Sons of Confederate Veterans Whip a Florida Crowd Into Shape

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.

Civil War Memory has moved to Substack! Don’t miss a single post. Subscribe below.

19 comments… add one
  • Dee Brightley May 21, 2014 @ 10:34

    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).

    • The other Susan May 21, 2014 @ 13:03

      You almost figured it out Dee. Congress hadn’t passed a law yet, but the South feared that they would and seceded. You are probably a little confused because so many people call it the war of Northern aggression. You seem to be under the impression that the Federal government started the war. This site should help you get your brain around it.

    • Jimmy Dick May 21, 2014 @ 17:57

      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.

  • Dan Weinfeld May 21, 2014 @ 8:23

    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.

    • Kevin Levin May 21, 2014 @ 8:28

      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.

  • The other Susan May 20, 2014 @ 21:21

    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.

  • TF Smith May 20, 2014 @ 16:48

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

  • Pat Young May 20, 2014 @ 15:29

    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?

    • Brendan Bossard May 21, 2014 @ 17:40

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

      • Marian Latimer May 22, 2014 @ 16:36

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

  • Dee Brightley May 20, 2014 @ 14:16

    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.

    • Kevin Levin May 20, 2014 @ 14:24

      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. 🙂

    • H Donald Capps May 20, 2014 @ 15:05

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

  • Marian Latimer May 20, 2014 @ 13:49

    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.

    • Andy Hall May 20, 2014 @ 18:44

      Yes, they are.

      • Marian Latimer May 21, 2014 @ 15:37

        You’re right, I stand corrected. I clearly wasn’t thinking. Look at who we are talking about. Sigh.

  • Bob McDonald May 20, 2014 @ 13:07

    “The greatest sin is to be unconscious.”

    Carl Jung

  • Trueism May 20, 2014 @ 12:55

    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.

    • Kevin Levin May 20, 2014 @ 12:56

      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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *