Silence from SCV Headquarters on the VMFA and the War Memorial Chapel?

Today I was reading a post from Nick Sacco on a recent controversy in St. Louis involving a Confederate monument. Apparently some people are uneasy about the monument and want to discuss whether it should be removed. What intrigued me was that our friend Ben Jones, the chief of heritage operations for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, chimed in on the issue.

As I’ve said before, I find Ben a likeable guy, but I am puzzled by something. Has he written a similar essay concerning the debate over the display of the Confederate flag at Richmond’s War Memorial Chapel? After all, we have been told that the 2010 decision of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to rescind the display of the Confederate flag on the portico of the chapel (a practice that had been going on all of seventeen years, judging by the failure of Confederate heritage groups to offer an image of such a display prior to 1993) sparked the creation of what someone has called “the most powerful and influential southern heritage organization in existence” today. In 2015 the VMFA ceased leasing the War Memorial Chapel altogether.

It’s reasonable to ask why we’ve seen nothing from Ben Jones or the SCV about this issue. Yes, we were treated to (then) SCV commander-in-chief Michael Givens taking a guest turn as a Flagger …

Givens and Hathaway

… but that’s been it.

Can anyone explain the silence of Ben Jones and the SCV’s national organization concerning this controversy? If I’ve overlooked evidence of a public declaration, would someone provide it? Thanks.

5 thoughts on “Silence from SCV Headquarters on the VMFA and the War Memorial Chapel?

  1. Jimmy Dick May 14, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    The inscription on the Confederate Memorial in Forest Park says, “Erected in the memory of the soldiers and sailors of the Confederate States by the United Daughters of the Confederacy of Saint Louis.

    These inscriptions are on the back of it.

    “To the Memory of the Soldiers and Sailors of the Southern Confederacy.

    Who fought to uphold the right declared by the pen of Jefferson and achieved by the sword of Washington. With sublime self sacrifice they battled to preserve the independence of the states which was won from Great Britain, and to perpetuate the constitutional government which was established by the fathers.

    Actuated by the purest patriotism they performed deeds of prowess such as thrilled the heart of mankind with admiration. Full in the front of war they stood and displayed a courage so superb that they gave a new and brighter luster to the annals of valor. History contains no chronicle more illustrious than the story of their achievements; and although, worn out by ceaseless conflict and overwhelmed by numbers, they were finally forced to yield, their glory, on brightest pages penned by poets and by sages shall go sounding down the ages.”

    Below this there is an inscription quoting Robert E. Lee, reading as follows:

    “We had sacred principles to maintain and rights to defend for which we were duty bound to do our best, even if we perished in the endeavor.”

    The problem here is that the Memorial is not telling the truth. It is saying that the cause of the Confederacy was not slavery. Jefferson’s pen did not declare the right of Americans to own slaves. Washington’s sword did not achieve the right for Americans to own slaves. They were already doing that. Basically, the Memorial is big giant lie and that is why it needs to be explained in its full context.

    What needs to be erected is a sign explaining the purpose of the Confederate Memorial was an attempt to enshrine a false history that was rooted in white supremacy following the end of Reconstruction.

    “Memorials like this one were erected across the United States in the hopes that this lie would be the history that people believed. For many years they did, but over time historians challenged the lie because the facts failed to support it. As a result, we now know that this false history is nothing more than a myth meant to cover up the reality that the Confederacy existed to perpetuate the institution of slavery.

    While the soldiers and sailors of the Confederacy did fight valiantly, they did so on behalf of the slave owners who controlled the Confederacy. The act of secession was that of treason and unconstitutional. It was not in keeping with the purpose of the Constitution as created by the Founders. Following the Civil War many of these same men would join terrorist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and the White League in order to deny black men the right to vote and to participate in the political process.”

    That is what needs to be put on a big sign right next to the Confederate Memorial.

  2. Ken Noe May 14, 2015 / 2:43 pm

    I’m pretty sure Cooter hasn’t actually read Edward Baptist’s book.

  3. taxsanity May 14, 2015 / 4:17 pm

    I just wonder why all these “Confederate Heritage” groups dare not even mention what Confederate leaders boasted of at the time.

    Someone really should write a book — What Southern Leaders Bragged of Till They Lost”.

    For about 10 years now, my hobby has been reading Southern newspapers, Southern books, Southern speeches, Southern documents, even Southern speeches.

    Virtually none of the amazing things get in our history books.

    For example, Jefferson Davis boasted that black are “so inferior” they were not even human beings, but a “inferior being” and as such, property.

    Why not get up today and speak what he did — blacks are not human beings? I don’t see anyone doing that, but that’s what Davis boasted of.

    I found the speech by the guy who got Kansas Act passed, David Rice Atchison. Charles Sumner was speaking about Atchison – by name – for hours, over two days, after which SUmner was beaten almost to death.

    Atchison speech? He is boasting he is killing to spread slavery, and brags he works for Jefferson Davis. A speech that should be in every US Text book.

    WHy not get up today and brag you will kill in Kansas to spread slavery, not only spread slavery, but brag you will silence any one who speaks against slavery.

    CSA Vice President gave the most amazing speech, not once but six times, to cheer crowds, about “the great moral truths” and scientific truths that blacks are inferior beings, ordained by God not just to be slaves, but to be punished by the white man for biblical sins.

    WHy not get up today and brag you will enslave millions of souls — in perpetuity — because the bible and scientific truth mandate it? Tell folks you are punishing blacks for bibiical sins.

    By the way — Stephens insisted this was THE GREAT MORAL TRUTH of the Confederacy! And he bragged, the Confederacy will lead the rest of the world into this scientific and religious truth. IT was the very “CORNERSTONE” of the confederacy.

    Why not get up and brag today that you will spread slavery for God and Science into the rest of the world.

    When Souther groups even admit what their leaders boasted of, let me know. WHen they get up and brag about it, like their leaders did then, they deserve respect as sincere folks.

  4. BorderRuffian May 15, 2015 / 11:30 am

    “I just wonder why all these “Confederate Heritage” groups dare not even mention what Confederate leaders boasted of at the time.”

    At the time-

    “A succession of glorious victories at Bethel, Bull Run, Springfield, Lexington, Leesburg and Belmont, has checked the wicked invasion which greed of gain and the unhallowed lust of power brought upon our soil, and has proved that numbers cease to avail when directed against a people fighting for the sacred right of self-government and the privileges of freemen.”

    -Jefferson Davis, November 18, 1861

    • Brooks D. Simpson May 15, 2015 / 7:34 pm

      The right of self-government … the right of slave states to protect and promote slavery; the privileges of freemen … such as the right to own slaves.

      That seems to sum it up. Thanks, BR.

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