Imagining What I Think

Last Friday and Saturday folks traveled to Lexington, Virginia, to celebrate Lee-Jackson Day. Having attended a university in Virginia where monuments to Lee and Jackson stand in the downtown area, I’m more than familiar with the holiday. However, I left it to other interested parties to hold forth on the holiday, from suggesting that calls to boycott the town’s businesses had failed to questioning whether the holiday would persist in the future. Oh, yes, someone did notice the usual outburst of historical ignorance, but what’s new about that? Even a long-time chronicler of such missteps decided that it wasn’t worth following up on what he speculated might happen.

Me? I didn’t really care … aside from asking what happened to Matthew Fontaine Maury. You would think that people who are really interested in Confederate heritage, especially in Virginia, would ask the same question.

Otherwise, I figured there would be marching and singing and pictures and videos of people marching and singing and meeting old friends. Just like last year. I was not disappointed. However, apparently I was on the minds of some of the participants. As Susan Hathaway, leader of the Virginia Flaggers, declared, “I imagine the great press coverage, turnout, and that inspiring VMI photo and narrative has him twisted ALL up in knots.”

Nice to know that I’m living rent-free in your head, Susan.

Oh, those in attendance said there was a big crowd, “the best turnout they’d seen in years.” But I’m not so sure I’d brag too much about this … although Brandon Dorsey declared: “The nuts at Civil War Memory will hate this headline.”

Guess Kevin Levin lives rent-free in Brandon Dorsey’s head.

Here’s a video of the event held at Stonewall Jackson’s gravesite:

That isn’t a very deep crowd, folks … it struggles to reach toward two deep at best in a few places.

Nor do I see much of a crowd lining the streets during the parade:

You know you’re in trouble when there are more people marching than watching. At least there are a good number of people with cameras to record the sparse attendance.

The Flaggers are featured in this video, singing (well, we’ll call it singing) in front of the mayor’s house, but no one else is there:

You tell me whether their rendition of “Dixie” was any better than the one from 2013:

It’s a close call.

I don’t recall any blogger protesting the celebration of Lee-Jackson Day. I certainly don’t mind if that’s what the commonwealth of Virginia was to celebrate. Nor does it make any difference to me whether people want to travel to Lexington to commemorate the day. Heck, knock yourself silly.

But what hasn’t changed is the result of the efforts of various Confederate heritage groups to reverse Lexington’s decision not to fly various flags, including Confederate flags, on city lamp posts. That effort continues to fail. So does the suppose economic boycott. So does the effort to oust the mayor. Failure, failure, failure.

All that’s left is to engage in the same old rituals year after year. I hope the participants enjoyed themselves. Next year they might worry less about what they think I must be thinking. But if that’s how they spend their time at Lexington … thinking about me … well, I can’t stop them.

7 thoughts on “Imagining What I Think

  1. rortensie January 24, 2014 / 5:25 am

    I just had a grand idea. For next years parade, and to send them really into a frenzy, someone should have one of those Fatheads made of you and design of float and enter it into the parade. If they think you are so concerned about what they are thinking and doing, what would they do if you showed up, granted via a cardboard cutout, to their parade?

  2. Rob Baker January 24, 2014 / 9:51 am

    Two things:

    1.) Those reenactors looked farbarific.

    2.) Why doesn’t anyone ever sing the second verse?

  3. Patrick Young January 24, 2014 / 3:37 pm

    Interesting to see the wide diversity of the marchers who ranged from white to off-white.

  4. BParks January 24, 2014 / 5:44 pm

    They look like that weird kid who had a birthday party and nobody showed up. Quite depressing actually.

  5. Neil Hamilton January 25, 2014 / 7:21 am

    The phrase ‘ash heap of history’ comes to mind.

    Too bad its about heritage instead of history.

  6. BParks January 25, 2014 / 8:55 am

    Connie’s latest two posts in response to this one highlight that she is really just one thing…a crazy racist b****. I don’t want to see harm come to anyone as she wrongly implies of you, but I would like to see her presence evaporate off the web. An world without the racist contributions of Connie Chastain is a much better world indeed. We are lucky in that most of these heritage folks are older, their kids don’t care, and in 20 years this kind of Lost Cause garbage will be a thing if the past. Angry old white men are becoming more and more irrelevant as the years go by. As that ridiculous turnout at the Lee Jackson Day Festivus proved , time is on our side.

  7. John Foskett January 25, 2014 / 9:12 am

    The attendance is consistent with the impacts of their boycott. According to the statistics in one of the links, Lexington’s tax and visitation revenues have gone up every year. “Boycott us – please.”

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