The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Flaggers

I had no idea that there is now a chapter of Flaggers in North Carolina.  It would be a stretch to draw any type of formal connection with the Flaggers in Virginia. It’s the same inane rhetoric about a subject they apparently know very little about.  In this case, it’s a new exhibit about Lincoln on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  These people have nothing to say about the actual exhibit beyond vague accusations of Lincoln as a war criminal.  Kirk Lyons (misspelled by the media as Lion) and H.K. Edgerton were in attendance, but all they can manage is the same old dog and pony show that has become their trademark.

It looks like some of the students had a good laugh at their expense.

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These people have nothing to say about the actual exhibit beyond vague accusations of Lincoln as a war criminal.

It’s bizarre, given that there’s probably a lot in the exhibition they’d agree with. Such as:

Slavery: Lincoln is widely acknowledged as one of America’s greatest presidents, but he was a controversial figure in his day and his historical reputation is contested today. Lincoln believed that slavery was immoral, but he shared many of the racial prejudices of his day. His policy preferences about slavery and abolition evolved over time. For much of his political career he favored gradual, compensated abolition of slavery and the colonization of freed slaves in South America or Africa. In the crucible of the Civil War, he came to believe that for the nation to survive, slavery had to end. The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 served to abolish slavery in the United States.

Civil Liberties: Lincoln claimed extraordinary powers in order to control the chaos of dissent during the Civil War. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus—the provision in the Constitution that protects citizens against arbitrary arrests. By 1863, thousands of civilians had been detained, mostly suspected draft dodgers and deserters and Confederate sympathizers in the Border States and the South. For these actions, Lincoln was denounced as a tyrant by his political foes. He struggled throughout the war to find the appropriate balance between national security and individual rights.

The original exhibit even included “a replicated jail cell for citizens arrested for dissent or disloyalty.”

Of course, acknowledging the presence of any of those elements in the exhibit would require a critique too long to fit on a placard. Or a Dixie Outfitters shirt.

The good news, of course, is that their demonstration undoubtedly drew more public attention to the exhibition that any number of canned press releases could.

It’s bizarre, given that there’s probably a lot in the exhibition they’d agree with

I thought the same thing just based on the news report. The problem is that these people are ill-prepared to deal with anything beyond meaningless platitudes. The only question that is asked is whether the exhibit clearly conforms to their assumptions. There is no room for complexity, distinctions, or questions in their little historical worlds.

As a founding member of the WNC Flaggers I have to say that you are little more than a cheap hack based on the derivel that you post. Judging our organization and our motivations without the slightest understanding of what we say or stand shows a clear lack of journalistic integrity. We held a demonstartion, not protest at UNCA to offer a second view of the openly Northern Viewpoint of Abraham Lincoln. This was determned by the Materials that preceeded the event coming to our area. We were for a period of several hours able to carry on a civil and peaceful discourse about a variety of topics, including current US foreign and Domestic olicy,(not directed at any particular political opponent. In the news piece you cited we were even lauded by the university’s “Diversity Advisor” over our willingness to discuss oppossing views, she said she disagreed with our premise, but like you I doubt she had taken the time to look at what we had brought forward. Maybe inflammatory rhetoric such as yours garners large numbers of blog hits. We are more concerned with a peaceful and honorable way of cooling the flames you and others like you fan into continued division of our nation. It is honorable that nearly 1/2 of the nations population in an area greater than 60% of the land-mass risked their life and liberty to protect their homes and communities from a belicose neighbor. But I guess that is just racism, so I should just Shut up……

Thank you for confirming my assumptions about the membership in this organization.

Perhaps you can tell us why you demonstrated in front of the entrance to this exhibit. What exactly did you have a problem with re: the exhibit? What was “Northern” about it as opposed to a Southern point-of-view. I would love to hear a thoughtful review of the exhibit from someone in the organization. Thanks.

For one we did not demonstrate infront of the exhibit, becuase of the current environment regarding free expression in this country we were relegated to the “Free Speech Zone” out of view of the exhibit. Hopefully we will be able to avoid the jail cells in the near future noted by a previous poster. However Federal actions such as the NDAA certainly forbode a similar outcome. The exhibit itself was not a target so much as an opportunity to share a portion of our history we assumed would not be covered. If more people visited the exhibit than great. They decided to do so instead of less thought-invoking pursuits. If they talked with us they may however visit the exhibit prepared with a new found appreciation for critical thinking. But apparently pursuing critical thinking is “Intellectually Bankrupt”. Of the near 100 pamphlets we passed out no one has called foul on any of our facts, but we certainly entertain responses. The hand-bill is posted on our facbook page at WNC flaggers and will soon be available at wncflaggers.org

As Andy Hall points out, why don’t you post with your real name? What are you embarrassed about?

If they talked with us they may however visit the exhibit prepared with a new found appreciation for critical thinking.

That is not visible on the video. Again, what was it about the exhibit that you disagreed with? What exactly did you believe you were correcting or adding to by demonstrating in front of the entrance? If you are not prepared to answer this question than I see no reason to approve your comments.

The exhibit itself was not a target so much as an opportunity to share a portion of our history we assumed would not be covered.

That’s pretty much standard, I’ve learned. The Confederate Heritage movement spends a lot of time and effort “disproving” caricatured, grossly-simplistic things that serious historians don’t actually claim.

As for the jail cell I mentioned before that you will “hopefully. . . be able to avoid,” you already have. It was a prop in the exhibit which (it seems) you deftly avoiding by not going through said exhibit. Look like y’all outwitted Old Abe again!

As I stated in my post our intial information on the exhibit portrayed a one-sided view of Lincoln and the war. It may be that it was the description of the particular venue that I first saw. However since when do we need to justify or ask approval for taking to the street corners to look for an opportunity to debate a point? I guess since we have been able to hide behind our keyborads and preach to the choir of our subscribers. The fact is of the several hundred students who passed by us most were not aware that the exhibit even existed. Riots did not break out and people said they would consider what they were presented with in light of the history they had been spoon-fed their entire lives.

Riots did not break out and people said they would consider what they were presented with in light of the history they had been spoon-fed their entire lives.

No one has accused you or anyone else associated with your group of inappropriate behavior. All I am asking is what the concern re: the content of the exhibit. Since you refuse to answer this question I must assume that either you did not step inside or if you do not have the ability to discuss specific interpretive problems with the exhibit.

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