Neither Confederate Identity Nor Its Symbols Protected In Workplace Law
We are Confederate Southern Americans descended from Confederate Southern Americans, Mr. Kelley’s opinion to the contrary. We have the inalienable right to exist, prosper, receive the protection of the law and call ourselves anything we want to with or without the governments (or Mr. Kelleys) permission.
Mr. Kelleys commentary on our attempts to obtain judicial recognition of the rights of Confederate Southern Americans is based on his own lack of legal understanding, and his ignoring the reality of our modern struggle. I could not let it pass without a response.
First Kelley is correct, no Federal Court has recognized Confederate Southern Americans as a national origin group that does not mean that the law as written does not protect us in our heritage – it simply means that in a hostile court system, the courts will not follow the law where it affects almost anything Confederate. The main reason we have been denied and denied again has been the fear, yes I said fear, that recognizing us as a people means they must also recognize the legitimacy of the Confederacy. Remember too that ALL Confederate cases are by their nature political by that I mean that the system has a heavy vested interest in the outcome. Millions of Southerners are losing their right to display Confederate symbols in the private and government workplace and Mr. Kelley would just have us sit on our hands?
I would think Mr. Kelley should be delighted that we found a way to seek legal recognition of a Confederate community that uses absolutely no racial classification for membership.
Yes we do have a long way to go, and we will probably continue to have an uphill struggle made worse when Confederates like Mr. Kelley join with our opponents in jeering our efforts, and made worse by the apathy by most Confederates to those fighting on their behalf.
The Court in Richmond in league with Dupont took after us with a venom and spits all out of proportion to the case we filed on behalf of the Dupont 7. We had to be crushed and this nonsense that Confederates had rights in the workplace had to be crushed. I paid $12,000 in sanctions for advocating that Confederates have rights in the workplace. But I am unbowed, and my arguments were sound. And it should be pointed out that the sanctions DID NOT include punishment for pushing Confederate Southern American as a national origin group. The Dupont 7 have been protesting this injustice for six years. EVERY Thursday they are out in front of the DuPont plant in Richmond to protest the injustice of their treatment. The Supreme Court refused to hear their case, but they are still out there every Thursday!!!
Our arguments on behalf of national origins status were logical, grounded in civil rights law and based on substantial precedent. National origin is defined by Federal law as the place (not country) where your ancestors came from. Do any of you concede that your ancestor from Texas or Virginia or Georgia was a citizen of the United States from 1861-1865? Does the government that defeated us get to define who we are as a people or do we not have that right to define ourselves?
I will be happy to post one of our briefs here and let this list determine if we were wrongheaded or not. Let Mr. Kelley attack the arguments we made to the court, and not base his opinion on what our opponents or the media (like the leftist attorney in the Citizen-Crimes article) said our arguments. I have yet to see an honest refutation of our arguments by one of our opponents OR a Confederate, who seeing our arguments didn’t wholeheartedly agree with them.
It took the NAACP and its predecessors 60 years, 60 years, to overturn the 1896 Supreme Court decision in Plessy vs Ferguson (made Jim Crow legal). Did that make them wrong from 1896-1953 and only right when the Supreme Court finally ruled their way?
Mr. Kelley is free to belittle as a myth the beliefs of many 1000s of Southerners who view the Confederate Battle flag as a Christian symbol, but he is wrong.
The Confederate Congress described the X cross in the canton of the Stainless Banner as a saltire. The saltire is a heraldic term for the x shape that came into the heraldic lexicon with the national symbol of Scotland the St. Andrews cross. In other words, a saltire is a St. Andrews cross. It is indisputably a Christian symbol, even if viewed in a secular context. There are blue crosses, white crosses, Burgundian crosses and red crosses, all saltires, all St. Andrews crosses.
The Court in Mississippi used the secular argument to trash a frivolous lawsuit from a pro se Plaintiff. I have the complete file if anyone is interested. The court and the State of Mississippi were, of course, terrified that a higher court may claim a so-called separation of Church & State argument – so, of course, they are going to argue, rather disingenuously, that the flag is not a Christian symbol.
Devereaux Cannon, an author on Confederate flags testified under oath as an expert witness in the Jacqueline Duty case, that the Confederate Battle Flag was, and legitimately could be called, a Christian symbol.
But even if Devereaux is wrong and Kelley correct that it is a myth, so what? Who determines what the veracity of a man’s religious beliefs are? If I sincerely believe that I see a Christian symbol when I look at a Confederate Battle flag, as I do, who has the right to say I am wrong? Certainly no one in government has that right!
While the banning of Confederate symbols is an act of overpowering lack of education about the reality of history, these people need to listen a little better and pick their fights a lot better. Each loss on these grounds makes it easier to be defeated the next time because it builds a preponderance of case law from which they can cite precedents.
If we fight we may win; if we do nothing, losing is a certainty. Some of the finest Southern legal minds in the country have contributed to the national origin argument. It is sound as I will let this list determine for itself. Our struggle for recognition is lacking success because the Southern people are not quite ready to arouse from their torpor and throw off their shackles.
If Mr. Kelley would like to go to law school so that he may, in the future, comment intelligently on our work, we will be happy to welcome him into the very small fraternity of lawyers fighting for our side.
Kirk D. Lyons
Confederate Southern American
Chief Trial Counsel