Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The tangled web

I started with this headline over on Yahoo:
Teen Sues Over Confederate Flag Dress .

A teenager is suing her school district for barring her from the prom last spring because she was wearing a dress styled as a large Confederate battle flag.
She said she worked on the design for the dress for four years, though she acknowledged that some might find the Confederate flag offensive.

"Everyone has their own opinion. But that's not mine," she told reporters outside the courthouse. "I'm proud of where I came from and my background."
The Sons of Confederate Veterans has promised to help pay some of her legal expenses.

The civil libertarian in me sees her as another Nazi marching in Skokie -- I support her right to be as racist, ignorant and just plain stupid as she wants to be.

Then I wandered over to the website of the Sons of Confederate Veterans website. What a fascinating bunch of fellows.

I learned that The citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best qualities of America. The preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South's decision to fight the Second American Revolution. The tenacity with which Confederate soldiers fought underscored their belief in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. These attributes are the underpinning of our democratic society and represent the foundation on which this nation was built.

And lest we get the wrong idea about the SCV, they make it clear that The SCV rejects any group whose actions tarnish or distort the image of the Confederate soldier or his reasons for fighting.

If you are interested in perpetuating the ideals that motivated your Confederate ancestor, the SCV needs you. The memory and reputation of the Confederate soldier, as well as the motives for his suffering and sacrifice, are being consciously distorted by some in an attempt to alter history. Unless the descendants of Southern soldiers resist those efforts, a unique part of our nations' cultural heritage will cease to exist.

According to their Chief of Heritage Defense, this group stands 35,000 strong. And strong they are urged to be, for the battle goes on.

Heritage Defense in the SCV is a constant struggle against more numerous, better funded opponents who are entrenched in the media. Our membership numbers 30-odd thousand men, many of whom, unfortunately, are members only because they appreciate history or are involved in the mushrooming hobby that is genealogy. They have no desire or intent to confront those who would be most happy to deny public acknowledgement of the heritage we seek to preserve, and would make us feel shame rather than pride in our ancestry. This observation is made without any intent to denigrate those members I might describe, but only to make this point -- we are not fighting with our full strength.

I should also note that not all media is antagonistic. We all know members of the media who are sympathetic to our mission. Unfortunately, even those who seek to treat us fairly are usually forced by editorial policy or corporate fiat to acknowledge our opponent’s point of view, and therefore help them perpetuate their hateful propaganda. You know the line, which goes something like this: “… the Confederate Battle Flag, which some see as a painful reminder of (insert some injustice which the opponent likely never endured here).”

Anyone care to take a guess at the fill-in-the-blank "injustice"? After spending some time wandering throught their site, I have come to the conclusion that it couldn't possibly be slavery, because that word appears exactly once on the entire site, in the following context in a seven-year old press release:

Peter W. Orlebeke, Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, stated " The Derby School should teach truth rather than run from it. It is incomprehensible that a so-called educational institution is unaware that the War Between the States was fought over issues such as the rights of individual states to set their own tariffs, establish their own governments, and receive full profit from their agricultural production. They should know that the question of slavery was brought into the war by Lincoln in late 1862 as an emotional one to bolster the sagging Northern war effort and that emancipation was not just a Northern concept, but a Southern one as well, championed by the likes of Gen. Robert E. Lee."

When we shake our heads at the way the Irish, the former Yugoslavians and damn near everyone in the Middle East is still fighting hundred or thousand-year old battles, we should understand that there are folks in the good old USA still doing the same.


Blogger RIposte said...

The SCV is the SCV--the pro-slavery tracts being used at those "Christian" schools have to come from somewhere, eh? What staggers me is that (a) the prom queen spent four years on a dress that the other girls would surely have humiliated her for wearing, and (b) her lawyer's name is Earl-Ray. If she wasn't so young and stupid, one would be tempted to guess she's trying to make a backhanded statement in her choice of counsel, too.

3:26 PM  

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