From: Mailing List <>
Date: Mon, Apr 4, 2011

[SLRC Update] [Fwd: Nine-year-old reply to lady who didn’t get it is even more relevant today] To:


Ed. Note:  A few days before Memorial Day in 2002, a Sons of Confederate Veterans camp received the following e-mail from a lady who apparently had been receiving the camp’s newsletters.  Her post was eventually forwarded to Roger McCredie, who had not yet joined the staff of the Southern Legal Resource Center but was the SCV’s immediate past Chief of Heritage Defense, and McCredie answered on his own initiative.  His reply is particularly relevant now, almost a decade later, as the runaway train of political correctness that already characterizes the nation’s sesquicentennial observance of the War Between the States threatens to
overrun Confederate history and heritage.  Here is the lady’s original e-mail …

I am on your mailing list by default I think, but read with interest the various letters that cross my desk from you who love the South and all it stood for, and still does in your hearts. As a fellow American, I am saddened by the loss of each and every life that was lost fighting for their beliefs during the civil war, regardless of the side they fought on.

Each soldier, parent and child who gave so much for this country is saluted and prayed for. I never know whether you folks are really talking like this  because it keeps the fervor going for your re-enactments or
because you actually are still so angry, after all these years. Whichever way you feel, my prayer is that you will come together this memorial Day and give honor to each and every life that was lost for US, no matter the
side, color or creed in the fights that have and are still taking place so that we may live in this glorious UNITED STATES of AMERICA!!!.|My great grandfather was one who was held prisoner in your Andersonville prison. He
died a terrible death at the hand of the enemy of that time. I feel no bitterness or anger towards anyone from the South because of this. It was WAR. It was part of the terrible cost of WAR. He’s buried now and rests in
peace. It’s over in my heart and mind. May you all find peace and live in peace in this great country. God Bless America, and all it’s children.

With love,
Prudence Kinley-Ruth


… and here is McCredie’s reply:

Dear Ms. Kinley-Ruth:

You appear to be a genuinely decent and thoughtful person, and your post is doubtless well intentioned. One of your remarks deserves to be addressed in some detail.  You say, "I never know whether you folks are
really talking like this because it keeps the fervor going for your re-enactments or because you are still so angry, after all these years."  Because you do seem to be an empathetic person, let me try a little role-reversal on you.

Suppose that you had been born and raised in a place whose history, culture, traditions, mindset and values set it as much apart from the rest of the "United States" as Switzerland is from France, or Ireland from England.

Suppose you loved this place, its people and your own place in it very deeply; suppose, in fact, that you were so much a part of it that it was hard to tell where you stopped and it started.

Suppose this place you cherished had once found itself at odds with other members of the Union it had helped to found; had attempted peaceably and in good faith to leave that Union, in accordance with the provisions of
that Union’s very own constitution; and had instead been invaded and obliged to fight a horrific war against overwhelming odds, during which its cities were looted and destroyed, its countryside ravaged, and its
civilian population robbed and brutalized.  Suppose that having lost that war, your homeland was further crippled by a dozen years of corrupt and vindictive military occupation called, with supreme irony, "Reconstruction."

Suppose that this place you love subsequently became the repository for all of America’s frustrations, the object of its ridicule and cynical exploitation, and the whipping boy for its national racial guilt trip.  Suppose you had to listen to a daily litany of how your homeland was a dark and backward place populated by incestuous mongoloids.  Suppose you were ridiculed for your accent, and for your unabashed love of God, place
and family.

Suppose you found your history turned inside out and your heroes vilified in order to appease the professionally offended. Suppose your children were expelled from school, ostracized and even beaten for displaying the
symbol their great-great-grandfathers fought under.  Suppose that some municipalities where your brave dead were buried, far from home, refused to allow their graves to be decorated, even for a few hours, with the flag
they died for. And suppose that when, as an American, you objected to this very un-American treatment, you were told to sit down and shut up, or be branded a racist, a white supremacist, or even un-American yourself.

That’s a great deal of supposing, I know, but try to manage it, if only for a second.  Now consider your original remark in light of it.  Our experience as Americans has been painfully different from yours in some
respects. On the day known as Memorial Day, this difference is particularly poignant for us, when our Confederate dead are systematically excluded from national mourning.  We have — or try to have — our own
Confederate Memorial Days, state by state, but often these are given no official sanction.  And you ask if we are angry.

Suppose you were us.

Roger McCredie
Past Chief of Heritage Defense
Sons of Confederate Veterans