Connie Chastain Unplugged … or Unhinged

At a time when so many people are engaged in endless political discussions that fray friendships and embitter foes, there’s always the need for humor … and then, as if by Providence, there appears Connie Chastain.

You’ll remember that Connie loves to produce dust jackets for books that will never appear, earning her the title “The Queen of Forthcoming.” Perhaps that’s in part because of her ability to devise such telling memes as these two:


But Connie can still demonstrate her mastery of the English language, even if the result might be a tad counterproductive. Take this essay:

The Nature of the Monument Destroyers

 The force behind the assault on Confederate heritage is the same force behind the attacks on President Trump. What we are seeing is an enormous psychotic episode, a colossal nervous breakdown by the ultra-left in America because their adored Hillary was defeated.

The left has always been destructive, increasingly so in recent years. But since Trump has been in office — since late January — where he has steadily razed the Obama legacy, they’ve been like an animal in the furious stage of rabies.These people are not Americans. Leftists are socialists. They are the antithesis of Americans. They are destroyers. Since they cannot have our country and transform it into Socialist America, they will destroy it.

Destroying Confederate heritage is an early phase, a trial run, you might say. They have the same fate in mind for the legacy of the Founders… not just monuments and statues, but the very country they crafted. They want to destroy every aspect of the culture — Christianity, the family, private property, education, historical memory, our cultural cohesiveness, our very identity as western man.

Western man. Man. Men. The left hates nothing the way they hate masculinity. From “feminism”, which is not about equality for women but about hating and hurting men … from feminizing industry, education, the military, church leadership, the popular culture, the government to the demonization of “dead white males” the left hates virility.

VIRILE, VIRILITY characterized by a vigorous, masculine spirit: manly character, vigor, or spirit; masculine energy, forcefulness, or strength in a marked degree.

Our Confederate heroes were some of history’s manliest of men. Even in cold, lifeless bronze, Davis, Beauregard and Lee exuded a level of virility that shames Mitch Landrieu.

The nameless Confederate soldiers in marble and granite standing atop pedestals and obelisks across the South shame the typical leftist male — the Michael Moores, the Morris Deeses, the brainwashed antifa, the mindless mobs, the spineless and weak-minded men, leftists themselves or influenced by leftism, who run government at all levels. The closest thing these men have to masculine energy and vigorous spirit is hatred. Oddly enough, this is the same fuel that energizes leftist women — the Hillary Clintons, the Maxine Waterses, the Ashley Judds and the Madonnas — as well.

As we craft and then implement our counter-offensive in the defense of our heritage — and our continued existence and the future for our children (make no mistake, these are in the Left’s crosshairs, as well) — it will do us well to remember the nature of our attackers.

With defenders like these, Confederate heritage is doomed.

On Civil War Monuments: The Controversy Continues

This weekend the American Civil War Center in Richmond, Virginia, held an all-day symposium entitled “Lightning Rods of Controversy: Civil War Monuments Past, Present, and Future.” Co-sponsored by the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia and The Library of Virginia, the symposium reviewed the issues associated with Civil War monuments in a city well known for them. Christy Coleman of the ACWC offered opening remarks in a presentation entitled “Monuments, Markers, Museums, and the Landscape of Civil War Memory.”

You can find the presentation here.

It is not altogether true that the only controversies about Civil War monuments involve Confederate monuments. Some people were very unhappy with this monument, for example:

Others opposed placing a monument to Union soldiers who fought at Olustee, Florida, as you may recall (you may also recall that many of the US soldiers who fought there were African American). You can refresh your memory here, here, and here.

But you won’t find anything about that in various Confederate heritage apologist advocates’ blogs, especially the ones that rant about fake news and political correctness. What you will hear, however, is how a local community that erected these monuments can’t decide to remove them, lest they “erase history”–when the only history their removal might “erase” is why people chose to put up those monuments when and where they did.

That’s one reason why I think those monuments should stay up–to remind people of their past, sometimes in ways that might not make them comfortable. But I remain amused at people who think that the members of a community should make their own decisions, who protest against meddlesome outsiders and “moral reformers,” who nevertheless have no problem telling other people how to live and what to honor. Get over yourselves or embrace your hypocrisy.

The Butternut Buttercups Strike Again With Fake History

In a world where alternative facts and fake news rule the day, Confederate heritage apologists feel right at home, as the latest from Virginia Whine Country suggests:

It is stunning to observe the extent to which modern historians moral reformers will go to advance their political agenda under the guise of “historical analysis” these days. Their Gumby-like stretches and contortions are jaw-dropping – an intellectual version of being double-jointed. Prior to November 9th, 2016, they all marched in lockstep denouncing any state or local community that dared oppose federal intervention, meddling or what might be looked upon as “heavy-handed” regarding laws, regulations and executive orders.

So stunning, in fact, that I’d love to see some evidence to support this claim–from this blog, for example. Perhaps this butternut buttercup is unaware of the discussion surrounding federal fugitive slave legislation, personal liberty laws, resistance to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Ableman v. Booth, and the like. Or maybe someone was too busy examining the Bowling Green Massacre to notice.

Constructing fantastic bogus strawmen in order to make sweeping ridiculous claims is characteristic of Virginia Whine Country. Doubtless his millions of readers–almost as many as attended Donald J. Trump’s inauguration–believe as much.

Wow, what a difference a day can make. Miraculously, the day after Donald J. Trump (who many are, ironically, comparing to Andrew Jackson) won the presidential election, they became staunch defenders of John Calhoun’s principles of nullification. Perhaps the faux historians have traded their copies of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States for a copy of Thomas Woods’s Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century.

Ah, no. One of the usual bogus claims (important for a blogger who traffics daily in stereotypes) is that academic historians worship Zinn … although you would think this butternut buttercup would embrace Thomas Woods’s work (because he has). Of course, this ranting and raving overlooks resistance to the Fugitive Slave Act, but then some of these folks are notorious for having a blind spot when it comes to slavery or African Americans. Then there are those who remind us that slavery was not all that bad … and that civilization’s achievements are due to white people.

Of course, the current brand of nullification is mostly local, i.e. cities and counties in lieu of states; as far as President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees goes. Whereas for the last eight years, the Tea Party, libertarians, conservative Republicans and anyone else opposing federal power was labeled “radical, extremist, neo-Confederate”, blah, blah, blah, we are now being told that any and all opposition to federal power is noble and courageous. And these folks are all in lockstep (including the violent protest participants on college campuses and the “mainstream” media). Just peruse the academic related history websites and blogs. No dissent, no difference of opinion, no nuances, no objectivity – pure partisanship. It’s laughable.

Peruse away, and show me where this blog has been part of that process. Because it’s incumbent upon someone who whines about “Fake Civil War Historians” to document that he’s telling the truth. Otherwise one might conclude that they sure lie a lot over at Virginia Whine Country, and that someone buries the truth so deep that it will take more than a metal detector to unearth it.

Who’s laughing now?

If the State of California follows through with it’s threat to institute sanctuary status state-wide, I wonder if these pretend historians will suddenly become converts to advocating for states’ rights?

First, critic of educational systems, it’s its. Try harder. Then wonder away as you wander away from reality once more. After all, you’ll pretend that the people you despise must believe what you insist they believe. Otherwise, your blog would shrink to nothingness.

That’s what happens when you live rent-free in someone’s head. There’s a lot of open space there, after all. I hear it’s a wonderful echo chamber due to its emptiness.

These historians are, obviously, absolute frauds and little more than mouth organs for the left. There is no consistency in their writing or analysis – other than to be consistent leftists. Laugh at them. They are not historians in the true sense. They are unprincipled political hacks and adherents to Groupthink; unable or afraid to think, say or write anything outside of current academic high church orthodoxy.

Sigh. In a world where alternative facts reign supreme in the minds of some people, only someone who knows all about being a mouth organ would make such a claim to satisfy his rich fantasy life. But methinks this fellow projects a little too much, given that the majority of his blog entries are little more than thin commentaries on right of center links–basically a virtual bulletin board. It would be interesting to see whether he actually reads the scholarship that he thus characterizes. Maybe alternative facts free him of that obligation.

I appreciate the desperation masquerading as smugness. I also appreciate the degree to which Virginia Whine Country uses what passes for Confederate heritage nowadays to promote his own political agenda. I await the next rant about political correctness from the safe space of this butternut buttercup.

Sometimes I wonder why I even bring the thunder.

Heritage, Not History: Distorting the Past To Satisfy Present Needs

Confederate heritage advocates always claim to be rather interested in history, although it appears their ability to ensure historical accuracy (as opposed to heritage correctness) is not always sound. Take this example:

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This little item appeared on the Facebook page of our good friends the Virginia Flaggers. Of especial note is the quote attributed to William Henry Seward, Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State.

I found the quote provocative, and so I decided to do a little research. Guess what I found?

First, apparently Confederate heritage advocates are rather fond of this quote, as a look at Google suggests. But they aren’t always very good at citing the source. Fortunately, it’s also easy to find the quote in question. You will come across it in a book written by one George Edmonds, Facts and Falsehoods Concerning the War on the South, 1861-1865, published in 1904 in Memphis, Tennessee. You’ll find it on page 23:

gedmondspage23

This is a valuable clue. The Piatt in question is one Donn Piatt, a big fan of George H. Thomas and someone who had no problem writing vivid if not always accurate accounts of his interaction with famous folks. Perhaps that explains why a recent biography is subtitled “Gadfly of the Gilded Age.”

In 1887 Piatt published Memories of Men Who Saved the Union, which recounted many of these encounters. Among them, we learn, is the conversation in question.

Piatt recalled that he first met Seward while Seward was still a senator from New York. He later recounted on pages 135-38 the exchange he had with the former governor:

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Piatt Seward 2.JPG

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Piatt Seward 4.JPG

Oh, my. That’s not what Confederate heritage advocates claimed Seward had said. Yes, southerners used the Constitution “as a shield” … “to cover their wicked designs” to expand slavery.

I didn’t see that when the Virginia Flaggers posted the quote. I wonder why. Nor did I see them remind us that Seward said that the Constitution was “a sacred ark of covenant” to the North. Somehow that information didn’t make its way onto the Virginia Flaggers’ post, either.

Someone’s been lying for 112 years. But then distortions of the record have always been essential to Confederate heritage correctness. It’s just that in this case we can see that the practice has a long history. It’s a tradition of dishonesty.

We hear all the time from Virginia Whine Country about “political correctness” and distortions of the past, but somehow not when it comes to the distortions (and fabrications) of the historical record for which certain Confederate heritage advocates are so well known. That’s because the “political correctness” that I have styled “heritage correctness” serves their own self-serving politicized view of the American past. I guess that also runs in the blood of certain haughty Virginians (I’ve always thought the blood’s been diluted over time). Some people’s blood runs hot. Some people’s blood runs cold. In this case, it’s simply run out.

And if you’re waiting for a retraction or an admission of error from the Flaggers, be prepared to wait a long time. Given their interest in monitoring this blog (hi Connie!), we’ll see whether the Flaggers clean up their feed.

Remember, folks, it’s heritage, not history. And if it takes lying to preserve the heritage and restore the (lost) honor, so be it.

Karen Cooper and the Virginia Flaggers: Another View

One of the more striking aspects of the current Confederate heritage correctness movement, at least in the eyes of the national media, is the presence of African Americans in the ranks of such advocates. Sometimes these people receive a great deal of attention, while sometimes they seek it (and look to make a little money off it, as in the case of H. K. Edgerton).

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Karen Cooper and H. K. Edgerton

Karen Cooper has climbed to national prominence as a member of the Virginia Flaggers. Confederate heritage groups love to photograph her holding a Confederate flag while standing defiantly alongside her white associates. She’s a favorite interview subject. Her declaration that “slavery was a choice” made headlines in the online world, while her performance in front of the Charlottesville City Council left people scratching their heads. Occasionally the Flaggers and their advocates slip in their treatment of Cooper, and it is in those moments that we catch a revealing glimpse of their true sentiments. Those moments do not escape careful observers.

Daryle Lamont Jenkins
Daryle Lamont Jenkins

One such observer is Daryle Lamont Jenkins, founder of One People’s Project. This organization keeps an eye on white supremacy groups, exposing their actions and highlighting their beliefs.  Fresh from an appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show, Jenkins reflected on what the recent Facebook exchange between Cooper and Flagger celebrity Tripp Lewis says about how Confederate heritage advocates have used Cooper to advance their own agenda while struggling to define her role … and her place.

Over the past few years, I have seen an uptick of Black, Hispanic and Asian people embracing White Supremacists and neo-Fascism. There’s no other way to put it really. It is truly that black and white. It might cause folks to scratch their heads over the notion, but a few weeks ago I went to a neo-Confederate rally in Mississippi and got into it with a Black neo-Confederate from Oklahoma who was rubbing elbows with members of the White Supremacist League of the South – and he was one of several at that rally doing so. My group One People’s Project also had to recently deal with a Black/Dominican man posing as a Muslim that infiltrated our small organization to gather information about anti-racists and give that information to a neo-Nazi organization he was affiliated with. So there’s no hyperbole when I say that they are supporting right-wing hatemongers.

Now it’s nothing new, really. I am used to seeing people of color embrace the right and ignoring how much they are being used as a shield against very valid charges of racism. But in 2016, that is a much different animal. We have more persons of color becoming a part of mainstream society, more than we ever had in American history. It makes complete sense that there will be some that will become a part of mainstream conservative society as well, and it isn’t going to always mean that they are selling out or hating on their culture and heritage, although there are still a huge number of those that are more than happy to do so. There is a more defined dividing line between those of color who are truly conservative and those who are simply surrogates for racists.

Karen Cooper’s history would indeed suggest that she was a part of that latter crowd when her strong defenses of the Confederacy and a particularly downright laughable and appalling comment in a video spotlighting those defenses that “slavery was a choice” because slaves could have “chosen to die” instead. Then she speaks out publicly against police brutality and the bigoted attacks on Muslims in this country (she is a former member of the Nation of Islam). She is a Libertarian and at the very least, that means she is more about bringing people together than pulling them apart. So although many might think she might be a little wrongheaded in her approach, ultimately she is not what we see in the rest of that Flagger crowd, the ones who thought they could use her as that aforementioned “shield”. And that is where they come to their current conflict.

The Flaggers are treating Cooper as their pet Negro, and when they saw her effectively talking back to one of them, they wanted to make her heel. Her butting heads with Tripp Lewis, a Virginia Flagger who is a little too supportive of hate politics and the people who push them caused one of them, Gary Adams, to want to reign her in after she clashed with Lewis for his anti-Muslim shots at her, as opposed to him. To be clear about it, many in that group are defending Cooper, but Adams wanted her to delete the entire exchange and call him and other Flagger leaders about the situation. If Cooper has ever felt she needed to inch away from this group, she more than likely went a few more inches away with this incident.

As well she should.

I don’t think Karen Cooper is a bad person. I definitely don’t think she’s a stupid person. I think that she has bad politics, or at the very least a bad approach to them. But I truly hope that this particular episode causes her to realize that the people around her might not be her friends and she is on a very wrong road. You can be sure the rest of us do.

We await the usual cries of outrage from Confederate heritage advocates. We also wonder whether Karen Cooper will respond … or whether her white handlers friends allow to her respond.

Heritage Hypocrisy

Over at Virginia Whine Country we’ve been hearing more complaining about political correctness and the bankruptcy of education … but nothing about the news that in Texas, “Five million public school students … will begin using new social studies textbooks this fall based on state academic standards that barely address racial segregation. The state’s guidelines for teaching American history also do not mention the Ku Klux Klan or Jim Crow laws.”

That’s heritage correctness for you. Let’s just take out white supremacy (and insist that to include it is “political correctness” or a sign that one’s “obsessed” with the subject). None of that has any place in a historical narrative shaped by the (self-)righteous demands of heritage correctness.

And when it comes to the Civil War, children are supposed to learn that the conflict was caused by “sectionalism, states’ rights and slavery” — written deliberately in that order to telegraph slavery’s secondary role in driving the conflict, according to some members of the state board of education.

Slavery was a “side issue to the Civil War,” said Pat Hardy, a Republican board member, when the board adopted the standards in 2010. “There would be those who would say the reason for the Civil War was over slavery. No. It was over states’ rights.”

Sure. Like the state right reflected in personal liberty laws that white southerners wanted to strike down in their effort to create a federal bureaucracy to recapture escaped slaves, even if that mean setting aside altogether the rights of the accused or a trial by jury?

Yup.

Maybe Stonewall taught his slaves that, too.

It’s not as if Confederate heritage advocates are not aware of what happens in Texas when it comes to the removal of Confederate statues at college campuses. Oh, that’s horrible. But when it comes to other distortions of history that favor their version of historical correctness?

Crickets.

Face it: Confederate heritage correctness is nothing more than political correctness as embraced by white supremacists, Confederate apologists, and the wonderfully ignorant. And its advocates are proud of it.

 

More Chaos for Confederate Heritage Advocates

It’s not been a good two weeks for Confederate heritage advocates. They’ve suffered setbacks at Vanderbilt University, the University of Texas, and with the University of Mississippi marching band. They seem helpless to stop the rising tide of opposition to their position, and the best they can do to gain ground is to promise to fly more flags throughout the South.

But it’s the self-inflicted wounds that are just as likely to leave an enduring mark. There’s still fallout from Tripp Lewis’s attack on Karen Cooper. As detailed on Restoring the Honor, while many advocates of Confederate heritage sided with Cooper and denounced Lewis, others, led by Gary Adams of the Southern Heritage Preservation Group, called on Cooper to silence herself instead of denouncing Lewis.

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Why, indeed? Continue reading