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The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Travel & Photojournalism, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Americana, Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Fandom, Local Folklore ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Taking A Page From The Social "Just Us" Playbook

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, on the afternoon of Friday, October 15th, my travels took me to Columbia to attend the annual South Carolina State Fair. 

I make it a point to go every year if I can in order to enjoy the many events and activities offered at the fair. That and the kid in me enjoys riding the rides as much now as I ever have in my youth. I know that eventually when I hit middle age at around 70 or so, I'll have to slow down - but not yet!

I will be giving a full account of my trip on my next blog post. Also coming up will be another planetary photography post about the Full Hunter's Moon which includes a couple of great shots at night over the fair lights. Be sure to check them out. 

One of my favorite things to do at the fair includes checking out the amazing art exhibits done by artists from across South Carolina. These include paintings, art sculptures, and photography. 

In light of the tragic events of June 2015, and the subsequent attempts by the Leftist Establishment and their assorted lapdogs in the SJW community to demonize the Dixie Cross banner, at last year's fair there had been at least one work of art that reflected on those events.

Naturally, I could not simply let such a work of art go without a little bit of critique. So with the assistance of a sympathetic bystander, I took a page out of the flagger playbook and let my opinion be known. Yes, I do keep a small Dixie Cross with me at all times for just such occasions.

Yours truly flagging artwork at the 2015 SC State Fair.

That was last year though. This year I wondered if another artist would attempt to portray the living symbol of Southern identity in a less than positive light. 

I enjoyed walking through the artwork, taking some really great photos of some of my personal favorites (also coming up in my next blog post) and was most impressed by some of the work done by younger people. 

I went around again to look over the paintings and photographs to see if I missed anything my first time around, and sure enough I did. 

Hidden in one corner at an angle near the back - almost as if someone didn't want folks to get too close a look - was a piece of artwork that did in fact include a poor, and highly offensive parody of a Confederate battle flag.

The artwork titled: Mississippi Welcomes You depicts the images of the three civil rights workers murdered in June 1964 by members of the Ku Klux Klan in a window along with a battle flag shaped like a swastika with too many stars and five candles sit on the window sill. 

My response to the artwork wasn't anger, just a mental sigh and a muttered: "Really?" under my breath.

Now while I certainly understand the historic message the artwork, and to some degree respect in terms of remembering those who fought for equal treatment under the law; what I cannot abide is a disrespectful misuse of the flag itself.

Despite badly-worded propaganda put out by so-called civil rights activists/Leftist regressive activists and SJWs over the last decade, there is no evidence that the Dixie Cross battle flag was ever present during any act of lynching. No eyewitness accounts attest to this, nor does any photographic evidence presented to date. I could be wrong, and if so I challenge someone to produce evidence to the contrary in the comments section. 

The depiction of the flag itself as an inverted swastika is at best a weak attempt at evoking Godwin's Law. At worst, just another attempt at advancing a premise comparing the South in the 60s to Nazi Germany. Even at the worst points during the Civil Rights Era, that was never really the case, and outside of SJW and Leftist thought bubbles, largely rejected by the world as a whole. 

Obviously the person who did the artwork was trying to make a powerful statement, that included his opinion that the battle flag represents the worst of the South and the people of Mississippi. 

The fact that this piece was placed in a location that kept it out of public viewing, but still on display also told me that those who organized the display for the fair wanted to avoid unwarranted controversy over the artwork. 

For my part I wondered what events in Mississippi 50 years ago have to do with the South Carolina State Fair. But rather than dwell too long on this strange intellectual juxtaposition, I worked out the best way to let my opinion known as I had the previous year. 

I considered bringing out the 3 X 3 square battle flag folded in the pocket of my trusty cargo pants - but only for a second. 

You see folks, I am a flagger, but a very judicious one. I believe there are appropriate times and places for them. Protesting injustice is certainly one of them. Protesting artwork - a form of freedom of speech no different than flagging itself - is different. 

Yes, I did flag the artwork from the previous year. That artwork was largely done supporting the result of intolerant, reactionary, pro-white supremacist actions by the government of South Carolina in regards to an honorable display of the flag respecting Confederate dead. A show of pride and defiance to that viewpoint was warranted. 

This case is different. 

Mississippi Welcomes You depicts the images of three honorable young men: Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, who took a moral human stand against acts of discrimination that violated federal law and denigrated human dignity. My only objection to the work was the obscene depiction of the battle flag in the manner in which the artist portrayed it. To flag the whole artwork would have been dishonorable to the memories of the three slain civil rights workers and a disgrace to my Southern-Confederate heritage. 

When I say "Heritage Not Hate" I do not do so simply to shout out a slogan. I conduct myself accordingly, as always attempt to do so as a Southern gentleman. When it comes to this fight, I strive to live by those words and to teach other to do the same.

So flagging was out. Still, I had to somehow get the message out that there were other views of that flag, that the artwork and the artist's views did not reflect all honorable Southern people and Confederate descendants who respect the Dixie Cross. 

The idea of raising a fuss, of screaming at the top of my lungs at nearly fair officials, of demanding the artwork be removed, or vandalizing it myself never once entered my mind. I am no delicate snowflake, or childish Social "Just Us" Warrior who demands to not be offended by every little thing, or demand that everyone around me think as I do. 

Before leaving to go to the fair, I did stop over on facebook to check my page and see what people were talking about. A few friends of mine were discussing a case (ironically also from Mississippi) where recently an "interpretive plaque" was placed with the Confederate monument at Oxford.  

Remembering this little act of Leftist stupidity caused me to remember another one that happened just about a year before and reported here on this blog where an SJW snowflake so enraged by the sight of a bumper sticker that she tore it off and left a somewhat pretentious note to the owner justifying her act of vandalism.

This gave me the perfect idea to use a pair of SJW-inspired acts and turn them to work for an actual positive, forward-thinking cause.

I found a vendor who was nice enough to give me some paper and a pen and quickly printed out my own interpretive language in the form of a counter-argument. I do not remember the exact words I used, but I pointed out to anyone reading that the display of the flag in the artwork is but one interpretation that is largely rejected by the Southern people as a whole. 

Carefully, I slipped the note onto the artwork behind a couple of the candles on the window sill. I did not use tape, tacks, or anything that would damage the display in any way. Just forms of protest and civil disobedience needs no act of vandalism.

Afterwards I continued to enjoy the rest of the fair, not to mention an evening concert featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd. There were a number of people in attendance at the fair waiting for the concert, a good number of them wearing Skynyrd shirts featuring - you guessed it - Southern flags on their t-shirts. 

This little fella is raised right! LOL!

Before leaving the state fair that evening, I went back to take one last look at the art gallery and found that the interpretive note I left was still there after nearly five hours! I wonder if it was because those reading it agreed with the message, or if the artwork itself was in such a poorly placed area people walked passed it? 

Who can say for certain.

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