Flaggers, Free Speech, and Frustration

Although one can peruse the comments section to many a newspaper report on the proposal of the Virginia Flaggers to fly a large Confederate flag from a fifty-foot flagpole located by I-95 south of Richmond, signs of public organized opposition were few and far between for weeks. Outside of several blogs, the most visible sign was a petition put up at moveon.org that as of today has gathered over 23,000 signatures. Flaggers, ignoring the fact that some of their most vocal supporters come from outside Virginia, charged that this was a petition signed by outsiders, a claim not supported by the evidence (more Virginians have expressed themselves as opposed to the flag than the Flaggers’ own claim of numbering 50 firm supporters and 500 interested attendees). Moveon.org has now run a feature on the creator of the petition, Kristen Schroeder Konaté, that’s worth reading. Flaggers anxious to attack her have done so in the comments in characteristic fashion.

In a related story, efforts by supporters of the Flaggers to shut down this blog by complaining to Arizona State University failed (yet again). Apparently they want to refuse to others the free speech rights that Flaggers claim for themselves. Perhaps that’s a tribute to the effectiveness of this blog in highlighting the Flaggers’ association with white supremacist Matthew Heimbach, the reasons for the silence of Flagger spokesperson Susan Hathaway, and other matters concerning the Flaggers and their supporters. They’re scared. They’re vulnerable. They are unable to engage in the sort of public discussion that’s at the heart of free speech. And, of course, they are hypocrites.

But you knew that already.

Meanwhile, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones has expressed his opposition to the Flagger project.

Opponents of the Flagger proposal have established a Facebook page where one may find expressions of opposition to the Flagger project as well as interesting information about the Flaggers as well as this controversy.

As we move closer to September 28, things get more interesting.

23 thoughts on “Flaggers, Free Speech, and Frustration

  1. Corey Meyer September 10, 2013 / 8:51 pm

    I have had my info posted in several places and my school has been called and emails sent. Sad bunch of folks.

    • Michael Confoy September 10, 2013 / 9:19 pm

      That is some scary stuff on your blog from flaggers. Makes me shudder.

  2. Michael Confoy September 10, 2013 / 9:08 pm

    One could they possibly be saying to who at Arizona State about this blog? Now if they were complaining about the state of Sun Devil football, (they are about to absorb a punishing loss at home), and the quality of their athletics web pages, that would be a different story.

    • Brooks D. Simpson September 10, 2013 / 9:12 pm

      Oh, I’ve seen this sort of thing before. The fact is that the Flaggers can’t stand to be exposed for who they are. Unable to explain their association with a white supremacist, the silence of their leader, or the interesting views of their members, they prefer to shut people off, just as southerners attempted to shut off free speech and the right of petition in the 1830s.

      • Michael Confoy September 10, 2013 / 9:20 pm

        That would be a what, not one. It is safe to assume that ASU files their complaints in the circular container?

        • Brooks D. Simpson September 10, 2013 / 9:26 pm

          Arizona State University stands behind the constitutionally-protected free speech rights of its employees acting as private citizens.

          As to why some people want to shut down those free speech rights even as they reserve them for themselves, well, we are talking about the Flaggers, right?

          • Thelibertylamp September 10, 2013 / 10:27 pm

            I know this is off topic but about AZ, our friend Dennis Gilman just got beaten up while trying to cover racists down there.

            http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2013/09/09/anti-illegal-immigrant-activists-assault-videographer-public-rally-arizona/

            He does excellent work and his facts are always solid.

            If you know him please look out for him for us, we don’t like hearing about our people getting harmed.

            But, to tie this into what is going on with the “flaggers” is that this shows the kind of people these kind of xenophobic nationalist/pro-white movements attract.

            This was not widely publicized, but Heimbach has tried to provoke violent situations at white nationalist gatherings.

            http://www.onepeoplesproject.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1152:white-student-union-founder-reportedly-mouths-off-starts-bar-fight-in-tennessee&Itemid=14&lang=en

            Please be careful, Brooke, these reactionaries are the worst kind of people.

          • Jefferson Moon September 11, 2013 / 9:23 am

            When did your blog become a mouth piece for these commie jack boots,you have more to fear from these folk then the flaggers.

          • Thelibertylamp September 11, 2013 / 7:13 pm

            I never wear jack boots before the autumn equinox, so it’s commie “sandals” to you, Mr Moonie!

          • Mildred Lewis Rutherford September 11, 2013 / 8:54 am

            Well if things heat up at the workplace, some solutions are possible. You could seem to go silent by posting anonymously as “Jefferson Davis” or over the signature of a willing colleague. Or maybe a real pal could do heaving hitting from a distance–say, as far away as Florida–by become the administrator-in-name-only for your blog?

          • Brooks D. Simpson September 11, 2013 / 3:51 pm

            Nah. All I needed to point out is that the Flaggers are hypocrites when it comes to the matter of free speech.

  3. Eric J. Wittenberg September 11, 2013 / 5:14 am

    These flaggers are real class acts. Be careful of them, Brooks.

  4. Ed and Bettie September 11, 2013 / 3:17 pm

    Mr.Simpson,

    What exactly are you afraid of, when you accuse the Flaggers of being ‘hypocrites?” They are a group of people who have the courage to stand-up for the legacy of their ancestors, who fought and died for their God-given right to self-determination, just as the Revolutionary Generation did in 1776. There is no “hypocrisy” here, but an attempt to share with the world the fact that they are no longer willing to sit back and permit the heritage of their ancestors to be defiled by those who have no real understanding of why Southern Americans chose to secede from the malfunctioning Union in 1860-61.

    Also, why are you so fearful of seeing the Confederate Battle Flag prominently displayed along I-95, in Virginia? That flag was the soldiers’ flag, and was not the official flag of the Confederate government. If you are going to claim that the CBF represented “slavery,” you would be incorrect. The only flag associated with American slavery, was the United States flag…”Old Glory.” and I don’t think that you’re about to demand that the US Flag be removed from all flag poles. LOL. So don’t try to sell that “old chestnut,” when it was the US Flag that flew on the slave ships, not the CBF. BTW…slavery was sanctioned and protected in both the federal Constitution, and the Confederate Constitution, so there’s no “moral high ground” to claim here.

    Also, it’s time for all Americans to admit that the Confederacy was/is part of our collective American History, and as such, cannot be squirreled away in some closet, and ignored. When people like you attempt to do just that, by denigrating anything and everything associated with the Confederacy, you’re ignoring who we are as a people, and what we have done as a people, as we have forged the United States into the greatest country on the face of the Earth. Let’s bring the Confederacy to the forefront, and acknowledge the fact that the American People came to a place in their history, where they were incapable of finding a compromise to keep the country together…based on a difference in their interpretations of the federal Constitution. Southern States believed that ALL the States were to abide by the federal Constitution, while some Northern States believed they could chose which constitutional requisites they would adhere to, and which ones they would not. This resulted in a distrust between the States, when they should have been able to depend on one another to uphold the “law of the land.” No country based on self-government can survive such a dilemna, and this was proven when the Southern States grew weary of the constant dismissal of the federal Constitution’s requisites, and elected to exercise their God-given right to self-determination, via seceding from the aforementioned malfunctioning Union.

    If you claim to believe in the First Amendment to the federal Constitution, then stop belittling the right of the “Flaggers” to exercise their First Amendment rights, and take the time to understand their belief system. You might discover that you have a lot to learn about what the Confederacy means to their history and heritage.

    • Brooks D. Simpson September 11, 2013 / 3:49 pm

      You write a lot of words, but you say very little and understand even less. So I’ll make two simple points and leave it at that.

      First, I’m not “afraid” of the Flaggers or their project, and for you to say so is simple nonsense. I’ve said from the beginning that the Flaggers have a right to do what they want to do. I have even said that Susan Hathaway should not be restrained by her employer (should that be the case) when it comes to expressing her opinion. That others may object is just as much a part of the free speech theme as is the original project. Why are you afraid of that?

      Second, it amuses me that you don’t seem to understand that even as you cry for free speech that you don’t see the Flaggers attempting to compromise the free speech rights of their opponents and critics. That would make you, too, a hypocrite. However, I’m sure you’ll never understand why, and that you’ll show that in some lengthy nonsensical reply.

      As for the Flaggers’ belief system, well, I’ve already posted about Flagger Matthew Heimbach. Perhaps you share his beliefs.

      Take care. As you once said elsewhere, “It’s one thing to disagree with another poster’s comments, but there is absolutely no excuse for poor manners, and lack of respect, when replying to those comments.” You failed your own test.

  5. Brooks D. Simpson September 11, 2013 / 9:21 pm

    In yet another stunt typical of the Flagger movement, Susan Hathaway issued this “plea” for her followers and supporters not to go after meafter the attempt to go after me failed.

    In the process Ms. Hathaway tried her best to slip past the reason why the issue of her employment became relevant to explaining her silence (she remains silent on Matthew Heimbach, her Flagger associate).

    Susan Frise Hathaway has made herself a public figure in this debate. She just doesn’t want you to know why she stopped flagging the VMFA. Her statement asking for restraint comes after an effort at retaliation failed. She’s admitted that she uses Connie Chastain to do her “heavy hitting,” and one can well imagine what that has included … including information on where I live. For her now to attempt to play the innocent victim card once more is simply pathetic.

    • Brooks D. Simpson September 11, 2013 / 9:40 pm

      Well, Susan’s initial post contains false statements, but perhaps one can glean why she’s silent about Matthew Heimbach given her expressed admiration for Nathan Bedford Forrest.

      Somehow she posted after the effort to attack me through my employer failed. It’s a weak attempt at spin.

      Susan Hathaway’s a public figure by her choice. A lot goes with that territory, for better and for worse.

      You’ll note that the post was uploaded by Flagger spokesperson Connie Chastain, who has posted personal information about me in the past (far more than my place of employment). The hypocrisy is endless.

      Elsewhere she whines: “Why do you suppose he did that. To explain her “silence”? No.” Actually, as the post makes clear, yes. So, by Chastain’s own criteria, there’s no problem. Besides, as she says, “if you can’t stand the attack-blogger heat, stay outta the attack-blogger kitchen.” The same applies to Susan Hathaway. Again, Flagger hypocrisy.

      • Thelibertylamp September 11, 2013 / 9:49 pm

        They are coming apart at the seams…their crazy little fantasy world is dissolving into Brig’ o’ doon.

        • Brooks D. Simpson September 11, 2013 / 9:54 pm

          Chastain’s comment is particularly revealing (of course, she uploaded Hathaway’s post in the first place). The Flaggers and their supporters are either stupid, dishonest, or both. I’ve repeatedly stated that I believe the flag’s going up, and that the Flaggers are well within their rights of free expression to act as they have. So what?

          I think they are desperate to claim some sort of victory … and I’m flattered that they think it’s over me. The fact remains … once the flag goes up, what’s next? Is this the best the Flaggers can do?

          • Thelibertylamp September 11, 2013 / 10:08 pm

            Freedom of speech is a two way street. Like most with the nationalist mentality they think freedom of speech means they can say and do what they please, and we are not allowed to say anything about it.

            They have a lot more than you and the rest of blogsphere stacked against them.

            The majority of the country sees them as the last sorry ride of an embarrassingly sad and archaic mentality.

            They are nothing more than a KKKarny act.

    • Corey Meyer September 12, 2013 / 1:24 pm

      I see Clint Lacy in his article post info. about OPP and how they disrupted and American Renaissance convention. http://www.amren.com Just love when Neo-Confederates support racist groups/organizations in their attempts to discredit others.

      • Thelibertylamp September 12, 2013 / 2:57 pm

        Corey,

        There was a pow wow about this moronic attempt at hit piece against us.

        We have a funny saying, and that is if we freak someone out, they are “dirty”.

        One People’s Project has a very good reputation for exposing racism and those who can be potentially harmful people to society on many levels.

        The red baiting is often the failed weapon against the work we do.

        Daryle Lamont Jenkins the head of OPP has been on numerous talk shows and both radio and TV interviews

        The most recent was in an MSNBC documentary called Erasing Hate, where Daryle had counseled a racist skinhead who was trying to leave the movement and helped him emotionally while he had all his racist tattoos removed.

        Anyone who would demonize a man who has done this kind of good for society is not on the side of good, they are on the side of hate.

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