13 July 2015

Should We Burn Faulkner's Books?

I hate to keep saying I told you so, but I told you so:
It is a fine thing that the Confederate flag will no longer fly above the South Carolina state capitol. But displaying the Confederate flag anywhere is, at bottom, an act of hate. It should be recognized as such, and punished as a hate crime.
So says an American Studies professor. The desire to criminalize and jail one's ideological opponents for free speech and thought is nothing new. I, along with many others, have been documenting these things for years. A few years ago, on another popular Civil War blog, one academic suggested that those who hold a different perspective on Civil War historiography than he did should be jailed. The criticism was tepid, at best.

Yet a number of Civil War bloggers rush to poo-poo (and even defend) such notions claiming political correctness does not exist and that these "extreme" views, and those who hold them, aren't taken seriously. Really?

A writer at National Review discussing the American Studies professor's wishes to criminalize the CBF writes:
For some on the Left, we’re well past anything resembling an actual argument and on to the cultural search and destroy mission. But why stop at flags? After all, the governmental Left days ago moved on to statues, monuments, and graves. The academic Left should go after books. Let me suggest a target — William Faulkner. After all, he wrote this:
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, . . . 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 than 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 . . .
So what say all the activist historians?

Cue the crickets.

And, for further discussion on this topic, I would recommend Robert Moore's post:
The Confederate Flag… what some people seem to fail to realize


acwresearcher said...

This is the same question I have been asking in recent debates: where does this stop? I am going to visit a known Confederate cemetery in Keatchie, LA (Battle of Pleasant Hill) to see if the Third National Flag has been removed from there. Incidentally, that cemetery is adjacent to an African-American cemetery that is still used today and dates backs to the antebellum era.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Greg - I don't know where it will (or if it will) stop to be honest. I do detect a growing number of folks (beyond the general public) like yourself who are seeing this for what it is: PC on steroids. As I've been writing for a quite a while, this has been a long time coming and the celebrations I'm seeing from other "educators" and historians is quite revealing - and disturbing. It's almost surreal. I certainly understand the initial reaction due to the Charleston murders. But I think most of us would agree, this has gone much further than that and had now taken on a life of its own.

acwresearcher said...

I have had my problems with flying the flag in certain instances, but the fact remains that if someone flies it on his lawn, on his vehicle, tattoos it on his body or wears a t-shirt, a bandana, or some lady wants to wear it as a bikini, it's their property and their person, who is anyone to tell them they can't. As for it flying in public, there are acceptable contexts, like cemeteries and battlefields, and we certainly have no need to remove monuments. What, in the name of heaven, will be done with a monument like Stone Mountain? That would surely violate some EPA regulation to blow that off the face of that rock!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"What, in the name of heaven, will be done with a monument like Stone Mountain? That would surely violate some EPA regulation to blow that off the face of that rock!"

Here's your answer:

“They can be sand-blasted off, or somebody could carefully remove a slab of that and auction it off to the highest bidder. My tax dollars should not be used to commemorate slavery,”


All hail the activist historians, aka "moral critics."

BorderRuffian said...

Stone Mountain is a National Historic site along with many of the other places and monuments under attack.
These are supposed to be protected by law.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Since when does what's lawful matter any more?

acwresearcher said...

I just checked. Stone Mountain Park appears to be operated by a private company (http://www.stonemountainpark.com/) and the memorial appears to be maintained by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association (http://stonemountainpark.org/), therefore no one's tax dollars are supporting Stone Mountain as far as I can tell, unless business tax incentives have been extended to these private companies. Do I think that will stop folks from protesting? No. These facts (though those don't get in the way for some) show this is private property and, as such, it should be left alone.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Greg. I guess it's safe until they're charged with a hate crime.