Thursday, February 14, 2019

About the "Disturbing Graves" pre-text.

One of the issues that the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans is trying to push that moving the Confederate War Memorial from Pioneer Park is somehow sacriligious because it will disturb graves.

This issue is worth examining to show how much the neo-Confederates like to just make stuff up and get sanctimonious about it.

The fact is when it was moved to Pioneer Park from its old location to make way for a highway there were no complaints about possibly disturbing graves.

The monument is actually made of individual units which can be detached and moved. The only thing that will endup being disturbed is the members of the SCV and they seem to have been already disturbed.

Further a Dallas Morning News article from 1966 shows how hypocritical the Sons of Confederate Veterans are being. It is titled, "Park Board Considers Relocation of Graves," July 6, 1966, page 12.

From the article:
"The board discussed two requests at the meeting.

One was for reloca[t]ing remains of more than 100 Confederate war veterans. ..."
Who was making this request? From the article.
"John B. Hood Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, requested that the city relocate the remains of Confederate soldiers now buried in the Confederate Cemetery on Electra Street, just off Pine Street in South Dallas. 
The organization wants them placed in an area adjacent to the Confederate monument in Pioneer Park, next to Dallas Memorial  Auditorium. .... The group also has asked the city to change the name of  Pioneer Park to Confederate and Pioneer Park or  Confederate-Pioneer Park." 
The reason the Hood Camp gave for why they wanted these 100 plus Confederate soldiers to be dug up was that the new location would be more central in Dallas and seen by more people.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans seemed not to worry then about disturbing a grave even to the point of digging up and reburying the Confederate Veterans.

Dallas moves to remove another Confederate statue. Richmond however still stuck in the Confederacy

The Smithsonian article about the vote to remove the Confederate War Memorial in Pioneer Park. It is online here.

This is the 2nd statue it is going to remove.

This Smithsonian has changed a lot since it was publishing stuff criticizing suggesting that Richmond, Virginia, which still hasn't gotten rid of any Confederate monuments, was somehow wiser than New Orleans which got rid of them all.

When you are behind Dallas that must really hurt.

This is the town of M.E. Bradford and William Murchison. All their little dreams of neo-Confederacy Gone With the Wind!

As I have stated before, each time a statue is removed, the ones that remain seem more anomalous. With Austin, San Antonio having gotten rid of Confederate stuff, and Dallas moving forward, it won't be long until someone in Houston will decided it is time to move forward. 

No major metropolis wants to feel their are more retrograde than Dallas. Houston will start moving to re-examine its memorials.

As time goes on smaller metropolises will want to look at getting rid of their Confederate statues also, since Confederate statues will stand as a mark of backwardness. 

Neo-Confederacy is crumbling a statue at a time.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Clyde N. Wilson publishes guide to Civil War books, You can see who the neo-Confederate favorites are

Shotwell has published "The War Between the States: 60 Essential Books, A Southern Reader's Guide," and I am eagerly looking forward to going through it.

Why, because it shows which books are loved by neo-Confederates which tells something about the book and the book's author. It is amusing to see some books which I have always thought to be sympathetic to the neo-Confederate view, or having some very strong neo-Confederate elements in it, or just books I thought to be bad, are in this book which also promotes some real neo-Confederate fringe. The embarrasment of the association, well it should be there, but with some of these authors it probably isn't.

It also shows how different types of publishing work together to sustain neo-Confederacy.

Is this guilt by association? I suppose there could be a book written by an author which neo-Confederates could like, but the author abhors neo-Confederacy.

However, in many of these books it is fairly clear that they are sustaining of a neo-Confederate world view even though the author might have one view or another. The books truly  deserve their inclusion in this set of recommended books.

Some of the books are:

"Confederate War" by Gary  Gallagher.

"The Civil War" by Shelby Foote.

"So Good A Cause: A Decade of the Southern Partisan" by Oran P. Smith.

"The South Was Right!" by the Kennedy Twins

"Illustrated Confederate Reader" by Rod Gragg. It is a book where you would never read the declaration of causes why a state would secede.

This is a good book to establish the neo-Confederate canon for the Civil War.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Kevin Levin paper published

I wrote it in 2017 when Kevin Levin was attacking David A. Love so Love could have it as a refernece and I thought that it was time to write up all of Levin's actions into one paper.

All the CWMemory web pages referenced in this article are printed out as well as others that might be needed to defend the paper or for a future rewrite.

The next time he snipes at a journalist they will have this essay available for their perusal.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

With enemies like this you don't need friends. "Citizens Matter" campaigning for the Confederacy and against police accountability

This is the website for Citizens Matter, a local group.

This group is mobilized to defend the Confederacy and abolish the Police Review Board for the City of Dallas.

They have raging maniacs with paranoid fears of Muslims.

The Dallas Observer has a recent article about them.

I couldn't design a better group to be the supporters of the Confederacy to give neo-Confederacy a bad name.

Crazed groups like this is the natural evolution of neo-Confederacy as more and more people decide to give up the Confederacy the residual of supporters will be people such as Citizens Matter.

The head of Heritage Defense is Walter Donald Kennedy of the Kennedy twins. This is again a sign that neo-Confederate groups are shifting to ever more overt radicalism.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

2020 Sons of Confederate Veterans Reunion is in St. Augustine, Florida.

The  2020 Sons of Confederate Veterans Reunion is in St. Augustine, Florida.

We are going to be having a counter presence at each of their events. The momentum built by the counter efforts in Mobile, Alabama will lead to St. Augustine in 2020.

This is the Mobile(ize) Resistance Against Neo-Confederacy for Mobile, Alabama.

Mobile(ize) Resistance Against Neo-Confederacy has both a Facebook page and a Google blog

The effort to have a counter event in Mobile, Alabama at the 2019 reunion of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has been started.

This is the blog for the counter activity. Sign up for the email updates. We have it as a backup for the Facebook page.

This is the first posting with all the information.

I am going to include a copy of this posting at the end of this posting to share all the information.

This is the Facebook group for the Mobile(ize) against Neo-Conffederacy event.

What you can do. Let as many people know about this event and have them like the Facebook Page and IMPORTANTLY sign up for the emails from this blog. You can see on the right side of this page where you can sign up.

More details will be forthcoming.

Additionally this web page will have postings of updates of this effort and other information.

The posting of Jan. 16, 2019 at the blog Mobile(ize) Resistance Against Neo-Confederacy. 

The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) are having their 2019 Reunion in Mobile, Alabama, July 10-13, 2019.

They have a web page for the reunion here:

Very likely local government entities provided incentives to bring the Sons of Confederate Veterans to Mobile, Alabama. Local camps of the SCV do bidding to host the SCV national reunion. The hotel may have also given incentives to get the SCV to have the convention at their hotel.

In this case it is the Renaissance Riverview Hotel and the convention itself will be at the Mobile Convention Center located on Water Street at the Mobile River.

Our plan is to have peaceful protests, counter-events of an educational nature which will inform the public and people in Mobile, Alabama what the Sons of Confederate Veterans is really about.

This blog will be updated with information about our efforts and we will provide some information about Alabama and Mobile, Alabama neo-Confederacy.

Incidentally you can read about the SCV at Black Commentator.

This was written in 2013. There is a lot more stuff since then and updated information will be provided.

Additionally, we will be writing the local churches asking them not to host the SCV. Last time the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception let the cathedral for a Confederate event in 2007.

You can see photos of Confederate flags flying in the cathedral at these links.


Whoever took these pictures pulled them off the internet and only these pictures remain.

There will be a Facebook Page for the counter effort as well as a Facebook Event. However, make sure you book mark this page incase Facebook takes down our pages. They have so far pulled down one anti-Confederate event page and refused to give an explanation.


Who is Ed Sebesta? My curriculum vitae is here:

I am the co-editor of two university press books, author of peer-reviewed academic articles, last one at a journal published at Cambridge Univ. I have had several articles published at Black Commentator.

I was awarded the Spirit of Freedom medal by the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C.

For useful information to combate neo-Confederate mythology I suggest my curriculum vitae for information and the following web page. It is the material that couldn't fit into the book, "The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader," which documents how it is about white supremacy.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

I am back. Ready to start activism. Both for Dallas and nationally. The Confederacy is going to start coming down.

Start coming down more than it has I suppose I should say.

I have been pouring a lot of time into researching the built landscape of the city of Dallas. Also, helping the people in Austin a little on their stuff. They took my material on the Children of the Confederacy to the right people and the plaque is down.

I have also done a lot of thinking about how the landscape is imagined. How the build landscape is named.

Yesterday was my last planned visit to an archive. It will be a few days to organize the materials I collected last week. And I expect as I start writing and producing I will find gaps and will be visiting a library or archive again.

But sometime next week activism starts and research as an activity will be a minor component of my time.

I am going to be writing up my Dallas research findings, then creating powerpoints, which will be story boards for the production of videos. I am excited to get into video production.

Being retired I have been able to spend 40 hours a week doing research, digging in archives. I have made amazing discoveries. Also, my research has been assisted by the digitization of resources. I am able to do searches and find things that previously I would have only found if I had been doing research over decades and was luck.

Who would expect that former Dallas Morning News columnist Lynn Landrum would reference Van Evrie as a legitimate source to understand African Americans in an article? I would have never looked for this, and even if I thought it might have existed, it would takes months of research to find it. With digitized data and searching I found it.

So I hope not only to reshape how the Dallas built environment is understood, but also show how modern technology can enable comprehending a build environment of a locality.

This blog will be more general anti-Confederate stuff. For Dallas follow my other blog.

Kevin Levin is afraid that the narrative will escape the League of Distinguished Civil War Historians UPDATE Kevin Levin paper published

Kevin Levin is back at it again.

Paul Duggan dis an indepth article, Nov. 28, 2018, in the Washington Post about Frank Earnest who heads up "heritage defense" for the Virginia Sons of Confederate Veterans.

It is a good indepth article about neo-Confederate view polnts and how neo-Confederate think.

Well Kevin Levin was not happy over this.

Levin wants to shut down discussion of neo-Confederates.

We need to stop taking these people seriously. Their views have been discredited and whether they acknowledge it or not, their attachment to this particular memory of the war is wrapped in nostalgia and racial animus. But what troubles me the most is that the attention granted given to individuals like Earnest and the SCV obscures a much richer landscape of cultural identification with the past. In short, what other profiles could be written that tell us something about where we are in 2018 re: Civil War memory and where we might be headed?
In the end, Earnest is part of a rear guard action that is growing weaker and weaker owing to age. It’s time to move on.

The issue though is that Earnest and others like him have influence with legislators and there are states in which State law forbids the local governments. There is a neo-Confederate movement whose members write some of the books with the very popular conservative Politically Incorrect Guide series. There are neo-Confederates in positions of influence in the conservative movement in the United States. Thomas Wood's "Politically Incorrect Guide to American History" is a New York Times bestseller.

People like Earnest get high positions in the Federal government. This article in CNN is about one of them.

If more people knew about the existence of the neo-Confederate movement, people like Robert Wilkie would not get appointed to important government positions, in this case Wilkie was appointed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs by Donald Trump.

Levin uses some false opposites. Reporting on Earnest doesn't mean we can't report on other things regarding the Civil War and historical memory. I don't think the Washington Post has a quota of profiles either.

What Levin wants is the whole issue of neo-Confederates swept under the rug and the narrative of the Civil War and its remembrance to remain in the cloistered confines of the self-appointed League of Distinguished Civil War Historians like himself, to remain within the establishment.

The problem is that the influence of neo-Confederates in shaping the built landscape has been obcured. It is now coming to light.

Paul Duggan called Levin.

This is Levin's reporting on this article.

Kevin Levin's concerned to keep  discussion of Civil War memory confined to establishment Civil War historians works to enable the neo-Confederate movement.

I have decided to publish my paper on Kevin Levin. I will be doing a separate posting of the link and will update this blog post also with a link to it.

I have the paper I wrote about Kevin Levin online at the following link.

I took the time to printout and archive all of the pages relevant to this essay and others that might be needed to support this essay and file them.

Sons of Confederate Veterans going down the drain of madness. Make Dixie Great Again website.

Some time ago in a blog posting on former Sons of Confederate Veterans Commander-in-Chief Ron Wilson going to jail for running a ponzi scheme I made the following observation:

Along with some other things I have observed, which I am not going to go into here, I wonder if the SCV hasn't reached a certain stage in its history. 
This would be a stage in which normal people tend to avoid the SCV and the SCV instead more and more attracts persons who are extremists or mentally a little off or both. As the SCV becomes more explicit in its agenda SCV members who are Confederate enthusiasts but not wanting to secede or support the neo-Confederate agenda feel uncomfortable belonging, but this more explicit agenda tends to at the same time attract more extremist elements. This further shifts the SCV to a more extremist agenda and the process repeats. Perhaps this process is already underway in the SCV. 
Also, the SCV has a fair quantity of assets in terms of money and real estate. Some scammer might even now be planning to be Commander-in-Chief to get at the assets of the SCV.

Again this is a speculative thought. However, if you organized a flat earth society what type of members do you think you would attract?

I don't think that the idea that the SCV is going down the well of madness is that speculative anymore. The Sons of Confederate Veterans has appointed as the head of its Heritage defense Walter Donald Kennedy.

They have also started this website titled "Make Dixie Great Again."

Nothing like mimicking Donald Trump to alienate young people. If I had to dream up a website name to help bring down the Confederacy I couldn't do better than this.

Before I discuss this further, I want to say that I couldn't be more delighted that Walter Donald Kennedy was selected to head up this effort. I couldn't ask for anything better to help bring down the Confederacy.

So who is Walter Donald Kennedy? These are the bios of the neo-Confederate Kennedy twins.

These are their books.

There is this book defending slavery and attacking the Southern Baptist Conference for apologizing for slavery.

This book sees some type of communist conspiracy during the Civil War. It is for sale by the SCV.

It has been republished with a new cover.  They offered it for sale on their website.

A lot of books seem to have disappeared from their website after I started reporting on the contents. It might be they are getting out of the book business and are selling out their inventory.

Walter Donald Kennedy has in the Confederate Veteran, official publication of the SCV, Nov./Dec. 2012, an article where Lincoln and Hitler are somehow connected. The title is "Lincoln's Band of Tyrants."

The Kennedy  twins have the perfect biographical background to bring down the Confederacy. Michael Hill, president of the League of the South, did a biographical article on them for Chronicles Magazine. They "Rolled with Ross." This doesn't mean much to modern readers, but this means they were part of a campaign in which the objective was to defect civil rights.

It might be asked by the Sons of Confederate Veterans would select such a person to be their front person in defending the Confederacy and monument to them.  You would think they would select someone without such a background who would mumble vague statements relying heavily on the words "heritage" "preservation" "political correctness" etc.

They actually believe that the public will accept their undrerstanding of history if they just have the opportunity to bring their message to the public.  They believe that the public will believe and support their understanding of history, but don't because of the media and others who have misled them. In short they are inside their delusions.

Popular culture continues to reject the Confederacy: Gary Clark Jr has video and musical piece which among other things attacks the Lost Cause

Texas Monthly has this articcle about musician Gary Clark Jr. and his piece, "This Land."

What strikes me is that Gary Clark Jr. may not be an academic cultural geographer but he sees things like a cultural geographer. He imagines the landscape.

This is the link to the video.


What is also interesting is that popular culture is decisively moving against the Confederacy. Also, interesting is that Texas Monthly gave Gary Clark Jr. a big billing. People aren't worried about that one member of the editorial board who hasn't let go of the Confederacy and would be whining about this article.

This video will lead to some more Confederate monuments coming down and likely support a broader agenda of deracializing the landscape.

Texas Republicans along with Democrats take down Confederate plaque in Austin

A Children of the Confederacy plaque with its neo-Confederate propaganda has been taken down from the Capitol building in Austin, Texas. The following is a photo of the plaque that I took.


These are some news stories about it being voted to be taken down.

I had sent elected officials background information, but I don't know if they paid it any attention.

I told them about the Children of the Confederacy essay published a few months later after the plaques installation in the United Daughters of the Confederacy Magazine gleefully describing the massacre of African American soldiers in Reconstruction Florida.

What is important in this story is that both the Republicans and Democrats decided it had to go and among the leadership of both parties they decided it had to go.

It wasn't the story where an African American Democrat was wanting to get rid of the plaque but white Democrats representing whiter districts were making up excuses.

It wasn't the story in which the Democrats wanted to take down the plaque but the Republicans were defending it.

Both Democrats and Republicans wanted the plaque gone, and it didn't take a big campaign to convince them.  Granted that the plaque was in the Capitol building and the plaque had inanitites that were particularly offensive, but still it is a major change in the politics of deConfederating the landscape.

This sends out a message to all of Texas that glorification of the Confederacy is much less acceptable than it was. That doesn't mean that the battle is over,or that all glorification of the Confederacy is going to be rejected.

What it means is that if your town wants to keep its Confederate monument it will be seen as backward and out of touch and aberrant. Industries wanting to locate there will see your Confederate monument and think twice. People thinking of accepting a job offer there will have second thoughts.

As I have pointed out before one removal leads to another.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Provided research for CNN story aboutSecretary of Veteran Affairs Robert Wilkie's neo-Confederate views

The link to the story is here.

The title is "VA secretary praised Confederate president as a "martyr to 'The Lost Cause'" in 1995 speech."

The transcript of Wilkie's speech about Jefferson Davis is online here.

The link to the Robert E. Lee article mentioned in the article is this.

Wilkie sees the ideology of the Confederacy applicable to the present. From the conclusion of the article
"We have resisted Leviathan before but this time we face an almost irrestible combination of cultural standardization; utopian multiculturalism; political exhaustion; and militant drumbeats demanding Orewellian conformity."

Alternet ran an article based on the CNN article. This is the link.

The neo-Confederates actions from 15 to 25 years ago continue to revealed in the present. I am so glad to be able to do this.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Working to destroy the nation. James Ronald Kennedy on the Abbeville Blog has a posting on Calexit

The posting of interest is:

What James Ronald Kennedy (He has a twin who is a leading neo-Confederate) hopes is that there might develop a left/right alliance for secession and nullification.

This is not so fanciful. There was a left/right alliance against American overseas military adventures and some of the leftists were quite angry to be called out on it.

There are certainly a fair number of idiots who call themselves leftists who would support such an alliance for secession.

Nullification is an inanity which basically nullifies a nation's existence. If on some rationalization or some interpretation of the Constitution a state can nullify a federal law, you essentially don't have a nation. You just have 50 separate nations arising from the dissolution of the nation.

What is of interest is that the neo-Confederates are still on the prowl for some way to break up the nation. James Ronald Kennedy and his brother Walter Donald Kennedy get published in the Confederate Veteran, the official publication of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and have their books sold by this organization. The SCV has 30,000 members and significant resources and a headquarters which is substantial. This is not a group with a shack and a few members. They are able to promote ideas to a significant base.

The Abbeville Institute is also doing a reveal here. This is campaigning for the break up of the nation.

I have been discussing on this blog the Texas Nationalist movement. They are moribund at this time and will be until it starts appearing that Trump will not be able to carry out his agenda.

However, I think the neo-Confederates are perhaps also seeing hope for the revival of their agenda with the expected "blue wave" in which Democrats are expected to recapture control of the U.S. House. With the Democrats controlling the U.S. House the Democrats hope to undermine Donald Trump and go after Donald Trump in every and any way they can.

The group 538 looking at the polls sees a good chance that the Democrats will capture the House. They see a 6 out of 7 chance which is a really good chance. However as 538 states, it isn't 100% chance.

One thing the website shows is that with computers you can easily do all sorts of analyses. When I first started my engineering career, you did statistics with a pencil and paper or mechanical calculator if you were a student or an ordinary engineer. By the time of the end of my career I was routinely doing fairly sophisticated analysis with JMP software.

This is a rather detailed break down of the possible results for the U.S. House elections.

The U.S. Senate is expected to remain in the hands of the Republicans. Odds are 5 to 6.

So even if the U.S. House does fall into Democratic Party hands, it remains to be seen how much they can actually undermine Trump's agenda. I am sure they can certainly cause problems for Trump and I am very sure they can heat up the political situation even more than it is, a whole lot more.

However, the path of developments to support secession may work this way.

The Democrats in the U.S. House may not be able to hinder Trump as much as inflame an already quite polarized situation such that when in 2020 elections Trump is possibly defeated there will be a radicalized and really alienated base to support secession.

If the Democrats win in 2020 the so-called "left" secession movements will collapse. The right wing ones secessionist movements will start gaining support.

James Ronald Kennedy's idea of a left/right secession alliance developing is wrong. If the left is in control of the government the left secessionist movement will be moribund. If the right is in control of the government the right secession movements will be moribund. They won't be active at the same time.

However, I think Nov. 6, 2018 election will need to be over so we know what the political landscape. Also, it won't be until after Jan. 3, 2019 that we will know what the Democrats will be be doing. However, I think the Democrats have likely already been planning a fair amount as to what they want to do, so I think that the conflict with Trump will start immediately after Jan. 3, 2019.

However, between Nov. 6, 2018 to Jan. 3, 2019 there will likely be statements from the Democrats what they intend to do, speculation about what the Democrats will do, calls from groups as to what the Democrats should do, and right wing fear mongering on what the Democrats will do.

So between Nov. 6, 2018 and Jan. 3, 2019, I think secessionists will pick up some interest from the Trump base of supporters but not in terms of supporting secession. I think that the impetus of most Trump supporters will be to support Trump and not support secession. I think though privately they might give it some thought as I said, as a Plan B.

However, there is likely to be some Trump supporters which will decide that secession has become their option of choice and since the secession movements are somewhat small, even a very small fraction of the Trump base of supporters would be a big increase for the secessionist movement.

We are going to just have to wait until the evening of Nov. 6th or even the morning on Nov. 7th to see where things are heading.

My expectation is the Democrats will win control of the U.S. House and things will start heating up very shortly after the election results are known.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Maybe this is where the Sons of Confederate Veterans is going to get the money to finish their musuem

From what I can tell the Sons of Confederate Veterans have progressed slowly on their museum.

This is a website for  the museum.

Originally there was talk about it being open this summer. This Facebook posting shows where it is now. (Almost a day ago. Sept. 10, 2018)

They are making some progress, but it looks like to me they are just beginning.

I am guessing that they don't have the money. I think though they found a way to get the money.

There is a settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans and they are getting a little over $30 million dollars in the settlement with the city of Memphis.

That should cover the costs of the museum unless a lot of money is spent on investigating heritage violations some place with really expensive meals for meetings. Not that I know that they would do that.

What about the $acred memory of Forre$t, Their great $outhern hero. Well $30 million is a lot of money and if you are short of money it can be sort of handy.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Chemtrail history at the Abbeville Institute

When you are just delusional and mentally just flailing.

The neo-Confederates have always tried to ignore or rationalize away Confederate Vice-President Alexander H. Stephens' speech.

Another rationalization is that he misspoke himself. Stephen's did regret one part of his speech in which people felt he denigrated the American Founders. However, in a series of his speeches he repeats very similar or the same assertions supporting his white supremacist views of the enslavement of Africans.

However, as the Lost Cause infrastructure crumbles they are getting wild and desperate. This essay is really off the wall.

So I am calling it Chemtrail history. In case you are not on Facebook probably have been offline for a few years, Chemtrails is a idea in a conspiracy theory that the vapor trails that jets leave behind at great elevations are not merely the condensation of water vapor from the combustion of fuel, but some sinister plot to dispense chemicals over the United States.

It does not use with these people to point out that it is very cold up at the heights jets operate and that the combustion of gasoline or other hydrocarbon is water and carbon dioxide and that the water would precipitate at the very low temperatures of the upper troposphere. The internet has enabled the paranoid, the delusional, the mentally defective, the disturbed. Flat earthers are organized and there are endless health quackeries facilitated by the Internet.

So for the exceptionally delusional neo-Confederates I am going to deem them Chemtrail history.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Texas Secession and the mid-term elections of 2018

The Texas secessionists are beginning to hope that the mid-term elections will get their movement started again.

This is their latest Texian Partisan article on the mid-term elections.

I don't know if the mid-term elections will really boost their fortunes. If the Democrats gain control of the U.S. House I am sure they will find many ways of bedeviling Donald Trump. I am sure there will be all sorts of hearings. So some conservatives will likely despair and look at secession as an option to realize their agenda.

However, others might decide that they need to stand with Trump more than ever and not desert him.

The Texas Republican Party might have a secession plank in their platform in 2020.

I do think that if the Democrats gain control of the U.S. House we are in for a real storm of political conflict.

We  are witnessing the neoliberal establishment fighting for control against this new establishment being formed by Donald Trump.  This not some struggle between neoliberals and neoconservatives, the Democratic Party establishment versus the Republican establishment. These factions were just teams in the same franchise. The struggle with Trump is a struggle whether the old regime will survive.

I am expect that when the Democrats take over the U.S. House there will be dozens of investigations started into anything and everything which the Democrats might think will work for them in the struggle. I think that things will be ferocious. There is already cases where people are run out of restaurants because of groups harassing them. We could have a situation of public disorder.

The Democrats might move to impeach. I think that might prove to be the start of revolutionary disorder. I blogged on this before.

The neoliberals if they in the end do win in 2020 and restore the Ancien Regime I think will, to paraphrase a famous saying, will have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

The economic situations which had lead to wide spread discontent will still be there. A large part of the population will not see any hope in national politics. Trump maybe gone, but the discontent will still be present looking for a path to follow.

What is disturbing is that support for secession in polling is now high with many different demographic groups and across the nation.

So I think that if Trump falls secession movements will rise and they will face an opposition that is incompetent.

What am I doing currently?

I am doing an intensive excavation of Dallas' Confederate built landscape. Streets, parks, schools, monuments.

I am writing up papers on two topics and then will make PowerPoint presentations based on them. I am scheduled to speak at one place early Sept.

I am involved helping out groups so people while know who I am and what I can do.

I will be back to do postings occasionally, and when I get my research into Dallas accomplished I will post more often.

Being retired I have the opportunity to be more involved locally. Additionally,  I want to develop a practical politics around the built landscape. It is one thing to do a series of academic papers, but it is another thing to get involved directly. I am also developing my own methods of field work. I hope to develop an activist tool kit also. What I learn from De-Confederating Dallas I want to make available as a training and tool kit for others in other cities.

I am also identifying gaps in what needs to be done to have an effective action plan and so working to fill those gaps.

I haven't forgotten the other projects I have had with a national scope and I have one of those started up again.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Abbeville Institute's pretensions at being a scholarly institute shattered with the Kennedy twins.

This is an article by the Walter D. (Donnie) Kennedy who is one of the neo-Confederate Kennedy twins.

This is the Kennedy twin's website.

Who knows? Perhaps in the future they are going to include articles by Lochlainn Seabrook.

By the way bookstores in Gettysburg, PA, at least one, carry Seabrook's work.

Maybe Frank Conner will be a contributor?

Alternative History and the survival of slavery into the 20th century

There have been various alternative histories which imagine what the present would be like if the Confederacy had won. With a Confederate victory these fictions focus on the persistence of slavery into the present day.

To have a Confederate victory they pose that a Confederate military victory at some battle, or the entry of a European power makes a Confederate victory possible.

The persistence of slavery into the 20th or 21st century is always imagined as being possible through Confederate victory.

However, there is one way slavery could have persisted into the 20th century. It very likely would have made it into the 20th century easily IF THERE HAD BEEN NO CIVIL WAR.

The Civil War started because a lot of slave owners in the slave states panicked and reacted and choose the path of secession.  There is really nothing like war to bring down a slave society.

In general slaves will support the enemy belligerent of a slave society and often enlist in their armies and help in many other ways. In the Civil War many African Americans enlisted in the American Army.  Also, during a war you have an enemy at the front and essentially an enemy at home waiting for the right opportunity to flee or take revenge or both.

There was no possibility of a constitutional amendment being passed to abolish slavery as long as the slave states didn't secede. Yes, there could have been legislative actions making slavery more difficult to sustain. Over time as new states were admitted and as some states became free states, there might have been the opportunity for a constitutional amendment but that would have been fairly far in the future. For a 3/4th majority there would have had to have been 44 to 48 states depending on how many slave states remained and every, each and every, none-slave state would have had to been supporting the effort.

Even then emancipation could have been very gradual and would very likely been on the terms dictated by the slave states.

In alternative history it needs to be imagined that slavery would have happened with no Civil War and not with a Confederate victory. I think why this isn't imagined is because the American historical imagination is in the thralls of the ideas of American exceptionalism.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Speaking in Austin, Texas this Saturday about the Hood Brigade Monument. It is about white supremacy.

This Saturday I will be in Austin, Texas speaking about the Hood Brigade Monument and how it is about white supremacy.

This is the event.

They are getting some fairly significant speakers at the event. 

I have copies of all the dedication speeches for all the Confederate monuments on the Texas Capitol grounds. 

My speech will explain how this monument, and others like it are erected for the purpose of supporting a system of white supremacy. My analysis of the dedication speeches for this monument would apply to most any Confederate monument in the nation. 

I am hoping that once people understand how to analyze the dedication speeches for this monument they will realize it applies to nearly every Confederate monument. 

For the Hood Brigade I also have this book. I will be showing it at the rally.  Chock a block full of stuff. I have some quotes following the picture. 

This is an extract from the ANNUAL ADDRESS OF COLONEL R. J. HARDING, President of Hood's Texas Brigade Association, AT CORSICANA, TEXAS, Reunion, Wednesday, June 28, 1905, starting on page 176 of the above book. 

The son of our glorious Hood got up a regiment of immunes. Anyone eligible that had ever had a contagious disease, yellow fever, smallpox, mumps or itch. Mississippi sent her quota promptly and McKinley insulted them by appointing the most despised negro in the State—John Lynch—their paymaster. Our boys would never receive their pay
from him.
I will say nothing about Teddy, except that he is rather coon-flavored. He seems to be trying to reform. [Bold face added.]
The book has other pungent racist items.

You can view or download the book at this direct link in several formats.

Once you download the book, search words to use would be "coon" "negro" "inferior" 

What will be interesting is to show that the dedication speakers are a bunch of lying scammers. This is what John Bell Hood thought the War of the Rebellion was about. In fact the dedication speeches really show a bunch of scam artists engaged in all sorts of nonsense to push a political agenda. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE THE WHOLE THING. 

O.R. Ser. 1 V. 39 Bk. 2 Page 419-422.

I am also planning on driving down early the day before and taking photo documentation of all the Confederate stuff on the Capitol grounds. 

I hope to have a set of photos like I did in Dallas of the Confederate War Memorial.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Texas Secession movement seems rather dead.

In 2016 a secession item almost became part of the Texas State Republican Party Platform. It was voted down by 16 to 14 with one abstention.

This year in 2018 secession as an issue it was missing at the Texas State Republican Party convention. There was no reporting of anything related to secession at the convention by either the press or the self-titled, Texas Nationalism Movement.

With Trump in the White House any impetus behind Texas secession or as they like to call it, Texit, has largely evaporated except for a few die hard supporters.

The Texas Nationalist Movement, or perhaps is should be called the Daniel Miller Movement, is desperate in their publication Texas Partisan to find fault with Donald Trump from a right wing perspective.

The Texas Nationalist movement is really straining to wipe up resentment against the policies of Donald Trump. There is this attempt.

The potential base for Texas secession movement is the very group that would love a Wall with Mexico.

For any government to build a wall with another nation would involve eminent domain, that is government would acquire the land and would pay for it. If you were going to build something like this you would have to acquire land by eminent domain. Not saying that this wall is desirable or not, but any such wall over a long distance would require eminent domain.

The article is confused and lacking logic and somehow Trump is like Obama.

Persons who want a wall with Mexico will understand that eminent domain is necessary. I don't see how a Trump supporter or wall supporter would see this article as being a legitimate criticism of Trump or Trump's effort to build a wall with Mexico.

The Texas secession movement is going to be fading out unless the Republican Party's  fortunes decline dramatically.

Right now the best they can hope for is that there is the "blue wave" in the 2018 mid-term elections and the Republicans lose the U.S. House. Whether that happens is subject to discussion and I am not sure that there is really a sure guide I can find. Special elections tend to indicate the Republicans are indeed in real trouble.

This analysis indicates that the "Blue Wave" is still likely.

However, the economy is improving and unemployment seems to be dropping. That may reduce any Blue Wave. Also, the election is still some months away. Something unforeseen might develop.

Even if the Democrats somehow capture the U.S. House I don't think that Trump's supporters will be all that disillusions. The Republicans will still have the U.S. Senate and Trump will still be in the White House. Trump supporters will be preoccupied with supporting Trump which Texit would undermine.

If there is no blue wave the Texit movement is going to be moribund until at least 2020.

At some point in the future Texas may not be a "Red State" in which case the ultimate reason for Texas secession, to create some reactionary nation, will no longer exist. The window of Texas secession is closing.

Further the Texas secession movement itself might be a reason for many Texas Republicans to vote for the Democrats. The business interests and professional societies and others who understand how the Texas economy is integrated with the American economy will be dead set against it. 

A Texas secession movement that actually gets something into the Republican Party state platform might be the thing to make Texas a "Blue" state with a Democratic governor, and majorities in both houses of the Texas legislature.

The best is that the Texit movement can hope for a rural movement of crankiness.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Robert E. Lee Plaque Removed From Frank Crowley Court House/ Exchange Club has this plaque in public places across the nation

I was on jury duty earlier this week and I was pleased to see that the Robert E. Lee plaque had been removed from the "Freedom Shrine" in the Frank Crowley Court jury room in Dallas, Texas.

We had criticized this plaque being in the jury room in our essay published in the Dallas Morning News.

There had been no reporting of it being removed, but when I got there I could see that it was removed and that there were two holes in the wall left from the screws that had held it in place.

This "Freedom Shrine" is distributed by the Exchange Club which is a national organization.

It is a set of plaques with important documents in American history. There is Lincoln's Proclamation of Emancipation and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. I am sure some members in the past were whining that the South was being put upon and the Exchange Club stupidly added in Robert E. Lee's letter of acceptance to be the president of Washington College.

These "Freedom Shrines" are all across the nation in public buildings and likely in every state in the nation. Removing the Robert E. Lee plaque from a jury room is an obvious thing to do. It can be asked to be removed as being a thing that biases jurors.

Next time you see a "Freedom Shrine" look at it and see if there is a Robert E. Lee plaque included.

The Exchange Club still included the Robert E. Lee letter in their Freedom Shrine display. It is item No. 19 here.

It is also in their 20 piece collection which you can see here. It is item No. 19

Why is the Exchange Club still including Robert E. Lee in a Freedom Shrine in 2018? They are an out of touch white club. I am sure they have some African American members who I am sure will come to their defense.

This could be a starter project for any effort to de-Confederate your city.  A small victory is encouragement to go after larger projects.

Also, each of these plaques in a government building legitimizes the Confederacy and their removal de-legitimizes the Confederacy and Confederate monuments. So removing these plaques also helps in removing other Confederate items.

Most importantly though is that we need to take the Confederacy out of the criminal justice system.



CLOSE UP   You can see the drill holes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"Confederate Identity Extremists" and elastic definitions

On Dec. 16, 1773 a group boarded a ship and threw the cargo of tea into Boston Harbor.

Were they Colonial Identity Extremists?

Years ago, when I graduated and I was living in an urban old style apartment building, we saw a tall person drag a smaller person into a doorway in the alley way and started to beat the person severely. Back to the alley way were the kitchen windows to the apartments and we, me and my neighbors started calling out, "We are calling the police!" so to get the criminal to run and stop the beating. Imagine our surprise, when the tall person held up a police badge and was rather smug about it.

At the time there were no smart phone cameras or smart phones or digital cameras at all. There was nothing we could do to document it. No one called, because you didn't want thugs in blue calling on you. So it essentially never happened except in stories related by me and other residents.

Christopher Daniels who goes by the name Rakem Balogun in the heat of anger said some really bad things about the shootings of police officers in Dallas and Memphis. This article by the Dallas Morning News (DMN) which got published rather late sometime after Daniels was released from prison details his statements on Facebook.

I raised the issue whether the DMN would cover this story at all which was getting global coverage. I discuss the rather delayed reporting in one of the numbered sections below.

This is The Guardian coverage of the story.

This is the Aljazeera coverage of the story.

I am quoted in another story where I create the term, "Confederate Identity Extremist."

There are multiple issues raised here.


First, the statements made by Daniels are not acceptable. Five officers didn't come home that night. They had people that loved them. They were just people trying to do their job.

These type of statements are the type of thing that results in mob violence and lynch law where rage sweeps respect for the law aside.

Of course appealing to the rule of law when videos keep surfacing of law enforcement officers not following the law and abusing their authority makes my position seem foolish to some. Where is the law it could be asked?

Further the courts seem to be unable to convict police officers when they murder someone and the evidence is obvious. Prosecutors seem to be all fumble fingers on these prosecutions, because I think they don't want to do what is necessary to successfully prosecute the case.

Again, with the videos and the failures of prosecutors to do their job, appealing to the rule of law makes my position seem detached from reality and self-serving.

However, situations come up where rage threatens us to be pulled into a vortex of violence. I think we must resist making statements like this. I had a real fear at the time of these shootings that there would be a chain reaction of violent actions and violent actions in response that could spiral out of control. Down in Baton Rouge there was another individual who went on a murderous rampage.

Recently in Balch Springs a teen was murdered by a police officer. There are indications that it was fairly clear this officer had menacing rage and should have been removed the police force some time ago. However, the problem officer was tolerated and it resulted in a young teen murdered. The trial is coming up this June 2018.

I suspect that one way or another the police officer will either have a hung jury, get off, or have a ludicrously light sentence.  At that point the DMN will report the usual vetted "leaders" making pious statements. There will be discussions of how the trial went wrong or some proposed changes. It will be treated as some aberration in the law rather than the systematic problem it is. Lots of local ministers will ask for prayer, but it will be a substitute for engaging the question. I am not taking a position against prayer, I am just saying that a call for prayer can be an opportunistic move to avoid an issue.

I think that for some in Dallas all this will be "blah, blah, blah" and the belief in the rule of law will seem ridiculous.

The opinions in this blog posting will seem like babbling in the reality of a nation of murders by a society in which Black lives don't seem to matter very much.

What is worse is that though it might be a "few bad apples" who do these deeds, time and time again it is revealed that other officers gave the bad actor a free pass. And these officers murdering individuals act with the expectation that their behavior would be tolerated.

For people to believe in the rule of law we actually need to have the rule of law and not excuses or expressions of ain't it awful.

Regardless of the above, the officers killed were people going to their jobs, and there needs to be police for society to function, and they were killed by a delusional individual and that night there were people who loved these officers who realized they were never coming home.

The descent into savagery which we see nations and places descend into is because the humanity of individuals is forgotten. We must take action to avert going down a path which leads into this descent.

Since the above sounds like some treacly thing some local leader might say on TV so we all feel good about the situation so let me restate it.

The killing needs to stop, and it needs to stop soon, and those who kill need to be punished. While this problem exists we need to consider our actions.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans Commander-in-Chief has done writing in which never mentioning Black Lives Matter by name, has in his columns in the Confederate Veteran, had writing which I think is very clearly about the police shootings and Black Lives Matter and which attempts to represent the whole protest movement against the police shootings as wrong and the result of some nefarious movement.


There are racist and reactionary political factions who like to portray calls for accountability in police behavior as somehow as an attack on the police. Everyone is accountable for their actions and this includes the police.

What is more disturbing is the assertion that lawless action by police is needed to preserve public order.

These racists are looking hard for any pretext to move the conversation or distract the conversation from the issue and to make it look like it is about attacking the police. In this environment Daniels's statements enable the opposition. Though I don't know how much a person is responsible for self-serving and dishonest actions of another.


Looking at the pictures of Rakem Balogun and associates, I see khaki outfits and guns. What it reminds me most is This is Texas Freedom Force. I did look up the word Balogun and I think it means "war lord" in Nigerian. I have been to Scottish Highland festivals also. It all reminds me of Cosplay.

As a cultural geographer you realize that people in the late 20th century and in the 21st century consume identity. If you want to sell someone something sell an identity with it.

Nationalism is also a component of this movement which has names derived from Africa.

Nationalism is a European ideology with which the Western European nations created themselves as very powerful nations, and which many ethnic groups in Eastern Europe saw the means to wrest power from the Russian, German, Austrian, and Ottoman Empires in the late 19th and early 20th century.

It was seen as a means to achieve independence from European empires across the globe in the 20th. The idea of nations is the globally triumphant ideology such that we have trouble recognizing that it is an ideology and thinking outside of its concepts.

I think its ideological success comes from the fact that it has allowed dispossessed groups to achieve power.

Nationalism is what led to violent war in the 20th century. With World War I and II the 20th century is the century of violence. There were calls to have a conflict with Russia, there could have been a World War III, but it was realized that it would be a war of total destruction of of the Western world if not the radioactive poisoning of the Northern hemisphere. Nagasaki and Hiroshima with the small 20 and 40 kiloton bombs gave insight as to what 10 and 20 megaton bombs might do. Nationalism and violence seem follow each other in history.

Nationalism is a time worn strategy to create a state or to coalesce an identity to fight for rights, particularly when the dominating society is demeaning your identity. That is why there are parades or festivals in the United States for so many groups. We have Christopher Columbus day for Italian Americans, St. Patrick's Day for the Irish Americans, other groups have parades and days also. Solidarity in politics works.

Though now that persons with Irish ancestry are part of the dominate group and most white Americans and maybe most African Americans have some Irish ancestry, St. Patrick's day means green beer. Which is another thing about identities, they are put on like clothes when needed.

So these Black nationalist groups are latching on to a strategy which works for other groups.

Of course sense nationalism is imagined, a nationality can exist if you convince people of its existence. This creates an inherent instability. Is it Great Britain or Scotland and England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and what about Cornwall, and then you can pull maps of the distant past and image further more nations. What about the Heptarchy? The success of a nationalist project depends also by suppressing other possible nationalisms.

Nationalistic difference within a state is separatism and thus threatens social unity. That is why the national American metaphor is the "melting pot" and there historically have been speeches against "hyphenated Americans."  However, the quickest way to get rid of "hyphenated Americans" is to truly eliminate prejudice against a group which is being hyphenated. Black nationalism exists since there really isn't a post-racial society in America and the "melting pot" is seen as a deceptive fiction.

You won't be very credible saying were are all in this together, when there is an ongoing pattern abuse by the police and others which make it very clear that we aren't.

I can see nationalism being used to keep from being co-opted by the system by being separatist, but I also see it as leading to carving out worlds of nationalist fantasy in which you can live inside.

In 2018 I see that with the Baloguns that African nationalism is still seen as a strategy.

All of the above is to explain that I find nationalism dubious, but I also find that these nationalists are the least accommodating of racism. So I think that they will continue to find follows.


The Aljazeera article was on May 5th, the Guardian article was on the 11th, and the DMN didn't report it until the 14th after it was becoming an issue locally on Facebook. The DMN is still the Dallas Managed News. This is an important national story with a local connection. The DMN has a past history of doing things like this hence their nickname.

People in Dallas are somewhat annoyed, including myself, that the DMN does stuff like and I posted links here and there so that the story would be known and I was testing to see how the DMN would respond.

They just did a court report type article. No insight at all.

But never fear there is this article form the DMN.


The most serious thing about this whole "Black Extremist Identity" is that it seems elastic. In this article below I point out that you could create a classification "Confederate Identity Extremist."

Also, there seems to be selective enforcement involved.

It seems that the FBI combed through Daniels' past to find something on which to prosecute his ownership of a gun, though it is fairly apparent to anyone that this detailed going through Daniels' past was based on what Daniels' statements in the present.

Though one neo-Confederate group has said some quite threatening things online I haven't seen the FBI acting on them.

I pointed out the comments of Miss. State Rep. Karl Oliver who called for the lynching of opponents of Confederate monuments. Did the FBI visit him?

As frequently is the case, the government overreaches and threatens constitutional liberties with a case where the defendant is unpopular with the public, has done something where sympathy is little, and has limited support.

The Aesop fable of the small tree being surrendered to the woodsman resulting in the destruction of the great trees of the forest applies here.

I think that the FBI acted out of anger and once this BIE thing got started no one was willing to critically examine it, maybe because it was not politically tenable to ask questions. Maybe the FBI wanted to prosecute an African American so they could look "fair" when they went after white supremacists. Regardless, they have made themselves look less credible and look like they were influenced by Info Wars, a really ridiculous conspiracy website.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Southern Partisan magazine, Abbeville Institute, Revival or Decline of the Southern Partisan and the neo-Confederate movement

The Abbeville Institute is running a lot of essays from the Southern Partisan magazine.

First I want to discuss and dispose of this website which seems to be some zombie thing in case anyone thinks it represents a real continuation of the Southern Partisan magazine. This website exists with the old Southern Partisan cover title.

However, it seems to be a content farm or some type of website in which an algorithm scans published articles and presents them on the website.

All the authors are, "by Editor," or at least the ones I have reviewed.  I don't see any of the old Southern Partisan material from the magazine available.

So it is with some interest that I have seen a lot of Southern Partisan material being republished online at the Abbeville Institute. Is it a sign of the Southern Partisan neo-Confederate ideology continuing on into the present and possibly into the future?

I thought initially it might be that. However, I am also thinking that it might be that the Abbeville Institute needs filler. I noticed last week on the blog it is all or almost all old Southern Partisan articles.

It could be that since 2015 there are less and less individuals willing to write for the Abbeville Institute. They no longer list a faculty, and I can't find online any indication anymore that Brion McClanahan is the editor. I notice that some contributors have nothing to lose in their reputations.

Or it could be that this nationalist movement is dying out. The purposes which drove neo-Confederate nationalism and much of Southern studies, the maintenance a hierarchy of class, gender, race are still there, but neo-Confederate nationalism is no longer seen as the means to maintain these hierarchies. It could be that among neo-reactionaries, white nationalists, other reactionary sorts neo-Confederate nationalism is seen as irrelevant or at best a charming antique from the past.

These reactionary forces might still respect the Confederacy and revere figures of the Confederacy, but they don't see neo-Confederacy as a means or program to direct the future.

One of the forces which drove neo-Confederate nationalism was the need to maintain a separatist anti-democratic and explicitly racist section in the former slave states against national democratizing trends and national movement towards civil rights. It was to facilitate an internal secession.

The Southern Partisan started in 1979 and got serious funding in 1980 and was really launched that year, when it seemed that with the election of Ronald Reagan there was a real chance of overturning or rendering impotent civil rights legislation. The neo-Confederates felt very betrayed when Reagan didn't restore the pre-civil rights era status quo, though Reagan did much to undermine civil rights.

Though there still is a struggle over civil rights in 2018, the old segregationist regimes of the 1950s are gone forever. M.E. Bradford's hopes remain dashed.

Also, the struggle is for the nation at large. States' rights is gone. All the political forces are playing for the nation. Separatism is conceived as being realized through external secession in the form of a nation state and not internal secession with the vehicle of states' rights.

The whole Lost Cause argument of the Civil War being about states' rights doesn't seem to be that important. Secessionists might believe that the Civil War was over states' rights, but they are planning secession. They may be justifying secession a little because they see a lack of states' rights.  But I think the whole discussion might be seen as superfluous to secessionists who are conceptualizing their arguments within nationalist concepts, and nationalists aren't interested in being within a larger polity with or without "states' rights."

Neo-Confederacy is not dead though. It will continue as a reactionary thread in American thinking. It is still a concern. It has influence, such the "Politically Incorrect Guides" of the Regnery Press.

Because a specific nationalist movement is becoming less important, doesn't mean that the Lost Cause is fading out. School textbooks pander to the Lost Cause. The Lost Cause and its monuments seem to have become an agenda item of reactionary or racist websites like Breitbart. But Breitbart doesn't care about M.E. Bradford or neo-Confederate writing or ideology. Instead their defense of Confederate monuments is more about white nationalism in general and white resentment.

At this time neo-Confederacy is largely expressed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The United Daughters (UDC) of the Confederacy seems to have dropped entirely advocacy of neo-Confederate ideas. Privately they might still support neo-Confederate ideas though, it just isn't public. The UDC has set up their website such that doesn't archive it.

This doesn't mean neo-Confederacy is dead or will be dead. I don't think it will be what it was in the 1980s and 1990s. It will likely be picked up as a narrative in a larger reactionary narrative of national or world history. It might be a field of study for reactionaries reading reactionary books.

I think there still remains work to be done about neo-Confederacy. There is the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy and their enablers. There is still the issue of the complicity of the field of Southern studies with neo-Confederacy which the field refuses to acknowledge much less address.

Of course like a herpes infection, neo-Confederacy might flare up again under stressful circumstances.

However, even then I think that it will be that elements of neo-Confederate thinking will be used by national reactionary movements to advance a national reactionary narrative rather than push regional agendas.

The publication of the American Ideas Institute is American Conservative though they have had neo-Confederate contributors.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Kanye West, Obama, Bill Clinton, slavery and selective neo-Liberal outrage

I review Breitbart routinely since I feel they represent White House ideology generally and also in monitoring Breitbart I get a fairly good idea of the Trump supporting right wing ideas and positions on issues relating to historical memory. I have discussed this before in this blog.

So recently I have been printing out all the Breitbart postings about the controversy surrounding Kanye West and West's statements regarding slavery. I initially wasn't thinking that much about it, but I noticed that there was a tremendous amount of condemnation of Kanye West but also, it was interesting that other pop cultural figures came to West's defense, such as Justin Bieber.

Something about the outrage over Kanye West got me thinking.

Former president Bill Clinton wrote three letters of congratulations to the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The neoliberal press and the media that is just  furious about Kanye West has never been interested. Democrats have given me all sorts of rationalizations over the years.

Hillary Clinton had her infamous "super predator" remarks some time back, but that doesn't seem to be a concern.

Then there was the 2009 letter sent to former president Barack Obama asking him not to send a wreath to the Arlington Confederate Monument.  Letters were later written asking Obama to put an end to the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) handing out of neo-Confederate awards at the U.S. Military Academies. Additional letters were sent about the Arlington Confederate. Never got any response to any of the issues about neo-Confederate involvement in the federal government.

In 2009, prior to Obama sending a wreath to the Arlington Confederate Monument the neoliberal press mounted an effort to sideline the issue and rationalize Obama sending the wreath. The Washington Post took a leadership role in this with the New York Times in a supporting role.

When Obama spoke at the Arlington Cemetery in 2009 what references that were made to the issue sounded like he was channeling former president Woodrow Wilson. At the end I was somewhat glad that Obama's speech didn't involve any history written with lightning. Democrats had all sorts of rationalizations for Obama and it was made really clear that the letter was not welcome. The persons who had supported the effort lost interest. Obama did send a wreath to the African American Civil War Museum in DC and that was supposed to make it okay and I was told, "Let's declare victory and move on."

Of course there was the Obama "Beer Summit" which occurred before cell phone cameras and social media had advanced such that police abuse and murder of African Americans was routinely captured on video and shared online in social media and new online media websites.

Regarding Confederate monument removal you read here and there in the neoliberal media that being active against Confederate monuments is supposedly falling into some trap that Trump is setting.

I am not seeing a lot of interested by the Democratic Party in the Black Lives Matter movement or discussion about Confederate monuments.

The operating policy of the Democratic Party is that African Americans have no place to go so if they don't like the Democratic Party policies they can lump it.

Meanwhile there a desperate searching for some magic formula to shake loose a few more white votes for the Democratic Party. Progressives are lectured in the neoliberal press to stop being concerned about Democratic candidates positions on issues, that the winning of elections is paramount.

So into this situation comes Kanye West openly admiring president Donald Trump and saying slavery was a choice.  West's views and behavior suggests that African Americans do have the Republican Party as an alternative.

Kanye West is a major entertainment figure and has a substantial base of fans. On Twitter he has 28.2 million followers. (The story that he lost 10 million followers is incorrect, twitter had a glitch and when corrected there was no loss of 10 million followers.) This number of Twitter followers is after all the controversy over West and any supposed lost.

A short tweet, "free thinking is a super power," on May 8th, by West gets 5,100 comments, 46,000 retweets, and 180,000 hearts.

On Facebook there are various pages for him, with hundred or millions of likes. One page which is just a topic page has over 9 million likes. West currently has his Instagram account shut down, but the number of comments about Kanye West are over 5 million.

What is worrisome to the Democrats is that their program of civil rights is not very substantial and West might be validating to African Americans that African Americans should consider the Republican Party of Donald Trump.

David A. Love had an article in the Atlanta Black Star titled, "Should the Kanye West MAGA Debacle Remind Black People That It's Time to Hold Democrats and Liberals Accountable?"

Nice sentiment, and good luck with that.

Chance the Rapper was chastised for a tweet in support of Kanye West but had this to say:
My statement about black folk not having to be democrats (though true) was a deflection from the real conversation and stemmed from a personal issue with the fact that Chicago has had generations of democratic officials with no investment or regard for black schools, neighborhoods, or black lives,” he said. “We have to talk honestly about what is happening and has been happening in this country and we have to challenge those who are responsible, as well as those who are giving them a pass,” the rapper concluded. “If that happens to include I love, someone who is my brother-in-Christ and someone who I believe does really want to do what is right, it’s not my job to defend or protect him. It’s my job [to] pick up the phone and talk to him about it.” (Taken from David A. Love's article.) 
It is not just leftists or political economists who are realizing that the Democrats policy on civil rights is the general idea that African Americans have nowhere to go and a Democratic candidate needs to search for a Sistah Souljah moment, or speak out and tell those African American men to pull up their pants to validate themselves with white voters.

But also, I sense there is a little bit of panic. I don't think that the general public really cares about what the Washington Post or New York Times has to say on West. I don't think the neoliberal press will have that much affect on West's fan base.

I live in Oak Cliff section of Dallas, and I notice that there are a lot off African American male pants not pulled up. Maybe I should tell them that Obama says pull up their pants and see what the reaction is. I wonder what the response would be? (I am being sarcastic and ironic and in no way would I do that.)

In short the fan base of of Kanye West largely isn't going to care about the fulminations of the neoliberals. Justin Bieber realized his fan base doesn't care either and came out in support of Kanye West. I am not hearing a lot of condemnation from Hollywood figures either who I think realize that West does have a lot of fans who would not be sympathetic to such a condemnation of West.

Remember when the National Review put out an issued devoted to the single topic of condemning Donald Trump and it had no impact on politics? I think that is what might be happening here. Neoliberals go thunder your Bull against West.

Of course Kanye West career might be on the way out, but pop stars are like meteors. They flash across the sky and blaze in the heavens and vanish. I don't think his career is going to be that much impacted. What will happen to it will not be that impacted by this. In a month West might be focused on something else and the media will be on some other topic. West's career might go one way or another and these recent remarks will have little impact.

Basically I think that the reaction to Kanye West's statements is in some sectors of the press, selective outrage. Bill Clinton sends letters to the United Daughters of the Confederacy and bringing up the topic is dismissed with annoyance. Obama sends a wreath to the Arlington Confederate monument and bring up that as a topic is dismissed with annoyance. Kanye West saying something about slavery being a choice, and all hell breaks loose.

I think the neoliberals see the Trump presidency as some type of inter period. The Blue Wave will come and if they can just keep the Progressives under control everything will be restored to the earlier status quo. Even better they will have sunk the Republicans and thus defeated the neoconservatives as competitors for establishment support.

However, I see the situation as fluid. One of the things that I was taught in ancient history is that when the Western Roman Empire fell it took a while for people to realize it was really over. The empire had lost provinces and restored itself many times before. Maybe the old political regime is gone forever. This doesn't necessarily mean that Trump is the future, but we are entering a new situation.

The Democratic narrative is that with time demographics will mean the doom of the Republican Party. Tomorrow belongs to them is the thinking. The Blue Wave is one idea of inevitable triumph. However, with Kanye West maybe some demographic groups are not locked up after all.

Labor market shows signs of tightening also. Articles talk about companies dropping drug testing for marijuana so they can find more workers, others about wage increases in fast food. Economics counts for a lot in elections and I don’t think the Democrats crediting it to the previous administration will have much effect.

Trumph has invited Colin Kaepernick to the White House. Would a Democratic president do such a thing? I doubt it. Obama invited police officers who had abused Louis Gates. Has Hillary Clinton met with Kaepernick? No. Nor is it likely that would ever happen. Yes, Trump uses the term “Bigly,” and neoliberals can be disdainful, but he did defeat both the Republican and the Democratic establishments with very little money or campaign apparatus. I think he has a type of cunning.

By the way here is another neoliberal lecture being given to Kaepernick for bringing up that the Democratic Party is missing in action about the issue of Black Lives Matter. Kaepernick crime was pointing out Clinton’s comments about “super predators.”

It seems that these lectures to African Americans are becoming a regular thing.

The Democratic Party is out of power, neither controlling either house of Congress or the presidency. The neoliberals in particular are out of power, and so they can't necessarily punish dissenters as they might. I think people are realizing that being scolded by the New York Times or the Washington Post isn't quite the thing it used to be.

The whole matter with Kanye West might be just a blip, or it might be the beginning of a trend of African Americans realizing that the Democratic Party doesn't really care that much about their rights. If it is a new trend, in five years it will be proclaimed as an obvious beginning of a new trend, by various pundits and historians, like those who would write for the Washington Post, but I don't really know. I do think that the neoliberals are afraid that it could be a trend, that the African American vote won't be locked up.

Remember the victory in Alabama over Roy Moore? It was due to the Democrats getting an extremely high percentage of the vote of African Americans men, 93%,  and African Americans women, 98%, which gave a sort of nothing Democrat Doug Jones a small percentage win. Of course Roy Moore was a neo-Confederate lunatic and that helps.

If the percentages for Doug Jones by African American women had only been 95% against Roy Moore, an African American men 90%, Roy Moore well might be in the U.S. Senate today. Even a small loss of African American votes to the Republicans could have severe consequences to Democratic Party fortunes.

The Democrats have come to depend a lot on extremely high percentages of the African American vote falling their way. Of course it remains to be seen what Doug Jones' election means for African American women.

Well actually it doesn't. Read this article.

That didn't take long.

What the Democrats should be concerned about is that low turnout for voting in the African American community is driven by the fact that voting for Democrats has had limited benefits for the African American community as pointed out by Chance the Rapper quoted above.

As for “choice,” the idea of slaves choosing suicide to avoid slavery goes way back in history. If I remember the accounts of ancient slavery in Pierre Dockes, “Medieval Slavery and Liberation,” Roman slave owners had punishments of throwing slaves into pits of moray eels or crucifixion because slaves were quite willing to commit suicide or get themselves killed to escape the brutal horror of ancient slavery and so death had to be really horrific to be a punishment.

There is in popular culture the whole idea of the captured African committing suicide rather than being a prisoner or slave. The character Killmonger does it in the movie Black Panther, Toni Morrison has a character who does it, in the movie Amistad there is a scene where a woman jumps overboard with a baby to prevent them from being enslaved.

What does this say about those who didn’t commit suicide. Those who survived and those from whom the present generation of African Americans are descended?

This is somewhat a modern and American historical problem. Slavery in the Caribbean and Brazil mostly meant being worked to death as did slavery in most places in most historical times. There sometimes weren't too many survivors. Slaves in mines just died and largely didn't have surviving generations.

The other issue is that race marks out African Americans as being descended from slaves. There were English slaves, villain is derived from the term villianage a type of bondage in early and medieval England. You can't tell among modern day English who was likely descended from slaves. Some of these ideas about choice have a consequence of potentially stigmatizing African Americans.

There are various classes of bound labor also, serfs, peons, etc. What are we saying about their survivors?

Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” He was a slave owner. In ancient history soldiers who were captured were enslaved as an alternative to death and this was part of pro-slavery ideology. Are there historical roots of pro-slavery ideology in the narrative of dying rather than be a slave?

I am not saying that one should live under any circumstances. The idea of suicide being a sin is a Christian and Western idea. Japanese and other cultures don’t have a horror of it. I don’t know what the many African cultures thought in the past or think in the present about suicide.

I think that this whole thing about slaves committing suicide hasn’t been thought through.

It could be that with 2016 the neo-liberals win the U.S. House and in 2018 the U.S. Senate and the White House, and we do live in an inter-period and neo-liberalism will be restored but I am not so sure that is the case.

I am not saying that the future will be where Trump or others like him continue in power either. It could be that politics will have a new structure and new contenders and new alliances and configurations. There won't be a restoration of the pre-Trump political world.

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