We Are All Confederates Now

(SUMMERVILLE, S.C.) — Residents of a predominantly black South Carolina neighborhood marched this weekend to protest the display of a confederate flag outside an area home.

The flag, which hangs outside the residence of Annie Caddell, a white woman, drew criticism from the crowd who says it represents Civil War-era sentiments of racism and slavery.

Nearly 80 residents of Summerville, S.C., protested the display.

On the opposite side was a group of approximately 15 of Caddell’s supporters who gathered in front of her home with confederate battle flags.

The woman, who has the legal right to display the flag, has refused to take it down, calling it a symbol of her heritage.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

It happens again and again: the politically incorrect act or statement, followed by condemnation in all directions, and then apology or silence.

I remember attending a session on “racism” at a lounge in my dormitory during my freshman orientation at college. (My college was probably 80-85% white.) The presentation emphasized the subtle ways that students “of color” suffered because of unconscious prejudice and “institutional racism.” In the discussion that followed, a white boy raised his hand and said, “If black students have their own exclusive groups that whites can’t belong to, isn’t that a kind of racism?” Good question, but the discussion that ought to have followed was cut short by one of the politically active black girls, who said, “well, I’ve heard people say that, and it’s pretty much bulls—t.” I am afraid not one white person there, including the professor who was mediating the event, had any reply to this, so the question went unanswered and the questioner learned what happens when you try to have an honest discussion about race.

This at a prestigious institution of higher education.

I’ll bet that black girl ended as up a high-paid lawyer or judge.

Now that I have become accustomed to getting most of my news through blogs and other sources that are not ruled by political correctness, I wonder what reality must look like to people who are getting their information from mainstream TV, magazines, and newspapers. What is odd is that I think they are actually getting most of the same news I am getting, but filtered in different ways. For example, I read about the Ground Zero mosque controversy mainly on anti-jihad blogs, but most of my relatives probably had it presented to them by Newsweek, CNN, and Jon Stewart.

These mainstream, liberal organs are incapable of presenting the reality of matters like the Muslim threat to the West or the ways in which whites are harmed by the shrinking of their share of the population. And yet, unintentionally, they do often present information that contradicts their politically correct perspective.

For instance, one element of their liberal “script” is the presence of large numbers of ignorant, angry white Christians who are always getting in the way of progressive ideas like national health care or mosques in downtown Manhattan. Consequently, they seem to feel compelled to bring attention to such individuals.

And as if in synchronicity with this impulse of mainstream journalists, somehow or other politically incorrect views and statements do emerge. These may be mainstream personalities who have a “slip of the tongue” or go too far in trying to be provocative, like Bill O’Reilly stating that “Muslims killed us” on 9/11. Or they may be non-mainstream leaders like the Pastor Terry Jones with his Koran-burning project. Or ordinary people who for whatever reason felt compelled to act, like Koran-burner Derek Fenton, who I dearly hope has been able to find a job, because he did exactly what I would have liked to do. Or people who just don’t want to change the way they live, like Annie Caddell, who has been flying a Confederate flag in her mostly black neighborhood.

The funny thing is, there are hundreds of people writing (mostly anonymously) on the Internet who express dissident views with far greater erudition and intelligence, but the media instead focuses on what you might call easy targets, people who are not fully able to articulate and defend their views, but who through a certain thick-skinned quality and arguably a lack of sense, drew the attention of their religious or ethnic adversaries or of liberal journalists. I mean, honestly, is it quite sensible to fly a Confederate flag in a black neighborhood that you’ve moved into? No, it is not. I wouldn’t do it, and I would wonder if someone who would is lacking a bit of common sense. I mean, she is either naive or extremely audacious. But in this crazy world, people like her end up doing a valuable service, because they keep certain issues alive in the mainstream. And I believe that when the mainstream media highlights a person like this, they weaken the liberal position that they intend to support, because some people are going to notice that ganging up on the non-PC person is a sign of something much uglier and more dangerous than the “hate” or ignorance that non-PC person is supposed to embody.

By the way, I’ve always identified with the North in the Civil War, but when I was a kid it was permissible to feel that both sides represented part of the American heritage, and that there was much nobility and tragedy in the story of the defeated South. And when I was at Gettysburg, I bought a Confederate flag, and thought it was pretty darn cool.

I suppose that the media typically pick weak targets because if they were to engage with the few articulate public figures opposing the liberal regime – and I do not mean those writing for National Review, but people more like Jared Taylor – they would be in danger of guilt by association, or of having to engage with arguments too powerful to handle. But I also feel that there is a certain compulsion to seek the politically incorrect on the part of the most adamant defenders of liberalism. They must know, on some level (I am speaking of white liberals), that some part of the truth – which is also their truth, since they belong to the same ethnic “family” as the non-PC offenders – is being suppressed. So, in an odd way, the self-censoring PC liberals and the not-quite-civilized non-PC actors are doing a kind of dance together. Who knows but that the dance may not lead to both sides getting to know each other better?

If Annie Caddell is eventually forced to back down – which is the usual result in such cases – it will be a small tragedy. But I like to believe that such irruptions of rebellion against the liberal order that is, python-like, squeezing the life out of our historic nation and culture, are the forerunners to a much larger movement, in which the various actors will find their voice and band together to be a force to reckon with.

Update

It’s not exactly the same thing, but Robert Frost has a good poem which is, as I understand it, the wry self-defense of someone who has said or done something a little socially unacceptable, but not really bad.

Not Quite Social

Some of you will be glad I did what I did,
And the rest won’t want to punish me too severely
For finding a thing to do that though not forbid
Yet wasn’t enjoined and wasn’t expected clearly.

To punish me overcruelly wouldn’t be right
For merely giving you once more gentle proof
That the city’s hold on a man is no more tight
Than when its walls rose highter than any roof.

You may taunt me with not being able to flee the earth.
You have me there, but loosely as I would be held.
The way of understanding is partly mirth.
I would not be taken as ever having rebelled.

And anyone is free to condemn me to death——
If he leaves it to nature to carry out the sentence.
I shall will to the common stock of air my breath
And pay a death-tax of fairly polite repentance.

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2 Responses to We Are All Confederates Now

  1. Liam says:

    Stephen

    Still enjoying the excellent quality of your writing. The “Hanging Danny Deever” piece in particular was extremely interesting.

    Don’t know if you remember but I left a comment on your post about the Watts riots of the 1960s. I gave you some background about the 2005 Asian/Black riots in Birmingham (UK), and said that some cranks had blamed them on “white racism.”

    Well, sure enough, last night on a regional news programme a black “community leader” in that district was given a free ride by the BBC to slander West Midlands police officers who – apparently – were to blame for hundreds of savages arming themselves to the teeth and attacking each other with murderous violence. He even deigned to inform the world that he didn’t think “every” police officer on duty that night should be dismissed.

    I would search for a link to this trash but I really don’t have the heart. I just thought of our conversation when the item appeared on the late news. Anyway, I hope you are in good health and please keep up the good work.

  2. stephenhopewell says:

    Liam,
    Thank you for the words of support. Thankfully, we are in good health here – I hope you and yours are too. Yes, I do remember that discussion. Does anyone protest the appearance of people of this sort on the BBC? I entirely understand your frustration.
    I believe new opportunities are going to present themselves to people on “our” side in time. It is sure hard to be patient, though.

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