DOES SOUTH CAROLINA HATE THE SCV?
And by that headline, when I say South Carolina, I am referring to GOVERNMENT; be it State, County, or local; and not to all individual South Carolinians.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans are being asked by Holly Hill Town Council not to publicly display the Confederate Battle Flag on property their camp owns just outside the town limits, citing a potentially negative impact on local businesses and the community.
The council at its regular meeting Monday night passed a resolution opposing the display of the Confederate Battle Flag on Highway 176. The resolution reads:
"The mayor and council respectfully request the Sons of Confederate Soldiers, as the owners of property on Orangeburg County with tax map number 0332-15-05-002.000, do not authorize the construction and display of the Confederate Battle Flag for public viewing due to the assumed negative impact on local businesses and the community at large."
"I want to reiterate that (the property in question) is not in the town limits," Councilwoman Jan Wiles said. "It is not something we can actually control. We can request it be changed, but it is not in our control."
Mayor William Johnson announced he and council members will meet with representatives of the Sons of Confederate Veterans at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at Holly Hill Town Hall. The meeting will be moderated by Pastor Gralin Nix Hampton of New Way Church House of Ministries in Holly Hill, the mayor said.
"I encourage everyone to come and take part in this meeting," Johnson said.
The annual Flowertown Festival held in picturesque Summerville is usually a celebration of everything Southern by all the people of South Carolina's Lowcountry.
But in this day and age of political correctness, there are those who don't really need a reason to be offended or angry, just an excuse.
As reported by both The Charleston Post and Courier and also The Summerville Journal Scene, the Summerville camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans set-up a booth on private property adjacent to the festival proper. The SAME display (a replica of the CSS Hunley) that members of the H.L. Hunley Camp have displayed for the past 6 years. a replica of the CSS Hunley for the festival-goers to see and learn of.
This year, sightseers and tourists were denied the opportunity to learn of the first operational submarine to ever sink an enemy vessel due to a "technicality," specifically the "lack of a necessary business license permit."
"We've had the Hunley here the last six years," said Ben Bunting, commander of the local SCV chapter. "We have never been approached about having a permit."
Bunting said the submarine display actually arrived in Summerville as usual prior to the festival but was turned away because it lacked the permit required by all vendors.
"By all appearances what went on this (festival) year appears to be collusion in my opinion...to satisfy a problem with a community organizer," Bunting said.
Louis Smith, founder of the Community Resource Center, a black community organizer, appeared to confirm that claim. "If that exhibit had been approved, we were going to protest by putting black people in chains," Smith said Sunday at the festival. Smith said the display was a tool to spread hate toward the black community and could not believe that it was allowed at a family event.
Because the SCV is a non-profit, and because their display was educational in nature rather than commercial, no "business license" was required. And additionally, the town government isn't the organizer of the event, but rather the Summerville Family YMCA.
According to the local Y's executive director Gary Lukridge, "That vendor was outside of our jurisdiction," he said. "We can't control what happens on private property."
It was further reported that "Lukridge confirmed that he spoke to Smith 'a couple of weeks' before the festival and relayed the information that the Hunley exhibit would not be coming."
We also have word that at their next meeting the Town Council is expected to take a public stand against the SCV and against display of Confederate symbols.
Louis Smith, the community organizer, is also seeking criminal charges against individual SCV members claiming that they violated the civil rights of festival goers by walking around and passing out small Confederate Flags. He is also claiming that the SCV refused to give flags to black people (something that we know was not true).
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has again proclaimed April to be Confederate Heritage Month.
The proclamation properly does not mention slavery and is similar to ones previously issued by Bryant in previous years. Other Mississippi governors, Democrat and Republican, have made similar proclamations for previous decades.
THE SMEAR CAMPAIGN BEGINS
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who has held public statewide office since 1996, is a member of Rankin County's Lowry Rifles Camp #1740 of the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).
That membership makes him the most prominent sitting public official in the United States who is a known member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks the SCV and similar groups.
"He doesn't attend regular meetings, but his dues are paid and his membership status is current," said Marc Allen, Mississippi SCV public affairs officer and a member of the same chapter as Bryant told a Mississippi Today reporter. "Gov. Bryant has Confederate ancestors like many people in Mississippi do. This is one way we can honor and pay respect to American veterans."
"The continuous acknowledgment by the governor as he celebrates and recognizes the month of April as Confederate Heritage Month, and his membership in such organizations as the Sons of Confederate Veterans, cannot help but be of concern to me and members of the Legislative Black Caucus as well as other residents in the state," said Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes, D-Gulfport and chairwoman of the Legislative Black Caucus.
Heidi Beirich, intelligence project director at the Southern Poverty Law Center, has called Bryant's SCV membership "shocking" and "troubling."
"There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of SCV members who are known members of hate groups," Beirich said. "Bryant shouldn't be playing footsie with them." "From my perspective, it's inappropriate for a sitting governor to affiliate himself with them," she said. "It's disturbing that (Bryant) is a member of a group that has lost hundreds of members in recent years because they wouldn't stand up against racism."
And Governor Bryant is not the only SCV member who holds public office. He just happens to be the first target. One of Beirich's jobs at SPLC is to determine which public officials in which states are also SCV members.
She has a list. And the media and agents on the left are making the rounds, and offering not to go public with additional names on condition that the official take official positions against their heritage. Those who will not do so are about to join Governor Bryant as targets of this new offensive.
The SLPC is also making issue of the SCV membership of former politicians, including former U.S. Senator Trent Lott and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. The reason is probably to show the currently elected SCV members the effect of being painted a racist on the basis of SCV membership.
The initial targets of this offensive are elected officials in Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi.
HOPEFULLY THIS LAWSUIT IS FINALLY DEAD
A Federal Appeals Court has rejected a lawsuit against the State of Mississippi over the use of the Confederate Battle Flag in the State Flag.
A black Mississippi resident said that the use of the Confederate symbol amounted to state-sanctioned racial discrimination. But the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that any emotional harm caused by the flag is irrelevant, legally speaking, and doesn't give him grounds to sue.
The lawsuit that was dismissed on Friday was brought by a black lawyer who said he suffered because of the "painful, threatening and offensive" flag, which made him feel like a second-class citizen. He noted that as a lawyer, he saw the flag frequently in court, compounding the pain it caused him. He cited both emotional and physical harms, including high blood pressure and anxiety.
The central question was whether the man had standing to sue - which depended on whether he had experienced an "injury in fact." The appeals court didn't deny that the flag might have a deep and personal effect on the man. They said he demonstrated that he feels stigmatized.
But feeling stigmatized, they said, isn't the kind of injury you can sue the State over.
"[E]xposure to a discriminatory message, without a corresponding denial of equal treatment, is insufficient to plead injury in an equal protection case," the three-judge panel ruled.
The case had already been rejected by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves who threw out the case last year called the Confederate emblem "a repulsive symbol of the past, born of the South's intention to maintain slavery."
The 5th Circuit was less critical of the flag, although it did suggest that the stigmatizing effect of the flag might possibly be "strongly, sincerely and severely felt," without legal redress being possible.
The 5th Circuit also rejected a claim on behalf of the Mississippi man's daughter, who, under Mississippi law, will be taught "the proper respect" for the State Flag in school and learn the State pledge of allegiance to the Flag.
The man said that being forced to respect or pledge allegiance to a flag with Confederate imagery would violate his daughter's First Amendment rights.
The Circuit Court responded with an argument that, in a roundabout way, suggests the Mississippi Flag might not be worth respecting. That is, they said "proper respect" for the Flag is the "correct" or "suitable" respect, not a particular amount of respect.
So, they concluded, "all that is required to be taught is the history of the flag and the respect that it is due, whatever that may be."
And that, they said, does not violate the Constitution.
DOT REMOVES FLAG
A Confederate Flag hanging inside a garage owned by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation was hastily removed Friday after a reporter spotted it and tweeted out a photo.
A reporter for WPRO-AM took a picture of the flag during a news conference about work zone safety. The photo showed it was hanging against a wall behind two trucks.
By the end of the news conference, the station reported the flag had been removed.
Transportation Director Peter Alviti told WPRO that hanging the flag was stupid and inappropriate.
Department spokesman Charles St. Martin said later Friday that department officials do not know who placed the flag or how long it had been there. He said human resources is looking into it and will "take the appropriate steps."
CONFEDERATE GRAVES DESECRATED
A wreath and two Confederate Flags were vandalized Saturday after a History and Heritage Month observance in southeast Georgia, police said.
The incident occurred at the Bulloch County Courthouse Confederate Memorial, the Statesboro Herald reported.
"The monument was not affected but the wreath ... was damaged," said Mike Mull, Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Ogeechee Rifles Camp No. 94. "Two flags - a Confederate battle flag and the 3rd National Confederate flag - were torn from the wreath and thrown to the ground. The grapevine wreath itself was not damaged, but the stand that supported the wreath was bent."
Police took a report from Mull, the newspaper reported. The monument is under 24-hour video surveillance.
"Damaging that wreath is the same as desecration of graves," Mull said. "That wreath was meant to memorialize the hundreds of men who left their farms, fields, offices and pulpits to fight for a cause in which they believed, right or wrong."
MONUMENT REMOVAL BIDS ARE THREE TIMES HIGHER THAN BUDGET
The sole competitive bid for the contract to remove Confederate monuments in New Orleans far exceeds the city's budget.
The Times-Picayune reports that contractor Couzan Services Ltd. has bid $600,000 to remove statues of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gen. Robert E. Lee. The statue of Lee was, at one point, the tallest structure in the South. The city's budget is $170,000, although Mayor Mitch Landrieu has said the project will also be privately financed.
VIRGINIA FLAGGERS THWARTED AGAIN
A Confederate Flag is "too big and too tall to be missed so it is not harmonious with commercial development in a tourism corridor and cannot be flown," the Rockbridge County's Tourism Corridor Overlay Review Board ruled on Wednesday.
Cited with zoning violations, the Virginia Flaggers elected last month to take down a 20-by-30-foot flag, mounted on a pole more than 80 feet high, that was put up in January along U.S. 60 just west of Lexington.
In an effort to raise their flag again, this time from a spot that did not violate setback requirements, the Flaggers sought approval from the TCO board.
County officials were quick to say their decision was not a political statement about the Flag. "This is obviously not a flag issue," Assistant Director of Community Development Chris Slaydon said. "This is a scale issue and a proportionality issue."
The TCO board oversees commercial development within 1,000 feet of several highways designated by the county as tourism corridors, including U.S. 60, also known as Midland Trail, U.S. 11 and parts of Virginia 39.
A motion made by board member Tim Welsh to deny the application, which was approved 4-0, stated that "the size of the proposed flag is not harmonious and is inconsistent with other commercial development in the area and other areas within the TCO district."
While a new proposed location on the 60 West Pawn Shop lot satisfies the setback requirements, the TCO board still had concerns about the flag's height.
Fred Massey said that while he respects free speech and property rights, a 20-by-30 foot flag is too extreme of an expression.
Barry Isenhour of the Flaggers, who attended the meeting, said afterward that while the board's stated concerns were about the flag's height, he suggested that the decision was really based on distaste for the Confederate flag. "If this had been the U.S. flag, I don't think they would have had a problem with it," he said.
Had the Flaggers won approval from the TCO board, they still would have needed a building permit from Rockbridge County.
The Flaggers have stated that the group plans to appeal. The next step would be to take the application to the County Board of Supervisors.
Before its vote, the board invited public comments but only heard from the 6 opposed to a display of the Confederate flag.
PITCH FORKS AND TORCHES IN HAND
A mob of angry blacks led by Senator Perry Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, and surrounded by alumni members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, took to Florida's "Old Capitol" steps Thursday to call for a likeness of educator and civil-rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune to replace a statue of a Confederate General now in the U.S. Capitol.
The group called for passage of Thurston's bill (SCR 1360) that would formally approve Dr. Bethune to replace General Edmund Kirby Smith in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall.
Each state has two statues on display in the Capitol. Florida's other statue, of scientist-inventor Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola, a pivotal figure in the invention of air conditioning, will remain.
But Thurston's bill has yet to have a hearing. And in addition to Thurston's bill, other members have presented competing legislation also calling for the removal of General Smith's statue but wishing to replace it with any of a number of other characters, including one bill that would replace the General's statue with that of environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas. , author of "The Everglades: River of Grass," to take Smith's place.
Please call Florida State senators and legislators to state your opposition to SCR1360 and any other bill that would remove or replace General Smith's statue.