An Opportunity For Advocates of Confederate Heritage

You may have heard that the Ku Klux Klan is planning a protest in Columbia, South Carolina, later this month.  A spokesman for the group has spoken out in support of the man who last month slaughtered nine African-Americans in cold blood in a church in Charleston.

It is time for all those advocates of Confederate heritage who tell me that it’s all about heritage, not hate, to stand up and be counted.

They’ve been reluctant to do this in the past.

When challenged last year about the presence of white nationalists at a Sons of Confederate Veterans rally in Lexington, Virginia, SCV chief of heritage operations Ben Jones made it clear on this blog that he wasn’t terribly interested about denouncing what they stood for.

Please go to the blog of the Virginia Flaggers and show me where Susan Hathaway and her ilk have denounced the misuse of Confederate flags by white supremacists, including by a man they once proudly counted as their own, Matthew Heimbach, with as nearly as much passion and frequency as they have attacked other people (including me). Good luck with that: after all, Virginia Flagger Norwood TriPp Lewis assured us that Heimbach was a good guy.

Please go to the blog of Virginia Flaggers webmaster and erstwhile member Connie Chastain and show me where she’s devoted a tenth of the number of posts attacking the KKK, white nationalists, and white supremacists with the same vile fury that she directs at “floggers.” Good luck with that, too.

The fact is that Confederate heritage organizations have never directed the same amount of attention to the use of Confederate flags by these groups as they have to their other critics. Some people suspect that this is in part because there’s a significant overlap between the two groups. Look at the intolerance displayed at Chastain’s blog, for example, and you can understand why people feel this way, however much you may disagree (exactly how much do Chastain and the Charleston killer differ in their understanding of American history, especially when it comes to race?).

South Carolinian Carl W. Roden often tells whoever will listen that he hates the KKK, so we expect to see him make the short trip to Columbia to stand up and be counted. We expect Susan Hathaway, who travels across the South to spread the gospel of the Virginia Flaggers, to do the same. We expect Chastain to spend as much time this month denouncing the KKK rally as she does denouncing me. We expect Ben Jones to show up, stand up, and be counted at Columbia (show us a little more of this, Ben). Same goes for the current commander-in-chief of the SCV, Charles Kelly Barrow, as well as his predecessor, Michael Givens.

If the SCV can run this ad, they can run another one denouncing the KKK.

Here’s your chance, supporters of Confederate heritage. Here’s an ideal opportunity to show us you are all about heritage, not hate, by standing up to haters who you say misuse your sacred symbol. It’s time for all of you to stand up, speak out, and be counted.

We’re watching.

21 thoughts on “An Opportunity For Advocates of Confederate Heritage

    • Rblee22468 July 1, 2015 / 8:31 am

      So far, one person has been arrested for defacing the monument. He turned out to be White, but talk on the VA Flagger FB page last week was full of rage directed at African Americans. One person even suggested defacing an MLK monument as retaliation even though it hasn’t been proven that an African American was responsible for it. The VA Flaggers FB page also posted a link to a story on the White Nationalist site VDARE. It wasn’t long after I blogged about that, that I started to see a noticeable and continuing pattern at their FB page. They are pretty much now just focusing on posting photos of people “Raising their flags”. I’m not sure what they think that is accomplishing.

      • Brooks D. Simpson July 1, 2015 / 6:13 pm

        The links between the Virginia Flaggers and white supremacists aren’t hard to find.

      • Joshism July 1, 2015 / 9:30 pm

        “One person even suggested defacing an MLK monument as retaliation”

        Because when someone does something terrible the solution is to retaliate by doing something terrible to members of that community who had nothing to do with the act being retaliated against? By that logic, shouldn’t a black person show up at a white church and shoot nine people?

  1. Rblee22468 July 1, 2015 / 7:38 am

    I am glad you brought this up. I spent the last two days challenging the SCV in their closed FB group to denounce hate groups. In the end, I, not the hate group members (to my knowledge) was ejected from the group. I challenged members in the group on whether they believed in peace, love, and inclusion and they refused to answer. I can tell you that they don’t know how to handle this other than to not acknowledge it. They don’t want to touch this problem with a ten foot pole because they are afraid to find out how many of their members might belong to these types of groups. There were LOS members inside the SCV FB group (Andrew Tracey and Marshall Rawson, Rawson stated he was an SCV member but also took issue with the SCV stating that at least the Klan does something for Heritage) They were very rude to me despite the fact that I was not rude to them and pointed out multiple times that I was against racism. No one in power at the SCV spoke up. Oddly enough, the group rules say that a moderator can and will give you the boot if you don’t stick to the message of the SCV, yet one member told me in more or less words that it was ok to call an African Anerican an N-word based on their character. This is pretty typical of the “Heritage” movement. They can’t afford to offend their base.

  2. Rblee22468 July 1, 2015 / 7:58 am

    I recently posted about this very topic:

    This comes after an Adjutant for a Division of the SCV co-organized a rally in Alabama in which they allowed a Southern White Nationalist LOS member give a speech to a very receptive “Heritage” crowd:

    Don’t worry. This wasn’t an “Official” SCV event. That’s the new strategy, apparently?

    Odd that two Divisions of the SCV recently denounced the silly shenanigans of Flagger groups but won’t put out a proclamation condemning hate groups? By the way, a member inside the SCV FB group was arguing with me over the word “Racist” being loaded Marxist language. This is the same type of argument I’ve seen frequently repeated by hate groups. Hmmmmm… When given an example, the member would not even classify a White person calling an African American in a degrading way an N-word.

    • Rblee22468 July 1, 2015 / 9:00 am

      That should have ended with “as a racist”.

  3. OhioGuy July 1, 2015 / 9:08 am

    Boy oh boy, the ugly face of the KKK emerges once again. And, this appears to be a throw-back KKK to the 3rd Era mentality. They don’t seem to have gotten the message from 4th Era leader Dave Duke to talk out of both sides of your mouth simultaneously. I agree, Brooks, if these groups — SCV, VA Flaggers, etc. — won’t denounce the KKK’s planned rally in Charleston, it shows their true colors. Or, should I say it shows what their colors (CBF) really stand for. By the way, anyone heard a peep out of the UDC since the Charleston Massacre?

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 1, 2015 / 7:52 pm

      Shortly after this post appeared, the SCV’s commander-in-chief issued a statement denouncing the protest. Let’s see if that’s all they will do, given all they’ve done on media these past weeks to defend their position. It’s a test to see how far they will go to confront these groups.

  4. OhioGuy July 1, 2015 / 9:41 am

    Took a look at Backsass for the first time in a month or so; to say Connie is defensive would be an understatement. Reading between the lines I think she knows that her whole movement is going down in flames, but she’s trying very hard to claim otherwise by saying that true southerners throughout Dixie are rallying to the cause of Confederate Heritage. It reminded me of the last days of the Third Reich when Hitler thought he had whole divisions that no longer existed. Here’s what she said at the end of a recent post “This is not over. It is far from over. Lord, forgive those attempting to drum up hatred and harm on the basis of false association and false interpretation of a symbol — if and when they repent. They know exactly what they’re doing.” What false association? That the CBF is widely seen as a symbol of racial intolerance and bigotry? The actual false association is to link the CBF not with its real roots but with its role as the symbol of Lost Cause mythology.

    I wonder how the Backsass crowd reacts to the use of the CBF in the classic film, “Birth of a Nation,” that was so beloved by President Woodrow Wilson. The CBF is prominently featured in several scenes that have very clear white supremacist messages. Was that a “false interpretation of symbol”? Did the UCV and SCV protest this at the time as a misrepresentation of what the Rebellion stood for and what their sacred symbol meant? If so, I’ve yet to see the original documentation.

  5. Mark July 1, 2015 / 9:41 am

    KKK protesting this is the strongest nail in the coffin I can imagine for the whole flag issue.

    That said, personally I think instead of condemning people for their concern for “white people” as racists, that those that think it is wrong could articulate the matter in terms other than calling people racists. This just continues rhetorical cycle akin to the proverbial “cycle of violence”.

    When I argue with such folks it is 95% political philosophy. Think vs thin conception of what it is to be an American and such things. Frankly, though it won’t be popular to say it here, most people who oppose the flaggers here show no more sophistication and understanding of what they wish to say than the flaggers themselves. They are every bit as much reactionaries as the flaggers by simply shouting “racist!” at those saying things like being concerned with “white people”. Because it does happen that many Liberals are concerned with “white people” too. Believe me, in academia white people are told repeatedly about what it means to be white, and how misguided they are for thinking being “color blind” is a good thing. It’s bad! Bad! So look, disagreeing is one thing but just repeating a simplistic narrative from the past and ignoring the highly charged ideology in all this looks I think is really reactionary, misguided, and self-serving in the end. But you know Libs, never let a crisis go to waste.

    • Joshism July 1, 2015 / 9:40 pm

      Isn’t the KKK classified as a hate group by the Federal government?

      If you have such a classification you can still legally acquire a permit to hold a protest rally?

      • OhioGuy July 1, 2015 / 10:44 pm

        Yes, the speech of hate and stupidity are shielded by the First Amendment. It’s only when words are such that they are a call for immediate violence that the First Amendment right to free speech can be abridged. Being on such a government list just means their activities are under greater scrutiny in case they are plotting actual violence. Then the authorities can take action.

    • Andy Hall July 2, 2015 / 7:57 am

      Hill made a big, public show of kicking Heimbach out of the League of the South a while back, about the time Heimbach’s public profile reached peak Nazi. (He’s since moved on to an embrace of a more Eastern Orthodox brand of authoritarianism.) But Hill has continued to welcome Heimbach to participate in LoS protests, has posed for pictures with him, and so on. So yes, Heimbach’s and Lyons’ ugly histories are viewed not as indicative of their actual character failings or core beliefs, or as disqualifying them, but simply as an image problem to be managed.

      • The Lamp July 2, 2015 / 9:24 pm

        They made a show of welcoming Heimbach back into their fold, but we all know he was never really cut off from them in the first place.
        They just put a stop to public associations for a few months.

  6. Brooks D. Simpson July 24, 2015 / 8:52 am

    BTW, Carl W. Roden never did find the time to make the short drive down to Columbia to protest the KKK’s misuse of the Confederate Battle Flag. I guess other concerns were more pressing. Always interesting to see Confederate heritage apologists (in)action.

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