J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Constitution”

Students Stick to Their Guns (Or Rather, Their Flag)

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Lately, I’ve been posting about all the anti-Confederate sentiment that has been sweeping the country since last summer when some complete lunatic went on a shooting spree at a church attended mostly by black people. The idiot posed with the Confederate Battle Flag on a social media website. Since then, flags, monuments, street names, and anything honoring Confederate war veterans has come under attack. The following is an article that I found interesting. Although the political elite and certain ethnic groups have taken it upon themselves to erase history and label all things Confederate as “racist,” some people still have the common sense to stand up for their rights and what they believe in.

Virginia, high school student rally in support of the Confederate Flag
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After school administrators at Staunton River High School in Montea, Virginia, enforced its policy, telling students that the Confederate flag was banned from vehicles in the school’s parking lot, a group of students organized to sponsor a parade of cars emblazoned with the flag to express their First Amendment rights.

According to WDBJ, CBS Channel 7, students Chas Goodson and Zachary Barton were told to leave their flags at home but felt the school was attempting to shut down their Constitutional right to free expression.

“We’re doing all of this to stand up for our First Amendment rights,” Goodson told the media.

The pair of students said they outfitted their vehicles with the Confederate symbol in memory of recently-passed country music legend Merle Haggard but were confronted by school administrators over the flags.

The pair also noted their ancestors served in the WBTS and the flag was a nod to their ancestry.

“We are very proud of our heritage and we want to be able to show it,” Barton told Channel 7. “We were given our First Amendment right for a reason and we want to be able to use it.”

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School administrations hastened to claim they have no intention of stomping on anyone’s First Amendment rights…..large banners and flags had already been banned on vehicles in the school parking lot, even if they are large U.S. flags.

But the students who organized the parade of autos said their response isn’t over. Students and parents also went to the campus and marched with their flags too, some representing a group called “Battle Flag Rally for Freedom.”

“It’s not about hate. It’s about the heritage,” said Jason Wright, a Staunton River High student. “When schools try to take away our American flags and stuff and tell us we can’t fly them at school, that’s not right.”

The students say they intend to rally again sometime next week.

The “Battle Flag Rally for Freedom” group has a Facebook page where they describe themselves as a peaceful group.

“We promote peaceful rallies for the support of Confederate and American values. We support the Constitution of the Confederacy & the U.S.A. no hate.”

(Article Courtesy of Southern Heritage News & Views, April 11, 2016 ed.)

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Dishonoring the Honorable

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It seems every day of the year has been designated for something. Today is Play Tennis Day, Banana Bread Day, Curling is Cool Day, and International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. But now, a day that has been designated as Confederate Memorial Day, which has been celebrated in the South for centuries, is under attack. Georgia State Senator Vincent Fort has authored a bill that aims to erase all Confederate holidays. Senator Fort is all for impeding the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, and now he is attacking a day that has been set aside to honor Confederate veterans.

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Lest I remind Senator Fort that Confederate vets are American vets. Eradicating a memorial day in their honor is nothing less that disrespectful and despicable. State Senate Bill 294 in the Georgia State Legislature should be opposed at all costs. The Bill reads:

To amend Chapter 4 of Title 1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to holidays and observances, so as to revise the public and legal holidays recognized by the State of Georgia; to prohibit the recognition of public and legal holidays honoring, recognizing, observing, or celebrating the Confederate States of America, its history, or the military or political leaders thereof of the Civil War; to repeal the observing of Confederate History and Heritage Month.

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It amazes me that an observance like Confederate Memorial Day should be under attack, when other ridiculous days are okay. Do we really need to honor banana bread and dog biscuits? Really? I think it is our responsibility as U.S. citizens to not allow such attacks on sacred entities like our veterans, and when they occur, to do something about it. My father was a veteran (Marine), and I would be livid if someone wanted to do away with a plaque, monument, or holiday that was set aside to celebrate him. Senator Fort should be ashamed of himself.

http://gascv.org/bill-introduced-to-erase-confederate-memorial-day/

The Fight for Heritage Continues

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Last week, the Sons of Confederate Veterans won a major victory in Memphis, Tennessee, after a judge decided that they had the right to sue the city for changing the names of three parks. Forrest Park, named after Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, was the primary subject of the suit, because the SCV had placed a large sign at the edge of the park designating it as “Forrest Park.” The city removed the sign without notice, and changed the name of the park to Health Sciences Park. They also did away with Jefferson Davis Park and Confederate Park, renaming them as well.

The ruling is a tremendous victory for Constitutional rights. To remove all things “Confederate” is a criminal offense and should not be taken lightly. Confederate veterans were designated as American veterans way back in 1906, when a Congressional Act was passed as a move toward reconciliation. To destroy or mutilate any veteran’s grave or marker is a Federal offense and should be treated accordingly.

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This goes hand in hand with trying to do away with the Confederate battle flag – the flag for which these veterans so gallantly fought. It is disrespectful to omit the flag from public view because it is misconceived by a few. This has happened at Washington and Lee University. In the chapel where General Robert E. Lee is interred, Confederate flags have been removed. The Confederate battle flag that flew above the Confederate soldier’s monument on the State Capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina received national attention a couple of months ago after a massacre took place by a lunatic at a church, and was also removed.

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Several schools around the country are debating whether or not to remove the flag. Although a small town in Virginia decided to retain the flag and their mascot name, “the Rebels,” and Gettysburg, South Dakota declined removing the Confederate battle flag from their town’s logo and police cars, other towns have caved under the pressure brought on by hate groups such as the NAACP. In Kentucky, the debate will continue later this month when board members discuss replacing the flag that was previously flying over an elementary school in Floyd County but was taken down.

The Case for the Confederate Battle Flag

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Controversy surrounding the Confederate battle flag continues to escalate. Some feel that stashing away the flag is a solution, but I believe the flag should be reinvented as an historic symbol, rather than automatically being associated with racism. The flag has been used by certain hate groups in the past, but these groups have also used the American flag. The Stars and Stripes flew over slave ships, not the Confederate battle flag. If one element of our society is deemed offensive to particular groups, then it will inevitably lead to other banned elements. Removing the Confederate battle flag from government property and national parks is only the beginning. Certain groups are already calling for the removal of all things Confederate, including flags, school names, monuments, movies, books, and television shows. They even want to relocate Civil War soldiers’ bodies. To me, this is offensive, and it is also censorship. Although I understand how the flag might upset some people, to others, it is a sign of Southern pride and heritage. Either way, censoring items doesn’t do away with deeper issues.

Passing laws to remove the Confederate battle flag might seem like a perfect remedy, but in reality, it doesn’t accomplish anything. Racists will still find a symbol to use. People will still lay blame on inanimate objects, instead of blaming the true source of hate. Guns, flags, and photographs don’t commit atrocities. People do. That is why we need to change our attitudes toward these objects, or it will lead to far worse consequences down the road. I’m sure there are people who are offended by the Nazi flag, the Japanese flag, the rainbow flag, or whatever. If one flag is done away with, then all the others should be, too, including the American flag. It flew while thousands of Native American Indians were being slaughtered, after all. And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of Stone Mountain, Mount Rushmore, every statue in Washington D.C., and any reminder of Confederate soldiers or slave owners, including our founding fathers. Let’s rename all the streets, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s namesakes, because it’s only fair.

By taking away our symbols, this country is denying our freedom of speech and expression. In a recent Newsmax poll, 88% wanted to keep Confederate flags on government property. And in the small town of Gettysburg, South Dakota, the police chief has fallen under scrutiny for deciding not to change the officers’ uniform patches, which depict the American and Confederate flags crossing over a cannon.

Of course, someone will be offended by something sometime. I’m offended by numerous things, like those mud flaps with nude females on them and sexist lyrics in songs. But to deny their use is going against our Constitutional rights. As U.S. citizens, we need to take a stand against allowing this issue to elevate further, or we will end up having complete government rule, and that is exactly what Southerners fought against during the Civil War.

My upcoming novel, A Rebel Among Us, a novel of the Civil War, discusses this topic in-depth. It delves into the lives of two people – one from the North, and one from the South. Their opinions and differences repeatedly collide, making their relationship all the more compelling and complicated.

As it was in the past, we are facing these same conflicts today. We are one country with many different attitudes and backgrounds, which makes us diverse and unique. To take away just one element of expression opens us up to complete censorship and governmental control in the future.

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.

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