Quote of the Week: July 6-12, 2014

From the tin foil hat section of Confederate heritage advocates comes this comment about Brandon Hicks, a law student and Washington & Lee University who was a member of “The Committee” that pushed for several changes at the university:

Chastain 071214

For the record …

Mr. Hicks received his BA from North Carolina Central University in 2012. He then entered Washington & Lee that fall. My understanding is that he was a second-year student when he joined The Committee to make its protest, and that he expects to get his degree in 2015.

A reading of the article from which this research blunderkind deduced that Mr. Hicks was in law school at NCCU is informative. Note the date: the meeting highlighted took place during the last spring semester of Mr. Hicks’s undergraduate career at NCCU.

Most of us know the difference between an undergraduate degree and going to law school. We welcome documentation that he went to NCCU’s law school, and then switched to W&L (and rather quickly). As to the bizarre speculation as to Mr. Hicks’s motives, consider the source.

No sooner than did our Confederate heritage researcher proclaim the truth than yet another baffled heritage supporter took it up and proclaimed that it must be true. And then there was this comment from one of the usual suspects. I guess they run in packs … or is it that they walk like lemmings?

Here’s Mr. Hicks after the session in February 2012:

We can understand why some people feel threatened by him. That tells us a great deal about “those people,” to use a term favored by Robert E. Lee.

And no one’s more outraged than our good friend and expert on bigotry, Billy Bearden:

Bearden on being a bigot

My, my … what a southern man you are, Billy.

Again, for some people, it’s ignorance or stupidity, not heritage. And no, we don’t look to humiliate “those people.” We simply draw attention to their never-ending endeavors to humiliate themselves.

UPDATE: In which someone confesses incompetence in a curious way:

Chastain Stumbles

I guess the tin foil hat cuts off the circulation of blood to the brain.


27 thoughts on “Quote of the Week: July 6-12, 2014

  1. Rob Baker July 12, 2014 / 6:39 pm

    The argument for why the flags should stay is too weak that they resort to character attacks.

  2. Goad Gatsby July 12, 2014 / 7:52 pm

    Typical, doesn’t even know how undergraduate and graduate programs work. But my vote for the quote of the week goes to Jerry for telling me to act like a man.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 12, 2014 / 7:58 pm

      Well, consider that he needs someone to tell him how to act like a human being.

  3. Spelunker July 12, 2014 / 7:58 pm

    Haha! I was wondering if you’d catch this. The Flaggers had to specifically request people not use profanity and slurs on their Facebook page.

    • Goad Gatsby July 12, 2014 / 9:27 pm

      I caught it. I’m used to having their members refer to homophobic and ableist terms at me. And then tell me that my music is profane.

  4. Lyle Smith July 12, 2014 / 9:04 pm

    I wish “the Committee” had more respect for free speech. Hell, they are law students after all.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 12, 2014 / 9:13 pm

      Lyle, I don’t understand. What is the “free speech” issue involving Washington & Lee, a private institution? Shouldn’t the administration at W&L be left to make its own decisions?

      Please explain the “free speech” issue at stake. What prior restraint by government has taken place?

      Mind you, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I didn’t call for the removal of any flags. But it appears that certain people don’t want to allow W&L to make its own choices in this matter.

      • Lyle Smith July 13, 2014 / 1:27 am

        I mean free speech. I’m not talking about the First Amendment. I’m talking about respecting people’s right to wave Confederate battle flags and march for what they believe in. “The Committee” apparently wants to limit that, if not do away with it altogether at W&L. They seem not to have the intellectual and moral character to put up with such speech. I find that a bit disturbing.

        And yes, thankfully, W&L can make their own decisions. I’m for one glad they’ve decided to stand up for free speech on their campus.

        • Lyle Smith July 13, 2014 / 2:35 am

          Let me amend my comment, not “march”, but use the Lee Chapel in accordance with the university’s established policies and guidelines. I want to get on the same page with what the President of W&L said.

          I’m taking the President’s statement to mean “neo-Confederates” aren’t banned from using the Lee Chapel.

          • Brooks D. Simpson July 13, 2014 / 4:17 pm

            We’ll have to see whether the Virginia Flaggers constitute an approved group. After all, established guidelines are subject to revision and refinement.

            It’s not a question about whether one respects someone’s “right” to march with a flag. It’s whether that “right” extends to marching on someone else’s private property. After all, the Flaggers themselves don’t seem willing to extend “free speech” to others.

            Better to encourage open debate, which is also part of free speech. Let’s see whether the Flaggers and their friends can restrain themselves in such an environment. Right, Tripp Lewis? I smell another defense fund initiative.

          • Lyle Smith July 14, 2014 / 8:26 pm

            I don’t disagree with you. W&L’s administration can establish whatever speech guidelines they want to. The President of W&L apparently doesn’t even characterize whatever happens with the heritage groups as “marching”, which is “the Committee’s” word. He expressly says they don’t allow people to “march”, but to use the Lee Chapel in accordance with their guidelines. No doubt you know better than me what all this really means.

            And I’m all for open debate. I think any intellectually sound institution of higher education should be able to put up with a little unpopular or divisive speech. W&L seems like such an institution to me.

            Some of these heritage folks also better take care and not wear out what welcome they have at W&L. There could easily be an administration at W&L one day that won’t accommodate them.

          • Brooks D. Simpson July 14, 2014 / 8:35 pm

            So much depends on how each side reacts to the administration’s decision. It looks to me as if The Committee ought to promote constructive engagement on its other concerns and accept what they secured. If anything, the reaction of various Confederate heritage organizations may well play into The Committee’s hands.

            FWIW, I’ve been to the chapel, and I found nothing objectionable about the display of the flags. My only query was that the placement of the Valentine tribute made it look as if Lee was taking the place of an altar.

            However, I don’t go to W&L. I might have preferred a more constructive dialogue, but that’s different strokes for different folks. Should the heritage crowd engage in overreaction, as it seems they are intent on doing (and in the process mimicking the confrontational approach taken by The Committee, complete with deadlines and threats), they may move things in an unintended direction, as you suggest.

          • Lyle Smith July 14, 2014 / 9:40 pm

            I totally agree. Thanks for the good discussion.

        • M.D. Blough July 13, 2014 / 7:30 pm

          Lyle-It cuts both ways. Are you suggesting that one group of people have “respecting people’s right to wave Confederate battle flags and march for what they believe in.” and others, who find what the first group believes in to be offensive, DON’T have the right to express their viewpoint, whether they represent anyone besides themselves or not? The Committee made some points that the college administration found valid, even though it wasn’t persuaded by others.

    • M.D. Blough July 12, 2014 / 10:50 pm

      Lyle-Brooks is right. If you mean the First Amendment, it doesn’t apply to private entities. If you mean academic freedom, the Committee were exercising their rights, as part of the student community, to bring a concern about college policy to the school administration. Academic freedom does not mean a school is like a prehistoric fly imprisoned in amber. As has been noted elsewhere, the battle flag was NOT part of the Lee chapel when it was first created and that was during the administration of Lee’s successor, his son (and a Confederate general (Maj. Gen). in his own right) George Washington Custis (“Custis”) Lee. Others in the college community have also had their say.

      • Lyle Smith July 13, 2014 / 1:31 am

        No, I don’t mean the First Amendment. I just mean free speech. I’m quite aware W&L is a private entity and can limit speech on its campus.

        • khepera420 July 14, 2014 / 5:18 pm

          In this country the First Amendment and the doctrine of free speech as a legal concept are inseparable. If you’re referring to a perceived right for any person to say anything he or she pleases, there are limits to that as well. And consequences. A private institution has the right to make and enforce its own rules in that regard. The same goes for certain situation in public or governmental institutions as well. I can go into my boss’s office and call him an a******e. That’s not exercising free speech. That’s just me calling the kettle black.

  5. M.D. Blough July 12, 2014 / 10:56 pm

    The article from the North Carolina newspaper says nothing about Hicks being a law student at the time. He was at the meeting as a representative of the NCCU LGBT student group. The law school was involved in providing a site for the meeting in opposition to the anti-gay ballot initiative.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 12, 2014 / 11:03 pm

      Please don’t let facts get in the way of a Chastain rant. She reads as well as she writes.

  6. Pat Young July 13, 2014 / 6:54 am

    Interesting that Mr. Hicks went undergrad to a college set up by a NY woman because schools like W&L excluded black students.

  7. centerforhistorystudies July 13, 2014 / 8:05 am

    The “Lee Chapel” is just that–a chapel for worshipping Lee. His sarcophagus is where a church altar would be. That is sick.

  8. Will Hickox July 13, 2014 / 9:03 am

    “I did not read much beyond the passage I copied here.”

    The Confederate heritage movement in a nutshell.

  9. Lyle Smith July 13, 2014 / 10:10 am

    Maybe y’all have seen this, but there is an article I found online that apparently has a quote from W&L’s law school Black Law Students Association President, Hernandez Stroud. He’s not on “the Committee” and criticizes what “the Committee” has done in a quote to the Washington Post.

    “I think that a lot of people believe that water could have been used to solve these issues instead of fire” .

    Per the article a majority of black law students at W&L are not a part of “the Committee”. There are 34 black law students at W&L, while six appear to be on “the Committee”. It’s quite possible most of them agree with Mr. Stroud. Interesting to say the least.


    The original Washington Post article with the quote (y’all probably did read this, I hadn’t though).


    In the more recent follow up article by the Washington Post, Mr. Stroud praises W&L’s President’s decisions per “the Committee’s” grievances.

    ““It’s a step forward,” Stroud said. “It demonstrates that if Washington and Lee is interested in continuing to be a progressive institution that recognizes and tries to appreciate all students from all walks of life, then this is definitely an indication it is serious about that commitment.””


    Probably like most of you, I’m with Mr. Stroud and President Ruscio. The criticism W&L is getting from some heritage folks appears to be unwarranted and about as meritorious as “the Committee’s” grievances against W&L.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 13, 2014 / 4:19 pm

      Thanks for sharing these links, Lyle. It will be interesting to see how the student body, faculty, staff, and alumni respond to this news and the promise of protests.

  10. Spelunker July 13, 2014 / 5:49 pm

    If “Blunderkind” is reading this, I could use some help on research.

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