Monday, June 24, 2013

"Downton Abbey" actor Elizabeth McGovern narrates movie on the Civil War which has drawn the ire of neo-Confederates

The link to the story is here:

From the article:
“Civil War: The Untold Story” from Denver’s Great Divide Pictures will air on public TV in 2014. Narrated by “Downton Abbey’s” Elizabeth McGovern, a great “get” for the producers, the documentary will be different from Ken Burns’ 1990 film in several ways:
The difference is that it focuses on the Civil War in the West and the "ongoing political rift."

As the article explains:

Advance word on the documentary, which carries the tag line "It's not just about who we were then, it's about who we are now," has inspired hate mail from neo-Confederate groups on the radical right.
It will likely be interesting.

The Facebook page is:

Edward Snowden is denounced as a traitor and Robert E. Lee is considered a hero

Edward Snowden has been denounced as a traitor by Dick Cheney and Michelle Bachmann and probably others for informing the public that the NSA was extensively watching every one's Internet activity without a search warrant. I don't have anything to say about the NSA and its activities, nor is it my purpose here to pass judgement on Snowden and his activities.

What struck me is that Snowden's activities are vociferously denounced as treason yet Robert E. Lee is today considered a hero.

Robert E. Lee took an oath of loyalty as an officer. He headed the Confederate armies in the East in a war that killed well over 600,000 soldiers, a great many of which were American soldiers. His goal was to break up the American nation and was willing to use violence to achieve it. It seems to me he stands in the first rank of traitors.

Yet there is in Washington, D.C. the Alfalfa Club the sole purpose of which is to throw a party for Robert E. Lee each year. The attendees are the elite of the establishment in DC and other elite figures in the United States. Probably many of them are now busy denouncing Snowden in the media right now.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy gives away a Robert E. Lee award each year to a cadet at West Point, and other Confederate named awards to cadets at other U.S. Military academies.  The Sons of Confederate Veterans is involved with Junior ROTC and there is no criticism of it in the media.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a charity beneficiary of the Federal Combined Campaign.

And of course President Obama has been sending wreaths to the Arlington Confederate monument and unfortunately will likely continue to do so.

I have some of the federal government's support for neo-Confederates documented at this blog.

In the National Statuary Hall in DC in the old capitol building there is a statue of Robert E. Lee as well as Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Confederate Vice-President Alexander H. Stephens and there are statues of Confederate generals.

In the military the Confederacy is also venerated with forts named after Confederate leaders.

It seems that treason is considered odious depending on who it impacts and the special interests of individuals.It shouldn't be, but it does seem to be the case.

Treason is a serious thing. Sometimes nations are powerful, but sometimes nations are in dire and extreme conditions. Think of occupied France in World War II. The nation depended on the patriotism of those who wouldn't collaborate and resisted and would receive no reward and faced every hazard in doing so.

Nations in dire straights in the end depend on their nationals who refuse to collaborate and understand what treason is. Who are loyal when there is no reward. Who have a clear understanding of who is a collaborator, that is a traitor.

Powerful nations need to have a clear sense of what is treason. They depend on the loyalty of its nationals.

If treason is made to seem inconsistent and arbitrary, the charge of treason is lessened in its impact. The value of national loyalty, patriotism is diminished. It initiates a process where by one treason or another can be excused by one or another rationalization.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Maybe Confederate Bean Soup isn't just a recipe. Paula Deen recipes and language.

I guess you have to have been offline for a week or more not to hear about Paula Deen and her use of offensive racial slurs.  Or her fantasy about having a plantation wedding with black servants. The Food Network channel announced that her contract will not be renewed. Her apologies were problematic and criticized widely. Perhaps for one of her last shows she might cook a goose.

An interesting article online is:

James Poniewozik in the article says:

Deen made a pile of money off a certain idea of old-school southern culture. In return, she had an obligation to that culture–an obligation not to embody its worst, most shameful history and attitudes. Instead, in one swoop, fairly or not, she single-handedly affirmed people’s worst suspicions of people who talk and eat like her–along with glibly insulting minorities, she slurred many of the very fans who made her successful. She made it that much harder to say that Confederate Bean Soup is just a recipe.

Maybe James Poniewozik might consider that people who insist on naming things "Confederate" probably do have an attitude about race and people who try to say that "Confederate Bean Soup" is just a recipe are being less than candid. Why anyone would insist on naming anything "Confederate" in the 21st century needs to be questioned. It is a subtle strategy of normalization of the Confederacy.

I think a lot of people probably knew about Deen's attitudes, but it became a problem when it became known.

The good thing about this is that a lot of people will avoid "Confederate" anything since the public will rightly suspect that they are under the table racists like Paula Deen. 

Is the use of the word "Neo-Confederate" a smear?

Over at on their blog Thomas DiLorenzo complains in a posting:
When I, along with Clyde Wilson, Don Livingston, Tom Woods, David Gordon, the folks at Second Vermont Republic, and others started writing about nullification and secession about 15 years ago the immediate reaction of establishment academics (court historians), talking heads, and political hacks was name calling. "Neo-Confederate" was (and is) their favorite smear.
This is the link to the blog posting:

Clyde Wilson was a frequent contributor to Southern Partisan and a founding board member for the League of the South. Don Livingston heads up the Abbeville Institute, named after the location where slave state secession started, and before headed the League of the South Institute. Tom Woods wrote for the Southern Partisan, and I have his neo-Confederate curriculum vitae online here . David Gordon is with the Ludwig von Mises Institute and his book "Secession, State, and Liberty" is a neo-Confederate book defending the secession of the slave states and the Confederacy. The Second Vermont Republic movement advisors included contributors to Chronicles Magazine and Southern Partisan.  It seems to me that neo-Confederate is fairly correct.

The problem for neo-Confederates is that before people knew what neo-Confederacy was, they could get a hearing posing as a person with a new idea without some agenda and not as a proponent of neo-Confederacy. They could pose as individual eccentrics or heterodox or new and novel.

Now people are aware of what neo-Confederacy is and recognize it and the agenda and dismiss it as such. In short, the sheep's clothing has been pulled off the wolves.

One of the things I had hoped to accomplish by getting coverage of the neo-Confederates in the news and getting the book "Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Analysis" published was to make people aware that such a thing exists and so they would recognize it when they saw it. They now know it exists and they now recognize it when they see it. For the neo-Confederates, using an expression, the jig is up. The body politic has developed anti-bodies to neo-Confederacy.

The other complaint about "neo-Confederate" is that the word itself is somehow inherently unfair and defamatory. The word itself was first used in the Southern Partisan. Consider other words that use "neo" like neo-classical. When you read something is neo-classical you know that it has the attributes of the classical period in ancient history. It is a new object with classical attributes. When you here of neo-Baroque it is something with the attributes of Baroque either in design or music. Both are pleasant words and I expect to refer to desirable things. Putting "neo" in front of  a word isn't a smear itself. It just means new.

Neo-Confederate is a negative word because it means new Confederate. People don't like the Confederacy and a new Confederacy they would like even less. Neo-Confederate sounds bad to people because Confederate is bad. If it reminds people of neo-Nazi it is because the Nazis were another bad historical movement which people don't like either and unfortunately has present day adherents. "Neo-Nazi" is bad because Nazi is bad, not because "neo" is bad.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rich Lowry, editor at "National Review," writes an article on the Anti-Lincoln neo-Confederates Update:

Rick Lowry, editor at National Review magazine, had an article on the neo-Confederate anti-Lincolnites online at The Daily Beast. Lowry calls them "foul" and writes:

Operationally, they are pro-Confederacy. Their influence shouldn't be exaggerated. The vast majority of people will never hear of them. They exist only as a small, but foul temptation on the Right. If American conservatism ever wants to commit suicide, they offer the ready means. And it begins with the root-and-branch rejection of Abraham Lincoln.
The link to the article is:

What is interesting is that Lowry decided that this article needed writing. The anti-Lincoln campaign of the neo-Confederates has been going on for some time. I think this might be a sign that the anti-Lincoln campaign is going somewhere and the leadership of conservatism in America is beginning to get concerned.

Update: Rick Lowry has written a book on Lincoln as a conservative hero and also is criticizing Obama's appropriation of Lincoln for Obama's politics. So it is a tug of war over Lincoln. So maybe Rick brings up the neo-Confederate crowd to interest people in his book and not that he sees the anti-Lincolnites as having any political traction. There could be multiple explanations of his article.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Corporations that offer to give donations to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. UPDATE: Article published that is going to be mailed to corporations that donate to the SCV

These are the texts at the, about supporting the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).
We at the Sons of Confederate Veterans have a trusted partnership with Your purchase through this site helps us continue the work of preserving and teaching American History and the truth of the Confederate Veteran.
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Your purchase through this site helps Sons of Confederate Veterans preserve the history and legacy of the heroes who fought for the Confederacy so that future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause.
These are the companies we are going to write first. Perhaps in installments or all at once for their offering donations to the SCV. The text of the letter we are going to send is at a previous blog posting. We are going to have a status EXCEL sheet online at some point in the project to track correspondence with them. The dossier about the SCV is still with my editor. Some surprising organizations willing to donate to the SCV are Sesame Street, PBS Kids Shop, and PBS.

The following article will be printed out and mailed to the corporatiosn that donate to the SCV.

UPDATE: The campaign was a complete success. Article on campaign here:

So here are the companies: 

adidas AG , Adi-Dassler-Strasse 1, 91074 Herzogenaurach, Germany
Herbert Hainer
  22nd Floor, 112 West 34th Street, NEW YORK, NY 10120
Thomas P. Johnson
Alamo Rent A Car
600 Corporate Park Drive, St. Louis, MO USA 63105
William Lobeck
President & CEO
5000 South Broad Street, Building 10 Philadelphia PA 19112
David W. McCreight
Apple Store
1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014
Timothy D. Cook
AT&T Wireless
208 South Akard Street Dallas, TX 75202
Ralph de la Vega
President & CEO
Banana Republic
Two Folsom Street San Francisco, CA 94105 USA
Jack Calhoun
Global President
Barneys New York
575 5th Ave, New York, NY 10017
Mark Lee
Bed Bath & Beyond
650 Liberty Ave. Union NJ 07083
Steven H. Temares
1000 3rd Ave. New York NY 10022
Michael Gould
One High St. North Andover MA 01845
Jim Calhoun
550 7th Ave. New York NY 10018
Mark Weber
Espn Plaza. 935 Middle Street, Bristol, CT 06010, United States 
John D. Skipper
112 West 34th Street, New York, New York 10120
Ken C. Hicks
Fossil Group Inc.
901 S Central Expy, Richardson, TX 75080
Kosta N. Kartsotis
Chairman of the Board & CEO
Paul Colichman
Ghiradelli Chocolate Company
1111 139th Avenue, San Leandro, CA 94578-263
Marty Thompson
Giorgio Armani Beauty
114 5th Ave # 17, New York, NY 10011
Graziano de Boni
Godiva Chocolatier Inc.
333 W 34th St., New York, NY, 10001 United States
James A. Goldman
Guess? Inc.
1444 South Alameda Street Los Angeles, CA 90021
Paul Marciano
Jelly Belly
1 Jelly Belly Ln, Fairfield, CA 94534
Robert Simpson Jr.
President and Chief Operating Officer
Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson

Jos. A. Bank

Lancome Paris, L'Oreal
L’Oréal USA, 575 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA
Jean Paul Agon
Lindt Chocolate, Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli AG
Lindt & Sprüngli (International) AG, Seestrasse 204, CH-8802 Kilchberg, Switzerland
Ernst Tanner
Chairman of the Board & CEO
Macy's Inc., 7 West Seventh Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Terry J. Lundgren
NASCAR Superstore
1 Daytona Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Brian France
40 W. 57th St., New York, NY, 10019 United States
David Chu
345 Park Ave., New York, NY 10154 
Roger Goodell
1617 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, United States 
Blake W. Nordstrom
Old Navy

Oscar de la Renta
550 Seventh Avenue New York NY 10018
Oscar de la Renta
Public Broadcasting Service, 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202  
Paula A. Kerger
President & CEO
Ralph Lauren
650 Madison Ave C1, New York, NY 10022
Ralph Lauren
Chairman of the Board & CEO
1895 J W Foster Blvd, Canton, MA 02021
Uli Becker
Saks Fifth Avenue
362 9th Avenue, New York, 10001
Stephen I. Sadove
Sesame Street
1 Lincoln Plaza, New York, NY, 10023 United States
H. Melvin Ming
Shops PBS
Public Broadcasting Service, 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202  
Paula A. Kerger
President & CEO
Sports Authority
1050 W Hampden Ave, Englewood, CO 80110
Darrell Webb
Starbucks Corporation, 2401 Utah Ave S., Seattle, WA 98134
Howard Schultz
38 Gansevoort Street New York, New York 10014
Andrew Rosen
True Religion Apparel Inc.
2263 E. Vernon Ave., Vernon, CA, 90058 United States
Lynne Koplin
Virgin Atlantic Airways
50 Brook Green, The School House, London,  W6 7RR, United Kingdom
Sir Richard C. Branson
702 SW 8th St, Bentonville, AR 72716
Mike Duke
200 Wilmot Rd, Deerfield, IL 60015
Gregory D Wasson
Wedgwood Waterford PLC
Embassy House Herbert Park La, Ballsbridge, Dublin,  4, Ireland
David W. Sculley
Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters, Inc., 5000 South Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19112-1495
Richard Hayne
President & CEO

Neo-Confederate William Murchison leads attack on Texas universities for teaching about race, gender, and class.

In The American Conservative, a paleoconservative magazine, in their March/April 2013 issue there is an article on pages 24-27 by William Murchison titled, "What Texas Won't Teach: U.S. history takes a back seat to race, class, and gender." The article in summary complains that the Texas university professors are 60s radicals who are teaching too much about race, class and gender and neglecting U.S. history.

The article is part of a campaign by a reactionary group called the National Association of Scholars (NAS)  to change the teaching of history in the Texas universities and the article is about a report they issued titled, "Are Race, Class, and Gender Dominating American History?"

I won't go through all the failings of the Murchison article. One key point is that the article doesn't say whether the universities in question still offer the general survey classes on American history. I checked online the Texas A&M course catalog and they do offer a general U.S. history class. What appears to be happening is that additional courses are being offered on various topics that the NAS doesn't like.  There is a requirement in Texas that you have to take a certain amount of classes in American history and at the universities is can be satisfied by specialty classes. as well as general classes. Some of the classes that Murchison feels are not worthy of satisfying a general requirement in American history: "History of Mexican Americans in the U.S.," "Black Power Movement," "The United States and Africa."

To me this is a good thing. A lot of people's ideas of what a class in history is like is based on their unfortunate experiences in the teaching of history in high school, usually by a person who is also the coach of some sport. History is intertwined and to study any history is to lead to other historical topics. I think to require students to go to a class in which they feel before hand they aren't going to like could be a disincentive to learning. Though when I was in college many students commented that despite their expectations the American history classes was very interesting and not like their high school classes.

The topics of history are intertwined and teaching a specialty classes can be a door to other topics in history. Most importantly have students get into history and realize it can be interesting and that will hopefully lead to further study or just reading after they graduate.

Professors are classified into those who have high reading assignments in the topics of race, class, and gender with the acronym RCG. How much is high isn't defined. It seems to me this needs to be clarified. This is supposed to be a result because they are some type of 60s radicals.

The bio note for the article says that, "William Murchison is a nationally syndicated columnist and longtime commentator on politics, religion, and society."

What the bio note doesn't tell you is that William Murchison was a long time contributor to Southern Partisan, was once on the Texas board for the League of the South, and in the Southern Partisan was interviewed about the launch of a magazine titled Texas Republic, and is a contributor to Chronicles Magazine, another hot bed of paleoconservatives and neo-Confederates.

What Murchison's complaint is is that the Texas universities don't teach the history that was taught in Texas when he was in college in the "early '60s." This is of course  before the Modern Civil Rights Era and the subsequent re-examination of how history is taught.

Of course, Murchison, a person who supported Texas Republic magazine would not like any history classes on Mexican Americans. Of course, Murchison, a contributor to Chronicles Magazine and Southern Partisan magazine wouldn't like teaching on race, class and gender when you think the Confederacy was great and you are a neo-Confederate.

American Conservative knows who Murchison is and it is disingenuous of them not to mention his neo-Confederate origins. Then again American Conservative is full of individuals who are involved with the neo-Confederate movement or racist magazines like Chronicles Magazine.

The American Conservative is published by The American Ideas Institute, whose president is Wick Allison, who is the publisher of D Magazine for the city of Dallas. (How long will Dallas tolerate having reactionary crazies influence their city?)

The real agenda of many Texas conservatives is to attempt a roll back of civil rights in regards to race, women, and sexual orientation and this is their new attempt.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Paper on Juneteenth I wrote in 1994

This is my observance for Juneteenth.  I wrote this paper in 1994. I did some editing of it, but largely it is unchanged. Originally it was a typed manuscript, and later OCR'ed into a file and made into a .html file. Now it is a PDF. It is hard for me to imagine anymore writing without computers.

I ask everyone to do something to mark an observance of June 19th. Just a tweet or a blog or read a book related to slavery and freedom, or something on June 19th.

Play on Cinco de Mayo, the Civil War, and the Confederacy

There is a play in California explaining the relationship between Cinco de Mayo, the Civil War, and the Confederacy. It is based on Hayes-Bautista's book on Cinco de Mayo.

The article on the play is here:

In California there have been museum exhibitions and other events explaining Cinco de Mayo to the public. It isn't going to be long before there is a whole new demographic opposed to the Confederacy.

My blog on my visit to a museum exhibition on Cinco de Mayo and the Confederacy is here:

Also, I encourage readers to search the blog with the term "Cinco."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Letter to CEOs of corporations that support the Sons of Confederate Veterans, updated. UPDATE: Article that will be mailed to CEOs has been published

The following is the letter we are going to write corporations who support the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The dossier on the SCV isn't yet online. I haven't made a final selections of which corporations I am going to write first. When I do I will announce it in this blog.

Companies who support the SCV make a mockery of their anti-discrimination policies that they have.

At the website you will see the following explanation:
Your purchase through this site helps Sons of Confederate Veterans preserve the history and legacy of the heroes who fought for the Confederacy so that future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause.
The following is the letter: 


 Edward H. Sebesta


Dear XXX:

Please find enclosed a printout from where your company offers a benefit to both the organization the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and its members. It is disappointing to see that your company is aiding the SCV, a neo-Confederate organization that is both extremist and racist. Official SCV literature compares Abraham Lincoln to Hitler, and praises and promotes books that defend slavery and books that laud the Ku Klux Klan. Please find enclosed a dossier on the SCV with detailed footnotes of all quotes and assertions. This dossier is also available online at <url here>.

In supporting the Sons of Confederate Veterans you are both doing a disservice to the American public, and give lie to any statements your company might make in personnel policies against discrimination. I ask that you cease supporting the Sons of Confederate Veterans, be this directly or through subsidiaries or intermediaries.

                                                                                                Sincerely Yours,

                                                                                                Edward H. Sebesta

The article which will be mailed to CEOs documenting the extremism of the SCV has been published. The following is the link:


The campaign was a complete success. Article on campaign.

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