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.