It has been an interesting month. We have witnessed changes that would have seemed improbable not all that many years ago. Here are a few observations concerning the controversy over Confederate flags, symbols, and icons:
1. It remains regrettable that it took the murder of nine people in cold blood for Americans to have this discussion. The debating points have been out there for some time.
2. For all the chatter in some quarters about this debate being driven by left liberal Marxist Southern-hating politically-correct academics and their allies in the evil executive branch of the federal government, the politicans who have made the key decisions in several prominent instances were at one time the darlings of the heritage crowd. Nikki Haley, Lindsey Graham, and Mitch McConnell are not favorites of the radical liberal movement. Neither is the current president of the College of Charleston. The heritage folks may find it difficult to understand how those they once trusted came to betray them, but then they also confuse political correctness with political pragmatism. I don’t believe these politicans experienced a change of heart: however, they know how to count votes.
3. Confederate heritage organizations have proven to be utter failures in achieving their objectives. The ranting and whining remain unchanged, as has the anger and ill-concealed bigotry in many corners. Ben Jones, the chief of heritage operations for the SCV, has proved unable to chart a new path, precisely because he, too, held fast to the traditional mantras. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, Ben. I did. As for the various flagging organizations and their cheerleaders, they seem overwhelmed, ineffective, and confused.
4. However, there is hope for these folks. That rests in the overreaction in some quarters as well as the incidents of vandalism against CSA monuments. More on that later.