There is a reason why white supremacists align themselves with a history that includes individuals like Nathan Bedford Forrest and symbols such as the Confederate flag. The history and legacy of Forrest and the Confederate flag have not been sabotaged or rewritten by such people. They can both be found time and time again as salient symbols for individuals and organizations that embrace racism and antisemitism.
I am not surprised to find that Glenn Miller closely identifies with both. As we all learned yesterday and this morning, Miller is the alleged killer of three people outside of Kansas City, MO at two Jewish community centers. The killings took place on the eve of Passover. It’s a story that hits close to my school community and our thoughts go out to the families. None of the victims was Jewish, but Miller’s intent is clear.
People are free to celebrate and embrace Forrest and the flag, but they have no right to demand or even expect others to follow suit. It’s a lost cause and the sooner we as a nation dispense with celebrating both in public places the better.
Today is the 150th anniversary of the Fort Pillow Massacre. Should it be remembered as a Confederate massacre of black soldiers, a moment in the long history of racial violence between black and white Americans or both?
Did You Buy Your Toy Soldiers?
As we get closer to April 2015 we will begin to read even more in the way of assessment of the sesquicentennial. The problem with these observations thus far, including this article by Wall Street Journal reporter Cameron McWhirter, is that they take a much too narrow approach to measuring the scope of what has taken place over the past few years and how it will likely impact how Americans will learn about the Civil War in the future. I spent 30 minutes on the phone with Mr. McWhirter, but unfortunately, nothing that I shared made it into the published version. Continue reading
You would think that the Sons of Confederate Veterans would issue a clear statement condemning the way in which these Waldron High School teens have chosen to display the flag. I particularly appreciate the respect shown for the rich heritage associated with this flag by flying it from the back of a pick-up truck while off-road driving. The mud adds a nice touch to the flag. The Confederate soldier certainly appreciates these kids taking the time to remember their sacrifice.
Yep, the future of Southern/Confederate heritage is in good hands.
March in Selma, Alabama (March 21, 1965)
This morning I received an email from a student at Walpole High School, who read my last post on the Confederate flag. His email and my response follow. Continue reading