Some weeks ago, Compatriot Frank Conner, author of the excellent book The South Under Siege, 1830 – 2000, remarked that one reason why no unified, large-scale counterattack has been mounted against those seeking to destroy our heritage is that many Southerners, even now, simply refuse to believe this destruction is even taking place.
My personal experience, as a private individual, as a writer doing research, and as an SCV officer, confirms this. The spectrum of denial amongst our own people ranges from a things-can’t-be-all-that-bad passivity to kill-the-messenger syndrome: savage personal attacks against individuals who are painfully aware of the situation and trying valiantly to do something about it.
Frank postulated — correctly, in my opinion — that the only catalyst capable of transforming this cultural rigor mortis into commitment and action is a focused and carefully nurtured rage. Not the put-on indignation of the NAACP, nor the store-bought self-righteousness of liberal politicians, nor the naked hypocrisy of the media, but the honest, pure and fully justified rage of a good and proud people who finally realize they are being tyrannized.
A logical first step in bringing about this realization would be to confront people with the enormity of what is being done to them. Frank and I talked about putting together a list of all the heritage violations, ethnic insults and instances of outright injury and oppression that have been heaped upon the South in recent years. The sheer length of such a list, and the wickedness of its contents, would be enough to produce outrage in any Southerner who isn’t an outright coward or brain-dead. But by virtue of its very length, which of course is added to daily, this will be a time consuming undertaking.
So here is a preview. What follows is a list of only those heritage violations and inflammatory incidents, or recent developments in them, that have come to my — one person’s — attention since Sunday, 1 September. I am sure you can add to it yourselves. I’m not fudging; the list does not include such situations as the Confederate symbols bans at SCANA and the Savannah River/Westinghouse facility, because both of those began in August.
So here are the cases that came to my attention alone in the first 17 days of September, 2002.
September 1 — A judge upholds the ban on Confederate clothing at Santa Fe High School in Florida, citing "racial tension."
September 4 — The Alabama Celtic Association announces it will boycott the 2003 Southern Heritage Celtic Festival on grounds that Confederate symbols might be displayed.
September 6 — Cherokee High School in Madison County, GA, bans Confederate clothing. More than 170 students protest by wearing Confederate t-shirts. All are suspended.
September 12 — Columnist George Will writes a column entitled, "A Nation Dedicated to a Proposition" claiming the WBTS was fought to free the slaves and insure national freedom, and links the war to 9/11, tacitly equating Confederates with terrorists.
September 14 – Peoria, IL columnist Phil Luciano demands an apology from Parade magazine because its issue devoted to 9/11 contains an ad for a Robert E. Lee figurine. Luciano says the ad "insults anyone with the tiniest social conscience."
September 15 — Bass Pro Shop employees in Duluth, GA, insult an SCV compatriot who tells them why he dislikes the new GA flag.
September 16 — Virginia Gov. Warner proclaims "Latino and Hispanic Heritage Month" — after refusing to issue a proclamation for Confederate History and Heritage Month in 2000.
September 16 — Vanderbilt University announces plans to rename Confederate Memorial Hall, which was erected and paid for by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
September 16 — Duke University campus newspaper sportswriter Nick Christie slams Confederate heritage saying the South committed "atrocity after atrocity" and was "willing to torture and kill an entire race of people."
September 17 — An undisclosed network TV commentator makes bigoted anti-Southern remarks about Eunice Stone. (Fox Commentator Shep Smith responds by calling anti-Southernism the only bigotry still allowed in the United States.)
September 17 — The City of Charleston allows the Confederate Museum to reoccupy Market Hall, but offers no financial assistance and tells the UDC, who maintains the museum, "You’re on your own."
September 17 — ABC News’ coverage of the 140th Anniversary reenactment at Sharpsburg calls it "the turning point of the war" because the Union "victory" gave Lincoln the impetus he needed to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. ABC also links Union dead to the victims of 9/11.
All this — and Day 17 is not even over yet. Are you mad yet?
Camp # 7
Heritage Defense Committee