Published electronically by
THE SOUTHERN LEGAL RESOURCE CENTER
P.O. Box 1235, Black Mountain NC 28711 / (828) 669-5189
www.slrc-csa.org
Christmas 2005

SLRC TO REPRESENT STUDENT TURNED AWAY FROM DANCE FOR WEARING KILT

The SLRC has announced that it will represent Nathan Todd (Nate) Warmack, a high school student in Jackson, MO, who was turned away from his school’s fall formal dance for wearing a kilt in his family’s tartan.

On November 5, young Warmack wore the kilt to Jackson High School’s Silver Arrow Dance and was confronted by school officials who told him he would have to leave and change clothes before he could be admitted to the dance. Nate pointed out that the kilt is part of traditional Scottish Highland evening dress and represented his own heritage and national origin, but an administrator reportedly told him to leave or face police intervention and six weeks’ suspension. The administrator also allegedly told Nate he was dressed “like a clown” and said “that may be okay in Scotland but not in my school.”

“This case is made to order for the SLRC,” Chief Trial Counsel Kirk Lyons noted. “It’s an extension of the types of school cases we have become involved in regarding Confederate-themed clothing, but this situation is even more aggravated. We’re not talking about a so-called controversial symbol here; we’re talking about a country’s ancient national dress.”

“Does anybody seriously think that if this young man had been a member of any other ethnic group and worn its traditional dress he would have had a problem?” asked SLRC Executive Director Roger McCredie.

Warmack has stated that a lesbian student couple dressed in male tuxedos was allowed into the dance, even though the school dress code requires girls to wear dresses on such occasions.

Lyons, a member of the Scots of Austin, a Texas Scottish society, wears the kilt. So does SLRC board member Neill Payne. McCredie, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, has two.

“Nate came to the right place,” said Lyons.


DUTY CASE COULD BE “SCOPES TRIAL” OF SOUTHERN HERITAGE

Dueling expert witnesses are already being deposed in the Jacqueline Duty case, which is rapidly escalating from a suit for damages as a result of wrongful treatment to a referendum on the whole issue of Southern symbols, culture and heritage.

SLRC Board of Advisors Chairman H.K. Edgerton was deposed last week in Asheville and this week in Kentucky. His testimony relates to the truth about black attitudes towards the Confederate flag and the role of blacks in the Confederacy. Sons of Confederate Veterans Heritage Committee member Don Shelton, who has yet to be deposed, will testify as to the true meaning of Confederate symbols in a larger context. The SLRC also plans to call a third expert witness, whose identity is being kept secret at this point, in the Spring.

Expert witnesses for the defendants – Russell Independent School System and two of its administrators – include a trio of academicians: Gerald Smith, Director of the African American Studies Program at the University of Kentucky; W. Fitzhugh Brundage, a University of North Carolina history professor whose “area of specialization” is the South since 1865; and Barry Mills, M.D., an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Smith recently wrote, “There is no doubt the

[Confederate] flag is linked to symbols of hate.” Brundage, author of several books including “Lynchings in the New South,” is on record as saying, “from its inception the Confederacy and its symbols represented approval of white supremacy.” Mills, in a supportive e-mail to defendant Ronnie Back, said, “ … the Confederate flag cannot be patriotic. It is fundamentally un-American – a horrifying symbol of terror, lynching and racism.”

“The other side is committing to spending thousands of dollars to get these witnesses to testify, so they are taking this case very, very seriously,” said Lyons. “Now, their testimony has little to do with the facts of the case itself, but it shows the lengths they’re willing to go to. It works in our favor because, possibly more than any other case we’ve handled recently, it offers us a forum to get our side of the whole Southern heritage issue on the record.”


THE HERITAGE WE FIGHT TO SAVE

A letter from Christmas, 1888
(reprinted in response to several requests)

Ed. Note: In 1888, 25 years after Appomattox, toys were scarce in the South and money to buy them with was even scarcer. My maternal grandmother, who was three years old at the time, had three old wooden dolls she had named Dinah, Sallie and Grover Cleveland, and that Christmas she asked Santa Claus for a trunk to hold their homemade clothes. Under the tree on Christmas morning she found a little brass-studded wooden chest. It was not new; in fact it showed signs of considerable wear and tear. The letter below was pasted to the inside of its lid.

The little chest now rests on a cabinet in my living room with the letter, somewhat faded after 117 Christmases but still perfectly legible, still in place.

— Roger McCredie


“Spartanburg, S.C., December 25, 1888

“My Dear Little Caryl,

You say Santa Claus must bring you a trunk, so ‘Ma’ gives you this with its history. More than thirty years ago we got it for a medicine chest & it has traveled a great deal. In 1864 we were living in Prince Geo. Co. Va. not far from Fort Powhatan on James River. When Grant advanced on Petersburg we could see from our yard the smoke of the gunboats. Your mother was a little baby then drinking ‘ninny milk’ as you do and when the yankees took all my cows I had nothing for her to eat so we went to Petersburg where yr. grandfather was with the soldiers. We could not carry much with us but we took the little trunk filled with medicine & business papers. It had been hidden by your Aunts Mollie and Vie in a ditch covered with briars, for the yankees were searching our house and taking whatever they wished. You like to have the trunk now for Dinah’s and Sallie’s and Grover Cleveland’s clothes, but when you are a big girl you will like it for its history. Keep it always for the sake of your grandmother who loves you very much & prays for you every day that you may be a good girl & a noble Christian woman.

“Elvira F. Woodward”


Season’s Greetings … and Heartfelt Thanks
… from us here in the trenches, in the fight to preserve our heritage and protect the rights of those who love it, to our loyal and generous supporters on the home front.

Thank you, more than we can say it, for your faith in us, for your devotion to our Cause, and help and encouragement throughout the year. From our families to yours, best wishes for a blessed Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2006!

Write 4 nasty letters to the IRS: S … L … R … C!

It’s the best of both worlds: contribute to the SLRC before December 31 and get a tax break for 2005! Remember – Christmas lasts 12 days, so there’s still time to send us a present and also slide in under your deduction deadline!

The Southern legal Resource Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and contributions to it are fully tax deductible. Credit card and PayPal donations may be made at our website by clicking on “How You Can Help.” Checks payable to the Southern Legal Resource Center should be mailed to P.O. Box 1235, Black Mountain, NC 28711.

“Thumbs Up for Dixie” stickers are available for SLRC and local heritage fundraising projects. Contact Allison Schaum for details at slrc@crystalink.com  or (864) 476-0656. If you wish to receive our weekly e-mail update, contact us at slrc@crystalink.com.