21 July 2016

Political Correctness: Those Who Support It, Deny It

Kevin Levin dodges by demanding an explanation of something that is quite evident. PC historians like Levin obfuscate and deflect in their denials of PC because, in my opinion, they are too heavily invested in it.  Eric Wittenberg is exactly right. It's encouraging (and courageous) to have a historian of Wittenberg's stature make this statement. I'll have a lengthy post on Levin's post by this evening. Levin's position is absurd, even for him, but exposes his emotionally-based and hypocritical opposition to Confederate imagery, even in a historical setting. He has recently even suggested the NPS tread softly in allowing the CBF on battlefields. This is stunning:


And what about this logo?


I bring this logo to your attention because Levin just recently participated in a CWT event where he gave a talk about the Confederate battle flag.

In the post where Wittenberg and Levin had their exchange, Levin made this comment:

Even the Museum of the Confederacy/American Civil War Museum gets it. The Confederate battle flag is a toxic symbol that ought to be displayed exclusively in a setting where it can be properly interpreted [Read: denigrated]. You will not find battle flags welcoming visitors at its branches in Richmond or at Appomattox. And as far as I have seen, you will not find the battle flag on its logo and other advertisements.
So, I must ask, why hasn't Levin raised the "toxic" issue with the CWT? (More to come on that tonight.) With each post on the CBF and other Confederate images posted by Levin, we seem to learn more about his emotionally based biases and utter disdain for all things Confederate, than we do about anything in regards to serious historical analysis and discussion.

15 July 2016

The Confederate Battle Flag - In Their Own Words

Arlington National Cemetery
"I am finished with innocently approaching people who fly Confederate battle flags to inquire into their motivation. From now on I am going to assume the worst or at least that its display has nothing to do with remembering a Confederate ancestor or the soldiers more generally." ~ Kevin Levin

"It is a toxic symbol that no decent person – even for someone who wishes to recognize his/her Confederate ancestors – would wish to be identified with." ~ Kevin Levin

"Even a cursory understanding of how it has been used over the past 150 years would convince you otherwise. You could start with John Coski’s excellent book, The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Symbol." ~ Kevin Levin 

"It is a fundamental mistake to believe - as Carol Moseley-Braun suggested in her 1993 speech in the U.S. Senate - that one's own perception of a flag's meaning is the flag's only legitimate meaning. . . . People must not impose their interpretation of the flag on others or project their interpretation of the flag's meaning onto others' motives for displaying it. Just because someone views the flag as a symbol of racism does not give him the ethical right to assume that someone who displays it is a racist. To make such a judgment is an exercise in prejudice." [Emphasis mine.] ~ John Coski writing in his book, The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Symbol. 

"The capacity of the battle flag to express both American patriotism and often strident opposition to mainstream American ideals is further confirmation of its status as the second American flag. It shares the ambidextrous quality with the Stars and Stripes, which has stood in symbolic opposition to and unity with the battle flag. The Ku Klux Klan has used the Stars and Stripes far longer and far more often than they have the St. Andrew's cross. . . . In other words, the Stars and Stripes has proven perfectly capable of expressing the thoughts and values that critics of the Confederate flag fear and loathe." ~ John Coski, The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Symbol.

14 July 2016

Saving the Red Brick House

Unfortunately, my hometown of Waynesboro, Virginia has not done a good job of saving its historic structures. As a matter of fact, most of the Civil War era and pre-Civil War era buildings have been razed. It's been a point of contention with me for many years. However, there is one recent exception. "The Red Brick House" that was once a school and also served as a residence. This building was very close to 2 homes I lived in as a boy. It is one of the few remaining structures in Waynesboro to have witnessed the Battle of Waynesboro. The new owner seems to recognize the important history and potential of this old structure.



And Part 2 . . .

08 July 2016

Lawyer Help


This is an odd request to post here, but I know a number of lawyers read this blog and I'm looking for some initial consultation/advice on a personal injury case involving food poisoning. This is not for me personally, but for someone I know. Please contact me at stonewallbook_at_yahoo.com. The injured person resides in Virginia.

Thanks.

06 July 2016

More Questions for Flag-Wavers


As I predicted, Confederate symbolism was the low-hanging fruit for the Social Justice Warrior/Moral Reformer historian class. Now that several high-profile Confederate monuments and flags have been successfully sullied and removed (not to mention criminally vandalized), it's time to move on to the ultimate targets - ALL American symbolism. The attacks on Confederate symbolism were just appetizers to prepare us all for the main course. Here's the latest development:
The University of Houston’s Gerald Horne believes that collective America does not acknowledge the darkest moments of its history — because we still recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem.
Note that the latest attack originates in academia and by a historian. No surprise there. Of course, if the Pledge of Allegiance offends you, here's a version you might prefer (also courtesy of academia):
“I pledge allegiance to and wrap myself in the flag of the United States Against Anything Un-American and to the Republicans for which it stands, two nations, under Jesus, rich against poor, with curtailed liberty and justice for all except blacks, homosexuals, women who want abortions, Communists, welfare queens, treehuggers, feminazis, illegal immigrants, children of illegal immigrants, and you if you don’t watch your step.”
So the next time you here someone reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or singing the National Anthem, you should probably assume the worst; at least according to the moral-preening-reformer-historian class.

04 July 2016

What the Moral Reformer Historian Has Wrought

. . . the new generation of historians has devoted itself to isolating and recovering stories of the dispossessed: the women kept in dependence; the American Indians shorn of their lands; the black slaves brought in chains from Africa. Consequently, much of their history is fragmentary and essentially anachronistic—condemning the past for not being more like the present. It has no real interest in the pastness of the past. These historians see themselves as moral critics obligated to denounce the values of the past in order to somehow reform our present. ~ Professor Gordon S. Wood
And with the incessant denouncing of America, you get:
 

Source. Isn't that a legacy of which to be proud?


Happy Independence Day you bunch of imperialist, genocidal, oppressive slobs.

Pickett's Charge in Context: Courage & Carnage

Vs. the context of moral preening and virtue signalling . . . 
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Unfinished Confederate graves near the center of the battlefield (Library of Congress)
I read an interesting post at Emerging Civil War recently. The writer of the post was Navy veteran and Civil War historian, Dwight Hughes. This passage caught my attention:
Those who condemn Confederates as evil, and then dismiss them as unworthy of consideration, are either pushing a selfish agenda, given to moral preening, or awash in their own ignorance. To them, the people of the past are wrong because they are not us—a prime example of presentism. We are not making their mistakes, and therefore we are morally and intellectually superior.
I recommend readers take the time to read the whole post here. It is rather refreshing. The passage quoted above points out the rather tired perspective you'll receive on the "moral preening" Civil War blogs about Pickett's Charge. It is shallow and immature. Serious students of history will quickly recognize it for what it is: virtue signalling from the "moral reformers posing as historians" crowd. For some context minus the self-righteous moral preening, I would recommend this excerpt from Ken Burns' Civil War. It is a brief, but good synopsis of the courage and carnage that took place at Pickett's Charge.




And, as a final remembrance and more context, we offer Faulkner's haunting passage from Intruder in the Dust:
For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago . . .

01 July 2016

More Asinine Political Correctness Regarding the American Civil War


As some Civil War bloggers continue to deny the reality of political correctness (hard to criticize that which you're cozy with, isn't it?), here's the latest reality check:

Headline:

Pa. lawmaker questions use of Confederate flags in battle reenactments

I would have to assume we will soon see sit in protests against the use of muskets as well, since that could lead to gun violence? I have an idea. Replace the Confederate flag with a smiley face flag. No, wait, that will offend  sad people. My, my, my; how complicated life is in the world of political correctness.

Thank you moral reformers.


More here.

Colleges & Universities: Increasingly Anti-Semetic

At the very self-proclaimed center of intellectualism, acceptance, and diversity:
Another troubling finding: anti-Semitic incidents at colleges and universities nearly doubled last year. A total of 90 incidents were reported on 60 college campuses in 2015, compared with 47 incidents on 43 campuses in 2014. Campus anti-Semitic incidents accounted for 10 percent of the total incidents reported in the U.S. in 2015.
More here.

30 June 2016

Battle of Waynesboro Driving Tour - Completed!

I've been working with Mr. Terry Heder of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation for a while on producing a driving tour for the Battle of Waynesboro. The final draft was finally sent to the printer this week and should be available soon. It was an honor and a privilege to work on this project. 

 

29 June 2016

Yankee Land Has Its Issues

The 24/7 Wall St. website recently ranked the 50 worse cities to live in, based on a number of factors. When ranking Boston at #47, I found this stat rather interesting:
With some of the world’s largest research institutions and universities, which attract top talent from around the world, the city’s population is also very well educated. Close to half of Boston adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, one of the highest college attainment rates of any U.S. city. Despite the high level of education, incomes in Boston are relatively low, . . . Many of those working in the city’s high paying jobs likely live in Boston’s more prosperous, surrounding suburban areas such as Brookline and Cambridge.
Based on what we're told by those in academia, shouldn't Boston be ranked near the top? After all they are, ostensibly, some of the smartest folks in the country since they have, "one of the highest college attainment rates of any U.S. city."

What am I missing here?


28 June 2016

The Last Southern Man

This is the knife I use to dig splinters from the feet of urchins.
I came across this in the most recent issue of Southern Living. I identify with so much of what Rick Bragg writes here:
Think for just a moment, about your grandfather. He would have no more left the house without a pocketknife than without his breeches, for while a man of his era could survive this drafty world without pantaloons, he would sooner or later need to snip some twine, or punch a hole in an oil can, or dig a pine splinter out of some urchin’s foot, or just slice an apple. One of these days, men will no longer love or need their pocketknives this way. That is when we know the last Southern man has shuffled off into the sunset, to make room for a world of helpless no accounts. . . . A Southern man, knifeless, was pitiful. Men without knives were like men who rode around without a jack, or a spare tire, just generally unprepared for life.
Amen brother, amen.

27 June 2016

Writing for People "Who Just Get It" About the South

And few do it better than Southern Living writer, Rick Bragg. He's a master and he truly "gets it." I've identified myself as a "Southern Writer" for years and I'm so proud to be able to claim that mantle. I'm no Rick Bragg, but I do "get it."

My wife and I have been SL subscribers for years and Bragg's writing alone makes it worth the subscription price. Another of my favorites is Garden & Gun Magazine. Think of G&G as 
Southern Living with a healthy dose of testosterone.
 
"I've been explaining myself for a long time, and I'm not doin' it anymore." ~ Rick Bragg

I hear you brother, I hear you.

Investing 3 minutes to watch Bragg's remarks here is worth your time, in my opinion; especially if you need some help "gettin' it." And trust me, a number of my readers do.
(Here's the link if the video does not load.)


More Political Correctness in Academia


As I like to often remind readers, there are a couple of Civil War bloggers who like to poo-poo the reality of political correctness.  These two fellas have their heads in the sand (or perhaps a convenient body orifice) but it's easy to understand their denials: they live and breathe in academic circles so they've built up an intellectual immunity to PC. Of course, exposing PC also interferes with their agenda, so they MUST deny it's existence or, at the very least, downplay it's impact. They're actually convinced they're convincing others.

But here's the latest news from academia and the PC control freaks:
At the University of North Carolina, it’s not just the students walking on politically correct eggshells. Guidelines issued on the university’s Employee Forum aim to help staff avoid microaggressions in their interactions by cautioning against offensive phrases such as “Christmas vacation,” “husband/boyfriend” and “golf outing.”
But let's get to the nut of the matter:
The Chapel Hill campus is not alone in its attempt to quell microaggressions, which ostensibly are defined as unintentional slights directed toward vulnerable groups. However, “microaggressions” often carry political implications and serve as a pretext for silencing political dissent on college campuses. At an event last year titled “Managing Microaggressions,” students at the University of Virginia said identifying oneself as an “American” is a microaggression. Students at the University of Wisconsin last year said calling America a “melting pot” or the “land of opportunity” is microaggressive.
Yes, yes one can see a correlation with the current "moral reformer" historian crowd, can't one?

More here.