Another Update

By Roger McCredie

At the end of last month’s listing of assaults on Southern heritage and culture I mentioned that the ethnic cleansing of our region had now become a matter of public policy. That was a reference to the National Park Service’s new, improved, it’s-all-about-slavery-anyway interpretation of WBTS military history, coming soon to a battlefield near you.

But if December saw our cultural holocaust given official governmental approval, January has seen it actually become a major plank in the platform of the Democratic Party. Predictably this has led to a whole rash of related actions and incidents; meanwhile, on another part of the field, the NAACP, energized by the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday and gearing up for Black History Month, continues to rattle its saber in the business, political and educational sectors, with predictable results.

Ready to review January? Me neither, but let’s hold our noses and forge ahead.

January 9 — It is discovered that Prof. Jonathan Farley, the Vanderbilt professor who aired his venomous hatred of Southerners and their heritage in the Nashville newspaper, has departed to take a post at MIT which he had already accepted at the time he wrote his attack. In other words, he already knew when he submitted his screed for publication that, beyond the first wave of indignation, he would not have to live with the consequences of it. (Farley was invited to defend and elaborate on his remarks in a student government-sponsored forum, but was a no-show.)

January 11 — Rep. Richard Gephart, D-MO, having declared himself in the running for his party’s ‘ 04 presidential nomination.comes to Columbia, SC, to sniff the political wind. A reporter asks him for his stance on the Confederate flag "issue" in South Carolina. Gephart at first sidesteps the question. James Gallman, head of the South Carolina NAACP, tells him to put up or shut up. Later that day, Gephart obediently issues a statement calling the flag "a hurtful, divisive symbol" that "has no place flying anywhere, in any state in this country."

January 11 — It is announced that The Rev. Joe Darby, Vice President of the South Carolina NAACP, will deliver the invocation at the inauguration of that state’s incoming Governor. In his NAACP capacity, Darby has helped spearhead that organization’s Confederate flag-based economic boycott of South Carolina.

January 12 — 2000 Vice Presidential loser Sen. Joe Lieberman, having declared himself in the running for his party’s ‘ 04 presidential nomination, comes to Columbia, SC, to sniff the political wind. On arrival he issues a statement proclaiming the Confederate flag "divisive" and says it should not be flown officially.

January 13 — Democratic Oklahoma State Rep. Kevin Cox says that the Confederacy "tried to overthrow the United States Government" and calls Native Americans from the Five Civilized Tribes who served in the Confederate Army "traitors and terrorists."

January 14 — County Commissioners of Blount County, AL, order fellow Commissioner (and SCV member) R.C. Smith to remove a sign that says "Confederate Drive" from the driveway of Smith’s county office. The Commissioners also order the removal of a small Confederate flag which Smith placed at the Confederate memorial on the Courthouse lawn, and forbid Confederate symbols on County vehicles, which includes the battle flag sticker Smith sports on his truck’s toolbox. As his fellow Commissioners vote on the issue, Smith calls them "a bunch of wimps." A deputy sheriff is directed to shadow him for the rest of the meeting.

January 14 — Less than 48 hours after Gephart’s and Lieberman’s remarks in South Carolina, Confederate flags are removed from two Missouri historic sites: the Confederate memorial and cemetery near Higginsville and the Fort Davidson/Pilot Knob battlefield. The flags are removed under orders from the Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources director Steve Mahfood. Missouri Gov. Bob Holden says he "endorses Mahfood’s decision" but in fact the evidence is that the order to strike the flags came directly from Holden, a Democrat who once worked for Gephart.

January 16 — In the opening phase of the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s suit against Vanderbilt University, lawyers for the university move to have the names of those who sought to change the name of Confederate Memorial Hall placed "under seal" — that is, kept secret. The presiding judge, who is black, denies the motion.

January 20 — A crowd of about 3,500 (media estimates) stages a two-hour rally in Columbia, SC, to demand the removal of the Confederate flag from the State House grounds. A featured speaker is self proclaimed presidential hopeful the Rev. Al Sharpton.

January 20 — North Carolina Democratic Sen. John Edwards, having declared himself in the running for his party’s ‘ 04 presidential nomination, comes to … you guessed it. Edwards says the Confederate Flag must come down and that he supports the NAACP’s economic boycott of South Carolina until the flag is in fact removed. A millionaire lawyer, Edwards shows solidarity with the boycott by staying in private residences during his Columbia sojourn.

January 21 — Cape Coral, Florida, newspaper reader Lance Mikusek, Sr., exercises his right to free speech by writing, in a letter to the editor, that Robert E. Lee was "a murdering traitor, " adding, "the bum should have swung from a rope."

January 24 — New Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue tells a town hall meeting he feels a straw vote on the Georgia flag would be "racially healing". Such an informal poll would have no binding effect and seems to indicate a retreat by Perdue from his campaign promise to restore the 1956 (real) Georgia flag — a promise largely responsible for his victory over incumbent Gov.Roy Barnes, who helped engineer the back room 2001 flag change. Some erstwhile Perdue supporters begin to feel sold out.

January 24 — The management of Bonita Lakes Mall in Meridian, Mississippi, bans mall merchant Roger Timmerman from selling Dixie Outfitters T-shirts and other clothing displaying Confederate symbols. Bonita Lakes Mall is owned by the same property group which evicted merchants from its malls in Mobile and Huntsville, AL, for selling the same items. The NAACP patrolled and lodged complaints against the Alabama malls, which Dixie Outfitters President Dewey Barber led to the merchants’ evictions.

January 25 — Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, Jr., demands that the National Park Service investigate the non-profit status of the so-called United States Historical Society, which has been selling miniatures of the statue for $900 each, supposedly to defray cost of erecting the main statue. Goode takes his action after reviewing material from SCV Virginia Division Commander Brag Bowling and an anonymous website which documents, in great detail, the fact that the United States Historical Society is in fact a for-profit stock corporation. Officers of the Historical Society call the issue "a misunderstanding."

So there you have it. They’re no longer chipping away at the soul of the South. Now they’re blasting. And all I have left to say is what I said to an SCV member who, upon hearing the news of Dick Gephart’s race-pandering in Columbia, wrote to demand that somebody come forward and do something:

Stop waiting for "somebody" to come forward. We’re all Somebody. Go do something.

Roger W. McCredie is a marketing communications consultant in Asheville, North Carolina. He is the immediate past Chief of Heritage Defense and a current member of the National Heritage Defense Commitee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, in which he has also served as a Camp Commander and a Brigade Commander. He has been twice awarded both the SCV’s Distinguished Service Medal and its Heritage Defense Medal. He is the founder of the Clan Stewart Society in America and in 1991 was made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. At present he is finishing a book, The Whipping Boy: The South in Contemporary America, which deals with today’s Southern cultural holocaust.

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