Mission Of This Blog

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!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Shattering The So-Called Reality Of A Self-Hating Confederate Descendant

Greetings and salutations my fellow travelers!

I know it has been a few weeks since my last post. Much has happened in those couple weeks with me -- including several interesting local events and stories I am planning to share with y'all as this week progresses. 

Meanwhile, for your entertainment and continued education on the defense of Southern-Confederate historical heritage and what it means to those who support it, this blogger has another anti-Confederate heritage regressive -- and another alleged "proud Southerner" -- who claims that you don't need to "pretend to believe" that if you had a Confederate ancestor that they were good people. 
This individual wrote an article recently on the subject of a Confederate Flag Day rally in Oklahoma, which yours truly will go through point by tedious point, correcting the assumptions and misinformation posing as a valid argument from another hater. 

By now many of y'all know that I will post in entirety the article, with my responses and comments posted in red. 
So without further ado, let's go ahead and see what the snowflake army -- self-hating Confederate descendant brigade -- has sent for our entertainment today. Enjoy.   

Confederate flag rally touts heritage, ignores reality
Also known as: how The Man Deniers Fear The Most completely destroys the nonsensical rantings of yet another virtue signaling snowflake.

A Confederate flag rally Saturday, March 4, in Shawnee drew protesters.
(Michael Duncan - Edited by The Man Deniers Fear The Most)

SHAWNEE, Oklahoma — I have more than a half-dozen direct ancestors who lived in Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi and fought for the South. I only have the one I am aware of, though I am certain there are more -- and a few possible Unionists too. As I listened to speeches during a Confederate flag rally Saturday in Shawnee, I wondered if my claim to being a Son of the Confederacy might be far greater than any of the members present that day. Humm, not really sure I can answer that one, cupcake. I mean, I never thought of myself as better or "more Southern" than those who claim no Confederate ancestry. Then again that is probably just me.
Nevertheless, I had come because I wondered why, in the year 2017, was a “Rally for the Confederate Flag” being held in a small central-Oklahoma town? 
You know folks, it has always been a curious thing for me why anti-Confederate heritage reactionaries feel the need to point out the current year as if it means anything in this sort of situation. I mean just last year in Great Britain a large group of re-enactors portraying British World War One era soldiers staged a massive "living memorial" campaign on the anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme honoring the British soldiers who died. What did the fact it was 2016 at the time have to do with the cup of tea?
Oklahoma wasn’t even a state in the 1860s. Technically it was Indian Nations Territory -- of which five tribes were allied to the CSA. There hasn’t been some hue and cry to save the Confederate flag here. It hasn’t been a public issue of note, unless the Confederate battle flag was somehow appended to that Ten Commandments monument bill when I wasn’t looking.
Put simply, the Confederate flag has not been a political issue the same way it has been across true Southern states.
Still, as I walked from my car down into Woodland Veterans Park, I saw about 100 people in attendance and a dozen or more large Confederate flags blowing in the breeze. Several smaller flags came into view as I got closer.
These people seemed to know why they were here. Yes, they did. You apparently didn't and go on to prove how clueless you truly are of those reasons.

‘Deo Vindice’

At the edge of the park, about a dozen black-uniformed policemen gathered around their supervising officer, no doubt planning their strategy in case something went wrong. The typical implication of impending violence, nice. Other officers I recognized as Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputies posted up at other corners of the park but well back from the crowd.
A nearly equal number of patch- and leather-clad bikers — members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Mechanized Cavalry — stood at the back of the gathered crowd, which faced a podium and portable sound system. Only the bandannas outnumbered the beards. Emblazoned on some of their leather jackets were the words, Deo Vindice — a Latin phrase meaning, “With God as our protector.” It was the official motto of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.
Nearer to the podium were more elderly couples sitting in lawn chairs. To the side, at attention, stood a color guard dressed in Civil War gray and armed with bayoneted Enfield muskets of the time. I think I recognized some of them from the last Civil War battle re-enactment I attended at Yale. Civil War re-enactments at Yale? Humm....

‘We are here to vindicate our ancestors’

Confederate flag rally
Sons of Confederate Veterans official Rex Cash speaks to about 100 attending the rally at Woodland Veterans Park in Shawnee on Saturday, March 4. (Michael Duncan)

Rex Cash, the Lt. Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Oklahoma Division, hosted the rally. He summed up his rally’s goal rather simply: vindicating Civil War-era ancestors who fought for the South. He said the Confederate battle flag was not a political statement — it was a battle flag that represented those who served under it. The audience then learned of Cash’s family genealogy, which included several ancestors who fought for the Confederacy.
“It is personal to me,” Cash said. “We are here to vindicate our ancestors, who fought with honor and courage.”
In his view, the flag was another image of his family ancestors, and he said that is what opponents of the Confederate flag don’t get. And he would be largely correct.
Cash took great pains to refute any notion that either he or his organization endorsed any racism or hatred. Cash said his organization was offended by racist groups “hijacking” the Confederate battle flag. As do I and frequently speak out against such hijacking....and on one occasion did much more than just speak out.
“I don’t like being called a racist or white supremacist. And neither do you!” Cash shouted to the crowd. That drew but a mild applause, which made me wonder if perhaps a few in his midst might render such labels appropriate. Wow, do you truly believe you are being serious with that statement? Everyone in that crowd would believe those words go without saying.
Cash made the argument that the Ku Klux Klan had not taken on the Confederate battle flag as their symbol until the 1950s, long after the majority of lynchings had taken place. Which is largely true. So, don’t blame the flag, he said. He criticized Oklahoma Baptist University for recently removing the Confederate flag from a display on its Shawnee campus.
“This is what happens when there is boring predictability,” Cash said. “Principle and fact are sacrificed for the idol of political correctness.” Again, Mr. Cash would be correct in his statements.

History often debated

I was puzzled by the need to defend one’s ancestors who fought for the South in the Civil War — as if our ancestors’ participation somehow taints our existence today — unless we can establish that the soldiers’ conduct 150 years ago was honorable. I for one do not believe that the question of their service being honorable is a matter of debate. What we defend our ancestors against is modern-day slander and personal attacks because as their descendants we have an obligation to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Plus you mess with one member of my family -- even a long dead one -- you mess with me.
Cash correctly pointed out that it was not a Confederate Supreme Court that ruled in 1857 that blacks were not citizens nor which later upheld Jim Crow laws. It was the U.S. Supreme Court that did that under the U.S. flag. Of course, the Confederate Supreme Court did not last long enough to entertain such issues. For all your research and attempt to show off your alleged wealth of knowledge earlier -- despite the mistake about the Indian Nation's Territory during the war -- you show you know little. There was no established Confederate States Supreme Court and the CSA did not survive long enough to establish one.
Regardless, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to understand his point that one should not “punish” a flag for misdeeds, or whether I should believe that, had Abraham Lincoln left the South alone, the Confederate States of America would have evolved into a shining example of human rights and enlightenment, surpassing any corrupt government offered by the United States of America. Well, since the CSA did not live long enough to evolve as a nation we shall never really know the answer to that one. That is unless someone can open up a portal to the multiverse and find the parallel universes were such an event happened -- if you believe in the multiverse theory that is.
Cash’s speech eventually turned on Lincoln as some diabolical oppressor who planned all along to “invade another country.” (I suppose Cash believes secession was legal, and the South was another country.) Technically the former was never established as "illegal" until 1869 under the US Supreme Court case Brown Vs. Texas, and the latter can be widely debated. There was no mention of Fort Sumter, where Confederate artillery fired the first shots against a Union garrison to start the war. (Sighs) I suppose you wish he'd gone into the entire history of the War itself then?
Cash said the Civil War wasn’t about slavery at all. He said it was about government overreach and the North taking advantage of the South. He said to look at Lincoln’s inaugural speech of 1861. So, I did. It turns out Lincoln spent much time talking about slavery in that speech and whether the states could decide the issue themselves. He specifically promised not to invade the South.
(Well, he said there would be no “lawless” invasion, anyway.) And from a certain point of view, he lied about that one. Then again the legality of secession and the constitutional legality of a US President using US soldiers to invade "his own country" is another matter of debate that I doubt we could settle in one setting. 

‘I take it personal’

One of the speakers in the park was Arlene Barnum, a black woman from Oklahoma who has traveled the South to campaign against removing Confederate flags and monuments. She said the Confederacy was part of her family history in Louisiana, and removing the flag was disrespectful to her family. I am familiar with Miss Arlene Barnum and her family history. A woman of good character and honor.
“Had the Union not invaded the South, my great-great grandmother (a slave) would not have died by Union soldiers,” Barnum said. “She would have been alive to raise her 2-year-old child. I take it personal.”
Barnum’s appearance raised more than a few eyebrows in the crowd. Likely from the virtue-signaling protesters who came to play the part of Westboro Baptist Church sycophants. I am certain everyone else who attended for all the right reasons were far from shocked at her appearance since she is a well know Confederate heritage activist. As she finished her speech, one white woman gave her a hug and called her “sister.” Certainly, having a black person support the Confederate flag is an effective method to demonstrate that supporters are not racists and white supremacists. Or it might demonstrate that the people who are there actually do think and live in the modern-day world, rather than some nostalgic "moonlight and magnolias" fantasy stereotype you seem to be putting them into? Ever consider that one even for just a fraction of a moment in your heart of hearts dude? Maybe people are all free-thinking individuals and not just some group-think stereotype that fits into a neat little peg? Try that one on for size.

Counter-demonstration arrives


Not everyone was so supportive. Enter the virtue-signaling, white guilt-ridden regressives.
Halfway through the rally, a half-dozen young white men quietly approached the back of the crowd with signs of protest. One sign read, WILL WORK FOR....WAIT, I'M A LEFTIST. NEVERMIND!  “Not all rednecks are this backwards!!”
A few young black men who had lingered at the park’s edge also came closer to the crowd and listened.
Meanwhile, a wiry 20-something man held a sign about 50 yards away. His Poorly conceived sign depicted the Confederate battle flag as being equal to “treason,” and he began yelling, which caused one of the speakers at the podium to lose his train of thought momentarily.
An older gray-haired woman began walking to the rear of the park to confront the mouthy protester. Police followed. When she came upon him, she firmly but calmly explained to him how it was rude to interrupt. The young man, who said his name was Christopher, lowered his voice and told her his protest was against racism. Their back-and-forth continued out of earshot of the rally but with Shawnee police keeping close eye on it. After all an older gray-haired woman is a threat to a young Social "Just Us" regressive huh?
Another speaker echoed Cash and Barnum about how the flag is not about racism.
“It’s in honor of our family,” said Kevin Easterling, a Sons of Confederate Veterans officer from Moore.
Then, with a rousing a cappella rendition of “Dixie” followed by some gun salutes from the honor guard, the rally came to a close.
And that is when things got more interesting. Well, let's just see how this assclown defines the term "interesting" shall we?

A heated back and forth

A series of verbal skirmishes began between young white protesters and some of the rally attendees. Nothing physically violent. Just strong words. Forceful expressions. That continued for a good 45 minutes after the rally ended — out there beneath the park’s walnut and oak trees. Police officers stood by in close attention like referees at a basketball game, but they never had to call a foul. A wonderful testament to the good nature and temperament of well disciplined and mannered Southern ladies and gentlemen.

Confederate flag rally
A protester named Christopher argues against the Confederate flag with Arlene Barnum, a black supporter of the flag. (Michael Duncan)

Barnum hurried over to confront the young man, Christopher, whose half-hour of yelling had nearly made him hoarse. He also ended up losing said argument big time as evidenced in the video posted on YouTube HERE. The fact a black woman was arguing for the Confederate flag while a white man was arguing against it, created, for me, a moment of disorientation. The reason for this is because you went into this event with nothing resembling an open-minded approach. The result of which was when confronted with something that challenged your worldview -- even momentarily -- you reacted in the expected way. Oh by the way, if the idea of a black Southern woman being proud of Confederate heritage causes you even a moment of disorientation, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, and THIS should really blow your mind.
That debate ran off the rails when it boiled down to an argument over whether Abraham Lincoln had ever held slaves. Even I know that argument is a stupid one. I mean I could argue that Lincoln didn't see black Americans as equals with whites -- a fact even he once stated on more than one occasion. But no, there is little proof he even owned slaves. There are stories some in his family line might have, but that's another debate entirely and does nothing to advance the narrative here. With the discussion turning circular, I decided to head home.

Sons of Confederate Veterans seek imaginary sanctity


The Sons of Confederate Veterans and folks like them are fighting a battle to resurrect some sanctity of the Confederate battle flag that never existed. So far, your logic has proven flawed. Your conclusion therefore is also bound to be an error. Let's see if you can provide proof of that shall we? Even if it did, it’s long gone. Like it or not — fair or not — even Cash admitted the KKK hijacked the symbol, and white supremacists aren’t giving it back. Maybe not, but neither should good and honorable people simply allow them to have sole claim to it. Say what you want about the honor and courage of your forefathers, the 20th- and 21st-century meaning of this flag has little to do with that and more to do with lingering racism in this country. Your opinion, and thankfully not one shared by the vast majority of this country as a whole. Your promotion of that view has far more to do with acceptance of racism than the efforts on the part of honorable Southerners to resist the white supremacists and the politically correct.
To argue that the ancestors had a noble cause necessarily turns the debate into an argument attempting to justify the Confederacy in the first place. And that does not fly. I don't try to justify the Confederacy, largely because I don't feel the need to. I could care less about the Confederate government. All I care about is honoring and defending the good name of the Confederate soldier -- a recognized American Veteran.
What Confederate flag supporters refuse to acknowledge is that, had the Union failed and the Confederacy survived, slavery and oppression of the black race in America would have continued into the 20th century. Actually not accurate in either the case of refusing to acknowledge the role of slavery in the war, or in the fact that slavery would have lingered into the 20th century. Racial discrimination lingered across the world regardless of the CSA's continued existence. There was no move afoot to bring equality to the races in the South. So....men like Booker T. Washington and WEB DuBois didn't exist then? Per the Deo Vindice motto, the whites believed they had moral and religious justification for their presumed racial superiority. Wow how do you get that from "God as our vindicator"? I would again point out that whites in Europe and America held that presumed belief of racial superiority without the existence of the CSA being necessary. A point you obviously either overlook, or try to pin one a single point of American history in order for the ideology you worship to safe face. Either way, that argument does not fly -- to borrow your phrase.
These Sons of Confederate Veterans who are hung up on vindicating their ancestors and protecting the honor of the Confederate flag ignore that. A point I already disproved. Moving on.

Keep family history separate from self-worth Um....what?


The oldest piece of memorabilia in my family is the charcoal portrait of Samuel F. Darnall that hangs in my living room. It was drawn by an unknown artist in the late 1870s in north Texas, where he had moved from Tennessee after his service in Newsom’s Regiment of the Tennessee Cavalry in 1863. He served in the Army of Tennessee, along with his brother, James, who died at the Battle of Chickamauga. My great-great grandfather on my dad's side also died at The River of Death on September 19, 1863.
Their cavalry commander was none other than Nathan Bedford Forrest, later said by historians to be one of the early Grand Wizards of the Ku Klux Klan.
Still, I have never felt the need to “vindicate” my ancestors. Neither have I, though I imagine that our reasons for felling this way widely differ. I assume (I think rightly) our Southern ancestors had little choice but to fight for the Confederacy like most of their neighbors. Wow, now there is an amazing superpower right there folks! The ability of a Leftist to looking into the hearts and minds of people they have never met and then make a bold claim to know with certainty what they think and feel. Golly-gee-Wilkerson, I wish I had that amazing ability!
Their choice was either to avoid enlistment and face ridicule for cowardice and treason to the Homeland or join up and risk death. The former was a certainty. The latter was merely a theoretical possibility. Still, there weren’t many conscientious objectors back in the 1860s on either side. Unfortunately, I know far too many Confederate descendants who feel as you do and accept such happy fiction in order to keep the "guilt" at bay.
So, I don’t blame my great-great grandfathers for enlisting and fighting for the Confederacy, even if we agree today that they were on the wrong side. I certainly don't agree with that at all. While their participation is a fact which makes for rich genealogical discussion, it does not define for me who they were. Frankly, I don’t know who they were, what their interests or desires were, what they loved or what they hated. Wait what? Um, didn't you just say: "I assume (I think rightly) our Southern ancestors had little choice but to fight for the Confederacy like most of their neighbors"? You do realize that you just completely contradicted your own argument here, right? Great job, moron! My great-great grandpa Darnall’s picture is on my wall because it is a part of my family history. It’s not there because he was justified in fighting for the Army of Tennessee.
Most importantly, it just doesn’t matter to me. What my ancestors believed has no bearing on who I am or what I believe. Some of my ancestors believed it was their duty to kill any Englishman who set foot on their Irish homeland 700 years ago. Obviously I don't believe that myself. So what is your point? I don’t need them to have been good people for me to feel good about myself. Oh for pity sake, is THAT what this little virtue-signaling bit of incoherent "journalism" has been about for you? Feeling good about yourself? Ugh! Remind me who is seeking the "imaginary sanctity" again?
And yet, I got the sense that it mattered a great deal to many of those in attendance Saturday in the park. Then much like the rest of your article, your assumption there is built on a number of false premises and stereotypical untruths. I can assure you that the people in attendance there already feel secure in their own personal identities, thank you very much. Obviously the same cannot be said of you, sir. 

Now for my final thoughts. 

I have no photo of my great-great-grandfather, Sgt. Jackson S. Roden, Co. A 48th Alabama Infantry, CSA. I have never visited his grave in Blount County, Alabama. Nor have I even to date visited the battlefield where he gave his life in defense of his farm, his family, his neighbors, and his individual liberty. 

I have never met him while living on this Earth, and I don't expect to ever have the opportunity do so until the day the Lord calls me home. 

I do however keep in my position a replica gray Confederate soldier's uniform of the type that my great-great-grandfather might have worn; one that I wear on certain days of the year to events honoring Confederate heritage, or for memorial purposes. I also have a very good replica of the battle flag pattern that he served under as a member of the Army of Northern Virginia. 

While I put on what I hope is a reasonable impression of my ancestor when I wear that gray uniform and carry that flag in Confederate Memorial Day and Confederate Flag Day events, I know intellectually that I am not my great-great-grandfather. I am a man born in the later half of the 20th century and not bound by the thinking of an American Southerner born in 1832 in rural Alabama. Nor do I have any nostalgic ideas about wanting to have fought in that awful War as he did; although in his place I would not have shied away from making that same decision he did, regardless of my previously stated personal objections to the idea of war. Fighting for home and family is no disgrace, and certainly self-defense is the only noble reason to fight at all.

What connects me to him is American-Ulster-Irish blood, and our last names. That is a part of a living heritage, the same one in which his service as a Confederate soldier and Southerner is very much a part of.  A service that I feel absolutely no shame for, rather I feel a great deal of pride that he did his duty as he saw fit for the sake of his family and the land of his birth -- Dixie. I am honored to have that connection to him and to all other honorable members of my family name. 

When I defend the Dixie Cross banner that he fought under, the banner that by blood and birthright is also mine as well; I defend that heritage and connection. I defend someone who is dead and cannot protect himself from modern-day ridicule and scorn. I am his voice, and the voice of those who fought with him. 

I speak out whenever someone misuses that flag as a symbol of hatred, or condemns it as a tool of hatred; because that flag -- my flag -- carries my great-great-grandfather's name -- my name -- and nobody has the right to use that name to attack other Southerners and Americans. Nor will they do so with my approval as long as I still draw breath, and my ashes have yet to be scattered to the wind. 

That is why people like Miss Barnum, Mr. Cash and tens of thousands of others speak out. It has nothing to do with virtue-signaling, or feeling a need to justify anything. We already know who we are and feel secure in that identity as proud Confederate descendants. It is about defending a living heritage, a connection we share by blood with those who came before us. It is about being the voice of those same ancestors and our own family names. 

Our self-worth does not come from that connection alone. It comes from doing the right thing and taking a moral stand against those who feel no self-worth beyond the need to tear down and destroy others to fill a hole in their own regressive hearts. 

Believe me when I say that I feel pretty damn good about myself right now.  

Peace out! 

No comments:

Post a Comment