By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As the descendant of a Confederate soldier and as a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, I have what I consider a vested interest in the Confederate monuments issue that has been raging ever since Dylan Roof decided to walk into a church in South Carolina and kill people. For the most part, nobody cared one iota whether there was a Confederate battle flag in front of the courthouse or a Robert E. Lee statue in the town square – in whatever city.  There were a few exceptions, but in general, nobody cared.

I’ve written on this issue at length both on this blog and my own so I won’t reiterate all of that (there’s plenty of reading material at that link), but let’s look at the state of things at this point.

Over at Hot Air, Jazz Shaw notes the resurrection of the Confederate battle flag at the Walhalla Confederate Memorial in South Carolina. This memorial is on private property and is maintained by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Shaw is not very confident that the fact that this is on private property will silence the critics and I’m afraid he’s probably right. We seem to have lost all sense of reason on this issue.

Meanwhile, in Charlottesville, VA, another monument controversy is ongoing.  The city council there is debating whether to remove the Robert E. Lee statue from Lee Park. I guess the next vote will be to change the name of the park?

The Robert E. Lee statue was built in 1924. Legal Analyst Scott Goodman says this might turn out to be more than just the state trying to enforce a state law.

“But also there’s going to be private lawsuits,” said Goodman. “The heirs of Mr. McIntire, who donated the land and donated the statues for a trust to be able to be kept in perpetuity. People can sue who are affected in that way, family members and so forth, to enforce the trust, to enforce the original agreement that brought the statues to that park to begin with.”

In New Orleans, activists on both sides of the issue are still awaiting the decision from the Fifth Circuit regarding the removal of four monuments in the city.

In Alabama, State Senator Gerald Allen plans to introduce the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act in hopes of preserving these endangered monuments.

In Florida, “Old Joe” has been standing on the grounds of the Alachua County Administration building in Gainesville since 1904. The statue of the Confederate soldier is now facing removal and perhaps donation to a local history museum. As one activist said, “It’s a symbol of slavery.”

Perhaps to him it is, but to others it’s a symbol of the sacrifices of ancestors who fought to defend hearth and home. The overwhelming majority of the soldiers who fought for the Confederacy did not own slaves and felt they were fighting for states’ rights. Why does one perception of a symbol get to override another? Why are we all so offended all of the time?

And in perhaps the lamest argument ever proffered against a monument, there’s this:

David Gold of Gainesville, an Army veteran who was an infantry soldier during the Vietnam War, said Confederate sympathizers should not be allowed to have a statue in downtown Gainesville.

“You Confederates lost the war, and you don’t get to have a statue in the middle of our small downtown,” Gold said.

Seriously? I just can’t even…

What is now seemingly a perpetual protest against anything related to the Confederacy seems to be having the opposite effect and unintended consequences for the protesters. Membership in heritage organizations such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy is rising.  These and other organizations are fighting to preserve these monuments and their heritage. As in Walhalla, many of these organizations are now placing flags and monuments on private property. In Louisiana, one chapter of the Sons of Confederate veterans has purchased a plot of land along I-49 and will soon place a large flagpole and raise a Confederate battle flag.

In Orange, Texas, near the Texas/Louisiana border, the SCV is constructing the largest Confederate memorial ever built:

 In Orange, a small east Texas city on the Louisiana border, the privately funded Confederate Memorial of the Wind is nearing completion. With 13 large Greek columns and 26–32 Confederate flags, it will be the largest Confederate monument built in a century, according to the SCV.

Where this will all end we can only surmise, but perhaps it’s time for us to all figure out a way to live together peacefully, to respect each other despite our differences, and to focus on more important things. This is a slippery slope that has no end to the iconography that can and will be removed once this debate clears the courts, should it be successful.

In the end we are all Americans. The Civil War is over.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

 

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – The fight to preserve American History has now moved to Baltimore with the latest attack coming from the Special Commission to Review Baltimore’s Public Confederate Monuments.  Their recommendation is to move an equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson which depicts the two men right before the 1863 battle of Chancellorsville; another statue up for removal is of Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney who wrote the Dred Scott decision in 1857.

The Commission has elected to retain the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument and the Confederate Women’s Monument.

Cities across the South have been battling this issue on both public and private property for some time now and it is never without controversy. In New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been trying to rid the city of its Confederate monuments for two years without much success – so far.  The case has been tied up in the courts and is coming up for a federal court of appeals hearing on September 28; this upcoming date has renewed the controversy and the Take Em Down NOLA activist group is threatening to take the monuments down themselves with ropes.  Vandalism on the New Orleans monuments is a constant (although it wasn’t as bad until Landrieu started this campaign).

In Baltimore, the Special Commission has suggested adding signs to the monuments that present a new historical narrative “in today’s context.”  The Maryland Chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has concerns about revisionist text and believes that the historical context should be accurate.  Who will write that text?

Add to all this monument controversy the new effort by the National Parks Service to create revisionist history of the Reconstruction period – again, an incredibly painful and inglorious time in our nation’s history.  The NPS has already

“…published a handbook for rangers and historians to ensure that “discredited legends” (like neo-Confederate claims that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery) don’t “stand in place of historical fact.”

And finally, consider the recent decision by the Tennessee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy who reluctantly accepted a deal from Vanderbilt University to rename Confederate Memorial Hall on their campus:

The final terms of that deal were announced Monday after anonymous donors gave $1.2 million toward that purpose. Despite the payout, the organization said it was “disappointed that an institution such as Vanderbilt University would attempt to whitewash, sanitize and rewrite American history.” University leaders, including Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, have said the word is being removed because of symbolic ties with racism and slavery that are painful for Vanderbilt’s increasingly diverse community.

It goes on and on and where will it end?  What is the ultimate goal here?  What will we have achieved once the word “confederate” is erased from our national consciousness?  Will racism and prejudice be eradicated once all the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are gone?

Racism and prejudice are learned behaviors.  They do not come from blocks of stone or from words carved into the name of a building.

When a nation attempts to rewrite its history only bad things will follow.

In the Baltimore study, Fitz Brundage, chairman of the history department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has said, “’Why would you have monuments to Lee and Jackson in Baltimore?” Mr. Brundage asked, calling the two men traitors to the U.S.”

I can only imagine what he says in his history classes.

And why in the world are we re-fighting the Civil War anyway?  Are we blaming all this on Dylann Roof?

The whole thing makes me sad and makes me wish Shelby Foote was still alive who once said this about the Confederate battle flag:

I can’t really argue with the people’s decision to remove it; if a constitutional body decides to remove the flag from a certain place, I can’t argue with that decision. I differ with it, but I can’t really argue with it because it’s a fait accompli. But to me the flag is a noble symbol, and I’m sorry to see it scorned. The confederacy stood for a great many things other than slavery. A dependent slavery is part of its right to decide what it wanted to do, but that was not what people fought the war about on either side. It was greatly contributory to starting the war and it was contributory to the North winning the war because of Lincoln’s definition as a war about slavery. It was not that in the first place or the last place. It was other things, many other things.

Much more than we can go into here; my point simply is that erasing it all changes nothing and only makes us ignorant and less informed.

Changing the name of a building changes nothing but the name of the building.

Only education can bring change and wisdom.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —  History will remember us as the generation that was offended by everything.

Where will it end?

A couple of news stories caught my eye this week: the first was that the Sons of Confederate Veterans are filing suit against the City of Natchitoches after being forbidden to march in their annual Christmas parade; the SCV group has marched in the parade for the past twenty-five years, but now we are offended by their flag so they can’t march.  In a statement, the mayor of Natchitoches explained that he is not banning the display of the flag in the city but simply not allowing it on display in the parade.  The Natchitoches Christmas festival and parade is huge in these parts and attracts over 100,000 visitors each year.

The other story that raised my hackles was the perpetual offended-by-Huck-Finn story that in its latest conception has a private school in Philadelphia banning the book from the classroom (although it will still be in their library).  A group of students said the book “made them uncomfortable” and so out it goes.  Perhaps the school should look at how the book is taught rather than condemn the book.  Perhaps there is something about love and tolerance that could be learned there in the hands of the right teacher.  What will these students do when they are “uncomfortable” in the real world, post-graduation?  What will we ban from the classroom next?

Perhaps the most ridiculous group to be offended recently would be those who were offended by the red Starbucks cup.  I would be difficult to imagine a controversy any more ludicrous.

The logic of it all is absurd. Some individuals and some groups are offended by the Confederate flag so we must eliminate it.  Some groups are offended by Christian nativity scenes, so we must eliminate them; this is happening across the country. We are even offended by yoga, for crying out loud. We are offended by how you sit when on a subway.  We are offended by the Washington REDSKINS.

The list is endless.

The fact is that political correctness and elementary-school-everyone-wins-coddling has turned us into a society of crybabies.  Yes, there are things in our society that are offensive sometimes but it’s time to man-up, if you’ll pardon that sexist phrase, and get over it.

The whole “I’m offended” culture offends me.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By A.P. Dillon

Ignorance of history is alive and well in America. With no end in sight, the outrage industry has jumped the shark nationwide over the Confederate flag.

The rest of the country isn’t fairing much better as D.C. residents called for the removal of the Jefferson Memorial and Confederate memorials continue to be vandalized despite some of them being place to honor students who died during the Civil War.

In response to the continued controversy over the Confederate flag, officials in the state of Tennessee have decided to dig up the corpses of Nathan Bedford Forest and his wife. The same officials have decided to also sell off the associated statue.

Officials in Tennessee seem to be ignoring their own law and either don’t know the full history behind Forest, or they are willfully ignoring it for the likely purpose of scoring political points.

While Nathan Bedford Forest has been widely associated with the KKK, officials in Tennessee seem to be ignoring his rapid departure from the group.

This piece at PBS might help to enlighten them:

After only a year as Grand Wizard, in January 1869, faced with an ungovernable membership employing methods that seemed increasingly counterproductive, Forrest issued KKK General Order Number One: “It is therefore ordered and decreed, that the masks and costumes of this Order be entirely abolished and destroyed.” By the end of his life, Forrest’s racial attitudes would evolve — in 1875, he advocated for the admission of blacks into law school — and he lived to fully renounce his involvement with the all-but-vanished Klan. A new, different, and much worse Klan would emerge, 35 years after Forrest’s death, in the wake of D.W. Griffith’s revolutionary 1915 film, Birth of a Nation, a reactionary screed with a racialist brief that had been expanded to include Catholics and immigrants of all kinds. The second Klan was never restricted to the South; its goals had nothing to do with Forrest’s vision of a restored Dixie.

You read that correctly. Forest became an advocate for blacks.

Just to reinforce this point, consider his speech to the Independent Order of Pole-Bearers Association on July 5, 1875.  Bedford was the first white person to be invited by the Pole-Bearers.

Ladies and Gentlemen I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God’s earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself.  I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man to depress none.

I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don’t propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office.

I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment.

Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I’ll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand.

But all of this is now a moot point, as Tennessee has engaged in revisionist history in a most ghoulish manner.

As Bedford said himself in 1875, so it rings true in 2015, “Many things have been said about me which are wrong,”.   

 

 

AP DillonA.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, Heartland.org and Watchdog Wire NC.
Catch her on Twitter: @LadyLiberty1885

 

You might have noticed lately a rush to remove the Confederate Flag from public & private spaces on the grounds that Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof was shown in photo waving the Confederate flag.

The argument is removing of the Confederate flag from any place of honor becomes a simple matter of honoring those murdered at a Charleston Bible study by a man who visibly waved it.

Well one of those who vocally supported said removal Mr. DeRay McKesson was at a protest in Charleston lately.   WISTV covered it:

Images of a flag burning incident at Marion Square in downtown Charleston over the weekend has ignited controversy across social media platforms.

DeRay McKesson, a civil rights activist with WeTheProtesters.org, posted photos and video on his Twitter page Sunday showing a group of people in Marion Square burning the American and Confederate flags.

WeTheProtesters lists McKesson as a member of its planning team, and the Founder and Co-Editor of the Ferguson Protester Newsletter.

and Mr. McKesson put out some tweets from it

I found that photo fascinating because apparently not only does Mr. McKesson’s group seems to not only have the same opinion of the US flag as Mr. Roof

dylann-roof-spitting-american-flag-640x479

But they apparently believe in directly mimicking his actions:

dylan-roof-website-photo-flag-burning (1)So I have a question for all of those on TV that have been self righteously telling us that because Young Mr. Roof waved the Confederate flag that flag must go, Gone with the Wind must go, and even games about the civil war must all go to honor those he murdered.

Since Mr. Roof’s mass murder suddenly made any association with the Confederate Flag beyond the pale of respectability should we not also consider the group We the Protesters and Mr. McKesson also beyond the pale since they not only copied the exact actions of this mass murder but did so proudly and in public just outside the building where one of the victims was lying in state?

Because their actions suggest this observation from Sweetness & light is exactly correct:

Well, we know that Dylann Roof would have approved of the burning of the American flag. (Since he did so himself.) But that’s probably just one of the many similarities he shares with Mr. Mckesson.

I’d love to see the media members who have given Mr. McKesson credibility answer that question and have all those who have expressed support for his group answer this question but I suspect that will not happen anywhere this side of the 2nd coming.

Update: It goes without saying that those actions are protected by the first amendment the question isn’t if said actions should be illegal, it’s if said actions mean the group should be embraced by the media and the left.

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All over TV today we saw Walmart declaring they were pulling the confederate flag because it was a symbol of hate, slavery and many were offended by it.

eBay, Sears, and Amazon quickly followed suit in pulling items with the rebel battle flag.

Now while no honest person will deny what the Reb flag meant to black Americans (and not just during the Civil War but during the years of Jim Crow & the civil rights battle) and can understand why these companies would want to remove a symbol involved with slavery & Murder Imagine my surprise when I went online & found this:

ussr1

and this:

che1

and this at WalMart’s site:

soviet2

and Amazon

soviet3

 

Now there are millions of people who were slain under these banners, and hundreds of millions in many countries enslaved under them.  There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of Americans alive today who escaped the bearers of these flags and those who operated in their name.  In my first job out of college I worked with a man who escaped the Soviet Union and even today people in Ukraine are suffering thank to a Russian Leader who once proudly served under these flags.

So this begs two questions one of which I already asked:

#1.  Given that Walmart & others have removed the Confederate Flag from their sites because of its historic connection to slavery that gives offense, how do they justify continuing to carry these products when hundreds of thousands have living memory of the atrocities committed in their name including the deaths of tens of millions?

#2  Given the media publicity concerning the removal of the Confederate Flag items from these stores will the MSM,  particularly CNN directly question if WalMart, Sears, Amazon and eBay will be as diligent in removing these offensive items, and if the companies equivocate in any way will they ask why the tens of millions who died and the hundreds of millions who were enslaved IN LIVING MEMORY these things do not demand their removal?

Or must we wait until the 21st century when the Cold War has been over for 150 years for their removal?

Update: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit:

“I wouldn’t put Confederate kitsch up in my house, but mainstream media figure Claire Shipman and former Obama press secretary Jay Carney put up Communist kitsch in their house. There is something intriguing about how the elite left tolerates art celebrating those who killed 100 million people in the last century, but seeks the erasure of anything associated with the Confederacy.”

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Before I even get started let’s make a few things clear.

1.  While I’ve lived my whole life in Massachusetts.  I have no dog in the Confederate Battle Flag fight, my people came here in the early 20th century.  I have no ancestors who fought on either side of the Civil War and I don’t give a damn what South Carolina does or doesn’t decorate the grave of their ancestors with.

2.  Anyone who tells you the Civil War was not about slavery is lying to themselves.  Simply read the Newspapers of the time and you will see this was issue #1.  If twitter existed in the 1850’s you would find Democrat using the same language to defend slavery that you see them use to defend abortion today.

3.  There are a lot of holier than thou people here in the North who look down on Southern Whites, in fact it’s my experience that the only people they look down further on than southern whites are blacks .

4.  The only thing more delusional than pretending the civil war wasn’t about slavery is to act as if Black Americans do not have a legitimate reason to consider the Confederate flag offensive.

5.  That being said this entire flag issue is not about justice it’s about taking advantage of a murderous rampage to score political points by opportunists who need to engage their base prior to an election.  It’s Trayvon Martin circa 2016. If the left thought there were more votes in keeping said flag they’d be marching to protect it.

 

All of the above notwithstanding it’s clearly apparent that the Confederate Flag is coming down from the monument on the Statehouse grounds in SC but the real story will be the pressure that will come to have it removed from anywhere it appears.

That being so I have a modest suggestion for those who don’t want to give the left an easy win.

If we are rightly going to say that the Confederate Battle Flag should be removed because of its connection to the propagation of slavery I submit and suggest that we go a step further.

I think that any ban on the confederate flag at, for example, a school or a state location should also be expanded to ban the flag of the old Soviet Union which was directly responsible for the murder of tens of millions of people.  I would also call for a ban of Che T-Shirts and any other communist symbols.

I would go so far as to say that all of these symbols should be banned together, after all what kind of message is it for us to embrace one symbol of slavery & murder while embracing others?  Particularly since unlike slavery when ended 150 years ago in the US the acts of the Soviets & Che are still in living memory in fact people are still being tortured, oppressed and slain under communism in this present day.

I think I would really enjoy watching Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders hedge on Che and the Soviets, and I think it would be a lot of fun to watch the same academics who are self righteously beating their breasts over the rebel flag start making excuses for the Soviets and the other mass murders that they have cheerfully embraced.

If you’re going to ban one racist symbol, ban them all, it’s for the children.

Update:  A pretty good speech by Nikki Haley but it hit me.  The flag is flying over a monument not over the statehouse.  why don’t they just move the monument that the flag flies over?