Friday, July 28, 2006

In his blast at all supporters of Confederate heritage, Mr. Turner appears to be somewhat confused, and he has left out a few facts. Perhaps I can clarify a few things.

First of all, Mr. Turner implies that a belief that slavery is immoral indicates an absence of racism. It is a pity that this is not true, for if it were, we would no longer have to deal with the problem of racism anywhere in America. It is a fact that a belief in white supremacy was more the rule than the exception in all of America prior to the conflict, and persisted well into the twentieth century in most of the nation. By today’s more enlightened standards, Abraham Lincoln, along with most Americans of his time, would be considered a virulent racist. There were also a number of slaveholders in the Union army; notable among these was Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Does Mr. Turner think the Confederates were more racist, hence deserving of more opprobrium? If so, I would point out to him that being a little bit racist is like being a little bit pregnant-one either is, or is not. By modern standards, the typical Union soldier was every bit as racist as his Confederate counterpart. Of course, men of the nineteenth century ought not be judged by the standards of the twenty-first. I believe Mr. Turner is at least as confused and naive on this point as he believes we who honor our Confederate ancestors are. I will omit comparison to his other remark about us. I do not hate, and do not insult those with whom I disagree.

Mr. Turner indicates that the seceding states were “chock-full of plantations”. Those owning such plantations comprised about one percent of the population on the Confederacy; if one includes those who owned even a single slave, the total is about 6 percent. For what did the other 94 percent of the population fight? To defend their homeland from an invading army, perhaps? Mr. Turner himself suggests that his knowledge of history might be somewhat limited. Perhaps some further study of the period in question might disabuse him of the fallacious idea that the “Late Unpleasantness” can be reduced to a simplistic morality play, whose protagonists were the “virtuous” North and the “evil” South.

As to the odious comparison to Nazi Germany, where in the Confederacy were the concentration camps dedicated to the extermination of an entire people? There were none. The United States, however, still has some “concentration camps” of a sort, known as “Indian Reservations”. The two genocides of America were the systematic extermination of most Native Americans, and the infamous “Middle Passage” of the slave trade. Both occurred under the flag of the United States of America, not that of the Confederacy.

The KKK and similar groups have no rightful claim to Confederate heritage or to the Battle Flag. Their “official flag” is the U.S. flag. They are a disgrace to both, and to any other flag they choose to fly.

We have an oversupply of intolerance in this land. To demonize the history and cherished symbols of others may give to some a sense of smug self-righteousness, but it educates no one, uplifts no one, feeds and clothes no one, and gives dignity to no one. It is a demonstration of bigotry, and bigotry, of whatever form, from whatever source, and at whoever directed, is never a constructive thing.

Therefore, I will continue to remember the courage, devotion, honor and sacrifice of my Confederate ancestors, and proudly place on their graves the Battle Flag under which they served. I will continue to defend from defamation the good name of men no longer here to defend themselves. If that offends Mr. Turner, or anyone else, I am sorry, and offer my humble advice: Get over it!

Bill Stubbs

Columbia, S.C.

You Sir are the idiot,you obviously haven’t read much history, slavery wasn’t an issue in the War for Southern Independence until well into the war and that was by the Emancipation Proclamation that only freed the slaves in the South with Lincoln hoping to create an uprising because you obviously don’t know the north was getting whipped by our Southern fighting men, the northern slaves wasnt freed until AFTER the War,read some history before you start trying to tell any Southerner or Copperhead that his/her battle Flag doesnt honour their ancestors, My Flags aint comin down and morons like you sure aint gonna get them either. Im usually more kind in defending my Southern Heritage but when idiots like you come along I cant seem to do that.Idiot!!!

James Honeycutt

Major General

Southern Confederate Front;Alabama Division

Confederate Society Of America

The recent venomous rant by young Charlie Turner against the Southern Cross is an excellent example of not only the complete failure of the public education system but also of the unchecked Hate-Speech practiced by the PC-Nazis of the New American Left. I would suggest that rather than wasting his time (and ours) by working as an intern that young Mr Turner would best serve himself by enrolling in a balanced history class or a class which teaches basic civics and 19th Century American Politics.

My suggestion would possibly prevent Mr. Turner from making statements in the future which make him look like an ignorant/bigoted fool.

Deo Vindice

William Potter

ScotWatch International

I was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in Slidell, La. My relatives lived near New Athens, OH and claimed to be related to U.S. Grant. When I see some college kid write a truly ignorant column based on the confederate flag, it makes my blood boil. The reasons for the war were many. You and I both know there were more reasons than slavery. To hear the same propaganda promoted by the politically correct crowd really saddens me. New stations, papers, etc. are supposed to expose the truth, not promote propaganda. Please do a better job at filtering out the trash and give us the truth.

Kraig Stasney

I read the article published by Mr. Turner, who saw to it that he would defame and degrade my family’s heritage with his article about ‘Confederate flag no longer a sign of heritage’ dated July 21, 2006. While I respect his right to submit whatever he sees fit in your paper as an intern, and try to fit in with his idea of what he believes to be the media agenda to be as politically correct as possible, he has instead chosen to attack an entire culture of the Southern United States with his name calling, and stereo-type casting of the southern people. It would seem that he was very angry about the “Kerry lost-get over it” bumper sticker which made him lose perspective on what he should be doing, writing objective articles. He readily admits that he learns his history from a Hollywood movie, as opposed to doing research before libeling an entire people as racist simply because they choose to honor their heritage by flying a Confederate battle flag. He apparently needs another course in U.S. history so he might learn that 1) Slavery was legal all over the country and practiced all over the country before and during the War between the States. 2) Slavery was not abolished until December 1865 – months after the war ended. 3) The Emancipation Proclamation did not free 1 slave anywhere, it was just a cheap political move to keep Europe out of the war. 4) Lincoln was no friend of the black race. Demonstrated by numerous quotes made by the 16nth President. 5) The North had not only slavery, but enforced “The Black Codes” in all the Northern states.

It would seem that Mr. Turner has wasted either his money or his parent’s money on a limited education that would seem to imply that America’s journalism schools are not teaching what they ought to be, and that is to be an impartial observer, recorder, and reporter of the facts, not to go out and change the world. I would suggest that if Mr. Turner wishes to change the world, he might want to go back to school and get a poli-sci degree, and then try to win a public office where he can try to effect change through a legislative process.

If Mr. Turner was as incensed as he claims and had any intestinal fortitude he would have told that driver of the”offending” vehicle what he thought, but it appears that he has taken the coward’s way out and attacked, degraded, and defamed an entire culture of the United States by writing his uninformed opinion in a newspaper. It is a shame that he has put another black mark against what use to be a noble and honorable profession. If the journalism schools are teaching this tactic as acceptable, then subscriptions to the written media will continue to fall off, as we have seen at the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and others.

John Jeffers

Ingleside, Ill.

The Oxford Press is evidently unaware that the Confederate soldiers who revered their battle flags were white, black, American Indian (like my Confederate ancestor and General Stand Watie), Hispanics, Jews (such as Confederate Secretary of War Judah Benjamin), Filipinos (an entire company of a Louisiana infantry regiment), and yes, even women! Documented cases exist of over 400 women who disguised their gender and enlisted to fight.

Less than ten percent of Confederate soldiers ever owned a slave. Although slavery was definitely a cause of the war, it was not the sole cause, and most men and women didn’t fight for that reason.

Yes, the battle flag has been hijacked by racist hate groups. So has the USA flag, which is actually the KKK’s official flag, and the Christian flag, used by the Aryan Nation. Should we ban them too?

Confederate descendents fly the battle flag to honor the sacrifices made by their ancestors. We are ethnically diverse, and are equally outraged that our history and symbols have been misused by hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klun.

Last month I stood with other Confederate descendents and reenactors at Sharpsburg, Maryland, to protest the KKK’s rally at Antietam National Battlefield. We will be present again on September 2 when the KKK rallies at Gettysburg, to tell the world that no, racist hate groups do NOT represent Confederate heritage, they do NOT represent southerners, and they do NOT represent Americans. I invite the Oxford Press reporters to come and see who those “racist, redneck idiots” who fly battle flags really are…..proud Americans who hate racism too.

Reverend Helaina Hinson

Benson, N.C.

The article Confederate flag no longer a sign of heritage is a perfect example of history by rhetoric. The young intern that wrote this article admits to having taken a history listen a long time ago and even then it sounds as if it was little more than a 101 class. His article was insulting and frankly an embracing example of today’s youth and their knowledge of history. Considering that this is the age of enlightenment, when will this nations youth get on board and stop being the sounding board of dummied down history by rhetoric. If your going to write about something, than as an up and coming columnist, dig deeper my friend.

I don’t think that the term racists even existed in any dictionary during 1861 and considering the times, most white people, North and South felt they we’re superior. That includes Abraham Lincoln by his own writings. The Confederacy and it’s flags only lasted for four years. The slave trade existed in exclusively in Northern ports for ninety years.

I think that this young man has a problem with the constitution as it stood in 1861 and with many of the original principles of our founding fathers of this nation, especially Thomas Jefferson.

Mark Lamb

West Palm Beach, Fla.

Charlie Turner, needs educated and a lesson in…What’s that word?…Oh yea!…diversity, for he sounds like a bigot…Is he a member of the negro klan?…Sure sounds like one…Shame on him!

They have chosen the Southern white as the focal scapegoat of our time. This in, politics, media, comics, literature, film and television; dealing with religion, race relations, work and lifestyle in defining Southern whites. The Southron which represents faith, country, pride of heritage, hard work, kinship loyalty, traditional values and way of life is being trampled on by “those people” that hate us so.

America’s South is losing it’s regional distinctiveness by progress, the PC crowd and appeasement of minorities. Society is demoralizing the Southern people through typecasting as stupid, rednecks and hillbilly’s. Yet America is destroying a part of itself that should have been left alone, let go, explored and listened to. Because of the guilt and questioning which his/her existence creates in the world of the un-Godly, do-gooders and PCer’s. Many Southron feel inadequate and orphaned in their own land!!!

“Those people” preach we should practice tolerance. Well I think we have practiced too much tolerance for too long!!! We have been so tolerant we are losing our past and future! We have let our children become second class citizens in their schools. They have been forced to be ashamed of themselves and their heritage! If we do not correct this, they will grow-up never knowing the truth and our future as a distinct ethnic people is doomed!

The Confederate Battle Flag With The “St Andrews Cross” was not the only Confederate Battle Flag, but She was the most known and used late in that great war. She is the most, hated, debated, misrepresented and beloved of all Confederate symbols. She has been tarnished by groups as the, naacp “by way of slander”, kkk, aryan nation, skinheads, neo nazi, white supremacy clowns…Just to name a few. She was not a national flag, nor was She a politician’s flag, and most defiantly not a flag of hate!…”She was a soldier’s flag” a banner of courage, honour and a call to duty. She was a rallying point for battling warriors. Many died to keep Her safe and out of enemy hands, this Flag was stained with the blood of our Southron patriots. Last, and most important…SHE WAS AN AMERICAN FLAG!!

As Southron, we owe it to ourselves and noble ancestry to protect Her and hold her in reverence. We must stand up to “Those People” that slander Her, for that slander is slander toward us and our past. We must never let our past be removed from our future.

Tommy Aaron

Chattanooga, Tenn.

If you consider that nearly all historians agree that fewer than 10% of all citizens of the Confederate States of America owned slaves, and that everyone from the Congress to the President would do anything to keep the Union intact, it appears you could make a case for the War Between the States was like every other war, it was over money!

President Lincoln in his first inaugural address spent half his address saying he had no problem with Slavery where it now existed, he was against it being spread any farther in new States or Territories.

Were I student intern I would be ashamed to write an editorial based on what he had heard rather than what he researched himself. The part of the editorial where he left rational thought behind and compared, though indirectly, the Swastika with the Confederate Battle Flag displays a total lack of sensitivity to the Jewish Race. Unless the Student can furnish details on where Southern Concentration Camps were located, and where Negroes were wholesale exterminated, he has committed a serious journalistic faux paux. Slavery was a legal institution at that time in history, and most Slave owners anywhere in the world treated their slaves like family. Just like the rest of human nature there were bad slave owners who mistreated slaves, but they were in the minority.

In closing, it is totally inappropriate for anyone to tell anyone else what a symbol means to them. My GG Grandfather served in the Confederate Congress, and on the other side of my family my GG Grandfather was a Cherokee who fought under Cherokee General Stand Waite. My family marched with the Freedom Marchers from Chattanooga Tenn to Birmingham Al in 1963 and were visited by the folks in pointy headed sheets who objected to our activity on behalf of our Christian Black Brothers and Sisters who sought only equality in education. I am a disabled Vietnam Vet who flies the 3rd National Flag of the Confederacy 3 inches lower than I do the US Flag. When you have lived as long as I have and suffered as much as my family has, then you might have the right to tell me what you think is a symbol of my Heritage, but you would never have the right to tell me I’m wrong about honoring my ancestors by flying a flag they were willing to die for.

Rev. Dr. William H. Swann

Living Waters Evangelical Ministries

Marietta, Ga.

As you admit your ignorance concerning the” War for Southern Independence”,by stating that you have not taken a history lesson in some time, you must not have studied hard enough the last lesson you did have. We do not understand why everyone has such a problem with a symbol, if you are an educated person you will know that a symbol can do no harm, and it is the people and words that they use, along with the actions that they act out, that cause the problems. You infer that the Confederate Battle Flag implies the lynching of blacks and or other non-white peoples of America. Will you supply to me one picture of the Confederate Battle Flag in the back ground, or the foreground for that matter that shows a person being lynched? You may be able to show me a picture of a Klan rally but i do not think you will be able to produce on depicting a lynching. You are spreading false implications about the Confederate Battle Flag. It would be an easier task for you to find a racist Klan rally, and or lynching, showing a stars & stripes union flag.

My ancestors did not fight the “War for Southern Independence” in order to prolong slavery, and lincoln did not free any slaves with his emancipation proclamation, check the weight of the document with the realities of the times. No slaves were freed in the north as a result and the Confederacy did not recognize any lincoln proclamation in the South.

I fly the Confederate Battle Flag, for two reasons. One to remember my ancestor and his fight for Independence from the union government and two it is my right under the Constitution, (free speech) as is your right to write your poison for a few dollars and recognition as a cubby recruit writer.

Remember this: The more you try to prevent the appearance of the Confederate Battle Flag, the MORE you will see it. Until “you people” stop trying to dictate what is hurtful and condescending in order to black male and extort in the guise of civil rights, this self imposed problem you have inflected society with will only get bigger. “You People” can never leave well enough alone, you must always be picking at the scab, that is trying to heal from the wounds YOU and your ancestor government inflected on this country, by invading a nation that only wished to be left alone

LG Cogar

Capt,

Hunter’s Arizona Rangers

Camp 1202 Tucson

In response to your editorial “Confederate Flag No Longer A Sign Of Heritage” By Charlie Turner, Intern Perspective, Friday, July 21, 2006, it is obvious that credibility and accuracy are traits no longer required for journalists or the young and ignorant “useful idiots” they employ (I’ll let you figure out where the term “useful idiots” originated if you have the historical savvy). It is obvious that the “Kerry Lost” sticker is what inspired this intern to write this article. Mr. Turner, with his self-proclaimed “superior intellect” and “superior progressive liberal thinking” assumes that because this person drives a rusty truck with a Confederate flag that he is obviously an inferior being. (I have a rusty old truck that I could hang my M.A. in Political Science Diploma in to go with my SCV sticker on the back.) Does Mr. Turner have HIS Master’s Degree yet? His article has only demonstrated the clear liberal bias combined with the inability to state facts that exists in the media today.

Now I will give a little history lesson based on “fact” (you journalists should take time and look that word up since you are struggling with it). The article stated that the War Between the States (1861-1865) was “fought to free the slaves.” I will say that slavery was AN issue but not THE issue. According to the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution passed by the Senate on July 25, 1861, “the war was being waged for the reunion of the states, and not to abolish the south’s “peculiar institution” of slavery.” Who can say the Union was fighting to abolish slavery?

If slavery was THE issue why did the southern states not stay in the union since the first proposed “13th Amendment” to the Constitution was adopted by Congress March 2, 1861 as shown below?

“No Amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any state, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.” —Joint Resolution of Congress, Adopted March 2, 1861

Slavery would have been protected by this amendment. Guess enough of the “Northern” states condoned slavery to pass this resolution.

If slavery was THE issue one would think it would have been easy to pass the 13th Amendment (as it reads today) abolishing slavery since the “slave states” had seceded and had no representatives in Congress. If the Union was fighting the war to abolish slavery and really wanted to abolish slavery why was it not abolished by Constitutional Amendment until December 6, 1865 with the ratification of the present 13th Amendment?

Finally, the Emancipation Proclamation was nothing but a political ploy by Abraham Lincoln in an attempt to create uprisings amongst slaves in the South. If he had been serious about abolishing slavery he would have freed the slaves in ALL states instead of just slaves in “the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States” (Emancipation Proclamation).

Another point I would like to make in defense of many Confederate soldiers is that the vast majority were not slaveholders. Mr. Turner states that he watched “Gettysburg.” Perhaps he missed the part at the end where it showed “Pickett’s Charge” on the third and final day of the battle. I cannot believe that roughly 12,000 men, many barefoot (if they were barefoot how could they afford slaves?), could line up shoulder-to-shoulder and march across a mile of open field into murderous musket and double canister cannon fire (a huge ”shotgun”) because they hated blacks and loved slavery. The firing was so intense that more than 800 bullet and shrapnel holes were counted on one single rail from a fence on the Emmitsburg Road. While I am sure slavery was a big issue for plantation owners who had many slaves, again I cannot believe that the average Southerner was fighting to preserve slavery.

To quote Mr. Turner again he states, “Mr. Truck Driver would probably say something along the lines of, ‘That flag doesn’t represent hate — it’s part of my heritage. My great grandpappy died fighting for that flag.’” and, “Well, good for him — your ‘great grandpappy’ was racist.” All I can say is that Charlie Turner must be the oldest intern on the planet in order to have met “Mr. Truck Driver’s” “Great Grandpappy” and thus know that he “was racist.” Mr. Turner, who are YOU to judge anyone, and what makes you think that all Confederates are racists? I guess you never heard of The New York Draft Riot of July 13, 1863 (I am not surprised since “facts” are non-existent in your imaginary world). It seems New Yorkers, since they were Northerners “fighting to free the slaves,” were so tolerant, open-minded, and loved blacks so much that they killed more than thirty of them and even hung and burned the body of a coachman during the riots. New Yorkers also burned a black orphanage which further demonstrates that northerners maybe cared less for blacks than they claim. So ends the claim of Northerners not being racist and “fighting to end slavery.”

As far as “getting over it,” people like Intern Turner are the ones keeping the conflict going today. Southerners want to be left alone to live they way they want. They have no interest in how the rest of the country lives until it invades their living rooms or a group of self-centered liberals, much like those who seem to have trouble “getting over” the fact they lost the last two presidential elections, start calling them “racists” and publicly attack symbols of their history and culture. Many fly the Confederate flag today to honor their ancestors. Many fly the Confederate flag as a way of telling self-proclaimed “cultural elitists” (liberals) like Mr. Turner that they refuse to bow to you or anyone else as their ancestors refused. Those of us with Confederate ancestors believe in our freedom as they did, and will not have our freedom to express our feelings stifled by Washington, New York, Hollywood, or media/journalist hacks like you. Many others and I will continue to honor our ancestors with or without your “approval”. It is our right! Thus endeth the lesson!

Daniel A. Price

A.J. Ringo Camp #1509

New Castle, Ind

The Civil War or War Between the States was fought over States Rights until your Mr. Lincoln brought up slavery to use in his re-election.

My whole family had people who fought for the CSA and anyone should be proud of their past family ties, I know that I am and will be always. So you ‘get over it’ and let history be history.

Bill Peace

Mabank, Texas 75147

Mr. Turner Intern Perspective, or is that just Mr. Turner, is the one who needs to “Get over it.” His prejudice is showing, exhibited by his generalized statement about those of us who put Confederate Battle Flag stickers on our cars and then associating us who would do such a terrible thing with the KKK. How ignorant, asinine and prejudicial can one person be. Who does Mr. Turner Intern think he is. Mr. Turner acts like he is the guru of American culture, spouting what is in the mind of a Southerner when he dares celebrate his history, heritage, and culture. Mr. Turner is the one that needs to get over it and, while he is at it, get an education. Oh yeah, I forgot, being an intern is suppose to educate you. Ain’t worked yet but there is always hope.

Well, here’s something he can write down in his notes, we Southerners who value our heritage, put stickers on our cars, and fly the Battle Flag are not all bigots but if I go by what I read in Mr. Turner’s article, all interns are. Ranting a raving about the way we want to do things won’t help you, we will do what we want relative to our heritage, and there is nothing anyone can do about it, so, GET OVER IT!

Nick Cleghorn

Chattanooga, Tenn.

All of this dumping on Confederate flags is just plain wrong. They are just historical flags. We don’t dump on the flags of other former enemies of the US government, e.g., the flags of Great Britain, Mexico, Spain, Japan, and Germany.

Also, the slavery thing is overdone. The North had slavery too, and the North and most of the seafaring nations of Europe were major participants in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. There were several causes of the Civil War other than just slavery. Actually, secession hurt rather than helped the interests of the slaveowners. An English publication of the time said something like, “if slavery were the sole or even just the principal issue, the behavior of the South would not just be unreasonable but would be unintelligible.”

Larry Fafarman

Los Angeles, Calif.

© 2006 Cox Ohio Publishing

On The Web: http://www.oxfordpress.com/opinion/content/news/opinion/stories/2006/07/28/op072806confederateweb.html