“Rebel Yell” Grows Fainter
Turns out that a relatively new chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is having difficulty getting the good word out. Grayson Jennings, founder of the Edmund Ruffin Fire Eaters Camp No. 3,000 hopes to "oust" Waite Rawls who is the Executive Director of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond and in his place appoint Allen M. Ferguson. It is difficult to pinpoint the problem with Waite, but I suspect that he is perceived as too moderate given the goals of the SCV. Ferguson was slated to become chairman of the Valentine History Center in Richmond when it was discovered that he flew a Confederate battle flag in front of his home. This was perceived as a conflict with the goals of the History Center, but apparently just right for a position as president of the Edmund Ruffin chapter.
Jennings is also utilizing the assistance of one H.K. Edgerton this summer to get the good word out. Who is H.K. Edgerton? Edgerton is from Asheville, North Carolina and a former head of the local chapter of the NAACP. He is scheduled to appear at the Third Annual Dixie Days which is set to take place on June 10 and 11 in Hanover County. (Please don’t ask me for additional event information.) Edgerton decided to leave the organization to "embrace his southern roots":
Being a black civil-rights proponent and a Confederate sympathizer aren’t mutually exclusive, Edgerton says: “Me being black, there are plenty of issues on the table — the likelihood of being poor, dropping out of school, dealing drugs, getting locked up. But my social mobility has got nothing to do with the Confederate flag or the South.”
While I have no idea what Edgerton means here it is disturbing to see another example of an overly simplistic identification with the past. Why is it that we reduce the Southern past to the four years of the Confederacy? Isn’t there a much richer history that an African-American can "embrace" or does Edgerton have some kind of ulterior motive in aligning himself with this group?