Susan Hathaway Tells Charlottesville Off

Hathaway CCC 4 2016

On April 18, the Charlottesville City council heard from people interested in the current debate over what to do about statutes honoring Confederate leaders in downtown Charlottesville (the equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee seems to be getting the most attention). Susan Hathaway of the Virginia Flaggers addressed the city council as follows (my emphasis added):

Good evening Mayor Signer, Councilmen. My name is Susan Hathaway and I live in Sandston.

I could easily stand before you tonight and spend my three minutes talking about the honor of Robert E. Lee, or the valor and sacrifice of the Confederate soldiers who served under him, or the fact that the War Between the States was NOT fought to keep anyone enslaved, or the fact that this onslaught of PC revisionism has absolutely nothing to do with perceived “racism” or “white supremacy”…but you all know this and choose to ignore facts in favor of hysteria.

What I hope does get your attention is money…and the fact that you and the citizens of Charlottesville will need to be prepared to spend a lot of it to defend the lawsuits that will be filed if you insist on continuing with your plans to tear down or alter any Confederate memorial. Thankfully, the removal of war monuments and memorials STILL violates Virginia law, even with the Governor’s veto of a bill that would have provided clarification. There is little doubt that the Va Supreme Court will affirm this in a pending lawsuit. It is good to know that our legislators have put such measures in place so that our Vietnam Veterans, several of whom are with us tonight, will not have to face having their memorials removed if/when the winds of political correctness shift against them in a town such as this one and the elected officials decide THEY are no longer worthy of respect.

I noted with great interest the comments of one of your councilmen, as reported in the local press. No doubt, in response to the overwhelming pushback against the call to dear down the memorial, it appears she is grasping for straws in attempts to rationalize your attempts to cleanse all things Confederate from the city. It is reported that this councilmen stated that Lee and Jackson were not FROM Charlottesville, suggesting that the statues are not relevant to the community. Now this is true…R.E. Lee was not FROM Charlottesville but neither are most of you who sit on city council and claim to speak for her citizens!

To claim that a community should only honor those who are “from there” is ludicrous. Certainly, Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln were not “from” South Dakota, either. Are you suggesting that Mt. Rushmore needs to be sandblasted since it has no “relevance” to that community? Charlottesville sent her sons, brothers, and fathers off to defend the Commonwealth, and those boys and men served and died under the leadership of Robert E. Lee. If you even needed “local relevance” it is there, in abundance.

It is comical, at best, when our opposition, finding no other argument with our facts or reasoning, resorts to saying we are “outsiders” and therefore we should have no say in what is happening in any other locality other than the one in which we reside. Some of you are quick to use it to dismiss us, and sadly, even some who should be standing with us have taken the bait.

The fact is that I am a 9th generation Virginian and FOUR of my Great-Great Grandfathers fought under General Robert E. Lee in the Army of Northern Virginia. My ancestors earned, and the constitution guarantees me the right to speak up and speak out against the tyrannical and illegal attempt to remove ANY Confederate memorial, and I certainly will do so when one dedicated to the memory of Robert E. Lee less than an hour from my home is under attack. The majority of the members of City Council are not even from Virginia. YOU are the “outsiders”, not us.

I will close with one last suggestion. If you are determined, as it appears by the paper released regarding the creation of this commission, to remove any and all things deemed “offensive”, you had best begin plans to rename this city, and secede from the Commonwealth, as “Charlottesville” and “Virginia” need to go, as well. Queen Charlotte herself was a white supremacist, owned millions of slaves, was a close friend of Marie Antoinette and clearly, as a Monarach, was an oppressor of mankind. Virginia was named after another Queen, also a slaveholder and oppressor of Irish and African alike. Sound ridiculous? It is…just like what you are trying to do here tonight.

Stop the madness. Honor all veterans. Allow all of your citizens to honor and celebrate their heritage. True diversity and inclusiveness is not achieved by destroying the history and heritage of one group of people in order to pacify another.

It’s important to note the highlighted comments.

the fact that the War Between the States was NOT fought to keep anyone enslaved, or the fact that this onslaught of PC revisionism has absolutely nothing to do with perceived “racism” or “white supremacy”

Clearly denial is not just a river in Egypt. What we see here can be called “heritage revisionism.” To uncouple the Confederacy from a defense of slavery or to its desire to preserve white supremacy (which, I think we can agree, is an expression of racism) is to deny that the people Ms. Hathaway and her supporters claim to honor knew what they were talking about when they advocated secession and the formation of the Confederacy.

It is comical, at best, when our opposition, finding no other argument with our facts or reasoning, resorts to saying we are “outsiders” and therefore we should have no say in what is happening in any other locality other than the one in which we reside.

We are glad to see that Ms. Hathaway repudiates any claim that people outside of Virginia who complain about the activities of the Virginia Flaggers should be dismissed or criticized on the grounds that they are outsiders. That this is a claim often made by supporters of the group appears to have escaped Ms. Hathaway’s attention, and suggests that perhaps she believes her followers are hypocrites when they advance the very same argument she criticizes here.

I am a 9th generation Virginian and FOUR of my Great-Great Grandfathers fought under General Robert E. Lee in the Army of Northern Virginia.

Ms. Hathaway thus asserts that family history is an important part of understanding where one comes from and what one believes and honors. Fair enough. But this opens up a new area of inquiry, namely Ms. Hathaway’s family history. Readers of this blog will recall that when someone else began to hold forth on her family history, the results were not very encouraging, although they were amusing. Hmmm.

There are some other aspects of the current Charlottesville controversy that interest me, and I’ll share that soon enough.

27 thoughts on “Susan Hathaway Tells Charlottesville Off

  1. Sandi Saunders April 22, 2016 / 6:14 am

    She says “True diversity and inclusiveness is not achieved by destroying the history and heritage of one group of people in order to pacify another” and yet that is precisely what the Confederate monuments, memorials and groups like hers do. Hypocrisy and idiocy writ large!

  2. Jimmy Dick April 22, 2016 / 7:40 am

    The entire concept of confederate heritage revolves around ignoring history and the facts in order to create a fictional past to support white supremacy. The Civil War was about slavery. How do we know this? The people of the past wrote it down. Not just one side wrote it down, but all sides did. The secessionists were clear about their reasons. Hathaway refuses to accept facts so she can support the lies and her racism.

    Confederate heritage is based on a lie. People see this and reject the garbage that Hathaway and the others are trying to pass off. She wants to file a lawsuit? Do it. Put her on the stand and let her testify under oath. She will either invoke the fifth amendment or expose her ignorance. I would hand her copies of the various secession declarations and other primary sources and let her read them out loud. Then I would ask her what those sources said. I’m pretty sure her answers would be comical.

    Robert E. Lee was a traitor to the United States of America. He fought for the Confederacy which was created to preserve and protect slavery. He was defeated by General Grant. These are basic facts. If Hathaway cannot understand factual sources of information, then her views have no validity.

    Her views on Queen Charlotte are amusing and show that lying is nothing new for Hathaway. The woman just does not know history. What she does know is a belief and she will do anything to preserve that belief, including lying to support it.

    • Mark April 22, 2016 / 9:10 am

      There’s an idea. Let’s brainstorm the text for a new plaque at the base of the Lee equestrian statue that acknowledges the truth of the man and cause. A fair statement from the readers of this blog’s perspective. (I have no idea what the current text is, but I’m guessing it leaves a lot to be desired.) Now we know the usual suspects will oppose it. But what if that the text of the plaque placated some of those who want to tear it down?

      Personally, I think it’s sad that tearing it down is being considered as the only option. I don’t want it torn down, though I have little personal respect for him, but I also don’t want nonsense propagated of the sort that Hathaway is giving us. Surely there are historical parallels somewhere about what happens when monuments to something people once believed in is now rightly embarrassing to their descendants. But I admit I can’t think of any offhand.

      I guess I could argue the other side though, and say that RE Lee wasn’t seen as a hero until later and the only reason we have a statue to him was the cause of White Supremacy. If that was on the plaque maybe no one wants to keep it. Or maybe we leave the Lee statue and brainstorm the text of plaques for James Longstreet and other heroes who got it right at great personal cost and see how Lee feels flanked by those guys.

      • hankc9174 April 22, 2016 / 12:09 pm

        We all know who Robert E. Lee was, and wasn’t, and why he should, or should not, be memorialized.

        It would be constructive to have a baseline for public memorialization of leaders. Start with something milquetoast like ‘worked for peace, liberty, democracy and freedom for all Americans’ and go from there. The answers may be ‘yes’, ’no’, ‘maybe’ and ‘sometimes’.

        • Mark April 22, 2016 / 6:03 pm

          That’s impossible. There has never been a criterion for such things from antiquity until now. There’s a reason for that.

    • Jimmy Dick April 22, 2016 / 10:58 am

      Start with “Traitor to the United States of America” and the heritage supporters start to lie about that just like they do almost everything.

      • hankc9174 April 22, 2016 / 12:16 pm

        the case may be made that Lee resigned his commission and (in his mind) became a citizen of another country. Unlike Benedict Arnold, he was not under cover.

      • Mark April 22, 2016 / 1:53 pm

        But grant, as Lincoln did and others did, that Americans believe in a natural right to revolution and you can’t make that charge. Crying treason is mere legalism, and not very interesting. It is far more interesting and actually explains something to ask why he did what he did, and most of us here think we know the reasons why fairly well. Put that in writing in a fair way and you’ve got a plaque. If you’re not interested in doing that, you are excused.

        • Jimmy Dick April 22, 2016 / 6:16 pm

          I don’t have to. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Chase did explain it in a written opinion a few years later in which he explained why those who chose to be Confederates were traitors and had committed treason. Al Mackey had the case up on his blog. I am not able to link it right now, but will when I can.

          To have a revolution, one has to have a valid reason such as being oppressed. The only oppressed people in the US at that time were the slaves who in my opinion had the right of revolution. The secessionists chose to secede over slavery. They were not being oppressed at all. As General Grant remarked, they were fighting for the worst cause ever.

          I will stand by my claim that Lee was a traitor.

          • Laqueesha April 23, 2016 / 12:58 am

            John Mosby quote, related:

            “Tell Mr. Gordon to load himself up on States’ Rights before I come. Did he ever read John Baldwin’s testimony before the Reconstruction Committee in wch., in answer to a question, Baldwin said that he & all Confederates had committed treason? I say the Confederates who deny they were rebels are ashamed of it. I am proud of it. What’s the difference.”

          • Shoshana Bee April 24, 2016 / 12:38 pm

            Mr. Dick, It so happens that I am currently studying ConLaw, — specifically, Treason. On the side, I have been rummaging around everybody’s blogs for cases, etc., and I found this interesting case study on Mr. Mackey’s blog: https://studycivilwar.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/charge-to-grand-jury-neutrality-laws-and-treason/ :

            This is an excerpt from a charge to a grand jury in Boston on October 15, 1851, delivered by Justice Samuel Curtis, the Circuit Justice for the Circuit Court in the District of Massachusetts. The citation for this charge is 30 Fed. Cas. 1024, Case No. 18,269.

            Justice Curtis then tells the grand jury, “It is not necessary that there should be any military array, or weapons, nor that any personal injury should be inflicted on the officers of the law. If a hostile army should surround a body of troops of the United States, and the latter should lay down their arms and submit, it cannot be doubted that it would constitute an overt act of levying war, though no shot was fired or blow struck. The presence of numbers who manifest an intent to use force, if found requisite to obtain their demands, may compel submission to that force, which is present and ready to inflict injury, and which may thus be effectually used to oppose the execution of the law. … It should be known also, that treason may be committed by those not personally present at the immediate scene of violence. If a body of men be actually assembled to effect by force a treasonable purpose, all those who perform any part, however minute, or however remote from the scene of action, and who are actually leagued in the general conspiracy, are to be considered guilty of treason. [30 Fed. Cas. 1024, 1026]

            And for those who think that Lee was no longer a citizen of the US, thus, not a traitor., Texas v. White took care of that one:

            Salmon P. Chase: When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration, or revocation, except through revolution, or through consent of the States.

          • Jimmy Dick April 24, 2016 / 3:02 pm

            Shoshana,

            Isn’t Al Mackey just a great fountain of information? The evidence is clear about treason. The problem is some people today don’t want the definition of treason to be defined as it was and is. If they were to accept that definition, then that helps to destroy their fantasy. We’ve already seen how they deny slavery as the cause of the Civil War. Rejecting facts is a way of life for them.

          • Shoshana Bee April 24, 2016 / 3:44 pm

            Absolutely YES, Mr. Dick: Al Mackey — one of my 3 valued individuals for all things CW — has done us ALL a great big fat favour by having his blog. I have copied almost all of his case list and I am impatiently waiting to see what he adds next. Hint hint🙂

        • Laqueesha April 23, 2016 / 1:13 am

          The natural right to revolution colonial Americans (and Lincoln, Grant, et. al.) believed in was only to revolt if their natural rights (life liberty and pursuit of happiness) were being violated. That is, one has a right to revolt if their natural rights were being violated.

          Pre-war, the Slave Power’s natural rights in this regard were not being violated, but rather, they were the ones violating the rights of others. free and slave alike, and they only revolted so they could continue violating others’ natural rights. It’s a gross perversion to say that the Confederates had the natural right to self-determination, since they were only interested in invoking it in order to take away others’ natural right to self-determination.

          Even then, the Confederates were not invoking natural law when they rebelled, rather, they were being legalistic and believed that the right to revolt was something enshrined in U.S. law, which it wasn’t. Telling is that the South Carolina secession document copied lines from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, but it left out “all men are created equal” and “consent of the governed”, clearly because the Confederates didn’t believe “all men were created equal”, and they didn’t invoke “consent of governed” in the document, since they didn’t want to give their slaves, which they were fighting to keep in bondage, any ideas. Alexander Stephens said that the U.S. was founded on equality, but that this was wrong, since the white man was the master race. He said the C.S. was founded on the opposite idea, which it was. Really, as Lincoln said in the Douglas Debates, the racist ideology of the Slave Power (and later the C.S.) was no different than the monarchist ideology of Great Britain. They just invoked racism to justify oppression rather than royalty or class.

          Equality of all men was the basis of the colonial Americans’ revolt against Great Britain, since if all men were created equal, nobody was inherently better than anyone else and thus nobody had the right to oppress another human being. Thomas Jefferson said no man was born with a saddle on his back, and John Dickinson said in the “Declaration of Causes” that absolutely property in man was ridiculous. The Confederates didn’t believe in equality of man because they believed that they were better than their slaves and had a right to own them, as the British royals believed they were better than the colonists and had a right to rule them.

          Lee was a traitor to America, and so were most if not all Confederates, considering the U.S. Constitution says treason is defined as waging war on America. The Confederates murdering American soldiers on the battlefield is just that. John S. Mosby, a former Confederate said that the Confederates were traitors and that he himself was a traitor and quite proud of it. As George H. Thomas said in 1868, the ex-Confederates were being perverse and trying to paint treason against America as patriotism. Considering the influx of Lost Causers and Neo-Confeds today, they did quite a good job at it.

  3. Erick Hare April 22, 2016 / 8:12 am

    The other aspect of Susan’s argument I find hilarious is her attack on the community of Charlottesville autonomy to decide for itself what to do with its memorial landscape with the threat of lawsuits. In attacking local autonomy in such a way isn’t Susan Hathaway directly attacking the principle of “states rights”?

    In presenting her argument in those terms she is directly opposing a major principle of the ” Cause” she claims to advocate for and protect.

    • Andy Hall April 22, 2016 / 9:11 am

      In attacking local autonomy in such a way isn’t Susan Hathaway directly attacking the principle of “states rights”?

      ___

      Yes, although she’s hardly unique in that. Over the last few years, that’s become one of the primary ways heritage groups fight back against local initiatives, by finding a sympathetic ear (typically in the state legislature) to pass laws that preempt locals governments’ control over monuments on their own, municipal property. The heritage crowd is just fine with big-government tyranny when it gives them what they want.

      • Shoshana Bee April 22, 2016 / 10:32 am

        “The heritage crowd is just fine with big-government tyranny when it gives them what they want”

        They have a long legacy to draw on: The Fugitive Slave Act being one of the shining moments of big government in the eyes of those states rights folk.

      • Jimmy Dick April 22, 2016 / 10:57 am

        The heritage supporters are blind when it comes to their own hypocrisy.

  4. Mousy Tongue April 22, 2016 / 8:44 am

    She might want to check her claim about the statue being “less than an hour” from her home in Sandston against a map and/or a clock, or, more importantly, a speedometer, as she’d be averaging in excess of eighty miles per hour, which turns out to be the exact definition of a reckless driving offense in Virginia. That’s a Class 1 misdemeanor, the most serious, earning the possibility of a fine, jail time, and suspension of license, not to mention the danger posed to other citizens.

    Perhaps she could not have known this.

  5. Rob Baker April 22, 2016 / 10:06 am

    She is absolutely clueless. I mean, you cannot argue that she lacked educational opportunity; it’s just willful ignorance.

  6. Goad Gatsby April 22, 2016 / 4:35 pm

    I am curious if the Flaggers have ever been to Lee Park other than their rally to support the Lee Statue and before their first visit to Charlottesville City Council last year?

    • bob carey April 23, 2016 / 2:02 am

      I doubt that the Flaggers visit Charlottesville very much,afterall it is a seat of higher education (UVA) and they tend to shy away from such places.

  7. rcocean April 23, 2016 / 12:37 am

    Not living in VA I have no dog in this hunt, It would be presumptuous of me to tell the people of VA what to do with their memorials and statues.

    However, if I did live in VA i would be on Susan’s side. The sandblasting of America’s heritage will not stop with Robert E. Lee. Washington was a “slaver” as a popular left-wing website informed us, and so were Jefferson and Madison. Lincoln himself was a “racist” – judging by his words in the Lincoln-Douglas debate. And Grant married a women who was a “slaver”. How much longer before the whole Civil war- and everyone – involved is simply written off as a conflict between a bunch of racist, dead white males, who should consigned to the dustbin of history?

    • Erik April 26, 2016 / 1:08 pm

      It isn’t about being a slaver. It’s about trying to breakup the Union to perpetuate and expand slavery. That differentiates the founders from the mid 19th century slavers. It cracks me up when the LCers compare Bob Lee and his pals to GW and the founders.

  8. Laqueesha April 23, 2016 / 1:15 am

    In other news, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists are planning a rally at the Stone Mountain Confederate monument. Now, I just wonder. Why on Earth would they do that? Racists holding a rally at a Confederate monument? Doesn’t make sense, since I mean, the Confederates weren’t racists or anything.

    [/sarcasm]

  9. Andy Hall April 26, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    Hathaway:

    The majority of the members of City Council are not even from Virginia. YOU are the “outsiders”, not us.

    _____

    Most “heritage defense” ends up at this argument — you’re not one of us; we are the only legitimate arbiters of this question. It makes them feel good about themselves, but it’s not the sort of argument that sways undecided opinions, or makes someone sympathetic to the Flaggers’ position.

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