Friday, December 12, 2014

What the Hell Are the Xmas Parade Organizers Thinking?

This was the last straw tonight.
Authentic war wear?
The Dickens of a Christmas parade has been a favorite of mine for a few years now, but the bottom fell out tonight.

The parade led off with the usual cops with their blue lights blaring, but it was followed immediately by about 15 or 20 new cars and trucks advertising Haley Toyota, a sponsor. I don't like this kind of overt commercialism, especially at the head of the parade saying to all who would listen, "Selling cars is what Christmas is all about. Forget Santa. He's a fatass anyway. Buy a car."

If that wasn't enough, we had smoking, roaring motorcycles by the dozen, most of the cops in the city and finally--as finally as I could take it--a group of "Sons of Confederate Veterans" waving their confederate battle flags in the face of thousands of our African American citizens, many of whom stood with me at the corner of Campbell and Jefferson. I was pissed, so rather than raise hell, I left. And I won't go again.

We are in the midst of, I hope, a racial awakening because of the abuse of our dark-skinned citizens and this display flies in the face of any kind beneficial conversation. It's the good ol' boys flaunting their guns, their horses, their "tradition" and their racism. It is pure bullshit and has no place in a parade about the Prince of Peace's birth.

The parade has deteriorated, I suspect, because the people in charge of it are completely devoid of any kind of sensitivity. Just tell these damn rednecks "no," they can't be in the parade and if they protest, tell them you've banned the KKK and Westside Baptist, too.
This was in the face of our African-American citizens. Shame.

59 comments:

  1. Yeah, as a descendant of an actual real-life soldier who served in the real-life 28th Virginia, this certainly would have bugged the tar out of me. Like one of your FB commentators said, save it for Veterans' Day.

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  2. If it's a Christmas or Holiday parade shouldn't the entries have something to do with a Holiday?

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  3. Hello my old friend. I see that you are still living the truth of this city.
    Just so you know there are people here that have no other reason in life than to maintain or reinstall an old set of ideas that never worked.
    There is not much you can do about this. so this is what I say out live the fools. and stay happy. George

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  4. Your usage of curse words in the same sentence as christmas and the prince of peace is blasphemy. Your article is more offensive than the display of a historical flag. Did you bother to meet these guys? Some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet that love their country and God. Seems you all keep the racism alive. Merry Christmas!

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  5. Isn't racist to tell someone they can't be in the parade because of their heritage? Also pretty sure parades always have sponsors, car/motorcycle clubs and other organizations which make up the parade. Sounds like it is best you don't return to this or any other parade for that matter.

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    1. Nobody is suggesting the SCV can't be in the parade. They should be eagerly invited to stage an appropriate (say, a campfire scene with soldiers singing 19th Century carols) Christmas scene. That would be historically accurate and educational in that the kids who fought (and many were teenagers) were homesick and lonely at Christmas, much as soldiers today are.

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  6. Oh and btw for someone so concerned on the true meaning of CHRISTmas you where quick to remove Christ from CHRISTmas with putting XMAS.

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    1. Don't be ah idiot. X actually means Christ - been that way for the past millenia. Google it.

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    2. Wrong !!!!! If ya don't like what you see then get off the street !!! By the way X never has or never will be) anything. to do with Christ !!! Pray for yourself. n I will pray to CHRIST
      that he will help you with your confusion !!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS !!

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  7. This is why I'm pro Segregation. You do your thing, let us "damn rednecks" do ours. Win-win.

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  8. I think it was great those folks were honoring their ancestors in the parade. Someone should look up who owns this blog and file some civil lawsuits with charges of slander and suck some of the authors money away so he can be taught a little lesson on what words to choose when he writes. Freedom of speech doesnt protect you from lawsuits big guy..

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    1. What the heck are you talking about...

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  9. It used to be the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts marched in the parades, with floats covered in paper, created by clubs and groups in celebration of Yule, Hanukkah, and Christmas, and Santa Claus. I'm sad life is now reflected as a police state, with commercialism and oppression of others.
    For me, the dixie flag has always been a symbol of oppression of one people over another; now, more than ever, the image of police in large numbers is also a symbol of oppression over people by a group of others who demand submission. I see the protests occurring across our nation not just representative of racial injustice but of rebellion of against a police state. I do not belittle the cause of those who a feeling it as a majorly racial issue, in fact I am right there with them, but I also feel it is dangerous slippery slope of power of the police over the citizen. When police are not held accountable, when they are above the law, we should all be terrified. It is a Ray Bradbury-like existence that I do not want to live in. When symbols of this oppression are presented in a holiday parade, we should be disgusted, and afraid.

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  10. The Confederate flag is a religious symbol of Christianity which is why it belongs in a Christmas parade. The person holding the flag is my friend and the author of this post is a miserable bigot. Thank you and Merry Christmas.

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  11. I am the horse rider in this photo, & your historical ignorance is almost beyond compare. As I rode through this parade there where folks young & old, all different nationalities & color approaching me with smiles & greetings for a merry CHRISTMAS.....your use of the race card in this instance is absolutely disgusting. My name is Kelly W. Bowles.....not anonymous. Any given day, I'm available to educate you or anyone else, on the historical facts of the Confederate states. God bless & Merry Christmas.

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    1. Kelly Bowles, thank you for representing our ancestors in the parade and for your response here. The vile blog post shows that the writer has no true regard for Christmas.

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    2. Of course there is a historical meaning of the Confederate flag, but in today's society it is better known for being a symbol of racism. You can talk history all you want, we are talking today!

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  12. Heritage honor family fly it proud aslong as we know it is flown for the right reason only the weak play the race card game.

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  13. As far as the "pro - segregation" idiot above, is even more ignorant than the writer of this blog.

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  14. Dan. I join you in your outrage. Two of my great great grandfathers served in the Army of Northern Virginia and one served in the Army of the Potomac. I understand the pride in family heritage, but I don't understand the persistent opposition to the United States Constitution which was the foundation of the Confederate States of America. By the way, after the war, my ancestors willingly pledged allegiance to the United States and got on with their lives.

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  15. btw, how much did you pay for your ticket to the parade>

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  16. There is a quote that I have known since my youth which holds a profound meaning for me and shapes my worldview:
    "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God does not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." - Deitrich Bonhoeffer

    Among other things it also defines my perspective on the defense of our Southern-Confederate heritage and its symbols, particularly the glorious Southern Cross banner.

    I have always held the opinion that defenders of Southern heritage have a moral obligation to speak out and facedown any misuse of the Southern Cross as a tool of hatred and bigotry. I would also add that that standing up to hate is the duty of any decent human being, no matter if that hatred is directed toward us, or another person.
    While passing resolutions condemning said misuse are significant, they are not always enough. Words without deeds are hollow, nor will words alone win us the final victory against the opposition.
    I also hold the belief that any misuse of the Southern Cross as a symbol of hatred toward another human being not only insults and harms the person or individuals targeted, but it also dishonors the memories of those men who died protecting our Southland from invasion, and denigrates all of us as their descendants who honor them. I also strongly feel that failing to speak out against said misuses could be considered as approval of that misuse.
    I am pleased to note that many Southern heritage proponents DO in fact speak out on message boards and news stories whenever some hateful individual does denigrate that flag, and in many cases there are people who do listen to and accept those words, and I am thankful for each and every one of them.

    Because I hold people on our side to such high standards, I likewise hold our opponents accountable for their own actions toward us and toward our honored but embattled banner.
    In the past I have condemned those members of the opposition for attacking our flag and its defenders, for accusing us of being racist and hateful, while throwing their own arguments back into their faces. They attack us for honoring our Southern heritage and being proud of our identity as Confederate descendants even as we speak out against hatred and the misuse of our flag.
    As I pointed out, I view anyone who fails to speak out against evil acts as someone who approve of such evil. It therefore stands to reason that anyone who attacks someone who stands up against evil, themselves promotes said evil, or approve of those who commit it by default.
    To sum that up: anyone who condemns a Southerner for honoring the Southern Cross as a symbol of identity and heritage, who labels that person a racist without justification - usually under the guise of faux outrage to promote their own self-righteousness - is just as hateful and bigoted as a person who actually displays that flag with the full intention of promoting bigotry and racism; because the person who condemns the Southerner rejects their argument and at the same time accepts the view of people who misuse the flag as a tool of hate.

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    1. Thank you, CW. I do not fault the messenger, just the message as it is interpreted by a large segment of our population. I was standing next to a 15-year-old African-American girl at the parade and we were chatting about our cameras and photography when the SCV stopped in front of us. She looked sad, hung her head and said, "Why do they have to do that?" The flag has a different meaning to her than it does to you and the SCV, one that is insulting and hurtful, reminiscent of HER heritage in slavery, and I think that we can avoid that kind of pain, especially in a Christmas parade, with a little thought and sensitivity to our fellow human beings. The notion that they just have to "get over it" is selfish, boorish and hardly promoting of the kind of harmony we hope to achieve during the season of good will.

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    2. That may well be, but where is the justice in allowing her to continue to live in ignorance rather than taking the time and effort to introduce her to a more positive point of view? As an educator, I don't accept the idea of indulging ignorance. I find educating and fighting bigotry at its source far more rewarding that giving into knee-jerk reactionary behavior.
      Believe me, the thought that the flag I honor as dearly as the flag of my country brings any sort of pain or sorrow to another human being brings me no joy at all. Indeed, it brings me anger....but not at the person offended. Rather at the person(s) responsible for the offense.
      Needless to say everything I work towards in these efforts is the see a day in a few decades where that flag's display will not make anyone upset, and where the power of those who would try to co-opt that noble symbol of my identity will be diminished to obscurity....and make no mistake, before the end of this century we will see that day.

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    3. Mr. Roden: Would you be willing to share that same educational sophistication with those who believe the Swastika served only to honor those would would pull Germany out of a World War I-imposed economic depression, that the holocaust was a sham that didn't really happen, that Hitler loved children and that Germany was a victim and not a perpetrator? Those people strongly believe Germany did not kill Jews and others in a systematic way and that the country only went to war because it was pushed to do so. It is revisionist, but then so is the contention that the Civil War had nothing to do with retaining the institution of slavery.

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    4. Mr. Roden, Your comments are obviously well considered and eloquently put. I will not try to do as well, but, in an attempt to summarize what I consider to be the most salient point, I offer the following: The fact that some people consider the flag in question to be a racist symbol does not make it so. Being a southerner was never about racism. Not then..not now.

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  17. So, the writer of this hate filled racist rant begins by "X"ing out Christ, then fills the rest with curse words and a desire to exclude some, ban others, and all sorts of nasty stuff....

    Perhaps the writer was unaware that the event was called "A Dickens of a Christmas" and has been going on for the past 30 years.

    Perhaps the writer was unaware of what Dickens himself thought of the Anti-Confederate unionists - "The Northern onslaught upon slavery was no more than a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal its desire for economic control of the Southern States"

    Dickens knew. The Confederates knew. What a shame the writer is still lost in space.....

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    1. Perhaps the commentator above has no clue that X has been used to represent Christ for centuries. It's even in the Bible if you took the time to read it.

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    2. Anonymous (and I have little regard for those who don't sign their posts), the "X" in "Xmas" is from the ancient Greek as a symbol for "Christ," and is commonly used. I have no need to disrespect Christianity, even though I am not a Christian. When practiced as taught, it is a fine religion. It is, however, rarely practiced as taught: "Love one another."

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    3. No your probably a jew!

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  18. The phrase "Xmas" isn't and never has been a way of X-ing out Christ. X is ancient Greek shorthand for Christ. http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/xmasabbr.asp

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    1. We don't use short hand in south Carolina when it comes to our southern heritage y'all. And to all of you people who can't stand the sight of the Stars and Bars There is a MASON DIXON line!!!! GETIT!!! LOVE DIXIE!!!!

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  19. http://leagueofthesouth.com/
    For the Southern People.

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  20. If you don't like seeing the Confederate Flag, the SCV etc you'd better stay inside. We have been pushed, chided and now we are coming. We know the Confederacy stood more for our constitution than any of the so call progressives and that old slave holder himself, Abe Lincoln. Get use to it, we are not going away, we are training our youth and we are growing in numbers daily.. When I say we, I am talking about real Americans you dumbass.

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  21. omg, civil war reenactors in a parade, omg, omg, omg....

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  22. You really do not know your own history, do you? There are many things that offend me much more that a display of our Southern ancestry and heritage. Are we supposed to disavow and disown our own family because it offends you? You are a prime example of the bigotry and chaos in our society today. Maybe you should learn to read the real history of this flag,

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  23. We love DIXIE y'all. To the people that don't like the Stars and BARS there is a MASON DIXON line. "GET IT"!! Over 700,000 people died in that war and we will not forget.............WE LOVE DIXIE!!!!! Read our HISTORY!!!! LUKE B HARDEE

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  24. I stopped reading comments at the one calling the Confederate flag a religious symbol. I need to learn more about THAT.

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  25. Regardless of who is in the parade it doesn't seem well thought out. Longer is not better, and everyone seems to be allowed to participate. Last year a septic tank pumper truck participated about 90 minutes into the parade and my 4 year old was so ready to see Santa. Kids don't have the attention span and adults were just as bored. Motorcycles burning rubber in the road making smelly smoke is more offensive than seeing grown people in "costumes". I can choose to ignore these folks but I have to breath. A maximum number of participants needs to be set and a bar needs to be met. For example if a car club wants to participate at least 50% of the cars should be decorated in holiday theme. No commercial vehicles etc... This year I made it 40 minutes and went inside. The 100 yard long gaps between participants was too much.

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  26. I sincerely appreciate those of you who believe strongly enough in your convictions to sign your responses. The rest of you, well, grow some balls. The Confederate battle flat is a divisive symbol at a time of a deep national concern about pervasive racism. We need to be aware of its meaning to those who were oppressed and to be sensitive to their concerns. This is not about respect and regard for heritage, it is about respecting each other's rights. I believe groups like the SCV can easily be represented in the Christmas parade--and historically accurately--by simply having soldiers and their women (wives, camp followers were common in camp) around a camp fire singing Christmas carols. There would be no need for guns or flags. It would be a time of peace and reflection and nobody would complain about historical accuracy. I know that the SCV has a good many fine people involved (I am Southern and have the same tradition you have). It is the overt display of what has come to mean "racism" that disturbs many of us. And, by the way, I do know my Civil War history pretty well.

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    1. The battle flag is only as divisive as some gutless, low-information people allow it to be. Acceptance of that view is the same as accepting the white supremacist view of that flag. To reject the view of that flag as a tool of racism takes power away from actual racists.
      As for "overt displays" of the flag, you better get used to it because you're going to see more and more of it in the coming decades as the pro-white supremacist/anti-Confederate flag POV slowly becomes extinct.

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  27. Pardon the typo. It is Confederate battle "flag," not "flat."

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  28. Motorcycle Clubs participate in the parade to let the community know bikers aren't just 'thugs on 2 wheels' as SOA would have everyone believe. DragonStyle RC passes out candy to children. Thats awesome of them! Those bikers are all great friends of mine, all the different clubs. Civil war reenactments are a huge deal in the SOUTH so they want to help celebrate CHRISTMAS as well. Its not fair to hate on others because you don't agree with what they are about. They are all there for the same reason. Would you have complained about how long it was if it was 70 degrees outside and comfortable??

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    1. Rochelle: I am fully aware of the community value of motorcycle clubs, the charity work they do and the way they give. This post has absolutely nothing to do with motorcycle clubs, charity or goodness. It has to do with whether loud (and I suspect illegal), undecorated, smoking to the point of gagging those watching motorcycles and riders without helmets are appropriate for a Christmas parade. I certainly approve of the good clubs and riders do both collectively and individually, but that is not what I was writing about. Civil War reenactments are, indeed, a big deal in the south, but again, this is a Christmas parade and the enactment could easily have been appropriate for the parade. Southern soldiers, unless I am mistaken, celebrated Christmas and just how difficult would it be to reconstruct that for a parade?

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  29. Dan Smith an award winning asshole. Who bashes people who he doesn't even know. If you only had a clue for ehat the motorcycle clubs to and give in this community. Maybe if you were one of them you would have a slight bit on understanding. We're not imbreed rednecks. We're educated citizens of this country. And hard working people for the community that we live. I honestly believe you don't do as much as a citizen of the community as we as bikers has done and will continue to do.

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    1. No offense, pal, but your post is absolutely riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. And that's to say nothing of the total lack of content.

      If you're trying to convince the public that motorcycle club members are educated members or the community (some certainly are), I would recommend some proofreading. You could even take it a step further and try to make a valid point. In the meantime, as an educated guy who rides a motorcycle (albeit without a loud exhaust or club affiliation), I would prefer that you speak for yourself rather than dragging the rest of us down with your ignorant rhetoric.

      If you decide to give it another try, why not explain the philanthropic value of motorcycle clubs to this community? I hope your collective benevolence extends beyond "charity rides" and other excuses to ride through town (or from bar to bar) while deafening citizens and ignoring traffic signals.

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    2. Dear Anonymous (are you really so scared of a 68-year-old man that you can't put your name with your name-calling?), I have won several Asshole Awards, but none recently, I am afraid. Are you offering one?

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    3. Also Anonymous, common courtesy would ask that you please be more specific about my post being "absolutely riddled with spelling and grammatical errors." I'd appreciate you pointing them out, unless you're simply making this up. My post, by the way, had nothing to do with the educational level of those riding their bikes and horses. It had to do with the appropriateness of their parade entries and their behavior on those entries.

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    4. Dan -- in reference to your reply at 2:47 PM on December 26, this is Anonymous who posted on December 26 at 11:51:

      My post was in reference to the original post to which I replied -- quick examination of the aforementioned post will easily identify the linguistic butchery I referenced above.

      I'm a little bit surprised/disappointed that you were so quick to jump to your own defense - especially since context clearly identifies the subject of my reply as the post made on December 19 at 12:41.

      Just the same, this blog post has been a bit of a lightning rod. For that reason, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that you were primed for a negative response, thereby replying in kind. Now that we're all talking about the same post, though, I'm sure you can see my point.

      In terms of the main theme of your original post, I pretty much agree with you. Freedom of speech notwithstanding, flying the rebel flag at a gathering for the general public is in poor taste. Some people, perhaps (but not necessarily) including the folks displaying the flag at this year's parade, may view this flag as a legitimate and proud symbol of their own heritage. Others will likely see it as a painful reminder that bigotry is still alive and well... and a little bit closer to home than any of us would prefer to believe.

      Is it a citizen's right to fly a rebel flag? Yes, it is. Should a citizen always exercise his right to its maximum extent, without regard for his fellow citizen's reasonable level of comfort? I would argue that he should not.

      Regardless, I think it's hard to hold the event organizers responsible for the display of the confederate flag. If you disagree with me, just imagine that you're the event organizer, and walk through the process in your mind. How would you legitimately exclude a group from a public display, when it is following the rules? As offensive as the group's display may be to you (and the public at large), wouldn't it be even more offensive to obstruct the group's right to free speech?

      If you want my real opinion on the matter (and most people probably don't), I'd recommend the public opinion poll. Don't deride the event organizer for failing to suppress free speech. Instead, call on your fellow citizens to vocally express their disapproval, and collective desire to exclude that element from public displays. I agree that the confederate flag is a negative input, but I can't support it's official ban.

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  30. No offense, mate... But your post is riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. I hear what you're saying, but if your goal is to prove that you bikers are an educated lot, you'd be well served to do some proofreading.

    Why not give it another try? While you're at it, you can fill us in on all of the philanthropic activities you folks conduct for our community. I assume that you'll be able to list something legitimate rather than "charity rides", and other excuses to ride through town en masse while ignoring traffic signals.

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  31. Looks like the SCV makes a strong effort to be historically accurate.

    Check out the guy on the horse sporting the rebel flag. He's wearing the confederate army classic - blue jeans, and a Carhartt style jacket. His homie on the other horse, also rocking the stars and bars, is wearing the traditional confederate uniform of a black hoodie and basball cap.

    Seems legit.

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  32. It should be noted that the writer of this Intellectually vapid piece recently confessed in his "The Sad, Sad State of News Consumption in America", "Two-thirds of Americans live in an information underclass as journalistically impoverished as the minuscule bazillionaire class is triumphant." I mention this for two reasons. Number one, he is most certainly correct. Most Americans are poorly educated and largely indoctrinated in the anti-Christian, anti-Southern, anti-traditional, U.S. empire worshiping government schools. Secondly, and even more disturbing and egregious, he reinforces one of the sacred tenets of the carefully constructed Yankee Myths of History, that Lincoln's invasion of the new Confederate Nation was to free the South's slaves. It is as much a lie as any feigned "sacred" obligation to hold the union together. Whether the writer actually knows the truth and has done his due diligence in researching this "watershed event of American history" (as we should expect from anyone from the South that had ancestors that risked everything to repel the invaders from distant and hostile lands), or is either just another propaganda victim (or a Quisling) I cannot say. I can, however, point to a few glaring inconsistencies in his understanding, attitude, behavior and logic. For instance, why does he equate the most recognizable symbol of the struggle for Southern Independence , the Confederate Battle Flag, with NOTHING but slavery and the evil of race hatred? Isn't that the same message the South's conquerors have ceaselessly heralded, ad nauseum, to cover their crime? Consider this, dear reader;...Are our corporate and political elites interested in maintaining the status quo of their authority over us? Of course they are, and are they then more or less likely to reward those who parrot their propaganda? Perhaps you now begin to understand how the self-described "award winning journalist" (like many in academia and our two big government, welfare/warfare political parties) operate. Why do secessionist groups around the world adopt the Confederate flag to symbolize their desire to separate from their own corrupt governments? The answer is obvious to any honest and intelligent person. Why is "Old Glory" given a pass as a symbol of slavery and oppression? Did it not fly from the standards of all those slave ships coming out of New England carrying on the infamous triangle trade? Was it not the symbol of those that carried out the "Trail of Tears" and the genocide of the Native Americans? Then there's the problem of the principles the Declaration of Independence regarding the right to "alter or abolish" governments that become oppressive. Wasn't it a secession document justifying the reasons our ancestors separated from England? I could go on and on here, but I needn't. The good news is that the truth can still be had, and quite easily, thanks to the internet. My advice to those of you, who like the great Virginian Patrick Henry, "smelled a rat" when it came to trusting the media and the politicians to tell us the whole truth, is to do your own homework and exercise your own mind. Then, when armed with the whole story, don't stand silent when someone passes on falsehoods as truth and condemns others for the very insensitivities they themselves are guilty of. The South must take her rightful place in history and in the constellation of independent nations on Earth.
    Wayne Carlson, Virginian

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  33. Mr. Carlson: A couple of brief responses:

    1. This is not a news site. It is a blog. That is clearly explained at the top.

    2. I do not hold a flag in any position of relevance, not Old Glory, not the Confederate battle flag, not the Union Jack. I am not a nationalist and I believe flags to be symbols of nationalism, which I hold to be xenophobic.

    3. I can understand why those of you who believe in the motto "The South Will Rise Again" deny that the Civil War had anything to do with slavery. Old Nazis contend National Socialism had nothing to do with hating Jews, let alone killing them. To adopt the truth would be to admit a fatal flaw, one that the rest of us see clearly. You can cover this with all the honey you want, but it still smells like a pig sty. One of the primary stated goals of secession was maintaining the states' rights to maintain the institution of slavery.

    4. Governments will attempt to rule citizens. That's the way they work. Some work better, others are more corrupt. The U.S. government is often as corrupt and as ineffective as any other on earth and it is often filled with race inequality and a level of discrimination against many sects that is unacceptable. That does not change the point I was making about the Confederate battle flag being a hurtful symbol to a majority--a large majority--of Americans who perceive it to be a symbol of acceptance of slavery as an institution. Whether that perception is right or wrong is of little value. It exists and can easily be avoided simply by showing that flag only at appropriate historical moments when teaching about the Civil War. A Christmas parade is not an appropriate moment.

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  34. The flag supposedly indicates Southern Pride. But part of what the South is famous for, a reason to be proud, is Southern hospitality and good manners.

    Every single person who flies the flag knows that it is hurtful and offensive to many who see it. Why would a person with good manners who loves their neighbors even want to fly this flag, in a Christmas parade of all places?

    This is what continues to baffle me about the Confederate flag, watching from the west coast. The people flying this flag to express Southern Pride are knowingly poking a stick in the eye of their neighbor, violating the very genteel, polite Southern ways they claim to honor.

    I wonder if the people in the South could appeal to the good manners and Southern hospitality of the SCV folks, try to appeal to their better southern hearts, and get to them to voluntarily refrain from flying the flag outside of battle re-enactments and museums. Truly, taking down the flag respects the best of Southern heritage, and would be something to be proud of. I wish the SCV could see it.

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