Last weekend, Confederate heritage activist Anthony Hervey died as a result of a car accident in Mississippi. He was returning from a Confederate heritage rally in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was a featured speaker.
With Hervey was Arlene Barnum, who told authorities that the car accident was no accident at all, but was the result of a car chasing Hervey and Barnum.
Mississippi authorities are investigating the accident. Other folks, however, took Barnum’s story and ran with it. Soon there appeared claims that Hervey was murdered, that it was a hate crime, and Hervey was a martyr to Confederate heritage. Others began questioning Barnum’s account.
It’s interesting to compare the reactions of certain people to Hervey’s death and to what happened in Charleston, South Carolina, just over a month ago.
Even some Confederate heritage advocates, burned by previous experience, advised caution:
(Note: Screeching Connie Chastain said on her hate blog that we would not cover this story. We thought it premature to say anything at this time … just like Chastain [although a commenter here had mentioned it on July 19, whereas Chastain didn’t get around to posting about it until July 22]. In fact, we at first thought Chastain was being reasonable for once. Now we know better. We are left to conclude that Chastain has once more used a tragedy to attack people mindlessly. Perhaps this is the best way for her to evade explaining her silence about other recent issues that are close to the home of her favorites, the Virginia Flaggers.)
So now we have multiple stories. First, what happened on that Mississippi highway? Second, what do the assessments of Hervey’s death say about divisions within the Confederate heritage movement and its fellow movements, white supremacy and southern separatism/nationalism? It’s easy to set aside the claim of black Confederate soldier ancestry by Hervey and Barnum as far less important.
UPDATE: For an example of Chastain’s reasons for restraint, I offer this:
I wonder when we’ll see that on Backsass … hmmmm?