Another Flagger Fail at the VMFA

On November 14, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts concluded its second day of hosting InLight on the museum grounds, including a light and sound display at the War Memorial Chapel. Once more several Virginia Flaggers showed up to protest the event, although visitors reported that less than ten Flaggers appeared (an assessment seemingly confirmed by photographs taken by Flagger photographer Judy Smith, which reveal that not so many Flaggers were “mad enough” after all).

We learned that Tripp Lewis did show up on Friday, where he spent his time honoring the service of Confederate soldiers by threatening to sue Goad Gatsby, who thus joins a long list of people Tripp Lewis has threatened to sue. Tripp apparently also threatened Goad with police arrest, a process with which Tripp is familiar.

Gee, Tripp, how did those court cases turn out?

Among the missing, however, was Grayson Jennings, who asked his fellow Confederate heritage advocates whether they were “mad enough yet,” then apparently absented himself for the very protest he announced, suggesting that either he wasn’t so mad, or he simply didn’t care.

Also among the missing was Susan Frise Hathaway, who had told her fellow Confederate heritage advocates to “rise up” and make their feelings known. Hathaway was in Richmond Saturday, selling Flagger paraphernalia at a local show … but she failed to make an appearance at the VMFA either evening. Guess what happens at the VMFA is no longer of much importance to her, now that she can’t have her picture taken there.

Or at least that is what we thought, until the webmaster of the Virginia Flaggers declared that “Susan has a very good working relationship with her employer …”

Well, now, since the VF webmaster has decided to mention this issue, we do recall that Hathaway works for an architectural firm that has been retained by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Rumors circulated in Virginia that Hathaway’s disappearance from the sidewalk of the VMFA might have something to do with her concern that she might lose her job if she did not cease her activities at the VMFA.

We previously expressed the belief that it would be unfair for Hathaway’s employer to fire her because she expressed her views on Confederate heritage at the VMFA. Oddly, the Flaggers and their supporters did not join us in our advocacy of protecting Hathaway from retaliation for expressing her views. Indeed, they thought we wanted her fired. Coming from a group whose supporters have contacted employers in the past, this was amusing.

Now, however, we’ve been assured that Susan Hathaway has “a good working relationship with her employer.” Given that, we believe that her employer would not object to her protesting in front of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. This leaves us to wonder why she remains too skeered to do so … or maybe she’s too busy going on speaking tours and accepting awards to “rise up” and make her sentiments known. Maybe she’s outgrown the protesting at the VMFA. Now she chooses to “rise up” to accept awards … and nothing else.

Or maybe she just talks a good game, but expects others to do the hard work, especially as the weather turns colder.

In any case, we expect that Susan “No Show” Hathaway will remain silent, and let an ailing woman down in Pensacola do her heavy hitting for her … because she knows she can’t defend her own actions. That’s a sad commentary on someone who is supposed to be at the forefront of the Confederate heritage movement … “one of the most admired and appreciated people in the entire heritage community.”

Doesn’t say much for that community that someone who isn’t as good as her word is regarded as a shining light … just not at InLight 2015. To have her own webmaster confirm that there’s no reason for her cowardice and inability to do what she tells others to do is remarkable.

Meanwhile, we hear that the exhibit, far from being a “trippy funhouse,” was a success at sparking serious reflection on the chapel and its meaning, which is more than the Virginia Flaggers have been able to achieve.

9 thoughts on “Another Flagger Fail at the VMFA

  1. M.D. Blough November 15, 2015 / 9:03 pm

    It’s a relief that the “trippy funhouse” story was inaccurate. “Success in sparking serious reflection on the chapel and its meaning” is commendable and appropriate.

    • Brooks D. Simpson November 16, 2015 / 8:48 am

      It’s interesting that the Flaggers did not take the time to experience the very exhibit they protest.

      • Eek-A-Mouse November 16, 2015 / 9:43 am

        The flaggers could not help themselves and did enjoy the variety of food trucks invited by the event organizers. Every flaghead purchase helping to make sure that Inlight was an all-around success. They are hopeless. Some vigil…

        • Andy Hall November 16, 2015 / 10:30 am

          It’s been claimed — and I find it entirely plausible — that when the Flaggers are out on the sidewalk during their semi-weekly protests, they make a steady stream of traffic inside the facility to use the VMFA’s public restrooms. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the museum, which is open to the public without an admission fee, counts these brief expeditions as museum visitors, boosting their attendance numbers and very likely offsetting any drop in visitation cause by the Flaggers’ presence on the sidewalk around the corner.

  2. Brooks D. Simpson November 16, 2015 / 8:48 am

    Enter the usually incoherent and always entertaining Connie Chastain, who in one long post suggests I’m irrelevant, followed by a second long post filled with bitter attacks (well, the first post is filled with bitter attacks, too). Unaware of the ways in which the Virginia Flaggers themselves pass on information about their activities, she demands to know what I know … yet she does not reveal what she knows (if anything) about the relationship between Susan Hathaway and her employer. Having earlier asserted that the relationship was fine, she is now determined to argue that someone wants Hathaway fired … and is worried that someone will lie to her employer about her activities in an effort to get her fired.

    I would think that would be impossible, given their good relationship. Besides, is anyone lying when they say Hathaway is no longer a presence at the VMFA?

    But Chastain has given me an idea … more later.

    Meanwhile, readers of Backsass will note that a third rant blog entry is sandwiched between the two most recent attacks on me. Chastain asks, “Isn’t demonizing people what the KKK allegedly does? What does such a pursuit do to a person’s soul, I wonder….”

    Chastain should know … but it is interesting to see her compare efforts at demonizing people to what the KKK “allegedly” does. After all, doesn’t Chastain “demonize” people?

    Ah, projection …

    • Jimmy Dick November 16, 2015 / 11:22 am

      KKKonnie the KKKarpet, also known as the KKKueen of Lies loves to say others are lying when she wishes to disbelief what they are saying. She runs a little disinformation site where she can vent about becoming irrelevant in the world. She really has reached the point where she is just old news and a one trick pony punching bag.

      • Brooks D. Simpson November 16, 2015 / 11:55 am

        Just as the KKK said it came about to protect people, so Connie says that she’s counterattacking. So I guess she learned a great deal from her kindred spirits. Wonder what she’ll say when we post more links between the Flaggers and white supremacists this week.

  3. AP Chill November 16, 2015 / 12:52 pm

    A look at the client list of said employer is like a who’s who of all the flaggers’ greatest enemies:

    City of Danville
    Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
    Washington and Lee University
    American Civil War Center at Tredegar

  4. M. E. Martin November 17, 2015 / 7:23 am

    Thousands of visitors of all ages, races, and backgrounds respectfully toured through the chapel over the weekend, many pausing to take photos of the stained glass windows or to sit in contemplative silence in the pews. My spouse and I were among them and happy to find the experience meaningful and moving. I believe that the somber installation brought significant, positive attention to the chapel. Despite the ugly hype and distortions, the event helped reverse the notion of it being a site of bigotry and anger, advanced by several years of flagger intimidation. Watch and read a local reporter’s take on it — including positive comment by SCV visitor:
    http://wtvr.com/2015/11/14/holmberg-huge-crowds-at-museum-light-show-after-mini-controversy-while-the-city-of-light-reels/

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