Sons of Confederate VeteransJust when you think the Sons of Confederate Veterans have reached the limits of offensiveness with some of their antics they go ahead and completely re-write the rule book. The local chapter in Fernandina Beach, Florida thought that an entry in the annual Shrimp Festival would help with building and reinforcing connections to the community. The float they entered wasn’t much of a problem, but the inclusion of a man dressed in black and brandishing a bull whip caused a number of heads to turn.

Of course, it was all a huge misunderstanding. According to the article linked to above the SCV assumed that the crowd would understand that the individual in question represented a “cattle driver, rounding up Florida beef for Confederate troops” and not a slaveowner.

I just shared this story with a friend, who doesn’t know anything about the SCV. Her response: “I want to meet these people.” [insert sarcasm] That about sums it up. Well played, SCV…. well played.

19 comments add yours

  1. I happen to know the fellow with the whip. I saw him at another event. Re-enactment as it was. He was supposed to be a minister but dressed like no Civil War minister I have seen before. Cowboy boots and spurs. Looked more like a Rooster Cogburn then a CS Soldier.

    FARBY is the best term.

    • He would have been just fine without the whip. That the SCV didn’t think that this would be a problem is staggering or they knew exactly what they were doing.

  2. OMG, this is clearly beyond inappropriate. I am with you on the suggestion that they knew exactly what they were doing. To say they didn’t think this through gives them credit they don’t deserve. Nobody is that clueless.

  3. I was curious so I entered “cattle drive” into the Google search engine and then clicked on the “images”. Sure enough, there were dozens of images with cowboys making use of whips to herd and drive cattle. Unless you are going out of your way to pick a fight, this is a complete non-issue.

    • I see that you accept the SCV’s explanation that they were reenacting a cattle drive. Yep, these Floridians should have realized that when they saw him coming down the street with the SCV. 🙂

    • Well, it should be noted that the cowboys are also on horseback and not dressed as if they slave-drivers….

  4. You guys are reading too much into this. Use Occam’s razor, the simple explanation is best. I see a whip, I think S&M, not slavery. What is the matter with youse?

    • Pat, after reading your post, I actually and honest-to-God thought that this web-site said that Kevin schedules “spanking” engagements…

      • Y’all are kinky. I like that in my friends and colleagues. Oops.

  5. Come on, he’s that well-known historical figure “Massa Cracker”….
    Sort of a Mike Fink or Paul Bunyan for cornfeds.

  6. And these same people railed against the idea that the Civil War had anything to do with the institution of slavery.

    Oh no, they said.

    It was all about states’ rights! And the imposition of tariff duties on cheap imports of textiles to Southern states!

    What does that mindset tell us about life today?

    Only that people actually believe there has been no injustice in the historical treatment of African-Americans.

    And that there is no injustice today.

    Too true.

  7. My first time defending the SCV! Florida has a folk tradition about the 19th century cattle ranchers and drivers (pretty much the only white settlers in the middle & south interior until the end of the 19th century). This tradition contends that the term “cracker” comes from the crack of the bull whips used to drive the cattle. This is a familiar image among the sort of people who are interested in 19th century Florida history, particularly among the descendants of the white settlers of Central and South Florida, many of whom are now rebranding “cracker” as a term of cultural pride. For example, Those arguing that the SCV is intending to suggest slavery may be sincerely offended, but they are wrong about actual historical image being “reenacted.” This is just the Fernandina SCV being stunningly clueless and tone deaf.

    • This is great. Thanks for the added information.

      Those arguing that the SCV is intending to suggest slavery may be sincerely offended, but they are wrong about actual historical image being “reenacted.” This is just the Fernandina SCV being stunningly clueless and tone deaf.

      Stunningly clueless is the operative phrase here.

  8. I read the linked article, but it was a little confusing. Was the author suggesting that the war was fought over slavery? Did Congress pass a law making slavery illegal and then the Union went to war to enforce that law? If that was the case, wouldn’t the United States also have attacked Kentucky and Missouri? And Maryland and Delaware? I always thought that the war was fought between the seceded and non-seceded states, and that the war was fought to defeat the claimed right of secession (States Rights).

    • Dee,
      The American Civil War was started over the issue of slavery. The US did not attack the South. The South attacked it. State’s rights was not the cause of the Civil War. The people told us this in their own words repeatedly during that time period. It was only after the war when the defeated Confederates didn’t care for the way history was quoting what they themselves had said earlier began to develop the mythology of the Lost Cause.

Now that you've read the post, share your thoughts.