traditional America, and our Southern heritage and culture being re-instated.

Oh my indeed.

The Washington Post Does It Again

It gave a forum to none other than Brag Bowling … again.

Absentee ballots
Memorandum Aug. 23, 1864, from Abraham Lincoln to his Cabinet in a sealed envelope to be opened only after the November election:

“This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; so he will have secured his election on such grounds that he cannot save it afterwards.”

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Lincoln was simply reading the tea leaves. Four years of horrific fighting with massive casualties, high living costs, opposition to the Emancipation Proclamation, continuation of the draft and opposition to his political and unconstitutional policies (such as the denial of the writ of habeas corpus, mass arrests and closure of opposition newspapers) had left his popularity at low ebb. Tactical losses from the Wilderness to Petersburg produced 65,000 casualties. The unpopular war seemed no closer to ending than in 1861.

George McClellan was considered a formidable challenger whose party’s platform included ending the war and Confederate independence, although McClellan rejected that part in his letter accepting the nomination.

The mid-term 1862 elections proved disastrous to the Republican Party with congressional losses in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana and Lincoln’s home state of Illinois.

Lincoln had significant opposition in the Republican Party. The Radical Republicans doubted Lincoln’s fervor to end slavery and thought his Reconstruction plan was not punitive enough to the South.

Prospects brightened greatly with victories in Mobile Bay, the Shenandoah Valley and Atlanta on Sept. 6, 1864. Still, a November victory was uncertain. What could he do to guarantee a victory?

The answer lay in the novel use of absentee ballots. Letting American troops vote absentee while in the field had not been done before. Lincoln banked on the hope that the soldiers would support him and continue with the war to validate their sacrifices. Many thought this could lead to corruption. Blank absentee ballots showed up throughout the army. Whole regiments were given furloughs to return home and vote. Lincoln took it a step further. In many polling precincts, armed Union troops intimidated voters. His electoral victory in New York has been credited to the menacing presence of soldiers. Accusations of voter fraud were made in nearly every state. Lincoln was reelected on Nov. 8, 1864. As he hoped, the army ballots proved decisive. The horrific war and subsequent Reconstruction would proceed as Lincoln planned.

Congratulatory letters poured in. Two of note came from European supporter Karl Marx writing on behalf of the International Working Men’s Association.

By the way, Mr. Bowling is the director of the Stephen D. Lee Institute, an educational group established by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Really.

Speaking of Threats of Violence (continued) …

Here’s a picture of Michael Hill, President of the League of the South, with Pat Hines, who is vice-chairman for the league’s South Carolina chapter.
Hill and Hines
Yes, that Pat Hines … the one who apparently advocated the murder of schoolchildren.

Of course, Connie Chastain didn’t take that threat seriously, either. She never doesunless it will help her sell books.

Are you angry enough yet?

At least Ben Jones and the SCV can no longer say they haven’t heard or read about this. Will they say that Hill, Hines, and company are simply using their First Amendment rights?

Fall Semester Opens at Washington and Lee

As the fall semester opened at Washington and Lee University, President Kenneth Ruscio took the time at the university’s opening convocation to sound themes that would inform the coming academic year. You can read the full text here.

As to this summer’s controversy … which is fast dwindling into a kerfuffle … Ruscio had this to say:

I’m referring, of course, to our decisions to remove the decorative, replica Confederate battle flags from the statue chamber in Lee Chapel’s public space and thereby return that area to the way it was envisioned originally by Lee’s family and Lee’s friends and the way it stood for its first 60 years; to restore some original flags and display them in the Lee Chapel Museum, which is the appropriate way for an educational institution to treat genuine historic artifacts; to examine our history straightforwardly and accurately, with all the respect history deserves, including the contributions of enslaved African-Americans from 1826 to 1850; to honor our traditions reverently, but not blindly; to behave, in short, as an academic institution ought to behave, especially one mindful of its future as well as its past.

And I’m referring to protests against those steps by groups and individuals who have no connection to the University, who are not part of our community, and whose purposes diverge sharply from ours. They have every right to voice their disagreement. We have an equal right to say that these matters are for Washington and Lee to decide, and that we do not exist as a platform for them to assert their views.

This is not a response to them. We do not wish them ill. They are who they are; we are who we are. And we can’t be distracted by those who object to one piece of what we have done, while we are consumed, as we should be, with the nobler purpose of defining the kind of community we wish to be.

You would think that people who talk all the time about self-determination would have no problem with this statement.

Ruscio returned to this theme of community and purpose at the end of his remarks:

I want to return to where I began, which is why the events of this summer were at least one reason for me to consider these deeper questions. In the midst of some of the criticisms we have received from those outside the community, and a few from within, it has been tempting to respond directly. But we have refrained for a variety of reasons, sometimes because we have a university to run, and sometimes because we would have to engage on terms that have little to do with how a university operates. We have a different position because of the values and ideals we hold, and we have a different way of expressing that position, also because of the ideals and values we hold.

In the end, though, we are interested in how we build a community of respect and trust for all who belong to it, where cooperation prevails over confrontation, and thoughtful consideration of diverse views is seen not as a weakness, but as a strength.

With that in mind, from all the letters I have received this summer, let me share with you portions of some that capture that spirit — and captured my attention.

Such as the one from the father of an incoming student who found the University’s position so “thoughtful, rational, even-keeled, as to make me realize once again just how fortunate we are that our son will be matriculating next month.”

The mother of a current student whose ancestry traces back to graduates of what was then Washington College, and whose relatives fought in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy, who applauded the University’s ability to look deeply at its own history and the nation’s.

The black alumnus who viewed our steps as advancing the dialogue over history-as he said, not “their” history only, but also “my history.”

And then there is this letter, from an alumnus of the Class of 1949:

Dear President Ruscio:
I have been following the issues…. I write to offer my unqualified endorsement of your response to those issues — especially your forceful support of my great-grandfather’s presidency of Washington College and your plans for the Confederate battle flags…

I believe that the five years he spent as Washington College’s president were as important to him as they were to the college. His passion for using his position there to help heal the wounds of war was apparent through both his words and deeds.

Based on everything I have heard or read, it is clear to me that President Lee would wholeheartedly support your goals of making Washington and Lee a welcoming environment for all students who choose to come there today. As a proud alumnus, I, too, support those goals.

In my view, removing the flags from the statuary chamber is overdue…. At the same time, we should not simply ignore the flags and their undeniable historical significance. Your plan of returning the actual battle flags to the Lee Chapel Museum is the ideal way to study and care for these important artifacts.

I am proud of my alma mater. I am certain that my great-grandfather would be proud of the institution he once led. And I know he would appreciate the civil manner in which you have approached what must be emotional discussions. But most important of all, I trust that today’s students will be reminded of just how important the University’s core values are. In my opinion, the qualities of honor, responsibility, civility, service and leadership that Washington and Lee instills in each generation of students are just as important as the exceptional education it provides.

Please know that you have my full support and my best wishes.

Signed: Robert E. Lee IV

These discussions are significant for us. They are about what Washington and Lee has been in the past, what it is today, and what it will be in the future. No matter the differences across time and across generations and across the many individuals who live here today, a common unifying thread binds us all. This is a community based on trust and respect, one that seeks common ground and celebrates our differences, one that seeks, in Giamatti’s wonderful phrase, to become a “free and ordered space,” one where freedom is coupled with responsibility, where individuality is coupled with a commitment to a common good. A place, in other words, that prepares our students for lives as responsible citizens in a democracy.

This is what any university should do, but especially this one. In the months ahead, in the years ahead, we should not shy away from these matters, mindful of our past, mindful of our future, and mindful of our responsibilities today to preserve and enhance this community of trust and respect.