J.D.R. Hawkins

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Archive for the tag “racism”

Senseless Actions Explained

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I thought the author of the following article put the issue of destroying Confederate Monuments into perspective, so I wanted to share.

The Danger of Taking Down Confederate Monuments

By Christine Barr

Christine Barr is a Texan from Tennessee writing for the Paris Post- Intelligencer.

She is the mother of four children.

It becomes tiresome pointing out the same old historical half-truths when talking about the War Between the States. So in the interest of not getting distracted from my main point, let’s ignore the many reasons other than slavery behind the formation of the Confederate States of America (CSA).

Why not? Most do already.

Instead, let’s talk about why current politicians’ taking down monuments to CSA soldiers and politicians is far more dangerous than allowing them to remain.

First, a word about symbols. It is entirely possible, and in fact most often the case, that symbols can contain a multitude of meanings. That meaning is determined by the context in the which the symbol is seen, and by the person the viewer of the symbol is.

You may see the U.S. flag, and feel inspired as it reminds you of patriotism and love of country; citizens of other countries often have a far different interpretation.

I see the cross, and am reminded of the inestimable love of Jesus, while non-Christians may have a negative reaction.

And who is to say that one side is wrong?

Symbols do not have meaning separate from the context in which they exist. The meaning is an artificial construct – a red rose is simply a flower until someone from a culture which view both the flower and its color as significant sees it.

That means that it is entirely possible that the person who tells you a Confederate monument or flag represents pride in regional heritage is not in fact racist.

That does not mean that to someone else, the flag or monument does embody racism – usually the argument against the flags of the CSA are predicated on the fact that slavery was an economic issue behind the South’s dissatisfaction with remaining in the Union.

This completely ignores the objective fact that the Union did not disavow slavery upon commencing actions against the CSA, and continued to have slavery be legal in the slave states of the Union even AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation freed some slaves in very specific areas.

It is usually also brought up that racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan have used the flags, again ignoring the role of the U.S. flag in the racist groups’ rallies, etc.

Minus any evidence to the contrary, the fact is that it is the willful ignorance, or conscious ignoring, of these facts that allow politicians and various organizations to manipulate the public through craven appeal to a simplistic understanding.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars – from some unknown source – were used to remove statues and memorials in New Orleans. Now the mayor can gleefully claim to have fought the nasty racists, and undoubtedly those who have rewarded him with accolades and their applause will continue to congratulate him and his cronies on this grand stand against racism.

It’s an easy – if tawdry – way to get a bump in approval. But at the end of the day, how has it made the life of even one New Orleans minority citizen better?

The supposedly private funds used to destroy part of the history of a city with a large amount of historical tourism might have been used to help rectify the housing shortage which continues to burden the largely minority workforce that enables the tourism industry to succeed.

It could have been used to help transform the lackluster public education system, enabling even the poorest citizens to have confidence that their children were receiving the kind of education which would equip them to take their place in society and be the kind of leaders so desperately needed in New Orleans.

Instead, it went to the wanton destruction of items that had no impact on the day-to-day lives of the very population most in need of having the real legacy of racism erased.

The greatest danger in this kind of empty political stunt is the fact it enables smug, self-satisfied Yankees and “progressive” Southerners to once again make the CSA and the South their racial scapegoat.

Northerners won’t have to grapple with the embedded racism that informed their region in the 1860s, and which continues to this day. Those self-hating Southerners can pretend that they have risen above it.

How glorious to be amongst the non-racists of the United States! How grand to know that there is nothing other than removing those statues that need be done!

The hard work of ensuring equality for all requires all hands on deck.

By seeking to alienate a large portion of citizens who rightly wish to preserve their historical heritage and NOT support racism, those who take advantage of the ignorance and easily swayed opinions of otherwise well-meaning liberals do the cause of freedom, justice and equality an extreme disservice.

It also doesn’t serve our nation in the long run to ignore large chunks of our history and pretend that the complexities of our past just didn’t exist.

It doesn’t advance us; it puts us on the level of ISIS and all those who delight in bombing statues, destroying museums and trying to erase that which doesn’t support their agenda.

(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, November 24, 2017 issue)

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Georgia Under Fire

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Not surprisingly to me, all things Confederate have fallen under attack. This was prompted by the shootings at a black church last year by a racist lunatic who posed in a picture with the Confederate battle flag. It seems this was all it took to spark a wildfire of attacks on Southern heritage and history, using the excuse of racism as a cloak to destroy these treasures and force a hateful message of cultural cleansing on everyone. In Georgia, the following has been targeted:

The Chattooga County Commissioner has the flag display removed from the Confederate Monument on the County Courthouse grounds.

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The Georgia Department of Revenue pulls the Georgia Division, SCV specialty tags for all tag offices and halts the sale of the tags.
NAACP attempts to have the Bullock County Confederate Monument removed from the Courthouse grounds.
NAACP attempts to have the Jasper County Confederate Monument removed from the Courthouse grounds in Monticello.
NAACP and past City of Macon mayor calls for the removal of the Bibb County Confederate Monument in Macon to be removed.
Governor Nathan Deal has Robert E. Lee and Confederate Memorial Day removed from the State Calendar.

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The NAACP and the SCLC call for the removal of the Confederate Memorial carvings from Stone Mountain.
Liberal Activist in Rabun County attempts to remove the flag display from the Confederate Monument in Clayton, Georgia.
Representative DaLawn Jones of district 62, files House Bill 760 that would change Stone Mountain from being a memorial to the Confederacy and give the authority to state agencies to define and change monuments if they deem them inappropriate.
State Senator Vincent Fort of Atlanta files Senate Bill 294 that prohibits 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 or the Civil War; to repeal the observing of Confederate History and Heritage Month.

All these attacks are nothing less than alarming and disrespectful. Lest I remind these politically correct activists that the items listed above are in honor of American veterans. Regardless of what side of the Civil War they fought for, they were designated as U.S. veterans decades ago. To try and take away the honor they earned and deserve is nothing less than shameful and selfish.

House Bill 50 has been filed in support of “protecting government statues, monuments, plaques, banners, and other commemorative symbols; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.” To read House Bill 50, check out:

http://files.ctctcdn.com/c6653e36501/948f936e-0920-40cb-9484-4458ec40fe3a.pdf

 

 

Controversy Sparks Rallies and Radical Behavior

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Over the weekend, numerous rallies were held in support of the Confederate battle flag. One such rally took place in Hernando, Mississippi, on the grounds of the town’s historic courthouse. Hundreds were in attendance to show their support, and display their pride in their Southern history and heritage.

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But that wasn’t all that happened last weekend. Vandals took it upon themselves to paint graffiti on the monument of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest in Memphis, Tennessee, by writing “Black Lives Matter” on the base. This desecration is completely unacceptable, as the monument is located directly above the graves of the general and his wife in what was previously known as Forrest Park.

In 1906, the first of several laws was passed, declaring that Confederate veterans are American veterans. That means that, by desecrating Civil War (specifically Confederate) headstones, monuments, etc., it is the same as vandalizing those from WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and other conflicts. To intentionally attack Confederate graves specifically is a rancid display of racism.

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The media is certainly feeding fuel to the fire. In a recently published cartoon, the artist depicts all that is wrong with America today. But the problem is that the Confederate flag is front and center, drawing the most attention, with the word “racism” plastered beneath it. For those who aren’t learned in Civil War history, most would assume the flag represents this deplorable act. However, the flag isn’t behaving in a racist way. On the contrary, those who are painting “Black Lives Matter” on everything Confederate are the true bigots.

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.

The Insanity Keeps Spreading

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Controversy surrounding the Confederate battle flag keeps flaring, and now, of course, the topic has spread to other areas. Last weekend during a 4th of July parade in Minnesota, a firefighter was suspended for driving his own vehicle in the parade. Why, you may ask? It’s because he had a Confederate flag bumper sticker on his truck. Now the fire department is calling for this guy’s resignation. Insane. There is also a small town in Minnesota that is debating about changing its name, because it is named after a Confederate. Also insane.

At Yale University, a conversation has begun concerning the renaming of Calhoun College, which was named after John C. Calhoun in the 1930’s. Calhoun served as U.S. Senator of South Carolina and as Vice President. But aside from his political career, he was also a staunch believer in the slave plantation system. Calhoun graduated from Yale in 1804. Again insane.

Yesterday, the South Carolina Senate voted 37-3 to have the Confederate battle flag removed from the Capitol grounds. I won’t be surprised if the flag will be removed. I’m sure Governor Nikki Haley put enough pressure on the naysayers to convince them to vote for the flag’s removal. The problem is that the flag was flying over a Confederate memorial. So what’s to become of that monument? If the governor has her way, I’m sure it will be the next thing to go.

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I’m certain this country was a lot different in the 1800’s, and slavery was part of our culture. However, slavery has been illegal since 1865. Doing away with any and all reminders of our slave-including past won’t fix what’s wrong with this country today. It only dilutes historical fact. Most people associate the Confederate battle flag with slavery, but they are sorely mistaken. The Confederate battle flag, on the contrary, represents the rights of the people, rather than having a unified government. The Stars and Stripes flew over slave ships, not the Confederate battle flag. In fact, the Confederate battle flag wasn’t even used until after the First Battle of Manassas. Before people go flying off the handle about this, which they obviously already have, they need to have a history lesson.

Instead of concentrating so much effort on removing historic symbols, this country should focus on today’s issue of slavery. Thousands are crossing our borders and being swooped up by predators to become sex slaves. Why isn’t this the media’s focus? Our country has a far more serious situation to deal with than wiping the Confederate battle flag from our collective conscience. Slavery and racism won’t end with abolishing the Confederate battle flag.

“The clamor being raised against all things that were the Confederate States of America is but a glaring fulfillment of the establishment of the American MSM’s version of Orwell’s “1984” Ministry of Truth.  Just as Orwell said, ‘By controlling the present, the Party is able to manipulate the past. And in controlling the past, the Party can justify all of its actions in the present.’”

(Courtesy of Southern Heritage News and Views, 7-6-15)

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