Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Excellent article from "The Baffler" about the effort to dump civil rights by Mark Lilla

Mark Lilla has written a book in which he says the Democratic Party should reject what he calls "identitarian politics." Which means dropping the issues of race and civil rights.

This is the link to the article.


The Baffler has an excellent article on this and shows the historical background to this thinking. The author Kimberle' Williams Crenshaw shows its origins going back to Reconstruction.

This critique of identity politics is not new. Indeed, it can be traced to the repudiation of Reconstruction itself. The lethal critiques trained against the shortlived Freedmen’s Bureau and congressional efforts to create a national commitment to eliminate widespread discrimination against former slaves sought to discredit and dismantle equality projects by framing them as dangerous pandering and insidious favoritism. It was, in effect, a critique of identity politics, with the Supreme Court intoning that black men should relinquish the status of special victims and stop making a federal case out of every slight they might encounter. Being told to live lives like everyone else while barely emerging from a status that was not like everyone else was a tough-love repudiation of a reform-oriented identity politics. Of course, the politics that underwrote white supremacy were as untamable as ever, but these were not the conceits of identity that troubled the ruling elite nor its white clients.

The Centrist Democrats and neo-Liberals are frantic over Trump winning the 2016 election. Rather than critique themselves, they are looking at who they can throw overboard to win the next elections. They reason I think that racial minorities and gays have nowhere to go, and they can depend on minority members of the Democratic Party to make rationalizations to justify voting for Democrats in elections even though the neo-Liberals are proposing to drop  civil rights.

This argument to drop identity politics of course includes dropping the issues of Confederate monuments and flags.

What doesn't occur to the Democrats is that they themselves might be dropped by large section of the public. The Democrats don't control either house of congress nor the white house nor many of the state houses. They are not in power largely as a result of their own strategies. The current situation is fluid. They still think they will dictate the future.

What also needs to be observed is that various establishment Democrats in urban centers have attempted to do some type of rationalization for Confederate monuments. It hasn't worked well. The core locations of Democratic Party strength are rejecting Confederate monuments everywhere.

Mark Lilla and his supporters need to be dump and not racial justice if we are to progress on removing Confederate monuments.

The Baffler has some wickedly delicious send ups of various elites' reasoning. It is very intelligently written. It is one of the few magazines I subscribe to in print.

Southern Baptist Convention President joins 170 Memphis clergy asking asking to remove Confederate statue.

This is revolutionary.

This is the article online at Baptist News Global.


Steve Gaines, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) joined in with 170 local clergy in asking that a Confederate monument, Confederate General Nathan B. Forrest to be removed from its present location. About 100 leaders of other congregations and religious institutions were also signers.

The letter is here.


The Southern Baptist Conference has steadily marched away from the Lost Cause interpretation of history. They have done very well, whereas the liberal mainstream denominations have been poor on this. The Episcopal Church has moved fairly well away from the Lost Cause also, but there have been no pronouncements from their national leadership.

The SBC is sending a very important message to other evangelical groups.

In 2016 the SBC adopted a resolution on the Confederate Battle Flag.


In the early 1990s they had an apology for slavery.

This is an earlier blog on the topic and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) denunciation of them.


The center of the Christian faith is moving to out of the Western world. The SBC realizes this.

The mainstream liberal denominations on the other hand haven't come to grasp with the issues of the Confederacy. They have their vanities about being so good on race. This web page is available for further reading. http://www.templeofdemocracy.com/churches-of-the-confederacy.html

The actions of these 170 clergy, black and white, has a seismic impact on the landscape for Confederate monuments. The fact that the Baptist News Global has sent this out will be an inspiration for other churches elsewhere to take a stand and an influence on others not to support Confederate monuments.

We wake up this morning with the politics of this issue revolutionized.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

This is Texas Freedom Force was more like This is Tiny Freedom Force

The This is Texas Freedom Force had a rally Sunday, 9/16/2017 yesterday. I went to do some photo documentation. There wasn't a large attendance. Dallas Morning News estimated 100 people, WFAA estimated 200. I estimated 150, but I am not really trained.

The rally was fairly peaceful except one counter-protester started a fight and was arrested. The speeches were particularly clueless.

A demonstration is conducted to demonstrate the support for your cause and to communicate to your supporters and the public some issues.

This demonstration demonstrated that This is Texas Freedom Force could only rally a small group of angry alienated individuals. The persons parading around in camouflage fatigues with large guns provided some interesting visuals. Every rally the This is Texas Freedom Force does supports our cause. People are really alienated by these rallies and the general public which doesn't do a close study of the issues or the debate or hear the rationalizations of preservation societies largely gets its impressions from these rallies what the Confederate issue is about.

Strategically you might think that I shouldn't mention that these Texas militia groups are greatly aiding our cause, but they are so angry and committed to militia cosplay that they can't see this or accept this. If they did they would have to confront the issue that they are some type of theatrical farce and have been all along.

The following picture shows that there wasn't a very large crowd.

This is Texas Freedom Force talked about bringing "hell" to Dallas and other bluster.

This posting talks about raising hell. Shows a caricature of Rawlings running from a bull.

They claimed that Dallas Mayor Rawlings would suffer consequences. What they demonstrated was that they were no political force at all of consequence to anyone.

Was was amusing was that a lot of people on Facebook did postings of support. One TITFF Facebook posting had 1.1K comments. If they had had 500 people show up they might have real impact, but instead it shows that a lot of the opposition to Confederate monument removal is by whiny-grippers who aren't really going to do anything.

As might be expected someone flew the Trump flag. An added bonus to alienate an urban public. Click on photo to see entire picture.

It is our hope that This Is Texas Freedom Force continues to have demonstrations like this.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Status in Dallas, impact on developments elsewhere UPDATE: Video of Lee statue being driven away.

So the Robert E. Lee statue went down in Dallas.

There were some people ranting at the Dallas Task Force on Confederate monuments on 9/15/2017.

The Task Force agenda seems to be trying to do the minimum on removing Confederate names. I think the Lee statue may have been the gesture so that other stuff can be kept. In particular street names and Fair Park.

Frances Cudjoe Waters doesn't seem to understand or know parliamentary procedure and just raised her voice and ran over Rev. Waters yesterday in a shocking display of a dictatorial attitude towards running the meeting. I don't understand the city attorney's opinion in the mater at all.

A lot of people think the Pioneer Park monument is set to go, but I am not so sure.

What is interesting is that the preservation societies, etc. are working to keep Confederate things.

William Murchison was in a rage in his one-minute testimony before the Park Board. Actually talked about racial healing. This is a guy who one time was on the board of the Texas League of the South and also was in Southern Partisan magazine. He thought George Wallace supporter M.E. Bradford to be some type of hero.

I think the hard part in Dallas is coming up. I think the public thinks that other Confederate items will go next and go easily, but I think that there will be some things done, but not much. I don't even know if the Confederate monument at Pioneer Park will go.

This may be quite a surprise. But the board members considering this minimization should think that it will reveal to the public who they are, and who Rawlings is.

Elsewhere the monument removal in Dallas will give hope to others that Confederate monuments can be taken down.

UPDATE: This is the video of the statue being driven away. Towards the end I enlarged the image so you can see it go off to storage.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Event at Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas, "Confederate Monuments: Where Do We Go From Here?"

Upcoming event at Paul Quinn College

Confederate Monuments: Where Do We Go From Here?

Time: Monday, 6:45 p.m. – 9 p.m., September 25th, Paul Quinn College Zale Library, 3837 Simpson Stuart Road, Dallas, Texas 75241.


1. Ed Gray: Host, Doctoral Candidate, and Co-Chair of the Human Rights Cluster Southern Methodist University.

2. Dr. Marvin Dulaney: Professor of History at the University of Texas at Arlington.

3. Sara Mokuria Co-Founder: Mothers Against Police Brutality, and Member of the Mayor’s Commission on Monuments.

4. Mike Lowe, activist leader of SATX4 which brought down the Confederate Monument in San Antonio.

5. Coymelle Murchison: Member of the Mayor’s Commission on Monuments. Health Care Business Professional.

6. Dr. Michael J. Sorrell: President of Paul Quinn College.

7. Elexis Evans: Paul Quinn College student leader.

Or in picture form. 
I expect to learn a lot at this forum.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bye Bye Robert E. Lee

The Robert E. Lee statue was removed and shipped away this afternoon at Oak Lawn Park.

Click on the pictures to see the whole thing.  After 25 years the Crawfish has won.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

This is Texas Freedom Force, a Texas Militia Condemns "some fairy" "sebastes"

The name of the Texas militia is "This is Texas Freedom Force."

They are planning on showing up in Dallas, Texas to speak out against removing Confederate monuments.

This is their event and the posting of interest.


Look in the comments section. This is the comment of interest.

Image may contain: text

The name is spelled wrong and they live in Texas where there are a lot of people with Czech names.

If only all our opponents were like this, our task would be very easy.

Letter to Dallas Mayor Rawlings about Frances Cudjoe Waters heading the task force on Confederate monuments

A copy of the letter was sent FedEx to all 14th city council members. I don't think Rev. Waters should head up the task force unless she can speak to the United Methodist Church (UMC) hosting neo-Confederate groups.

This is the letter:
                                                                  September 3, 2017

                                                                  Edward H. Sebesta

Mayor Mike Rawlings
Mayor and City Council City of Dallas
Dallas City Hall
1500 Marilla St.
Dallas, Texas 75201

Dear Hon. Rawlings:

In your online published memo I see that you have appointed as Confederate monuments task force chair Rev. Frances Cudjoe Waters who in your memo list as a minister of the United Methodist Church (UMC) and who has been a leader and strategist in that denomination. A brief review of Rev. Waters activities show a remarkably talented person and a person with a social conscious  and active in the pursuit of social justice.

However, since you brought up Rev. Waters’s leadership role in the UMC as a qualification, I would like Rev. Water’s to speak to the UMC’s history of lending their facilities to neo-Confederate groups, the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC.)

I have been writing denominations and individual churches asking them to not lend their facilities and the prestige of their denomination and historical buildings to neo-Confederate groups. After writing St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in 2014 in Richmond, Virginia they decided to disinvite the UDC.  (http://richmondfreepress.com/news/2014/nov/07/confederates-hold-service-downtown-church/).

St. Paul’s later decided to give up the Confederacy. This was the church which both Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis attended during the Civil War. (http://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/article_fda4f734-e732-5c7f-bbe3-5f66f1f09cb3.html)

However, the UMC record on this is very poor. Despite extensive correspondence to individual hosting churches, UMC bishops, and the national leadership the record has been a refusal to engage the issue. UMC churches continue to lend their facilities to the UDC. I enclose a package documenting the UDC activities at UMC churches.

I enclose some documentation about the SCV and the UDC. The SCV documentation was written up a dossier published at Black Commentator, (http://www.blackcommentator.com/526/526_confederacy_sebesta_guest_share.htm), and I enclose three articles from UDC Magazine.  One UDC magazine argues that the 14th Amendment was a mistake; another is about “shrine to the Red Shirts,” a violent white terroristic group in 1876 in South Carolina, and yet another recommends the pro-Klan book, “Southern by the Grace of God,” to be given to children as a “treasure.” I enclose a short article on these materials published in the Dallas Morning News, which provides more information about this book. (https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/17/confederate-heritage-root-recent-tragedies-troubles)

Incidentally these groups often come with sad, sad faces talking nostalgic memory. Everyone might well consider these materials while they are talking to the city council and to the task force.

I have no idea if Rev. Waters knows of this UMC activity much less endorses it.  I suspect that Rev. Waters probably is entirely unaware of this activity and very likely would be very much dismayed to learn of it.

However, Rev. Waters is tasked to deal with the difficult issues of historical memory in Dallas. I think it would be instructive to know Rev. Waters’s thoughts regarding the UMC enabling of neo-Confederate groups.  

                                                                        Sincerely Yours,

                                                                        Edward H. Sebesta

CC: Next page

Confederate Motorcycles changes their name because of loss of business

The story is here.


and here in these links.



Confederate Motorcycles is changing its name to Curtiss Motorcycle. The business was founded in 1991 and evidently the owner Matt Chambers thought then that the name was a good idea.

The article explains "Chambers told the Los Angeles Times" that the company was losing business because of the name.  The article says that Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise were customers.

I wonder how well a 3rd Reich Motorcycle Company would be received. It says a lot about society and his customer base that not until 2017, 26 years after the founding, did Chambers feel he had to change the name.

This is a good development. All these things, street names, merchandise, monuments, etc. are mutually reinforcing since as an aggregate they normalize themselves. As the aggregate is reduced the remaining items are less normalized

However, for prestige goods, which a motorcycle costing over a $100,000 would be, these items in particular normalize the Confederacy since at their price it states that people with a lot of money are purchasing these items. The article lists a motorcycle on sale at $150,000.

It is also significant that among upper social strata in the United States acceptability for Confederate things is finally diminishing. It is also of interest that the name didn't change in 2015.

In the Los Angeles Times article Chambers says "We've missed out on branding opportunities." I think the problem is that that his business was getting branding, as a motorcycle for persons that really don't care that black lives matter in history.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Letter to Dallas Mayor Rawlings about his proposed task force.

You can see that I incorporate into this letter the concept of the speech I didn't give on August 12, 2017.

This is the link to the prior blog posting.


This is one of the two letters I sent Fed Ex Sunday to reach the mayor. Copies were sent to all city council members.

                                                           September 3, 2017


Mayor Mike Rawlings
Mayor and City Council City of Dallas
Dallas City Hall
1500 Marilla St.
Dallas, Texas 75201

Dear Hon. Rawlings:

I enclose a copy of an article published in The Grio, May 26, 2017 online at http://thegrio.com/2017/05/26/hundreds-of-confederate-statues-still-standing/.  I am quoted on the 4th page of the article about what the form of opposition to Confederate statues will take.  The section is highlighted in yellow.

The sections explains that these rationalizations to retain Confederate monuments will be represented as some type of sophisticated understanding of historical memory instead of the issue of race. It is my belief that these are manifestations of banal white nationalism driven by fear of loss of control over the landscape and how America is defined.

One method to enable these rationalizations is to set up a commission, committee or task force composed of members of the local establishment who are predisposed against removal to formulate these rationalizations and present them as expert opinion.  We already have an indication what type of task force this might be with the Bravo Walker interview in the Dallas Morning News in which Walker states that he wants to “save so badly” the Robert E. Lee statue. https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/09/01/dallas-mayors-confederate-monument-task-force-member-questions-mission.

I think it needs to be considered that as other cities take down their Confederate monuments that Dallas’s Confederate monuments will be scarecrows indicating what type of city Dallas is.

                                                                        Sincerely Yours,

                                                                        Edward H. Sebesta

CC: Next page

The speech I didn't give at the Saturday Rally August 12, 2017 and Dallas's potential accommodation of the Confederacy

I did give this speech, I decided to give another speech which I have in an earlier blog posting.

This is the link to the speech that I gave, or approximated in my speech.


The following is the speech I was thinking of giving. I am posting it because it seems that the tide has turned on Confederate monuments and we are losing. I think Dallas needs to consider what is going to happen long term if other cities have gotten rid of their monuments and Dallas still has theirs.

The text of the proposed speech:

Scarecrows are objects used to scare birds away.

Cities all over this nation are taking down their Confederate monuments.

If Dallas’s Confederate monuments remain they will be scarecrows.

Scarecrows to warn people to stay away.

Scarecrows warning that this is a city without a human rights commission.

Scarecrows warning that this is a city with an intentionally ineffective police review board.

Scarecrows warning that this is a city where the elite have their wedding celebrations in a Robert E. Lee plantation mansion in a Robert E. Lee Park.

Scarecrows warning that this is a White Metropolis.

Scarecrows warning that this is a city without a spirit of social justice but just Accomodations with Federal Civil Rights Court orders.

Hearkening back to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, scarecrows warning that behind a smiling mask this is still the city of hate.

We are better than that, let us have no Confederate scarecrows in this city.

Thank you. 

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Trevor Noah on Antifa. Ridicules them. A group of which I don't approve.

The video is at this link.


Hilarious. It takes apart a lot of Antifa's self-serving rationalizations.

Persons following my blog know that I have repeatedly taken the position against violence.

I think there is a real risk of this violence spiraling out of control. It also provides the pretext for the government to go after all anti-Confederate groups by lumping them together with Antifa.

Click on image to see it all.

Friday, September 01, 2017

"People Magazine" reports on Republican Georgia state rep. who warns African Americans State Rep. that she could go missing.

The article was in various news outlets, but now it is on the People magazine website.


The Republican lawmaker, Jason Spencer, seems to be trying to put a spin on this.

People is a magazine of popular culture and reaches millions who otherwise don't follow the news.

The incident has also made Essence, a publication for millions of African American women.


It made Vice which has a broad following among young people.


It is on many, many news websites for major media.

I think the nation is realizing what lies below the surface of Confederate "heritage." It is white rage.

I always thought that pressing this issue would surface who was who.

First Domino falls, San Antonio takes down Confederate monument in Travis Park overnight

The San Antonio city council voted to have the statue removed. The vote was 10 to 1.



The city wasted no time to get the monument removed. The removal was within hours of the vote.


This is a video footage.


The city was sued during the debate to prevent the removal of the monument.  Claim was that the city would be violating the free speech rights of the Texas Division Sons of Confederate Veterans and that the city of San Antonio didn't have title to the property. Their attorney was Kirk Lyons.


Now the issue about the title might have some merit. I am sure that the city of San Antonio is looking into it. For something really old records can be lost or the means of possession might have been forgotten. Perhaps the land is on permanent loan or something. I am not saying this is the case, but it isn't unreasonable. I sure the city is doing research now.

The Federal judge refused to issue a stay on the removal. See link below.


So down it went.

The Texas Division Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) has a "WARFRONT" posting on their Facebook page.


Their web page has a lot of name calling. They must realize that their usual tactic of threats of retaliation at the next election is of little worth. They made a point of having two out of three speakers at their rally for the monument be African American. So now they realize the H.K. Edgerton strategy doesn't really work. The support that they get from right wing publications is of no value, because if Confederate monuments were widely identified with the politics of Breitbart they would likely go down faster.

This is Texas Freedom Force, ("This is" is part of their name), says they are still involved but they are tied up with the hurricane but say they are still involved with the fight to keep Confederate monuments. (See link below.) They say they are going to have a recall effort. I don't think the recall effort is going to have much effect. Even if they remove one or two city council people, and I doubt they will, it still won't get the monument back up. It might highlight how lacking in influence they are.

It strikes me that they are somewhat delusional as to their importance. I don't think they will ever quite realize that they are not representative of mainstream opinion in Texas.

However, I do agree with the speaker that the removal in San Antonio will get other militia groups fired up for the fight. It could be that they really didn't realize how much opinion has turned against Confederate monuments.



If you live in Texas you know that a lot of Texans live in a Texas-centric world.

So this is a really important precedent. Also, the fact that it was voted down by 10 to 1.

So in about 12 to 15 months people will wonder why their city hasn't gotten rid of its Confederate monument if it hasn't already done so. Given that the vote by the San Antonio city council was 10 to 1, people will have an expectation that the removal of a Confederate monument should be quick and relatively straight forward. If their city hasn't removed its Confederate monument or in the progress of doing so people in that city will be wondering what is wrong with its city leadership and coming to a realization what type of leadership it is.Others elsewhere in Texas will begin to draw conclusions about what type of city it is. There will be discontent and severe criticism of cities which don't remove Confederate monuments.

So for the cities that are hold outs, there will be  slow process of one monument here, one monument there being removed, showing that a sustained campaign will remove the monuments and encourage the efforts in hold-out cities to continue. It will make hold -out cities seem more aberrant and subject to ridicule.

Now the next key thing is for another monument to fall since that would be the start of a trend. Some officials might hope that San Antonio is just a fluke, but if more cities start removing Confederate monuments, city officials that would hope to avoid the issue, will realize that they just need to get it behind them.

Dallas Mayor Rawlings must be wondering if his whole task force thing is a mistake and city council members are probably realizing that a vote for quick removal is probably a better political strategy. Who wants to be on record as voting for a delaying strategy when city council decides that it is simply time for the monuments to go?

As monuments go down in Texas it will apply pressure for monuments to go down elsewhere. If conservative Texas takes down monuments people will wonder what is wrong with their city if they don't take down Confederate monuments.

I think also that the movement to remove Confederate monuments will continue. Progress might stall in other cities, maybe some national effort will slow it down, but then one city will get a Confederate monument removed and efforts in other cities will be encouraged and pressure will increase on the remaining cities. The issue might quiet down for a week or two, but then in some city the contest will bring to the fore the issue for the nation.

I think we are seeing the neo-Confederacy go up the spout.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Amazon has run out of one of our books and is about to run out of another. You can get them at the publishers.

You can get the "Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader" at the University Press of Mississippi at this web page.


At this link you can get "Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction."

Neo-Confederate culture of violence

I have always said that raising the issue of the Lost Cause would surface who people really are.


On Facebook a Republican Georgia State Rep. Jason Spencer warns Georgia State Rep. LaDawn Jones that she might go missing if she continues to criticize Confederate monument.

This is what Confederate "heritage" is about.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Kevin M. Levin weather vane UPDATE: UPDATE 2:

Kevin M. Levin had this extraordinary posting. The title of which is, "In Favor of Confederate Monuments."


The author we are told is, "a experience instructor in professional military education, who wishes to remain anonymous." Levin also has a disclaimer "Publication of this piece should not be interpreted as constituting agreement with its content."

Since it is anonymous the question has to be asked whether Levin himself wrote it. I don't think he did since I don't think he is a dishonest person. However, without a name of an acknowledged author, we can't entirely exclude Levin. Perhaps the author will step forward, but until he does, we can't exclude Levin.

There was a lot of negative feedback by the people who read his blog. However, Levin doesn't really make a clear statement. Levin in an update writes, "I hear you and will re-consider my policy. I fully admit that I may have dropped the ball one this one." So Levin "fully admits" a "may"?  A self-cancelling statement. Also, he will "re-consider," which means he may not do anything in regards to any "policy" he has.

Normally postings that are anonymous aren't taken seriously, but Levin has adopted a policy to give anonymous postings credibility.

The essay is delusional, a historical and really rubbish.  It is a rant.

Even if you wanted to have a policy where you published counter-pieces to your opinions, I think that you would want the opposing opinions to be credible. You could be accused of picking opposing essays that were bad to support your position.

I speculate what might be happening is this. A lot of civil war enthusiasts, Civil War Round Tables, Lost Cause people, Romance of Reunion and Civil War Centennial types are enraged. A lot of the local historical society types are enraged. The Confederate statues are tumbling down everywhere. They probably aren't happy with Kevin M. Levin's new position. He is probably getting some fairly strong feedback on his recent shift in opinion on Confederate monuments. Enthusiasts for the Confederacy can be fairly vitriolic and faces turn red when you are not buying into their rationalizations.

So it seems to me that Levin has come up with a plan to have his blog push two two opposing opinions on monuments to placate these people and yet still keep his position as being opposed to Confederate monuments. Suddenly the blog with a point of view is becoming a forum.

Levin justifies the post saying it is "getting people engaged with the argument of whether you or I agree with it." I suppose it does. A holocaust denial piece would likely do the same thing.

A posting advocating a flat earth would engage people but would be of little value.

The essay by the anonymous author is so bad does it really engage anyone? As a piece to argue for Confederate monuments is is just ranting and can't be considered an effective argument for Confederate statues. Levin abandons any pretense of editorial quality in publishing it.

As for the anonymity of the posting, it seems to me a little cowardly.


Levin has this post by himself in which he explains how much he disagrees with the anonymous posting. I think we see Levin's strategy in operation. He can placate Lost Causers and then reject them and position himself as anti-Lost Cause while still providing the Lost Cause people a platform.



Perhaps the anonymous essay is a soft ball pitched so Levin can hit it with a bat.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Euan Hague and my article on the Jefferson Davis Highway basis of an article in the JSTOR daily and in "The Atlantic."

JSTOR for those who aren't familiar with it is a repository of academic articles which you can search.
I was quite surprised to get a Google alert yesterday for the JSTOR Daily that they had an article on the Jefferson Davis highway titled, "What is the Jefferson Davis Highway?"


Then today I come across this article in The Atlantic titled, "The Lost Dream of a Superhighway to Honor the Confederacy."


There is this article about streets named after Confederate generals and it has a map.


It has maps you can zoom in and out of.

Where are we now and is there an emerging counter revolution on Confederate statues

When a movement is at flood tide it is easy for the people in that movement to believe that their forces are irresistible and that they will sweep away all opposition. History shows that this is very often not true. The opposition is thinking and strategizing. They are testing methods and refining them or changing them if they don't work.

Suddenly an effective opposition emerges or effective tactics and the movement which seemed irresistible now is stalled.

So where are we now?

Seven things are working in favor of the monuments being removed.

1. They are located in center cities which aren't very Republican, have high minority populations, and are more populated by liberals and leftists. The poll for the nation or a state or even the local metropolitan area may be in favor of keeping the statue, but in the center city the polls are very likely to be against the Confederate monument.

An counter strategy might be to put a monument on private land, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) have put flags on private plots of land. However, this strategy has limitations. It does show that there is an opposition and an opposition large enough to afford the land and flag pole. However, it isn't on public land and so it doesn't have the cultural authority of a monument on public land.

Further, being a private plot of land and flagpole, the maintenance cost falls on the individuals or group behind the plot of land. Something they have to keep up over decades. Monuments on public land usually are kept up by the local municipal government or they get donors since they are on public land.

2. As monuments go down elsewhere the cities with remaining monuments will look aberrant. The monument will be references as an indicator of what type of town the city is. Corporations will note the monuments when considering locations of a factory or business unit. They will be concerned about recruiting employees to live there and realize that Confederate monuments will be a negative. Competing towns and cities which have removed their monuments will make reference to the Confederate monument in the city.

I have been amazed that Confederate things that only a few specialists like me and the neo-Confederates know about have been removed. What remains will really stick out.

3. Trump has come out for Confederate monuments which has provoked a reaction of many people to suddenly care much more about the issue and be willing to take actions against the monuments. For some people if Trump is for something they are against it. Others were against Confederate monuments but now it is on the top or near top of their agenda. Some people started to think about the issue and now care about removing Confederate monuments.

More importantly a lot of people who might otherwise chatter about rationalizations to keep the monuments are keeping quiet. Trump has discredited for many the arguments they might make.

4. There is an ongoing shift in peoples attitudes to be increasingly against the Confederacy. The high school American history textbooks are still terrible, but they aren't believed. There have been movies giving a more accurate history of the American past.

The percentage of people who grew up with segregated schools is declining. Fewer and fewer people support the Confederacy. The Civil War Round Table population is aging out.

So when there are incidents, like the Charleston Massacre or the murder of Heather Heyer, there is a sudden burst of activity. A lot of people who have rejected the Confederacy already and for them when there is some event they have just had it and they want the Confederate stuff to go.

It was just a few years ago, people who were against neo-Confederacy would tell me solemnly that they couldn't make comparisons to the Nazis. Now it is mainstream. People discuss how the Germans process the historical memory of the Third Reich. They compare honoring the Confederates to honoring other horrific people in history.  The climate has really changed and is changing.

5. Finally for the residents in a lot of cities the failure to remove Confederate monuments will be a big revelation about what city they live in and who the city leaders really are. Residents will ask why does their city still has Confederate monuments when so many others have removed them. This would be a question that some city leaders don't want to make and a revelation about their city and themselves that they don't want residents to make. A mayor who is against the removal of a Confederate monument is just not going to be take seriously when he or she has some pronouncement about Martin Luther King day or has a statement to make in the case of a police shooting of an African American.

6. Politicians who have greater ambitions then elected city office will have to consider how having the retention of a Confederate monument on their resume will impact their political futures.

7. Various scholars and others have folded on this issue, like Kevin Levin. Preservation societies, local historical associations have to consider if they want to have defending Confederate statues as part of their history when they so often go to city hall to appeal for one thing or another.

However, there is an opposition.

Right Wing:

The right wing press is defending the monuments. Breitbart in particular is reporting every incident of excess. There have been calls to remove other monuments that aren't Confederate and this is being reported as an inevitable consequence of Confederate monument removal. It is an appeal to white racial fear.

Donald Trump is in favor of the Confederate monuments thus mobilizing his base in favor of Confederate monuments. He is also the president of the United States which has its advantages.

There is an organized neo-Confederate movement. Many African American conservatives are speaking out to retain monuments. Though this strategy doesn't seem to be that important. This strategy was brilliantly satirized in this hilarious YouTube Video, "Buy Confederate Flags From a Black Guy."


I think the right wing opposition will actually fuel more action against Confederate monuments. States with Republican Party majorities will have to wonder whether they want to be the party of the Confederacy. I am sure that in Alabama the Republican legislature has some regrets.


They aren't that relevant anymore. There aren't many that are going to be persuaded by  arguments for the Confederate monuments because the Confederacy was a good thing.

I think that there will be people dropping out of the groups since they don't want to be explaining to their relatives, fellow club members, fellow church members or co-workers why they are members. They will quit if they aren't purged first.

Centrist Democrats:

The centrist Democrats, aka neo-Liberals are I think a serious factor to consider. I have an earlier blog posting with links to articles where they argue against a campaign against Confederate statues because it is falling into a trap that Trump is setting.

What the real reason they are against it is that they want to get more white voters in the next election. This is part of a campaign among many in the Democratic Party who are saying that "identity  politics" needs to be de-emphasized which can be translated as, "let's drop civil rights from the Democratic Party agenda."

I haven't heard anything from Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton on the issue.

However, what the centrist Democrats can do is limited. They have lost both houses of Congress and lost the presidency to Donald Trump. They have no power in government and they have lost a lot of credibility with Democrats and the general public.  Their politics have led to Donald Trump being in the White House. They have limited ability to control the agenda.

The centrists run the risk that by waffling on Confederate statues or effectively opposing any real action against Confederate statues they will be further revealed as a group that stands for nothing but re-election and fudging on the issues.

Richmond mayor Levar Stoney and Charlottesville mayor Michael Signer are probably now regretting their respective courses of action. They will have eventually to have the monuments taken down, but they will get no credit for it since initially they opposed removal, but they will anger all the supporters of the Confederate monuments.

However, I think that there will be cases where individuals, organizational leaders, and some elected officials will use centrist Democratic arguments to not take action. It will act as a drag in the effort to remove Confederate monuments.


There are exceptions, like Mother Jones which is covering the movement to remove statues, but a lot of the left publications aren't giving this issue much attention. However, they will continue to drift into irrelevancy and it isn't much of a concern.


I think at some point the movement to remove Confederate monuments will slow down. One reason is that the monuments that can be easily removed will be removed. The monuments that remain will be in rural areas and small cities where the opposition to Confederate monuments is limited and the support for them is strong. Though in those cases the chamber of commerce will be concerned about their city's image and wish they could just go away.

The centrist Democrats are mobilizing on this issue and more generally on a campaign against "identity politics" which means dump civil rights. Their reasoning is that minorities have no place to go so lets not do much on civil rights. However, I think that there are probably a lot of Democrats who aren't ready to sign up for this. Long term demographics argue against it.

However, I don't think any fraction of the establishment can put a break on this issue. Independent groups, both for and against Confederate monuments, are going to be taking actions on their own which will continue to put the issue before the public. Trump and the conservative media will then comment on this issue. Centrist Democrats will find themselves looking like centrist Democrats. Other Democrats will decide that they don't want to look like centrist Democrats.

This issue of Confederate monument removal after the initial easy removals will then become an issue of protracted struggles over the monuments that remain in cities where the support for monument removal isn't so strong. These struggles will keep it in the news. Right wing media and Donald Trump will keep it in the news.

The struggle will then result in the removal of monuments, one city at a time. After awhile it cities will decide that they don't want the constant agitation and decided that they need to go.

I think that after 2018 we will find it an ongoing struggle. It will require a developed strategy and a focused effort.

However, by the end of the next 12 months there will have been removed a great many Confederate monuments and those remaining will appear to be aberrant, an indicator of backwardness. Many residents in those cities will find them a painful reminder of what type of city they live in.

Also, at that time there should be a campaign about churches hosting neo-Confederate groups, the U.S. military working with neo-Confederate groups, and American history textbooks which pander to neo-Confederate groups. These campaigns will be synergistic with the campaigns to remove Confederate monuments and likely necessary for the success of campaigns to remove Confederate monuments.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Peter S. Carmichael, Director of Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College is effectively defending local Gettysburg industry.

What is the local Gettysburg industry? It is the selling of stuff like this.

Click on photos to see the entire photo.

Peter S. Carmichael, Director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College has this article.


The article shows how clueless Carmichael is and how he is denying the rather clear record on Confederate monuments and their purpose. I am sure the Gettysburg Chamber of Commerce is grateful that he is making this effort. I am sure that Carmichael is not consciously defending these items. I think the Civil War Institute needs to think if they will be relevant by 2030.

When I visited Gettysburg April 2017, the story I was repeatedly told is that a very large fraction of the visitors are from the South and that in 2015 they did a tremendous business in Confederate flag memorabilia. People actually believed the Confederate flag would be banned. However, now the sale of Confederate junk is way down. You have to wonder what type of people would think they urgently needed to buy Confederate flags after the massacre in Charleston, but that is what evidently puts food on many tables in Gettysburg.

Also, that Confederate reenacting is down. The Civil War Sesquicentennial seemed to be the last hurrah.

The city of Gettysburg is already switching to ghosts tours and that seems to be the coming industry. However, it seems to me you could do ghost tours anywhere there were old buildings and gullible people which is most anywhere. Dallas only has one of the two components. Having a ghost in Dallas would be seen as anti-real estate development which is Dallas's highest moral value.

Peter S. Carmichael represents the Civil War historians whose efforts will make the Civil War of little interest to future generations.

Gettysburg College should consider, along with the city of Gettysburg that they owe John Sims an apology.

Sure glad that the "Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader" didn't win the Museum of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis medal

I am working with activists here and there working to get rid of Confederate monuments.

I have been handing out free some of my books including the "Reader."

With Jefferson Davis statues being taken down I am certainly glad that I don't have a Jefferson Davis medal printed on the 2nd edition, or some nonsense about it getting a Jefferson Davis award. Or something like this on the web page for the book or in book advertisements. I had to work on making sure this didn't happen. I had to put up with a lot of stuff and nonsense trying to persuade me to submit the book for the award.

This is the first part of the series I wrote on the Museum of the Confederacy which discusses why I wrote it so my book would not get the award.


I am glad that I don't have to try to explain this away, with explanations that wouldn't be believed.

Of course this made me rather unpopular in the Civil War History profession. Many denunciations on Kevin Levin's blog.






The "circus continues" is reference to an earlier activity in which I got a group of scholars to co-sign a letter to Obama asking him not to send a wreath to the Arlington Confederate memorial. That Levin is implying is a circus also, thus it is continuing.

Brook D. Simpson was critical of this as well.



Simpson was on the masthead of Civil War History.

Neither of them would read even the first installment of the history.

Outside the Civil War history profession scholars thought my position was both sensible and obvious. One even wondered whether Loewen had gone "Genovese."

However, now in retrospect these denunciations just document how increasingly out of touch the Civil War history profession was and how they live in a Civil War Round Table reality, a world which is fading away.

What might be considered is how these Confederate monuments served to normalize the Civil War Round Table world and a historical profession that pandered to them and now as the monuments leave how abnormal the Civil War Round Table world will be perceived.

Of course there will always be a place for the Civil War Round Table where they can ruminate on brass alloys used in Civil War uniform buttons or perhaps the topic of mosquitoes and other biting insects at Gettysburg battlefield and resolutely ignore the issues of neo-Confederacy and race. This would likely be at the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College.

Interest in the Civil War is dying because of a Civil War history profession and Civil War Round Tables which have a focus which isn't of interest to the modern world.

Kevin Levin's continues to push "Confederate fabulous" image. A direct assault on the LGBT community.

The rainbow flag has been recently redesigned with a black and brown strip added to represent non-white LGBT or as the news articles report, "people of color."

These are some articles.

CNN reports that the city of Philadelphia released the new flag.


Now the rainbow flag in itself was to represent the idea that LGBT are in every group or come from every group. It is a flag adopted globally, on every continent, by any organization of LGBT on this planet. It supplanted the pink triangle and the stupid lambda symbol.

So on the surface of things it should not be necessary to add additional strips. The new flag still has the basic colors in the eight crayon box. This opens up the idea that other groups will add other strips to localize a flag. The global rainbow flag will become splintered.

However, I can full well understand why this happened. Discriminatory practices at bars over decades, attitudes by some in the LGBT community, and exclusionary practices have made it so that racial minorities in the LGBT community felt it necessary to add the strips to make a point.

In Dallas there are two LGBT pride events. There is a separate event for the African American LGBT community.

So we don't need "Confederate fabulous" as Kevin M. Levin posts here in Sept. 28, 2016 in his blog as part of his efforts to rationalize the retention of Confederate monuments.


He is still using this image.


"fabulous" is a popular word used in LGBT forms of English. The picture shows part of a rainbow balloon structure at a LGBT celebration in Charlottesville, Virginia.

I pointed out Dec. 16, 2016 that this was harmful to the LGBT community.


This has come up as a topic with Levin before.
http://cwmemory.com/rainbow/  This image that was in the blog posting discussed below.

You can see in the comments in the following blog posting it has been discussed before. Levin and I had a dialog on this.


I don't think there was intentional harm then, but rather a posting that was unaware of the implications. However, it was rather extensively explained to Levin in the comments. He pulled the image.

However, I did alert some contacts in Boston who I had helped with a story sometime in 2006.

Yet now Levin is pushing "Confederate fabulous."

Friday, August 25, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Centrist Democratic Counter Revolution Arises to Retain Confederate monuments, Update: More articles.

I have been wondering where the Counter Revolution to retain Confederate monuments would come from.  Pres. Donald Trump has come to the defense of Confederate monuments, but since the monuments are located in the center cities of urban areas this can be more an incentive for them to come down.

When there is a social revolution there can be the illusion that the social revolution is unstoppable. Often the forces of social revolution are surprised when the counter revolution arises and is unprepared.

The movement to remove Confederate monuments is not unstoppable and the counter revolution has shown up. It is being lead by the centrist Democrats.

This article first showed up on Slate, the news website of the centrist Democrats.


The title is "Are Democrats Making a Mistake by Fixating on Confederate Statues?" I don't think the Democrats are "fixating" on Confederate statues. The author, Ben Mathis-Lilley is with the title trying to stigmatize Democratic concern over Confederate monuments by using the term "fixating."

Mathis-Lilley's thinking is driven by polls and wants Democrats to focus on Trump's support for white nationalism and avoid the topic of the Confederate monuments.

Then there is this column reported in the S.F. Chronicle and then reported by Breitbart.



Now we have a prominent African American Democrat saying we shouldn't go after Confederate monuments. It is supposed to be a clever trap laid by Trump.  The Republicans have their Walter Williams, it seems centrist Democrats have Willie Brown.

Now Dershowitz is comparing liberals who want to take down statues to Stalinists.


Or course Breitbart wants this generally known.

I don't know why Dershowitz is called a liberal.

These articles give a rational for many liberal/left individuals to oppose efforts to remove Confederate monuments on the basis that they want to fight white nationalism but not fall into a trap or be a Stalinist. The reality is that these individuals are banal white nationalists unwilling to give up a white landscape.

I would think Democrats would learn from a policy of having candidates always triangulate their positions and filter their principles through five focus groups from the results of recent elections.


As more articles like this appear I will put them in this update.

Article quoting a Democratic centrist warning that the anti-Confederate statue campaign will undermine the Democrats.


A quote from the article.

Paul Begala, the Democratic strategist, said his party was “driving straight into a trap Trump has set,” because the president seeks to shift the focus away from comments he made about white supremacists to his charge that opponents are trying to “take away our history.”
“While I understand the pain those monuments cause,” said Mr. Begala, who was an adviser to President Bill Clinton, “I just think it in some ways dishonors the debate to allow Trump to hijack it.”
Begala's last statement just doesn't make sense.

Another article from Politico titled, "Charlottesville fallout  divides Democrats." The lead for the story is, "The party  is wrestling with how much to focus on Confederate statues, or racially tinged issues at all." That is some are wanting to dump civil rights from the agenda.



This is a valuable article to show a larger context for this centrist neoliberal counter effort in the Democratic Party. This one of the few magazines I subscribe to.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Three Critical Cities and the neo-Confederacy's ultimate redoubt. UPDATE:

There are three cities that are critical as ultimate hold outs for Confederacy monuments and the Lost Cause mentality in general. These are: Richmond, Lexington, and Dallas.

Dallas is on the list since not only does it have a in-depth neo-Confederate and Lost Cause past, it is known as a reactionary city. People say that it is the city that the civil rights movement passed by. It is the city which Martin Luther King said the African American community slammed the door in his face. It has the replica Arlington plantation house. Dallas is notorious for far right groups.

Richmond is on the list since it is the former capital of the Confederacy. It has Monument Avenue full of Confederate monuments. It has the Museum of the Confederacy now part of the American Civil War Museum. It has an elite which identifies with the Confederacy.

Lexington, Virginia is like the holy city of the Confederacy. I visited in July 2017 and did extensive photo documentation and bought a lot, a lot of artifacts. There is Washington & Lee University, named after George Washington and Robert E. Lee. There is the Virginia Military Institute which is self-identified with the Confederacy. It has a church with a picture of Confederate soldiers fighting behind the stage. There is the Robert E. Lee Episcopal Church. VMI manages the Virginia Civil War Museum by Market Place.

I would like to say that when I visited the Lee Chapel and the Washington & Lee Campus, I thought of Kevin Levin's condescending comments to some African American law students who were trying to get the university to lose the Lost Cause. I was disgusted.

The whole town is living in a time warp in the Confederacy. There shouldn't be a university like Washington & Lee or a military institute like the Virginia Military Institute in America.

Lexington, Virginia will be the last redoubt of the Lost Cause, a little white Valhalla of the Confederacy.

It seems to be a small upscale town with the two universities and some tourism as the local industry. It is fairly white as far as I can tell.

I think the pressure points are that a Confederate university or institute may not seem very desirable for an academic career and the university and institute might not be well thought of.

When I was there I visited Stonewall House and they told me that the numbers visiting having been declining each year. I think the tourism component of this Lost Cause city of the Confederacy will be declining. I don't think that Confederate identified institutions of higher education make a local climate for start ups.

I think that students will come to see the university as some antique hold over in a back water and not the place to get an education for the future. The students the university and institute get will be those who don't care or aren't put off by going to a Confederate university or institute, in a such a city. The student body will thus acquire a reputation which will further put off many students and intensify the process of self-selection of students who would want to live in such a Confederate bubble like Lexington.  The process will feed upon itself.


Stone Mountain is an important point also in the Lost Cause built environment. This article is very interesting both for what it says about the topic, and also that it comes from the Smithsonian, the publisher of Kevin Levin


Cross comparing American processing of the historical memory of the Civil War to the German processing of the historical memory of the 3rd Reich is now mainstream

As shown in this Politico article. You can't get more mainstream than that.


Global Perspective on Confederate Monument removal in the United States and campaigns against monuments to Cecil Rhodes abroad.

What is happening in the United States is part of a larger global movement. These articles will provide some of that perspective.




My speech at the Saturday Rally

This isn't the actual text of my speech. I decided to further simplify it. However, it is what I talked about to a cheering audience. After the monuments there are other things to which we need to attend.

I think with the monuments being down, some of these things will happen without  anyone asking.

I do however, plan a mass mailing to churches where a church has hosted the United Daughters of the Confederacy or the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I do plan to write all the denominations which have lent their facilities to a national neo-Confederate convention. I think it will help that they know that someone is tracking this. The U.S. Military, the National Park Service, and the textbook publishers will be more of a challenge but I have some ideas.

I think after the monuments go down, they will be less willing to retain practices that enable neo-Confederacy and the Lost Cause.

As monuments start coming down, people will expect that their city follow suit. Chamber of Commerce groups will not want their city to have a Confederate monument. It will be a marker of backwardness and make their city an object of ridicule.

I am planning on making a video about what I saw at the Gettysburg National Park.

So with yesterdays speech I launched these topics.

I have been researching and leading a small resistance against the neo-Confederate movement for 25 years.

In 2015 after the Charleston massacre my co-author called and pointed out that not until peopled died did the state of South Carolina do the right thing and take down the Confederate flag.

After Heather Heyer was killed last Saturday the nation is flooded with calls to remove Confederate monuments, plaques, flags across the nation.

This leads me to ask.

How many will have to die before the National Park Service stops accommodating the Confederacy?

How many will have to die before the U.S. Military academies stop letting the United Daughters of the Confederacy give Confederate awards to cadets?

How many will have to die before the U.S. Military High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program stop allowing the Sons of Confederate Veterans to give awards to cadets?

How many will have to die before American History textbooks, particularly in Texas, stop being Lost Causes, stop pandering to pro-Confederates?

How many church massacres will there have to be before American churches, mainstream churches, stop lending their facilities to the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy?

People shouldn’t have to die before we do the right thing.

In closing, I ask the United States military, I ask the textbook publishers, I ask the churches, I ask the National Park Service, I ask our city, our state, our nation, let us do the right thing, give up the Confederacy. 
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