J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “Civil Rights”

Art Imitates Life

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Yesterday on an episode of Designated Survivor, the debate over removing Confederate monuments made the leap from real life to primetime TV. Kiefer Sutherland, who plays President Tom Kirkman, solved the “crisis” easily and appeased the “Reverend Dale,” a Civil Rights leader on the show, by simply moving the statue to a lesser trafficked area. Bingo!

AND MISSISSIPPI MAY SOON DO IT FOR REAL

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Lafayette County may relocate the statue at their  Courthouse, which has sat outside the Courthouse since 1907, with certain restrictions.

In a letter dated Oct. 2, the Mississippi Attorney General’s office told the Lafayette County Board of Superivors they could move the statue if they ever decided to but that: “A monument may be moved within the county jurisdictional limits to some other more suitable location on county property,” the letter stated. “A monument may not be removed from the county or from public property,” it continued.

Matt Reardon, who was arrested earlier this year while standing in support of the statue, said he hopes the County doesn’t take the State up on its offer to move the statue, even if it stays in Lafayette County. “There’s a chance in relocating it that they damage the statue. Why move something that’s been there for 110 years?” said Reardon.

An email was sent to the president of the Board of Supervisors to learn if the board was planning on moving the statue or if it was even up for serious discussion. There was no reply.

AND THE REAL SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

Not the person who plays one on Designated Survivor, but President Trump’s Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, says that the Trump Administration will not remove Confederate monuments from federal lands.

“Where do you start and where do you stop?” Zinke asked a Breitbart reporter in an interview published Sunday. “It’s a slippery slope. If you’re a native Indian, I can tell you, you’re not very happy about the history of General Sherman or perhaps President Grant.” “When you try to erase history, what happens is you also erase how it happened and why it happened and the ability to learn from it.”

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IN A REAL LIFE “COMPROMISE”

We reported a few weeks ago that a San Antonio, Texas school district voted to rename Robert E. Lee High School. Very few of the students or parents wanted the name change. The District ordering the school to change the name over the strong desire of parents, students, and even teachers, to keep it.

So last Monday the Robert E Lee High School voted to rename itself the Legacy of Educational Excellence High School – LEE High school

For now, the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee still stands in the school, and the caricature of the Confederacy’s most prominent leader has yet to be displaced as the mascot. The overwhelming majority of the school’s students have told news agencies that they are proud of the name Lee and plan to maintain the traditions of their school.

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(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Oct. 13, 2017 ed.)
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Another Sad Victory for Political Correctness

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In a small, insignificant U.S.A. Today article yesterday, it was reported that, last Tuesday, Washington and Lee University announced that they will be removing all Confederate flags from campus. This decision came about after the school received pressure from a small group of law students who claim that the flags are discriminatory. They stated that they felt it was demeaning to have to pledge an honor code in the presence of the flags. The only place where the flags are prominently displayed is in the Lee Chapel, where General Robert E. Lee is interred.

On a personal note, I find this decision very disconcerting. If the school where General Lee successfully served as president for five years can all of a sudden change its policies after nearly 150 years, I have to wonder, what’s next? I feel it is inconceivably disrespectful of the man who gave his all to the school, who was torn between serving his country and defending his native state of Virginia, and who upheld the most stringent religious beliefs. What a slap in the face to all of us who have Confederate ancestors, because if this action is any indication, more dishonorable, similar acts will follow, such as the ongoing debate about Forrest Park in Memphis, Tennessee.

If Confederate flags are removed from a burial chamber, then what’s to follow? Taking away any sign of the Irish, the Germans, and the British? In that case, the American flag should be removed from all places that certain small, politically correct groups deem inappropriate. Need I remind you that our national flag flew while hoards of Native Americans were being slaughtered? Anyone who finds the Confederate flag offensive doesn’t know squat about history. The flag originated from the St. Andrews Cross, a religious, Scottish emblem. Just because certain hate groups (i.e. the KKK) took the flag and distorted its meaning and significance doesn’t mean that the basis of its meaning and symbolism is related to racism or slavery. It evolved into that after Reconstruction, and up through the Civil Rights Movement. It didn’t represent such ugly things during the Civil War, for which Lee and so many other brave Southern men fought.

I certainly hope Southern heritage groups such as the SCV will stand up against this abhorrent, blatant racism. It is just as offensive to abolish the Confederate flag from Washington and Lee University as it is, to some people, to fly it, because it is denying us the privilege to honor our war heroes, and thus, denying us our Constitutional rights to freely express ourselves. Sorry if you think the flag is offensive. Guess what? There are plenty of things far more offensive, and there are far bigger problems that this country faces right now. Maybe those law students should redirect their angst, be more constructive instead of destructive, and work toward solving these problems instead of attacking other people’s heritage.

Removing the flag is alarming, and I’m afraid to see what will be the next to go. I’m sure someone, somewhere, will find something wrong with everything. And then what will we be left with? Getting rid of things for political correctness isn’t the answer: love, compassion, and mutual understanding is. This means that all of us need to accept our history and heritage, comprehend the philosophical differences that we’ve held during various times in that history, and embrace them all as our own unique, American design. Erasing history is the first step in our own destruction. Hitler proved that.

What’s In a Name?

Apparently, the city of Memphis, Tennessee is about to succeed in changing the names of three Confederate themed parks. According to a recent issue of the Sons of Confederate Veterans #1452 newsletter, the newly designated “Parks Renaming Committee” has decided that Forrest Park (named after Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest) will be renamed “Civil War Memorial Park.” I guess this is better than what they had originally wanted to rename it, which was “Health Sciences Park.” The City Council has agreed to leave the graves of Forrest, his wife, and his grandson, as well as the statue of Forrest on his steed, in the park. Jefferson Davis Park will soon become “Harbor Park,” instead of the original idea of renaming it “Mississippi River Park,” and Confederate Park will be renamed “Promenade Park” instead of the original name change suggestion of “Memphis Park.” The city might even go as far as to post signs in the parks in regard to the history surrounding them.

“I think it allows the city to heal a little bit,” Councilman Harold Collins said. “Everybody gets a little what they want.”

“Renaming these parks has no purpose,” Citizens to Save Our Parks President Mark Buchanan said. “It doesn’t solve anything in the city. Crime is still in the city. Taxes are still high.”

Another idea that failed was renaming a park after Civil Rights leader Maxine Smith. Pastor Keith Norman made a motion to rename JeffersonDavisPark after her, but in a 7 to 1 vote the motion failed.

Mayor A C Wharton said that he wanted one of the parks to be named after Smith. “If it’s necessary, I’ll just go ahead and do it on my own,” he said. “I feel that strongly about it.”

The park names debate now heads back to City Council, but no date has been set as to when Council members will meet on this issue.

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