Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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

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

This is the link to the article.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is revolutionary.

This is the article online at Baptist News Global.


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

The letter is here.


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, September 15, 2017

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

Upcoming event at Paul Quinn College

Confederate Monuments: Where Do We Go From Here?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Elexis Evans: Paul Quinn College student leader.

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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bye Bye Robert E. Lee

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

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

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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

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

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

This is their event and the posting of interest.


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

Image may contain: text

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

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

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

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

This is the letter:
                                                                  September 3, 2017

                                                                  Edward H. Sebesta

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

Dear Hon. Rawlings:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                        Sincerely Yours,

                                                                        Edward H. Sebesta

CC: Next page

Confederate Motorcycles changes their name because of loss of business

The story is here.


and here in these links.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 04, 2017

Letter to Dallas Mayor Rawlings about his proposed task force.

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

This is the link to the prior blog posting.


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

                                                           September 3, 2017


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

Dear Hon. Rawlings:

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

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

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

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

                                                                        Sincerely Yours,

                                                                        Edward H. Sebesta

CC: Next page

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

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

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


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

The text of the proposed speech:

Scarecrows are objects used to scare birds away.

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

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

Scarecrows to warn people to stay away.

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

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

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

Scarecrows warning that this is a White Metropolis.

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

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

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

Thank you. 

Saturday, September 02, 2017

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

The video is at this link.


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

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

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

Click on image to see it all.

Friday, September 01, 2017

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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



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


This is a video footage.


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


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

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


So down it went.

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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