The Need to Feel Hated

In reflecting on how certain advocates of Confederate heritage respond to criticism of their beliefs, understanding and representation of history, and so on, I am always somewhere between amused and bemused when I hear the claim that their critics must hate them (and the South). All this talk about “evilizing” brings a smile to my face, but leaves me scratching my head.

It would be a useless exercise to state that I do not hate these people with whom I disagree. That would not change their minds at all on this subject. But I am struck by their need to believe that they are hated. Frankly, that would be an excessive expenditure of emotional energy on my part that would be totally unwarranted.

Take, for example, the new gift that keeps on giving … the Virginia Flaggers (who have been remarkably silent as of late). Oh, I find some of the posturing astonishing (for example, Susan Hathaway’s rather unwilling to make anywhere near the sacrifices in her own life that she celebrates in the service and sacrifice of the Confederate soldier (thus her absence from the sidewalk in front of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts). On the whole, however, I find the Flaggers a source of amusement, a rather funny reality show. I mean, can you take Norwood “Tripp” Lewis seriously? Let’s honor the Confederacy, get arrested, challenge law enforcement officers, and never, ever lose our sunglasses.

Tripp’s only the most visible of a cast of characters now that Susan’s taking a low profile when it comes to the VMFA. You can’t find better entertainment on obscure cable channels. Leave it to the Flaggers to erect their not-too-tall flagpole on land next to a trailer park, thus reinforcing unfortunate stereotypes of white southerners. Welcome to Richmond, indeed. I can’t wait to see what happens when they attempt to repeat that fiasco elsewhere (as promised) or what happens when Tripp goes after Richmond law enforcement (as promised). This is so much more fun than keeping up with the Kardashians.

Face it … if I was an enemy of Confederate heritage, I’d invent the Virginia Flaggers if they didn’t already exist.

The same sense of amusement/bemusement appears when I read blogs that seem all too eager to claim that someone hates them, wants to evilize (white) southerners, and so on. Why, I wonder, do they need to feel that way? How does believing that they are hated make them feel better? How does it serve their view of the world?

Maybe they would rather be hated than ridiculed, but, after all, they provide the material. Maybe they believe that it’s better to think they are hated than to admit that they are the subjects of laughter. I guess I could understand that.

Look, I understand that for some people “heritage” and a peculiar rendering of American history (including the history of the Civil War, the Confederacy, and Reconstruction) is best understood as a search for a usable past by people who seek justification for their present political, social, and economic perspectives. It’s not simply about honoring the Confederate soldier and the supposed cause that he served. It’s not simply about the reminding each other of the wonders of slavery or the superiority of white (southern) culture. When members of the Flaggers show up at an election-eve Republican rally … when I hear attacks on “diversity” and “multiculturalism” … when I hear that I’m a Marxist, Communist, Leftist, Fascist, white-hating Yankee … (well, the Yankee part is true) … to say nothing of that old standby, “political correctness,” and its cousin, “revisionist history” … I know that some folks select a version of the past that supports their approach to the present. Moreover, I enjoy it when critics assume the very characteristics that they accuse their “enemies” of exhibiting. That tells me someone’s blinded by hatred, but it isn’t me. Indeed, there seems to be a lot of projecting here. After all, Austin/Caldwell/Melbourne/whatever really can’t complain about Corey Meyer (and his efforts to conceal his ISP are, to say the least, flawed and inconsistent). And let’s recall that the Flaggers and their allies, while whining about free speech, tried to shut up their opponents by contacting their employers … which suggest that their complaints are mere self-serving posturing. After all, Susan’s employer knew what she was doing, and I gather she was warned about the consequences of that. Simply to point out her conflict of interest as a means of explaining her silence is well within the bounds of showing that the Flaggers aren’t what they claim to be.

Sure, I oppose much of what these people claim to believe when it comes to issues of race, gender, sexual preference, and culture. And it’s absolutely true that I’m astonished by their ignorance of history, as well as their deliberate attempts to warp the record (it’s always a good question when I see some misstep as to whether it can be attributed to ignorance, idiocy, incompetence, or deliberate intent … or some mixture). But do I hate southerners? Nope. They’re in the family tree. Do I hate advocates of Confederate heritage? Nope. That’s foolish. Do I hate the folks who feel the need to be hated? Nope. At best, I hate the sin, but I smile at the sinner.

Maybe you can explain to me why these people need to believe that they are hated.

19 thoughts on “The Need to Feel Hated

  1. Lyle Smith February 9, 2014 / 8:47 am

    “At best, I hate the sin, but I smile at the sinner.” Hey now, you’re starting to sound like one Phil Robertson.🙂

    I think they think you hate them because you write critically about them so much. That’s probably a reasonable thought on their part, but then it wouldn’t be if they read everything you’ve written. Some of them no doubt have, but still don’t get it because they’re tilting at windmills.

    That said, comments posted here definitely show that there are people who hate them. You may not be one of them, but there are certainly some people who do.

    • Roger E Watson February 9, 2014 / 1:45 pm

      From what I’ve seen on this blog, Brooks does a lot of quoting. If you equate that with “…you write critically about them so much.” , they and you have a problem.

      • Lyle Smith February 9, 2014 / 6:03 pm

        No, I don’t think I have a problem. Professor Simpson is usually not quoting them because he agrees with them. And of course he does more than just quote them sometimes. More power to him.

  2. Corey Meyer February 9, 2014 / 11:36 am

    Speaking of old Norwood “Tripp” Lewis, I have seen numerous pictures and videos of the Color Guard he used to play with and he is not there. Does anyone know if he was removed from the SCV’s?

  3. BParks February 9, 2014 / 3:40 pm

    I don’t hate Connie or the Flaggers. I just hate what they stand for.

  4. Eric A. Jacobson February 10, 2014 / 12:33 pm

    I don’t always play a psychologist, but when I do I use terms such as:

    Self-injury disorder. 🙂

  5. Nancy Winkler February 10, 2014 / 3:26 pm

    People who hate others want to claim that the hated ones hate them.

    • Nancy Winkler February 10, 2014 / 3:27 pm

      I forgot to say, it’s called projection.

  6. Joshism February 10, 2014 / 8:41 pm

    “But I am struck by their need to believe that they are hated.”

    Persecution complex; they feel (or want to feel) like they are being martyred. And what advances a cause better than a martyr? Also, whether people love or hate them they are creating a strong reaction. The worst thing for them would to be ignored. When you have ideas contrary to the majority, you really hate to be ignored. To roughly quote a saying I’ve heard “a prophet is unknown only in his own time and place.” Whether your cause is right or wrong, you can’t wage a revolution (or counter-revolution) if nobody cares about your cause. IF the Neo-Confederates were right the majority would hate them because, deep down inside, we know they’re right. Of course, we’d also potentially hate them if they were closet racists wedded to an obsolete, failed ideology.

    • pamela divanna February 12, 2014 / 6:50 pm

      Exactly. Why don’t we choose to ignore them and discuss relevant findings for folks with open minds? Scholars should not have to repeatedly lower themselves to the level of persons unwilling to consider different opinions….especially topics with primary evidence.

  7. Tatum February 11, 2014 / 8:06 am

    BParks on February 7, 2014 at 11:09 am said:
    I can’t believe that guy’s a rent a cop. Who the hell hired him and what mall should I avoid?

    BParks on February 7, 2014 at 5:14 pm said:
    Deputy Fife tried to impress us with a post over on his blog. Lame!

    BParks on February 9, 2014 at 3:40 pm said:
    I don’t hate Connie or the Flaggers. I just hate what they stand for.

    Oh yeah ! I can feel the love !
    BP explain to me how either of the first two statements shows hate or contempt towards what I stand for !

    I tell ya what BP, stay away from any Mall or Store that doesn’t accept food stamps !
    And, I’m old enough that I’m finished with trying to impress anyone other than my grandchildren !.

    Barney.

    • Brooks D. Simpson February 11, 2014 / 9:15 am

      David, let’s be honest. If you deem these comments signs of hatred, then you would have to say that what you and your fellow Flaggers, including the charming Miz Connie, say about me can best best understood as expressions of hatred. Perhaps you folks should spend less time pondering what others think of you and more time owning up to how you think about your critics.

      I’ve read all sorts of comments about me that speculate that I harm children or about my sexual preference. I treat those comments as telling me more about the fears and hatred of those who can’t deal with my message than about me. Those sort of comments lower you as human beings. That you then get upset about BParks’s comments suggest that y’all can dish it out, but you can’t take it.

      Same with all the speculation about the many identities of Corey Meyer. I don’t happen to think much of such business (besides, y’all have some moles in interesting places, and you would be taken aback by who they are). But when we see Austin/Carter/Melbourne post over here, or Border Ruffian/Battalion, and so on, well, anything y’all say about Corey can be said about them … including your sidekick Carl Roden posing as a young girl on some blogs (then again, given Carl’s fan fiction interests, perhaps that’s just research).

      That’s why people suspect all of y’all’s whining is just about projection (and perhaps a little distraction).

      • Tatum February 11, 2014 / 2:06 pm

        Brooks, it’s that birds of a feather mentality that someone started.
        I think it go’s back to the Matthew ( Heimblac ? ) thing. That’s why you are catching the pedophile crap. So fair is fair ? Or does Birds of a feather apply in all cases? I don’t think you are a pedophile but when folks start slinging mud they will throw whatever they can grab. And I didn’t go near the recent racist party at your school, jerks are jerks ! You did post a nice preemptive defense to the situation. Good job !
        And I’m just wondering do you remember your Dumb and Dumber comment about Carl and I ? ( ” Those sort of comments lower you as human beings”.)
        All in fun, I can live with that, so I guess you can handle Babblin Brooks. So “let he who is without sin”—-
        As for the “Moles” that’s what I find amusing. Sadly amusing. A few months ago Connie opened her F/B pages to all “Floggers” and issued an invitation for all to join. But no one joined. Why ? I guess it’s more fun to have spies / moles than it is to directly engage opposite opinions.Sun Tzu has an interesting chapter on spies and how to handle them. Remember the VDOT Camera ?
        But both sides have folks that use fake names so it’s a moot point.
        Now then, is it the “speculation” about Corey’s multi ID’s you find distasteful or is it the ID’s ? Peoples writing styles are like fingerprints Corey’s sticks out like a sore thumb,Fractured sentences, misspelling, and using the wrong words.
        Corey had even admitted, at his own blog to using fake profiles.
        I am not without sin, after Kevin banned me at his blog I created DB Cooper and went back, I got in, but after a short time I fessed up and moved on. If ya can’t sign your own name to what you write, what’s the point ?
        Still – weather I can dish it out and not take it doesn’t answer the question I posed to BP. It’s a matter of give respect get respect. I can dish it out – and I can take it. I’m sure your students have some cool names for you, and when I was doing OSHA safety inspections the Amigos had some wonderful names for me,
        But I knew just enough Spanish to know what they were calling me, but I did not let the name calling have any bearing on my work, I went by the book.
        Oh I fixed my Flag after it was cleaned thanks for the nudge to fix it !
        DT.

        • Brooks D. Simpson February 13, 2014 / 4:22 pm

          First, David, you might consider that others might not share your understanding of matters or your motives. They might also fall under the description of being unable to take what they dish out. Connie and her fake name follower “Austin” are right there, right now, and it seems to me they’ve gone off the deep end (that should inspire a number of tirades posing as posts).

          “I don’t think you are a pedophile.” Gee, that’s so nice. I guess I should say I think the same of all the Flaggers, even if one of their past heroes is a registered sex offender. I’ll note that Connie Chastain continued to welcome one of the people included in this discussion long after I barred him from my group. She can explain why that is. She can also explain why she went after them, while I’ve withheld the identity of the Flagger favorite.

          As for Heimbach, recall that several Flaggers stood up for him. No one stood up for any accused child molesters. Susan Hathaway could publicly distance herself from Rob Walker after that fiasco, but she has yet to do the same with Heimbach. These are critical differences.
          I recall your version of the VDOT camera story. I think you need to revisit my post about possible locations, and examine one closely. In the end, however, so what? People complain they can’t see the flag easily, anyway.

          Thanks for sharing.

        • Al Mackey February 17, 2014 / 2:18 pm

          “As for the “Moles” that’s what I find amusing. Sadly amusing. A few months ago Connie opened her F/B pages to all “Floggers” and issued an invitation for all to join. But no one joined. Why ? I guess it’s more fun to have spies / moles than it is to directly engage opposite opinions.”

          What’s this I hear about her making it a closed group then, David? If she wants critics to join the group, then why close the group? What does it matter if they are there in one name or another if there was a goal to have them there? Isn’t that a mixed message? Does anyone there condemn the many different personae, both male and female of the troll who calls himself “Austin?” How many names will he join under?

    • BParks February 12, 2014 / 12:10 pm

      And David…let’s be honest, you took a posed-photo holding a toy cannon, in front of a confederate flag, with a instigative quote, dressed in a security guard uniform. What kind of reaction did you expect?

  8. Buck Buchanan February 13, 2014 / 8:52 am

    I don’t hate them….I pity them.

    They appear to have to have one and all persecuting them to give some meaning to their life….

  9. Bob Nelson February 13, 2014 / 4:52 pm

    “I’ve read all sorts of comments about me that speculate that I harm children or about my sexual preference.” This is so wrong on so many levels, Brooks, I don’t know the right thing to say. It does not belong in the slightest in any intelligent discussion of the CW. You and I have had many disagreements in the past — and I hope we have many more in the future, as I think disagreement is a good thing — but such as this is simply WRONG!

    • Brooks D. Simpson February 14, 2014 / 11:32 am

      Well, Bob, David Tatum sees it as just retribution for pointing out that the Virginia Flaggers hang out with an avowed white supremacist (a fact that many of them freely admitted was true). In other words, point out a fact that everyone admits is true, and prepare to be attacked with charges they know are false.

      They’ve said other vile things, thinking that such claims will tell people who I am. I think those charges tell us about the people who made them.

      Only one person has ever written about underage sexual conduct, and that person is Carl W. Roden, who claims he’s the man “the Deniers fear most.” At most people just wonder why his “fandom fiction” goes down such paths … but it’s a fact that that is where his imagination has gone, and no one denies that.

      And we all know that Susan Hathaway has designated Connie Chastain to do her heavy hitting. Connie allows this sort of garbage to appear all the time on her blog, and she’s not averse to making insinuations (which is ironic given that she loves to wax on about false accusations).

      Lying about other people as a way to defend oneself from representations of fact that everyone admits are true … I gather some people think this is a good way to defend Confederate heritage. I don’t see a single defender of Confederate heritage openly repudiate it.

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