Not Important You Say?

Every once in a while my blogging buddy, Richard Williams, reminds his readers not to take me seriously and not to exaggerate my importance within the blogosphere and beyond.  I appreciate that advice as it helps me to keep my ego in check.  The only problem is that Richard has the strangest way of showing it.  My WordPress dashboard contains ten of the most recent links to my blog, six of which can be traced back to Richard’s site.   Let’s see, today he took me to task for some comments I made about a book concerning black Confederates.  Last Thursday Richard expressed his disapproval of some comments I made in an interview with the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.  Last week I was the beneficiary of an extensive critique for a short post I did concerning a talk I heard by James Robertson.  And to round it out, check out these two posts from last month.  [See here and here]

If I didn’t no any better I would venture to suggest that Richard Williams is my biggest fan.

16 comments… add one
  • Richard Williams Jul 28, 2010 @ 6:47

    Kevin: Given the opportunity, I would support your efforts to prosecute anyone who made a threat of physical harm against you (or anyone else for that matter), for simply expressing an opinion. Regardless of how heated disagreements get, that is totally unacceptable – and criminal. However, if my memory serves me correctly, you are referring to some woman who said, I believe, your opponents should go after you with “both barrels.” That phrase is an old Southern idiom which simply means “forceful” or with “lots of energy.” I don’t believe the woman was actually threatening you (or suggesting other do so), with physical harm.

    May I suggest: “Suddenly Southern: A Yankee’s Guide to Living in Dixie”



    • Kevin Levin Jul 28, 2010 @ 6:56

      Hi Richard,

      Even though we disagree on just about everything I have no doubt that you would go to bat for me in such a situation. At the time I wasn’t familiar with the reference in question, but was made aware of it a few days later. I am still weary of the reference given the individual who used it as well as the sites on which it appeared. Since then I did receive a more explicit threat. You would be shocked by the number of private emails that I receive on a fairly regular basis. Once again, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment here. It means a lot to me. And I also appreciate your decision to delete that comment on your most recent post, which I suspect was directed at me. It wouldn’t be so bad if the authors had the courage to take ownership of their own words rather than hide behind a pseudonym.

      Finally, I am going to check out your book suggestion, but I may also need something suitable for my German wife. She has a much longer road to travel. 😀

      • Richard Williams Jul 28, 2010 @ 7:10

        Kevin – the comment I blocked was not in any way a personal attack on you, it was simply steering the discussion in a purely political direction, while sometimes appropriate, was not a direction I wanted to go with that post. I don’t doubt you’ve received nasty emails and threats. I’ve received a few myself and been called some rather “ungentlemanly” things. Regarding Southern speak, I will be happy to serve as an interpreter when called upon. Germans are no more of a challenge (perhaps less so) than yankees.

        I must ask though, do you really believe I “have no business discussing history?”


        • Kevin Levin Jul 28, 2010 @ 7:52

          Hi Richard,

          Can you provide me with a link to my own comment?

          • Richard Williams Jul 28, 2010 @ 9:17

            #10 above.

            • Kevin Levin Jul 28, 2010 @ 9:24


              I was not in any way referring to you. Perhaps I am wrong, but other than the comments I referenced in #8 I’ve never edited or deleted anything of yours. I was responding to Brian’s worries about my moderating of the blog. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Brian W. Schoeneman Jul 27, 2010 @ 7:38

    Kevin, I think it’s more likely that Richard simply wants to get his opinion out on your posts without having to do so on this site, where the chances of his comments being moderated, shut down, or him being banned for presenting a contrary opinion are zero.

    I generally appreciate it when my colleagues across the aisle link to my stories and criticize me on their site. The boost in traffic is always nice to see.

    • Kevin Levin Jul 27, 2010 @ 7:41


      Richard’s substantive comments have never been banned on this site. There was one time where I decided to delete a thread because it turned out to be a complete waste of time. I actually emailed Richard to inform him of this, but that did not stop him from criticizing me on his blog. I also appreciate links and challenges to what I write. Unfortunately, I don’t get a boost in traffic from Richard.

      • Brian W. Schoeneman Jul 27, 2010 @ 11:39

        I don’t bother moderating my site as strictly as you do, but then again, I’m talking politics and I believe in open debate, no matter how nuts the other guys are. This is your site and your prerogative. Academia, as with politics, brings a lot of criticism. My best advice is to grow a thick skin. When I see a post like this about me (and there have been plenty) I appreciate that something I’ve written has gotten someone mad enough to respond in kind.

        And while I’ve gotten a few emails from folks based on my comments here, I’ve not noticed an appreciable increase in traffic to my site either. Guess the world of readers here is limited.

        • Kevin Levin Jul 27, 2010 @ 11:52


          I also believe in open debate, but I also don’t want my blog to be used as a billboard for individuals and groups who have no business discussing history.

          I’ve been blogging since 2005 and have received an incredible amount of hate mail and even one death threat. I’ve saved most of these emails and deleted comments. With all due respect, I don’t need to be told to “grow a thick skin.” In all honesty, I get a kick out of Richard’s posts. I think he is a good guy and every once in a while we go at each other. His blog offers a very different view of the Civil War, which I think is just fine.

  • Jonathan Dresner Jul 27, 2010 @ 7:29

    I love the graphic!

    How much traffic actually passes between you, I wonder? Are his readers assuming that he’s right, or are they actually getting exposed to your arguments as well as his?

    • Kevin Levin Jul 27, 2010 @ 7:38

      I get a few hits from his site whenever a link is provided, but that is about all I can say. On the other hand, I have no doubt that he will enjoy a high traffic day owing to my links. 😀

    • Troy Mastern Jul 27, 2010 @ 9:42

      I actually have both sites bookmarked, and check in with both pretty much daily.
      I find things I agree and disagree with on both sites, but I’m mostly just a lurking consumer!

      • Kevin Levin Jul 27, 2010 @ 10:14


        I’m sure you are not alone. Nice to hear from you.

  • Chris Meekins Jul 27, 2010 @ 6:59

    With fans like that who needs opponents?

    • Kevin Levin Jul 27, 2010 @ 7:17

      Exactly. The more, the better.

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