From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Aug 16, 2011
Subject: Deo Vindice in Lexington!
Dear Mr. Edgerton,
I’m too old for schoolboy crushes on starlets and there are few men or women of note in the world I think I could get all excited about meeting. But I am very much looking forward to hearing you in Lexington, Virginia on September 1. I have been an admirer for some time and have enjoyed your various appearances as logged on YouTube.
Sir, you have my deepest and utmost respect and gratitude, both as a Christian brother and as my fellow American patriot. I am so grateful for your courage in holding forth the truth you have studied, digested and taken to heart. It would be so easy to keep that wisdom to yourself and avoid what must be frequent grief given for your stand.
As I have watched the local "controversy" build, I have looked upon September 1 with mostly dread. Your scheduled appearance has redeemed that date with something to look forward to and I thank you for that, as well.
I am not a member of any group. If I am a descendant of Confederate (or Union) veterans, I haven’t yet done the geneaology to discover it. My thoughts and my voice are my own and represent no one else. I fear that the local defenders of this cause are despondent, tired, battle-weary. In these times there is a sense of regination to an inevitable defeat. The local fuss originated in the halls of academia and the good people of this county allow pedigreed ignorance to intimidate them into silence. Self-conscious about wading into battle against "educated" professionals, it is too easy to hold their beliefs and their tongues alike. They know the media will be scanning for angry faces and loud voices, will do their best to caricature everyone with an understanding of their Southern heritage as beer-bellied, racist rednecks.
I’m no one special myself. But I am unwilling to concede the fight or yield the field to an arrogant clique of modern day carpetbaggers who are decidedly in the wrong. Their "credentials" don’t impress me at all and I am certainly not intimidated by educators who have the paperwork to prove they’ve been brainwashed. Because they are wrong they can be defeated. Because they are arrogant and condescending, their fall will be the harder. Because we are right, we must prevail, but prevailing will be God’s part; ours is to fight all the good fights and commit the victory to His hands. I do not buy into the "fighting a losing battle" mentality that writes off 150 years of honor as another "lost cause" because the other side has a degree in intolerance and the diploma to prove it. I would like to see our side throwing them back on the defence. It can be done, they do deserve it and it is high time to stop tactically retreating. We will never compromise our way to victory.
You may wish to check out the local editorials in the Lexington News-Gazette and Rockbridge Weekly, Sir. They will clue you in on the local temperament and tone of things before you arrive. It will provide some useful recon to prevent an ambush. One loud local voice is that of a local business owner, a Black V.M.I. alumnist and former Marine who has repeatedly said there are 3 flags he hopes never to see flying in downtown Lexington: the Nazi swastika, the Japanese rising sun and the Confederate flag. The same gentleman was largely responsible for keeping Lexington from becoming the site of a branch of the Museum of the Confederacy some years back. You can find video footage of Al Hockaday from that battle online.
Rockbridge County has one other news publication, the monthly Rockbridge Advocate. It has the smallest circulation of the three newspapers and is edited by a Washington & Lee alumnist with a decided bent. In May, the editor published an editorial I wrote on the topic. He must have thought I’d done a pretty good job of embarrassing myself and discrediting my cause because he printed it in its entirety, unedited. And it took four pages of his newspaper.
Again, as background for your visit, so you have an awareness of what has already been exchanged publicly in the press, I am attaching the text of my editorial for you. It was answered in the June edition and I will attach that relevant response also in order for you to see where the dust settled on that exchange. If the town means to avoid all offenses, they might begin by not impugning the integrity of honorable citizens with their tacit implication of closet racism simply because they, unlike their false accusers, are historically literate.
Once more, Sir, thank you so much for agreeing to come to Lexington and for your consistent courage. I hear through the grapevine that "some of the city council are changing their minds" from supporting to opposing the proposed ordinance. Not from any reconsideration of the Confederate flag or the Sons, but because the ordinance as written would exclude flags and banners from W&L and V.M.I. The rumor is that we don’t yet have a majority, but one or two are rethinking their support for the ordinance. I don’t know if any of that is accurate. Things have become so polarized that pride will make it hard for any to back away from the hard line already adopted.
But when wasn’t the Southern side outnumbered, outgunned and outsupplied? The issue has never been "Can we win?" but "Is it right?"
God bless you, Sir. And I do not say that as a trite throwaway greeting. My prayer to God is for His blessing upon you for being the man He has created and called you to be in this hour. Welcome to Lexington and to our hearts. Thank you so much!
Sherwin W. Dillard, Jr.
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