This week the Stonewall Brigade of the Sons of Confederate Veterans learned that they will not be allowed to use the Lee Chapel on the campus of Washington & Lee University for their annual celebration of Lee-Jackson Day. A spokesman for the school made it very clear as to why:
Hosting the program is no longer an appropriate use of Lee Chapel, W&L spokesmen Brian Eckert said, in light of the “distortion, misstatements and inflammatory language” the school has endured from members of the organization upset with its decision last year to remove Confederate flags from part of the chapel.
“The persistent name-calling, vilification and uncivil attacks in messages to the university, letters to the editors of local newspapers and social media postings have persuaded us that our original intent to make the chapel available would not be appropriate,” Eckert said. “We simply are not going to allow our own facilities to be used as a place from which those attacks can be made.”
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This video comes to us from a t-shirt company that caters to customers with a social conscience. You can explore what the company has to offer by clicking through the video if interested. I will leave it to you to decide whether the profanity is appropriate, but the message itself is crystal clear.
On a more serious note, a couple of weeks ago Rob Baker emailed me about the appropriateness of displaying the Confederate flag in the classroom. It was an interesting discussion in the comments section and it led Rob to think carefully about how he is going to utilize it this year. You can read his post here.
[Uploaded to Vimeo on August 12, 2015]
The Southern Poverty Law Center has put together a map illustrating where the largest and most frequent Confederate flag rallies have taken place over the summer. According to the article, the largest rallies have taken place in Ocala, Florida, North Carolina and in
Charleston Columbia, South Carolina in July. Most of these rallies are relatively small. In fact, if you really think about it an overall number of 23,000 is pretty insignificant.
Many of these rallies took place in reaction to the removal of a flag or threat thereof, but except in a select few examples they have been completely ineffective in convincing communities to keep their Confederate flags flying. It is certainly easy to exaggerate the significance of these rallies since it only takes a few pick-up trucks or loud motorcycles to attract the attention of local media. [click to continue…]
Here is a thoughtful op-ed by by Timothy Tyson in response to North Carolina’s Mandatory Confederate Monuments Act, which appeared today in The News & Observer.
Our statehouse displays no statues to celebrate the interracial Fusion movement of the 1890s, which could have led the way into a different kind of South. We have no monuments on our courthouse lawns to the interracial civil rights movement that helped to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which made black Southerners full citizens for the first time. There are no monuments at the Capitol to Abraham Galloway, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Ella Baker or Julius Chambers.
Only one side of our racial history – the Confederates and the white supremacy movement – gets public monuments in North Carolina. And yet the history that we leave out of our public square speaks lessons far more profound than the message of the Confederacy.
The recent legislation that gives the North Carolina legislature the ultimate say over public “objects of remembrance,” including Confederate memorials, is not about preserving the legacy of the Confederacy. Instead, it will be marked as a monument to racial gerrymandering, racially driven voting laws, a war on the public schools and the authors’ quaking fear of a different kind of North Carolina, one where everyone has an equal and generous chance to blossom with their God-given rights and abilities.
The horrific shooting of nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina back in June did not spark this public debate about the place of Confederate iconography in public places. Rather, it intensified it to a degree that few could have anticipated. Over the past ten years the Confederate flag has quietly (and on occasion not so quietly) been lowered from public places and removed from other institutions throughout the South and beyond. Southerners from all ethnic and racial backgrounds have had to wrestle with the question of whether the flag’s public display reflects their community’s collective values and view of the past.
For anyone who has followed this trend and the events of this summer, it is clear that Confederate flag advocates have been thoroughly defeated. [click to continue…]