J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Stone Mountain”

Not Everybody Has Gone Crazy

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I found the following article interesting and wanted to share it. Atlanta has been at the heart of controversy for the past year or so in regard to Confederate symbols and flags. Several years ago, the state was pressured into changing its flag so the Southern Cross was not as apparent. The NAACP talked about getting rid of Stone Mountain. And, of course,  all those monuments were under attack. Now the great city of Atlanta is causing more controversy.
ATLANTA TO NAME PARK FOR CONFEDERATE HERO

A controversy in the city of Atlanta is brewing over the naming of a park in a “Black community.” Some are shocked that the city plans to name the park after a former mayor and Confederate officer, Major Livingston Mims.
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Mims served as Atlanta’s mayor from 1901 to 1903. The park development will cost an estimated $40 million and will include a statue of Mims alongside 15 other statues of Black local and national leaders and a Georgia Native American chief. Among these statues will be likenesses of noted civil rights leader Julian Bond and famed educator and leader W.E.B. Dubois.

The Atlanta leadership of the NAACP states that “Including the Confederate Mims with these leaders would validate the principle of the ‘lost cause’ that has been promoted for 140 years by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, whose members include Georgia legislators, law enforcement officers and other politicians. The ‘lost cause’ postulates that the South lost the war but that the Confederate ’cause’ (enslaving Africans and people of African descent), and decision to wage war against the United States, was just.”
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The planned project will use a combination of private donations and public tax dollars to honor a hero of the Confederacy and this does not sit well with some, including the Atlanta branch of the NAACP. According to a press release from the Atlanta NAACP, “There should be no building of any structure, park or green space that honors any person or organization  that represents the celebration of the oppression of any racial, religious or minority group.”

Surprisingly, the naming of the park has the backing of former Atlanta mayor and civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew Young, who reportedly engaged in a heated discussion with Atlanta NAACP President Richard Rose about the park. The media is doing back flips to get as many quotes out there from Rose but all published accounts of the Twitter and Facebook discussions between Young and Rose are deleting Mayor Young’s comments.
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Aug. 26, 2016 ed.)
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More Attacks on the Confederate Battle Flag

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Last Saturday, members of the KKK decided to hold a demonstration at Stone Mountain in Georgia, and called it “White Lives Matter.” I don’t condone racism on any level, but the Black Lives Matter movement is definitely racist. However, holding a white power rally and letting the public know about it ahead of time is only asking for trouble. That’s exactly what happened. A group known as All Out ATL protested the rally by blocking entrances to the park and throwing fireworks and rocks at police. Seven people were arrested, and attractions at the park were cancelled for the day.

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The rally was held in retaliation for Georgia’s decision to discontinue Confederate Memorial Day, which has been held on the fourth Monday of April for years. Instead, the state calendar declared the day simply as a state holiday. Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal decided to do away with a day honoring Civil War veterans, as well as a state holiday celebrating Robert E. Lee’s birthday.

Deal said the change was meant to “show that we are a state that has come a very long way.” Really, Governor? A very long way from what? From standing up for something honorable and traditional, and instead caving in to political correctness?

“We are tolerant of a lot of things,” Deal said. “But we will also protect our heritage,” he said, adding: “This was not one of those areas where I thought it was necessary to keep those labels associated with the holiday.”

It seems to me that, if you start chipping away, soon everything will erode. I have to agree with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who said Deal’s changes were “an act of dishonor.”

Just to clarify, this demonstration had nothing to do with Confederate Memorial Day, although some news outlets have wrongly coincided this white supremacy event with the Confederate flag and the Confederacy as a whole.

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Meanwhile, yesterday in Montgomery, Alabama, a peaceful Confederate Memorial Day observation turned ugly when protesters showed up to disrupt the activities. Some showed up with guns but were finally backed down by police. Two people were arrested for firearms.

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What is this country coming to? It’s appalling that peaceful citizens can’t hold memorials for their ancestors without being harassed and intimidated by racially festering radical special interest groups. Something needs to change, and fast. Tolerance and understanding, along with education, is the key.

http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/04/25/why-today-is-no-longer-confederate-memorial-day-in-georgia/

http://m.startribune.com/end-to-confederate-holidays-creates-furor-in-georgia/321107431/?section=nation

https://www.rt.com/usa/340771-confederate-rallies-kkk-georgia/

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/04/2_protestors_arrested_for_fire.html

 

 

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

 

 

And the Hits Keep Coming

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I know I keep ranting about all the recent actions made against everything related to the Confederacy, but I just can’t believe this keeps happening! Georgia’s Stone Mountain is being targeted, in that the NAACP wants to sand blast the images of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson off the face of the mountain. It seems to me that this is destroying an historic treasure, which was created by Gutzon Borglum, the same man who created Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota.

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Nothing is sacred, as the politically correct are now targeting Confederate Memorial Day. I find this nothing less than repulsive. For those of you who don’t know, the first Memorial Day was observed in the South after the Civil War. Several Southern women began the tradition by placing flowers on the graves of their fallen, beloved soldiers. Eventually, Confederate Memorial Day moved to April.

Senator Vincent Fort of Atlanta, Georgia, recently filed State Senate Bill 294 in the Georgia State Legislature:

A Bill to be Entitled an Act

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 or the Civil War; to repeal the observing of Confederate History and Heritage Month.

Unbelievable! Obviously, he is not taking into account  how this offends the descendants of thousands of Confederate soldiers, including blacks, whites, Native Americans, Latinos, and various other nationalities who fought and died to protect their homeland (not slavery).

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The Sons of Confederate Veterans are asking for support to fight this bogus legislation. For more information, check out:

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

 

More Stone Mountain Controversy

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This weekend, several lectures are scheduled to take place at Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta, Georgia. They are in response to the recent turn of events I wrote about concerning the placement of a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. on top of the mountain. The monument, proposed by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, would be a replica of the Liberty Bell, and would be called the “Freedom Bell.” Dr. King’s infamous “I Have a Dream” speech would be included, as well as this inscription: “Let Freedom Ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.” The Stone Mountain Park Association approved the placement of the monument, but has received criticism for its decision.

The lecture series is being called “Confederate Heritage and the Fracturing of American Identity.” It will address the issue of abolishing Confederate symbols and monuments. Many people feel that it is inappropriate to place a MLK monument on Stone Mountain, which was legally designated as a Confederate memorial years ago. I, for one, agree with this notion. If this is allowed to happen, then in all fairness, Confederate flags should be placed at every Civil Rights monument.

For more information, visit:

http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/?u=41d92968e1e10ba88ff5078a2&id=3707e03783&e=f7224046ee

http://www.wsbtv.com/ap/ap/georgia/civil-rights-groups-hope-ga-gov-will-prevent-king-/nn3T7/

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/national-international/Civil-Right-Groups-Oppose-MLK-Monument-Stone-Mountain-332539942.html

http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/stone-mountain/2015/10/14/civil-rights-leaders-governor-no-mlk-presence-stone-mountain/73955528/

Sometimes, Showing Honor is Disrespectful

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Yesterday, the Sons of Confederate Veterans sent out a statement in response to the placement of a Martin Luther King Jr. monument on Stone Mountain in Georgia. Stone Mountain is in a predominately black area of Atlanta. The MLK statue has been proposed by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association. However, this is in complete conflict with the original establishment of Stone Mountain, which was to honor the Confederacy. Although some think it would be okay to place a MLK monument on the mountain, it is completely disrespectful to the thousands who died defending their homeland during the Civil War.

“This decision by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association is wholly inappropriate in that it is an intentional act of disrespect toward the stated purpose of the Stone Mountain memorial from its inception as well as a possible violation of the law which established the Stone Mountain Memorial Association and charged it with promoting the mountain as a Confederate memorial.

“The Venable family, which owned Stone Mountain in the early 1900′s, leased the face of the mountain to the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1916 for the purpose of creating a carved memorial to the Confederacy.  The UDC contracted Gutzon Borglum, who later sculpted the Mount Rushmore carving; after the work was halted due to a disagreement with Borglum, the carving remained unfinished for several decades.  As the state began to discuss interest in reviving the memorial project as a state project, the Venable family deeded the land to the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, Inc. in 1956.  Two years later, in 1958, the state of Georgia purchased Stone Mountain; and the General Assembly created the Stone Mountain Memorial Association expressly to maintain the mountain and all adjacent property as a Confederate memorial and complete a portion of the original design for the carving.

“The act of the General Assembly which created the Stone Mountain Memorial Association specifically states the park, including both the mountain and all adjacent property, is to be maintained and operated as a Confederate memorial (OCGA 12-3-191).   The erection of monuments to anyone other than Confederate heroes in Stone Mountain Park is in contradistinction to the purpose for which the park exists and would make it a memorial to something different.  The park was never intended to be a memorial to multiple causes but solely to the Confederacy.  Therefore, monuments to either Michael King or soldiers of any color who fought against the Confederacy would be a violation of the purpose for which the park was created and exists. The opinions of the park’s current neighbors and opponents are of no bearing in the discussion.

“Furthermore, the erection of a monument to anything other than the Confederate Cause being placed on top of Stone Mountain because of the objections of opponents of Georgia’s Confederate heritage would be akin to the state flying a Confederate battle flag atop the King Center in Atlanta against the wishes of King supporters.  Both would be altogether inappropriate and disrespectful acts, repugnant to Christian people.”

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According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “the Sons of Confederate Veterans are right about Stone Mountain.” There are plenty of places where a MLK monument can be placed, but Stone Mountain shouldn’t be one of them.

Hundreds Rally in Support of Confederate Flag

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Last Saturday, hundreds upon hundreds of Southerners showed up at Stone Mountain in Georgia to support the Confederate battle flag at a rally. Stone Mountain is the country’s largest Confederate memorial, and has been targeted by the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP for removal.

One of the rally organizers, Thomas Jewell, a black man, said that he rallies to the flag because it represents his Southern heritage. He is not offended by it, and knows that the flag has been misrepresented in the past.

“If you look a little deeper, you’ll find out what it was all about,” Jewell said. “The flag was never meant to be racist. It’s a heritage thing. It’s a Southern thing.”

Billy Armistead said he came to the rally “to honor the memory of his relative Lewis A. Armistead, who fought for the Confederate States of America in the Civil War.”

Joel Colston said, “It’s not about hate. People are trying to take our flag away from us and that’s not right. We’re trying to do something about it.”

Jimmy Creek, a rally organizer, said, “We do rallies, not protests. We just do it peacefully. We don’t want trouble, but we’ll back each other up [if there is].”

Many more rallies are scheduled in the coming weeks. One is scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. on September 5, and I’m sure it will have a huge turnout. This just goes to show how more people are defending the flag than are protesting its existence.

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 War against the Flag Rages On (But You Can Win!)

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Since I posted on my blog last week, numerous developments have occurred in regard to the desecration of the Confederate battle flag. Not only have several big box stores vowed to discontinue sales, but Apple has taken down some of their games as well. Since then, sales of the Confederate battle flag have doubled. TV Land has stopped showing The Dukes of Hazzard, and rumor has it that Facebook will not allow postings of the Confederate battle flag (we’ll see if this gets posted).

NASCAR C.E.O. Brian France said that the flag is an “offensive and divisive symbol.” However, he somewhat changed his stance. Instead of banning the flag from races, he has offered a flag exchange, and is asking that spectators fly the Stars and Stripes instead of the Confederate battle flag this weekend in honor of Independence Day.

Ft. Sumpter has furled its Confederate battle flags, and all Confederate flags are being removed from the entrance to Stone Mountain. Some nut is even circulating a petition to have Stone Mountain blown up.

Baltimore’s mayor and city council have taken up a proposal to remove three Confederate monuments in the city. And Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton wants something even worse. He has announced a proposal to have the bodies of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife exhumed from Forrest Park (recently renamed Health Sciences Park by Wharton and the city council), and moved to Elmwood Cemetery. He would also like for the statue of General Forrest to be removed from the park. There is no word as to where the city would move it, or if they plan on moving the body of General Forrest’s grandson, who is also buried at the park. Absurdity reigns.

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The Ku Klux Klan has stated that they will march in South Carolina later this month to protest the removal of the Confederate battle flag. In my opinion, this is derogatory to the cause. Because of them and their racist views, the Confederate battle flag has been associated with them. However, most of us know this is not the case.

It’s bad representation like this that gives fuel to the fire of anti-Confederate nonsense. In a recent poll taken by USA TODAY/Suffolk University, the country is split on whether or not to do away with the flag. According to the poll, 42% believe it represents Southern history and heritage, while 42% believe the flag is racist and should be removed. More than half of whites who were polled believe the assault in South Carolina was an isolated incident committed by one lone gunman, and one-third say “it reflects a larger problem of racism in America.” However, among African Americans, three out of four say the battle flag reflects racism.

I would say that hypersensitivity is part of the problem. Why is it that three-fourths of blacks view the flag as racist? I’m sure part of the reason is because of the way the flag, and white Southerners in general, are portrayed by the media. Here in Sioux Falls, a local television station broadcast this story:

“A Sioux Falls couple feuding with their neighbors is flying the Confederate flag, hoping to offend people they don’t like who live close by. What would you think if this was your neighbor?”

Really? I find the wording to be offensive and misleading. We don’t know what their feud is about, or if there even is a feud. Is that really why they are flying the flag, or are they just proud to be from the South? Who knows, but in this case, it’s bad reporting. The cartoon below, which recently appeared in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, is also very offensive. Associating the Confederate battle flag with ISIS is horrendous, to say the least.

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So what happens now? Will the flag continue to vanish, whether we like it or not? Why don’t we get a say in the matter? Why haven’t these issues been put to a vote? And what will this lead to? Will all books with the flag on the cover, historical or otherwise, be banned? Will all movies be banned as well? Gone with the Wind is already under scrutiny, and you can forget about ever seeing The Birth of a Nation on TNT again.

A Beautiful Glittering Lie Cover Art   9780595908561

In honor of the Confederate battle flag and those who fought under it, I am running a contest throughout the month of July. Please send an email to jdrhawkins@gmail.com stating what the flag means to you, and you will be entered to win both of the first two books in the Renegade Series – A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire. It’s my intention to show the Confederate flag in a positive light and educate people about the Southern cause, so please help spread the word.

In Honor of Two Famous Generals

This week marks the birthdays of two famous Confederate generals: Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Lee’s birthday was yesterday, January 19, and Jackson’s birthday is tomorrow, January 21.

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Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807. He was a son of the famous Revolutionary War hero, “Light Horse Harry” Lee. Robert E. Lee’s upbringing was atypical of Virginia gentry. Although his first home was at Stratford Hall (a beautiful plantation in Virginia that is now a tourist attraction), Lee’s family moved to Alexandria when he was four because his father was thrown into debtor’s prison. Robert E. Lee was accepted into West Point Military Academy in 1825, where he excelled and graduated at the top of his class with no demerits. He served as a military engineer, and married Mary Custis, the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, at Arlington House.

After fighting in the Mexican War, Lee continued with the United States military until Virginia seceded in April, 1861. He then decided to stay true to his state, so he resigned his commission. He served under Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who eventually gave Lee total control of the Confederate Army. During the first two years of the war, Lee and Jackson fought side-by-side in several battles.

Following his surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, Lee served as the President of Washington and Lee University in Lexington. His tenure was short-lived, however. He died on October 12, 1870, and is buried on campus. Lee was a true patriot, hero, and gentleman. He was deeply religious, and was greatly admired and respected by his men, as well as his students and the citizens of Lexington.

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Thomas J. Jackson, born on January 21, 1824, was also a deeply religious man. He was sometimes ridiculed for his peculiar, eccentric behavior. Jackson was extremely shy, but after a harsh upbringing, he learned to read, and managed to graduate from West Point in 1846. He fought in the Mexican War, where he met Robert E. Lee. In 1851, Jackson became a professor at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, Virginia, where his teaching methods received criticism. His first wife died in childbirth, but he remarried a few years later.

When the Civil War broke out, Jackson was assigned to Harpers Ferry, where he commanded the “Stonewall Brigade.” His strategic military genius helped win battles at First and Second Manassas, the Peninsula and Valley Campaigns, and the Battle of Fredericksburg. During the Battle of Chancellorsville in May, 1863, Jackson was mistaken for the enemy by his own men and wounded. His arm was amputated, and it was thought he would recover. But after eight days, he succumbed to pneumonia. He died on May 10, 1863, and is buried in Lexington Cemetery (his left arm is buried at Ellwood Manor).

Lee and Jackson were two of the most prolific generals of the Civil War. Their religious conviction and military genius will always be admired and revered. Both men, along with Jefferson Davis, are featured in the carving on Stone Mountain, Georgia.

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