Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tote that i-Pad, Lift that Smartphone

Don't you just love it when 21st century white, male "historians" who live and work and drive in air conditioned comfort, who hold cushy jobs in academia and fly hither and yon for TV appearances, conferences and symposia, who have hundreds of channels on their wide, flat-screen TVs, and smart-phones that connect them to the world, who cook their designer meals in minutes in microwave ovens that don't raise the temperature in their kitchens, and who ... but you get the idea.

Don't you just love it when they tell you precisely what was in the mind of a slave over 150 years ago because THEY know and you don't?  Who purport to tell us what slaves THOUGHT and what they FELT?  Who presume that their own extremely un-slave like mind and life experience somehow uniquely qualifies them to teach us what enslavement was like? What actual thoughts transpired in the slave's mind?

Oh yes, these folks really know all about slave life....

Tote that i-Pad, gentlemen. Lift that Smartphone.


 
 
Preposterous and hilarious, in equal measure. And I thoroughly reject it.

There's a reason why these folks minimize the slave narratives. Heaven forbid you go to the source instead of to these academics for information about slaves.

If you want to know what slaves thought and felt, read what THEY said:  Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dedicated to Mark Patrick George...(Updated)

(Updated to include in the dedication Associate Professor Matthew Richard who wrote this letter, Welcome to ataViSm U, to The Spectator, VSU's student newspaper.)


... former professor of Race/Class/Gender, Sexuality, and Masculinity Studies at Valdosta State University in Georgia, and coordinator for anti-racism Mary Turner Project. From the group's website:

In partnership with the Lowndes/Valdosta Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the MTP recently launched the "Its Hate Not Heritage" campaign. That initiative seeks to end all state promotion and funding of Confederate holidays, Confederate events, the naming of roads after Confederate leaders, and the state management of Confederate historic sites.

Mr. George recently departed VSU over his controversial use of university resources for political activity.

I am dedicating this excerpt from Sweet Southern Boys to him, since Valdosta inspired the fictionalized Verona, Georgia where the story takes place. I suspect Mr. George would be right at home in the organization "One Community."

A little background for the excerpt: Read about the start-up of One Community HERE. Meet Nora Weir and the other progressives of Yancy County, Georgia,  HERE.
________

Sweet Southern Boys
by
Connie Chastain


Excerpt

Chapter Thirteen


"Ainsley, are you coming?" Erin McGhee planted her fists on her hips and gave Ainsley an exasperated stare. 

"I'm finished." Seated at a wooden table under a primitive pavilion on the quadrangle at Silver Pines Day Camp, Ainsley snapped the lid on a plastic tub that held her craft projects. In no hurry, she slid the tub under the table.

"You don't want to go on the canoe picnic, do you?"

Ainsley shrugged.  "Not really."

"Me, neither.  Nobody does, but we can't back out now."

"I wish we could.  I would."

"Me, too.  I'm glad this is the last day of camp. This has been the worse camp ever. I'm not coming back next year."

"I won't, either.  At least, not if …."

Erin finished for her. "Not if Counselor Nora comes back."

Ainsley nodded solemnly. 

The two girls rambled across the grassy quadrangle, past the rustic administration buildings, headed for Juniper Creek, which meandered through the campground and the fields and woodlands that surrounded it.  Stifling August heat suffused the air and the girls broke out in a sheen of sweat. 

This was Ainsley's fourth year as a Silver Pines camper.  Her first session had occurred a year to the month after the dog mauling that had left her traumatized for so long and she hadn't really wanted to go.  But her mama had said, "Just go the first day, and if you don't like it, you don't have to go back."

She had loved it from that first day, and looked forward to it every summer. She didn't care for sports and opted out of most, though she enjoyed hiking the nature trails.  She much preferred more sedate activities like the petting zoo, skits and, most of all, crafts. 

This year, she had made a mirror with a seashell frame for her mother, a ceramic paperweight for her father's desk at work, and for Shelby a computer diskette storage box decoupaged with bits of construction paper in an abstract pattern.  They sat in her storage tub under the craft table, awaiting the trip home. While she was proud of her creations, she had not enjoyed her days at Silver Pines this year. Erin was right; camp had been terrible this summer and the reason was the presence of a new counselor, Nora Weir.

Few if any campers actually liked Counselor Nora, as she preferred to be called.

"Do not call me Miss Nora," she'd told the campers on the first day. "Or Miss Weir or Miss Anything. That is a pretentious, saccharine Southernism I will not have applied to me."

She was forever criticizing Southerners as backward hayseeds, though she was careful not to apply those terms to the campers, their families, or anyone they knew.  She complained of the heat, the bugs, the critters, and said she'd never had to worry about such things growing up in New England.  Almost nothing of Southern culture and tradition, from its prominent religiosity, to family, to food and music, escaped her criticism, although she was very subtle about it.

"She hates our lizards," Ainsley had told Shelby shortly after camp began.  "Even the little green ones with the red throats. She says she'd have all the bushes around her apartment cut down if her landlord would let her, cause they're full of 'em."

"Well, that's silly," Shelby replied.  "Carolina anoles are some of the purtiest little lizards on the planet."

If the counselor's constant fault-finding wasn't offputting enough, there was the way she looked and acted.  Tall and gaunt, with light skin and pale gray eyes, she had wispy, ash-blond hair that she pulled into a pony tail most of the time.  One day in the latrine, Ainsley had overheard one of the older campers describe her as cadaverous.  Her thin, grating voice, owl-like stare, her stalking gait and general creepiness had caused the campers to nickname her Counselor Weird.

"The canoe picnic wouldn't be so bad," Erin said, "if Miss Jackie or Miss Barbara was in charge.  But it's Counselor Nora's project and Lindsey Duncan says she picked all seven of us special."

For some reason, that information ratcheted up Ainsley's discomfort and her steps slowed.  "I wonder why us..."

"Who cares," Erin said, suddenly impatient.  "Look, let's just go and get it over with. It's not that far to the picnic tables in the woods.  We'll go, eat, come back and then it will be over."

* * *

The four canoes glided single file  through the still water. The lead canoe, occupied by Counselor Nora and her buddy for the trip, Joanie Wilson, whom nobody envied, carried a backpack and hard-sided cooler full of picnic items.

On the aft seat of the last canoe, Ainsley glanced over her shoulder as the buildings of Silver Pines disappeared and the forest of ubiquitous slash pines closed in around the creek. Sudden and strong foreboding took Ainsley in its grip and she struggled to suppress it with rationality.  Everything would be all right.  It was just a canoe trip and picnic.  She had done this at least once every year she'd been a camper.

But the notion that everything would be all right gave way to a greater feeling of abnormality when Counselor Nora called, "Everybody stop rowing." 

The canoes came to a slow halt and the campers looked at each other curiously.  Ainsley heard Erin's low mutter, "We're paddling, not rowing, you stupid woman."

Counselor Nora maneuvered the lead canoe around and paddled back toward the other boats.  She stopped at the first one.  "I'm going to tether the canoes together in a line, so nobody gets lost."

"No counselor's ever done that," said one of the girls, but Counselor Nora ignored her.  As the campers watched with curiosity and a hit of suspicion, she threaded a rope through metal rings at the bow and stern of the canoes and tied them with complicated knots that looked impossible to untie.

"There will be about ten feet of rope separating each canoe, so you don't have to worry about collisions."  A corner of her mouth quirked up as if she'd said something cute, but nobody laughed.  Her characteristic lack of humor returned immediately and she added, "Everybody still has to paddle.  You can't just sit back and let the boats in front pull you along."

With that she and Joanie paddled back to the lead and the now solemn flotilla got underway again.

The second bothersome incident occurred when they approached the Picnic Place in the Woods, as it was known, which comprised a grassy clearing next to the creek and four wooden picnic tables  under shelters like the pavilions on the quadrangle. 

Counselor Nora called out to them, "We're not going to have the picnic here. We're going to a special place, so everyone keep rowing."

For a few moments, silence met her announcement, but soon, the plaintiff voice of the youngest camper on the trip, first grader Cindy Jeffcoat, said, "I want to go back to camp now."

The lead canoe rocked slightly as Counselor Nora twisted to look behind her, her face like thunder. "We'll go back after the picnic."

Again, the campers looked at each other in perplexity and their touch of suspicion rose several notches.

They paddled and paddled.  The creek narrowed and widened, curved and straightened.  The woods on each side changed character several times, from slash pines shading wiregrass, to palmetto forests beneath live oak canopies.  Underbrush of wax myrtles and yaupon holly thickened as the campers paddled deeper into the woods.

The heat was stifling, and not the barest breeze touched them.  Once, somebody said, "I'm thirsty.  I want some water," but Counselor Nora  knocked on the lid of a rigid cooler strapped into the lead canoe and said, "There will be plenty of cold water at the picnic."

None of the girls had worn a watch and they lost track of time but it seemed like they'd been gone a long time, and still, Nora pressed them on.  Eventually, though, they stopped, simply because they could go no further.  A concrete barrier across the creek blocked their progress.  A bridge, it looked like.  It was too low to paddle under, the bottom edge barely a foot above the water's surface.  The canoes drifted as the counselor seemed to consider her options.

"Okay, right back there is where we'll have the picnic," she said pointing the way they had come.  "The clearing beyond that grassy patch of bank we passed a few minutes ago."

Somebody muttered, "I thought we was going to some special place..." but the counselor ignored her. It didn't take long before they reached the grassy bank, and pulled the canoes ashore.

"Everybody find a place to sit," Counselor Nora ordered.

The grass ended a few feet from the creek and the clearing was hot and dusty.  A fallen tree provided seating for most, but Ainsley didn't join them.  Beside her, Lindsey Duncan, the oldest at fourteen, muttered, "Looks snaky to me," and Ainsley whispered, "Me, too."

"Let's sit here," Lindsey said, sotto voce, and they sat on the seats of the nearest canoe as Counselor Nora lugged the cooler, backpack and a camp stool to the middle of the clearing. She saw them as she set the cooler down and ordered sharply, "Get out of the boat."

"There's no other place to sit," Lindsey said defiantly.  She  and Ainsley remained where they were as the counselor passed out bottles of water. There evidently wasn't much ice in the cooler, because the water was not cold.  It was cool, however, and wet, and the thirsty campers guzzled it down. 

"Before I hand out the food," Counselor Nora said, "I want to tell you all something." She opened the stool and sat down to face them.  "I brought you out here for a lesson.  A history lesson about the place and the people where you live."

The campers exchanged perplexed looks.

"You probably don't know it," Nora droned in her grating voice, "because this  place strives assiduously, and successfully, to distance itself from its evil past, but before the Civil War, Yancey County was plantation country.  Cotton plantations. Where the masters owned slaves who worked the fields.  You think it's hot here, today, in the woods?  You should try being a slave and picking cotton by hand, in the merciless sun, no shade, no rest, no water...  And if you don't do it fast enough to suit the master...  you get whipped to within an inch of your life.  Oh, not with a belt, like some parents use on their children.  No, you would be stripped to the waist and tied to a post and your back beaten with thick leather whips until it ran red with blood."

The campers had gone stock still, their eyes wide. Little Cindy quavered, "I wanna go back now."

"Me too," somebody whispered, Ainsley wasn't sure who, and someone else muttered, "What kinda picnic is this?"

 "I told you," Counselor Nora said, her pale eyes gleaming with malice. "A history picnic. You're going to learn about slavery, because your vaunted Southern white privilege system won't teach you about it." She reached into the cooler and pulled out take-out boxes of white cardboard and handed them out.  "Don't open them until everybody has one."

When they were all distributed, she said, "Okay, open your food."

Ainsley opened her box.  Inside was a small square of moldy, crumbling cornbread and a half-pint carton of buttermilk. She didn't say anything but the "Gross!" and "Oh, yuck!" and similar outbursts from the other campers echoed her feelings.

"This is slave food," Nora said, "and you have to eat it so you'll get just a tiny taste of the miserable lives they lived. Oh, you don't have to eat it all.  Just one bite and one sip."

The campers stared at her, dumbstruck. "Where's our sandwiches and chips and cokes?" Erin demanded.

 "You don't get it, do you, McGhee?  That is your picnic lunch and we're not going back until every last one of you takes at least one bite and one sip. You don't have to eat it right now, because I still have lots of history to tell you. But you will eat it before we leave."

A few of the campers took tentative nibbles of the cornbread.  Others sipped the lukewarm buttermilk. Gagging and gurgling punctuated the heat-filled air.  Little Cindy threw up. 

Incredibly, Counselor Nora gazed at Cindy with a touch of satisfaction in her cadaverous eyes, and swept them across her charges with annoyance while she waited for them to quiet down.

Then, in great detail, she told them lurid tales of whippings and rapes during slavery times in Yancey County, and of lynchings and murders after emancipation.  She spent most of the time relating the details of a particularly horrible lynching spree in the 1920s -- a dreadful episode that included the hanging a pregnant woman and the grisly murder of her unborn child.

"All because evil white Southerners were so full of hatred," Nora finished.  "And you still are.  Every one of you girls had ancestors in Verona  back then.  You are as responsible for the lynchings and murder as they were, because their blood is in you, their hatred is in you.  It's time you all learned about the evil history your culture keeps from you.  It's time for you to get in touch with your inner race-hater."

She stood and strolled to a nearby slash pine more than a foot in diameter and slapped the bark.

"Imagine that this tree is your plantation whipping post.  And imagine that one of your trouble-making slaves, stripped to the waist, is tied to it."

She stepped to the backpack, reached inside and brought out at coil of leather.  The campers stared at it, aghast. 

"Who wants to volunteer to whip the slave?  I know you're scared at the idea right now -- or you're pretending to be.  But once you start, you'll really get into it. Antebellum Southerners enjoyed beating their slaves the way northerners enjoyed a Shakespeare play at the theater.  So it'll come to you. Who wants to go first?"

Horror descended on Nora's captive audience as she paced in front of them, and they began to sob softly.

An ominous feeling such as she'd never known overcame Ainsley and filled her with paralyzing dread.  This was not the terror of attack by an animal ruled by instinct, but the terror of sheer human malevolence.  She tried to block out the macabre images Counselor Nora's words put in her mind, but they were impossible to escape. Nausea from the cornbread and buttermilk she had choked down compounded her distress.

Nora stopped her talking and pacing in front of the canoe where Ainsley and Lindsey sat. 

"Kincaid, here.  You lead off."

Ainsley recoiled and let out a soft, anguished wail.

"Weak as well as wicked," Nora grated.  "Get up!"

She grabbed Ainsley's upper arm, pulled her to her feet and shoved her toward the tree.  She thrust the whip toward her.

"Show us how your ancestors did it.  Show us how they whipped slave mothers and lynched the babies of freedmen...for no reason except hatred of their black skin.  Take the whip, Kincaid.  You know it's in you to do it.  Now show us."

Staring at the whip, Ainsley took a step back, wiping her hands on her shorts.  She raised her panicked eyes to the malevolent entity Nora had become and swept them across the other campers, who stared back at her in terror. 

"No!"  Ainsley screamed.  She took off into the woods, blinded by tears, running as fast as her legs would carry her. 

She was vaguely aware of Counselor Nora and the other campers calling her name, begging her to come back, but their voices grew fainter as she ran deeper into the dusty woods, and finally faded away into the stifling air.
________

(Chapters Fourteen through Seventeen edited for space.)
________
Chapter Eighteen
Ainsley Kincaid

Four days after Ainsley's dramatic rescue, the phone rang at the Kincaid house. Gina was cooking supper and Kurt sat in his recliner, looking over papers he'd brought home from the office, so Shelby answered the phone.

He was no worse for the wear after this fainting spell at the hospital, but like his parents, he was caught up with worry for Ainsley and he found comfort in the calls from friends and family checking on her recovery and offering well wishes.

"Hello."

A woman's voice he didn't recognize asked, "May I speak with Mr. Kincaid, please?"

"Just a minute. Daddy, it's for you."

Kurt picked up the telephone extension beside his recliner, "Kurt Kincaid," he said, inadvertently lapsing into workplace communications lingo. His eyes didn't leave the reports he'd brought home from the office and he paid only nominal attention to the call.

"Mr. Kincaid, my name is Cheryl Duncan. My daughter, Lindsey, was at day camp with your daughter this year, and she was on the canoe trip when Ainsley got lost. I was just calling to see how she's doing."

The question dented Kurt's concentration enough for him to lower the papers and raise his head. "Well, I appreciate your concern, Mrs. Duncan. Ainsley's doing very well physically. She had some scrapes and scratches and bumps. Her worst injury was a twisted ankle, which is healing normally."

"I'm glad to hear that. Lindsey was concerned. Mr. Kincaid, while I have you on the phone, may I ask you a question?"

"Sure, go ahead."

"What has Ainsley told you about that canoe trip?"

Kurt didn't answer for a moment and Cheryl picked up on the silence. "If you don't want to answer, that's fine. It's none of my business, of course. I was just curious, considering some things Lindsey has told me."

By now, the reports from work were relegated to the background of Kurt's consciousness and he laid them aside. "I would be interested in what your daughter told you because, frankly, Ainsley hasn't told us anything about it. She won't talk about it at all."

"Hmmm," Cheryl said. "There were seven campers on that trip. Because of things they've told their families about it, most of the parents have gotten in contact with each other and compared notes, and we've pieced together a pretty good picture of what happened. None of us are professional analysts or anything, but it looks to us like the counselor who took our girls on that trip did so specifically for the purpose of emotionally and psychologically traumatizing them."

Kurt frowned. "That's a pretty serious charge."

"Yes it is. And if it's true, that counselor succeeded most effectively with your daughter."

"I'd like to hear the reason for your suspicions.”

"And I'll be glad to tell you what we've come up with. I would rather do it in person, and have my daughter present. She's fourteen. She was the oldest one on the trip, and she can give you a first hand account. Lindsey and I can come to your home whenever you say, or you and your family can visit ours."

"Then please, come to our house tomorrow evening. We usually get home from midweek Bible study about eight fifteen. Is eight thirty all right?"

"That's fine."

"We're at 1382 Cloverdale Road. That's north of Forsythe Street.

"I'm pretty familiar with that neighborhood. Shouldn't have any trouble finding it."

"All right. Mrs. Duncan, thank you for calling. I look forward to meeting with you and Lindsey."

"You're welcome, Mr. Kincaid. We'll see you tomorrow night."

* * *

"...and there were seven of us," Lindsey Duncan said. "Counselor Nora said she'd picked us special."

She and her mother sat on the black Naugahyde couch in the Kincaid's family room, refreshed with sips of Gina's sweet tea. Shelby shared the sofa with the visitors, Kurt was in his recliner and, as hostess, Gina took a side chair nearest the kitchen.

"Excuse me for interrupting," Shelby said softly. "Right after camp started, Ainsley told me Nora Weir was from up north somewhere and none of the campers liked her very much."

Lindsey nodded. "That's right, a lot of us didn't like her. She was all the time putting down the South and saying Southerners are hicks and stuff. Besides that, she's just ... creepy."

"Wonder if her last name is Bratcher," Shelby muttered under his breath.

"Pardon?"

"Never mind, I was being facetious."

"Shelby," Kurt said. "Let's stick with relevant questions right now."

Shelby nodded.

Lindsay continued her account. "Well, Ainsley didn't want to go -- none of us wanted to go, but we thought, well, we'll just go and get it over with, and get back right after the picnic. There's a grassy place by the creek not too far from camp where we usually ate dinner on canoe trips but Counselor Nora made us go past it. She made us keep paddling and we went a long way and we were starting to get a little scared."

"Did she say why she took you so far?" Kurt asked.

"She just said it was a special trip and we were going to a special place."

"What were you getting scared of?"

Lindsey shook her head. "Some of us just felt like something bad was gonna happen. We went until we got to a bridge that was too low to paddle under. We hadn't ever been that far before and we didn't know where we were."

"A bridge? An old one, or did it look like it was still in use? Like there was a road?" Kurt asked.

 "I don't know, just a bridge made out of concrete. I don't think Counselor Nora knew it was there. I think she meant us to go even further, but we couldn't, so she told us to get out there. It wasn't a good place for a picnic. There weren't any grassy spots, it was mostly bushes and a few big trees. It was so hot and dusty it was hard to breathe."

Lindsey sighed deeply, as if reliving the heat and suffocation. As her narrative progressed, she would shift her attention from Kurt to Gina to Shelby and back again. Now she looked at Gina.

"Some girls sat on a fallen log, but I remembered what we learned in school about where snakes hide, so I wouldn't sit there. Ainsley wouldn't either. The whole place looked snaky to me so we sat on the canoe seats. It was sort of uncomfortable because the seats were a little bit lower than the edge of the canoe, but it was the only place to sit. Anyway, Counselor Nora told us to get out."

She turned her gaze back to Kurt. "We weren't even in the canoe, Mr. Kincaid, we were just sitting at the end of the seats with our feet outside the boat, but she told us to get out. I said there was no other place to sit, and she started fussing at us but we weren't about to sit on the ground."

Lindsey told them about the stale cornbread and buttermilk in the white take-out boxes.

"Counselor Nora said it was slave food, and she told us about slavery and the civil war. She said slavery was the worst thing that could happen to a human being. She told us a writer -- I don't remember her name but she was some famous writer from New York -- she said white people are the cancer of the world, and Counselor Nora said white Southerners were the worst cancers of all because they enslaved black people."

Kurt's brows drew together and he ran his fingers across his lips. "Unbelievable."

"That's when I realized she had just brought white girls on the picnic," Lindsey said.

Then Counselor Nora had told them about brutal lynchings in South Georgia history after slavery ended, concentrating particularly on a week-long lynching spree in and around Verona in the 1920s. The camp counselor had gone into horrifying and graphic detail that Lindsey could not duplicate in the retelling.

"It was awful. It was just awful," Lindsey said in a trembling voice and shaking her head furiously, as if to shake the images out of it. Her mother put her arm around Lindsey's shoulder and gave her a quick squeeze.

Lindsey composed herself, cleared her throat and continued. "She told us that every girl on the canoe trip had ancestors in Verona and the same hatred and evil was in every one of us, too. She said it had been in our people for generations. She said our race-hate had changed our DNA so we weren't really human anymore."

A few seconds of stunned silence filled the family room.

"I read up on that lynching rampage," Cheryl told the Kincaids. "It was an unspeakably horrible thing. You really wouldn't be human if it didn't tear at your insides. But Mr. Kincaid, to try to saddle our girls with responsibility for savage crimes that happened generations before they were born... I cannot fathom why someone would do that."

Cheryl Duncan cleared her throat and indecision flitted across her face, but only a moment. "I don't know whether I should say this, but a few of us have wondered whether Nora was attempting to take them to the place where one of the worst incidents occurred-- near a swampy area between Tellico Creek and the Oostachula River, according to one book I read. She may not have known there was a bridge that would block them. In any case, it's pure speculation on our part."

Gina listened with a hand pressed to her cheek. "My gosh, if that's what she was attempting, you have to wonder what she planned to do there...."

With a nod to Gina, Cheryl looked at her daughter and said, "Go on."

Lindsey's troubled eyes went to Kurt. "Then she went back to talking about slavery and the whippings slaves got. She took a whip out of the backpack and told us to pretend a pine tree by the clearing was a slave whipping post. She wanted us to take turns whipping the tree like there was a slave tied to it, and she chose Ainsley to go first. But Ainsley wouldn't. She started crying and yelled No! and ran off into the woods. We thought she was running back to camp, but we found out later she had got lost. Anyway, when Ainsley ran off, Counselor Nora said that was the end of the picnic and told us get back into the boats."

Cheryl said, "For a child to spend twelve hours lost in the woods just after her young mind has been filled with such brutal imagery, and to be told she's responsible for it -- well, Mr. Kincaid, it's no wonder your daughter is reacting the way she is. All the girls are still haunted by it, and they weren't lost in the woods."

* * *

Shelby and his parents were stunned and enraged by what they'd heard, and Shelby wanted to talk, he wanted to rant and rave and blow up, but he knew it was important for his father to record the incident without distraction, so he kept this feelings to himself. For a while after the Duncans left, Kurt kept his fury contained, sat in his recliner and wrote on a legal pad everything Lindsey and her mother had told them.

Gina left to look in on Ainsley, and in a few minutes, Shelby followed her. His sister was asleep, looking angelic except for the two small indentations between her eyebrows -- a sign that she was troubled even in her sleep. Shelby's heart contracted with pain when he saw her.

His mother's gaze fixed on Ainsley for a few moments, then moved to him. "Well, at least now we know what she's had bottled up inside her all this time. Now we'll just have to figure out what to do about it." She stroked Shelby's hair -- she had to reach up to do it these days, he had grown so tall -- and said, "Try not to be too upset. I know you're dismayed and furious. So am I. But the important thing is helping Ainsley."

He nodded, afraid he would not be able to speak for the lump throbbing in his throat.

"I'm going to clean up the cups and glasses." She kissed his temple and quietly left the room. Shelby pulled a chair up next to Ainsley's bed.

He remembered his anxiety while the hours she was missing kept piling up, and his terror that she might not be found alive grew like a bubble inside him, squeezing out all feeling but horror. Now he knew it was even worse than he could have imagined.

* * *
From The Verona Beacon:
No litigation against camp counselor, for now
by Beacon staff

The parents of seven day-campers have decided against filing suit at this time for what they say was a purposeful attempt by a camp counselor to emotionally traumatize their daughters.

Cheryl Duncan of Verona, spokesperson for the parents, said the termination of the camp counselor's association with Silver Pines Day Camp is a step in the right direction.

"We learned that the counselor, Nora Weir, was a volunteer, not an employee," Duncan said, "so she can't be fired. We are looking at other actions to take that will keep this person from harming other children in the future, although we haven't permanently ruled out litigation."

A native of Binghamton, N.Y., Weir relocated to Verona seven years ago to help with the start-up of the Anti-Racist Initiative, a non-profit organization with a three-person board of directors. Weir is the only full-time employee in a small office that primarily makes information available to schools, businesses, churches and community groups for improving and enhancing race relations.

Another parent, Debra Pryor, said, "If the goal is better race relations, traumatizing young girls is not the way to achieve it."

Camp Administrator Frances Clevenger said this was the first year that Weir had volunteered at Silver Pines. The incident occurred in late August, during the camp's last session of the summer.

"Nora's report to the camp's board of directors said she took the seven campers on a canoe trip and picnic, and told them stories from Verona's history," Clevenger told The Beacon. "She said the stories can be found in numerous history books about south Georgia."

Duncan disagreed with that description of the incident. "This was not history lessons or scary stories told around a campfire," she said. "She traumatized our daughters with accounts of violent racial incidents from Verona's past and attempted to instill personal guilt in them for events that happened generations ago."

Nine-year-old camper Ainsley Kincaid, upset by the stories, ran away from the picnic and was lost in the woods for twelve hours. She was found by a search-and-rescue operation conducted by the Yancey County Sheriff's Office. It was unknown at the time what caused her flight into the woods.

"It only came out later," Duncan said, "when parents of the campers got together and shared accounts their daughters had told them about the incident."

Neither Weir nor any Anti-Racist Initiative board members could be reached for comment

____________________

Enjoy the excerpt, Mark and Matthew? You can buy the whole novel, 
and its prequel, as $.99 Kindle downloads here:

SOUTHERN MAN       ~       SWEET SOUTHERN BOYS

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Answerin' Andy


Over on Simpson's toxic flog, Andy Hall, speaking of an SPLC report about the League of the South's brand spankin' new "paramilitary unit", sez, "The usual suspects will hand-wave this away (as they always do) because it comes from the SPLC. It’s easier to do that than to deal with the specific and concrete allegations made in the report."

Not for me, scalawag. Concrete, huh? I am about to demonstrate that those allegations have all the mass, weight and tensile strength of a Mallo-Cup.

Read it and weep, Andy.
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Southern secessionist group forming paramilitary unit called the “Indomitables”  

The neo-Confederate organization is training to advance a second southern secession by any means necessary

After years of rhetoric threatening violence (League rhetoric I'm familiar with doesn't threaten violence. Even since its recent changes that I can't agree with, I have found no credible threats of violence from the League, just admonitions to prepare for defense. It is as Captain Kirk told Flint, regarding the Federation, "Our missions are peaceful, our weapons defensive"), the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) is training a uniformed, paramilitary unit tasked with advancing a second southern secession by any means necessary, (utter hooey, cannot be independently verified but more than that, it's just ludicrous) Hatewatch has learned (more like "Hatewatch has fabricated.")
 

Symbol shared in League social media correspondence based on Nazi insignia.---------->>

(Where's the League social media correspondence? Screenshots are easy, so where are they? Anybody can post a photoshopped symbol and say it came on this or that document.*** Until I see the document, and know whether it is an official League symbol, or was posted by a League member with the responsibility of assigning or approving symbols, I will write this one off as more SPLC wishful thinking [which is more polite than saying baldfaced lie]. Perhaps the SPLC needs to be reminded that pretty much anybody can post anything on social media.  How hard did these little "reporters" dig to verify the authenticity of the person who posted it as having the authority to designate League symbols? Right now, there is nothing to prove this wasn't a total fabrication by the SPLC.)

According to anonymous sources from within the LOS, as well as leaked internal communications, the LOS secret unit has been dubbed “The Indomitables”and appears to be stacked with white supremacists, former Klan members and neo-Nazis. 

(Okay, here we go. The SPLC's favorite go to sources -- ANONYMOUS ones, which are, therefore TOTALLY unreliable. I blogged about that long ago. http://mybacksass.blogspot.com/2010/07/intelligence-and-poverty-stricken.html)


Where's the leaked communication? Presumably it's electronic... even if it's paper, it can be scanned, and surely with multiple millions of dollars in their "endowment", the SPLC can afford a flippin' scanner. Until proof is offered, this belongs in the figment department.

Michael Hill, in a note offered to encourage his Indomitables, said, “We desire that our women and children be warm and snug while the world outside rages. And as our due for that we must face the world.” (Where's a scan of the note, or a screenshot?  Nowhere to be found. Not that there's anything wrong with this sentiment; but I'd just like to see the context in which it occurs.)

The Indomitables were conceptualized (by whom?) at the LOS national meeting earlier this year and appear to be coming online quickly, with Floyd Eric Meadows, 43, of Rome, Ga., who also goes by Eric Thorvaldsson online, in charge of “training,” according to sources within the group and internal documents.

(Don't you just love that passive voice? Instead of saying, "Joe Blow, high ranking officer in the League, conceptualizsed the Indomitables...." the passive voice is used, so the authors of the piece don't have to provide the identity of the conceptualizer -- too much like work, I guess. And too much like real journalism. The SPLC "journalists" don't write to inform; they write to bias and sway, and that doesn't take any journalistic integrity.)


Names of sources? Screenshots of internet documents?

Here's Meadows' FB page:
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007046989018&sk=photos


And here is Eric Thorvaldsson's FB Page
https://www.facebook.com/eric.thorvaldson.7/photos


A veteran of both the U.S. Army and Navy with 12 years of service, Meadows has been an active LOS member for several years, and his personal Facebook account is filled with pagan iconography and photos of his weapons.

If it's pagan and not Christian, what is the SPLC's problem with it?

Some people take pics of their cats, some of their weapons....Some of my MCM  friends take pics of their Pyrex collections ... stacks of Pyrex, mountains of Pyrex....

He posts often about ‘earning’his red bootlaces––awarded in skinhead culture for drawing blood for ‘the movement’—and his desire to throw boot parties for enemies of the LOS.

(Googled "earning red bootlaces" to verify this claim but found no independent third-party verification. The only thing that came up was this SPLC reference to the League and Meadows/Thorveldson...  Talk about your circular reasoning and self-validation -- neither of which anyone with brains accepts. So once again, it looks like those youthful little SPLC reporters are making crap up.)

Meadows also has posted pictures of himself standing with assault rifles in front of a confederate flag and has frequently quoted Robert Barnwell Rhett, a South Carolina statesman who was dubbed the “Father of Secession”for his efforts leading up to the Civil War.

(Heinous crimes....  Almost as bad as shooting a baby in the face, or an Aussie baseball player in the back...)

Telephone messages regarding the Indomitables were left with Hill and the LOS this week, specifically to ask how and where the League hopes to use the unit, and to what end. They were not returned. But within a day of those message being left, Hill addressed the question on the LOS blog. (More passive voice. Who called and left the telephone messages? Those messages didn't call and leave themselves, did they? Knowing who did the calling might explain why nobody returned the call. Looks like the League knows these SPLC creeps well. They're going to trash, smear and lie about you, whether you talk to them or not.)

“Even if we are –– and you really have no idea on earth if we are or not ––setting up a Southern militia or some other form of paramilitary organization, we are doing nothing that free men have not done for centuries. Deal with it and stop your whining,” Hill wrote.

Unfortunately for Hill, we do have an idea. Internal Facebook posts leaked to Hatewatch show that Hill is well aware of progress in forming his militia, which he refers to by name. (Leaked? By whom? Without that info, there's no reason to believe what they say, or that they were leaked, or that they even exist.)

The formation of the Indomitables comes after years of escalating and violent rhetoric from the League, as well as a search for more ideologically extreme white nationalists to enliven their membership –– a pattern that has been ongoing since 2007, when the LOS national conference was titled “Southern Secession: Antidote to Empire and Tyranny.” Just this week, for example, blogger Spelunker published a detailed profile of LOS member Abe Monroe, who attended a rally with LOSers last November and who just posted to Facebook pictures of the words “White Power”in block letters tattooed with a swastika across his back. While Monroe is a minor player, he is representative of that new type of southern nationalist the League now seeks.

(The major cause of my falling out with the League was its seeming welcome to refugees from Stormfront, National Vanguard and other aggressive white nationalist groups and movements. If Abe Monroe is one of those, it is most unfortunate, and his being a "minor player" cuts no slack for the League with me. However, note that key term here is "aggressive white nationalist groups". I do not approve of white people hating other groups and wishing to see them oppressed, their freedom limited; by the same token, I have no problem with whites who do not wish to be oppressed, their freedom limited, and who are willing to fight, literally and figuratively, those who would oppress and restrict them. That's exactly what our Confederate forebears did, and that is exactly why I honor them.)

That is especially true if one takes to heart Hill’s own words, which show an increasing extremism. In an essay published last month on the LOS website, Hill argued that the Second Amendment extends to “weapons systems,” touted guerrilla warfare applications and listed “primary targets”as the fight for a second secession continues.

“The primary targets will not be enemy soldiers; instead, they will be political leaders, members of the hostile media, cultural icons, bureaucrats, and other of the managerial elite without whom the engines of tyranny don’t run,”Hill wrote. He concluded the essay by quoting Psalms: “Blessed be the Lord my strength who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight.”

This isn’t the first time the League has flirted with southern nationalists with a calloused trigger finger, however. Michael Tubbs, a former Green Beret and demolitions expert, and another soldier robbed two fellow soldiers of their M-16 rifles at Fort Bragg, N.C. “This is for the KKK,”the holdup men shouted as they fled. Tubbs pleaded guilty to theft of government property and conspiracy to transport guns and explosives across state lines after prosecutors later discovered a weapons cache.

Tubbs is now Hill’s chief of staff.

(So? And gunrunner Eric Holder is Obama's Attorney General. Tubbs served his time, did he not?)

Editors’ Note –– Keegan Hankes contributed to the reporting of this article. (How unfortunate for this kid to have his name sullied by association with such a load of bovine excrement.)
_________________

*** pro-Islam, pro-Communism symbols found on secret flogger correspondence and leaked to the proSouthern community by an anonymous source.... (See how easy that is to do?)

SpeLUNKer Aspires to Flogger Status

SpeLUNKer's campaign to enter the ranks of floggers continues to move along. He has blogged about me twice in a matter of days -- both times complete with headshot -- and though he exhibits the flogger trait of "tiptoeing through the Internet" looking for crap to smear on proSoutherners, his two posts about me don't even warrant the term "attack."

Like established floggers, he appears to be on an online quest to find smear-quality fecal matter, an activity that results in his faulty reading comprehension, or renders him either incapable of, or disinterested in, truth and accuracy. Just like a real flogger!

As I've already discussed, he's dubbed me a P.I. for my perspicuity in clicking a link at Amazon and finding out that fake reviewer named None of your business is Brooks Simpson.

His latest post about little ol' moi is titled, "Connie Chastain, League of the South member?"

He starts off the discussion with a link to my blog post, Violence, Violence, Vi-hi-hi-o-ho-ho-leh-heh-hence, although there's nothing in that post to indicate I'm a member of the League. Presumably, SpeLUNKer thinks that if you communicate with someone by FB messenger, you are both members of the same groups. Or maybe you share membership on groups if you converse in a civil manner...

Truth told, I'm not sure what his point is.

Next, he posts a screenshot of a post I made on the League's Facebook Page (before I was kicked off, meaning it was in the summer of 2012), wherein I answer the question, "Are you a League member, Connie?" with this: " Not at present. I have been about two or three times in the past."

Beneath the screenshot, SpeLUNKer sez, "I think we get it. Nuff said."

Get what? I wasn't a member at the time I made that post.  Lessee.... I sent Dr. Hill a letter of resignation (or maybe a non-renewal, if memory serves) in early 2005.....And as my Backsass posts objecting to the League's new direction indicate, I'm not a member now.

http://mybacksass.blogspot.com/2013/08/phone-booth-conventions.html
http://mybacksass.blogspot.com/2013/08/phone-booth-conventions-update.html

Moving along, he segues into vi-hi-hi-o-ho-ho-leh-heh-hence by referencing my post relating Simpson's "rampaging about imaginary violence." Sez the Big LUNK, "I think it goes without saying that though the League's track record has been one of no acts of violence committed so far...."

Never having committed violence is a dead giveaway of violent intentions, don'tcha know....

He continues, "...they are certainly expressing enough potentially violent rhetoric publicly for people to be concerned."

And with that pronouncement, he links to the massive amount of potentially violent rhetoric.... one post on the League's website,  A Bazooka in Every Pot 

In that article, Dr. Hill discusses the nature of  Fourth Generation (4Gen) Warfare -- i.e. guerrilla warfare.  The article was written about how citizens could defend themselves against an increasingly hostile -- and chillingly, massively armed -- government killing machine (my words, not Dr. Hill's).  We know from witnessing it (Waco, Ruby Ridge) how efficient the feds can be at warring on the very citizens the government was created to protect.  It's even worse now, when local law enforcement is getting into combat mode (complete with military clothes, tanks, grenades, etc) with their shoot-first, ask-questions-later mentality.

So Dr. Hill discussed a hypothetical guerrilla war and the libs go crazy, and SpeLUNKER sez that article is a "cat ready to pounce."

Frankly, I've read a lot worse from understandably paranoid rightwingers with no secessionist or breakaway nationalistic ambitions. And if it ever comes to that kind of fight, Southern nationalists will make up a small fraction of the overall number of people fighting against government tyranny.

He continues, "Just because it hasn't happened yet, does not mean there's no reason for concern."

My thoughts exactly, but in relation to the feds, the jihadists, the immigrant invastion...  There's plenty of reason for concern.

But then it gets really good when SpeLUNKer goes off on flights of fancy that will spin your head. Sez he:

"Why doesn't some one in the media ask Michael Hill how he plans to move all of the non-Whites out of the South once the ethnostate is created? You know, all of the ones who don't self deport after they are stripped of their Civil Rights and the 'Welfare State' is eradicated. I'm sure it's going to be a pretty peaceful process."

I have not seen where the League is calling for an "ethnostate," having searched both websites for the term unsuccessfully. What Spelunker links to is not a League site, it is a personal blog. I can find nothing in League material advocating for moving non-whites out of the South.  I notice Mr. Lunker doesn't have an embedded link to that.

Apparently, Mr. Lunker and I have very different views of what violence is. He apparently thinks shoving, yelling, maybe some cussing is violent. I think punching, kicking, stabbing, slicing is, among other things, violent.

These videos will highlight some of the differences. (My apologies for the filthy language.)

Spelunker's concept of violence.
 

My concept of violence.




Remember this, folks. It's the bottom line: 
"I think it goes without saying that ... the League's track record has been one of no acts of violence committed ...." ~SpeLUNKer

Friday, September 12, 2014

Violence, Violence, Vi-hi-hi-o-ho-ho-leh-heh-hence

Furious at having been outed posting fraudulent reviews of my books on Amazon using a fraudulent profile, thus revealing his questionable ethics to the world, Simpson is now hoping to take the very unflattering spotlight off himself by rampaging about imaginary violence in the Southern independence community (while ignoring real violence like this, of cousre: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/09/09/memphis-attack-father-weeps-over-video-badly-beaten-son/).

He also reveals that he can't tell the difference between reality and fiction (re: my planned novella Gone South). And this is a supposedly ethical, educated man...

It's been over two years since Pat Hines' extremely non-credible threat (know of any northern schools destroyed by Southern nationalists since then? Me, either.) After Hines posted that "threat" (non-credible according to both Facebook and the flippin FBI) I contacted Dr. Hill by FB messenger, because of Pat's connection to the League.  (My message was to Dr. Hill and two others, one of which is no longer on Facebook and another who has since left the League, so I have edited out their responses).

Conversation started September 27, 2012
9/27, 7:20am
Connie Chastain

Do you gentlemen agree with Pat Hines, who says: "The Beslan event was part of the war to rid Chechnya of the Russian hegemony. We Southrons will adopt exactly the same methods if the Untied (sic) States does not withdrawn (sic) from our lands. It is harsh, but will be done."

And, "... we'll simply destroy a Yankee school and all that are in it. The Chechens didn't kill Chechen children, those were Russian children and teachers." http://www.facebook.com/groups/272315346193652/permalink/345558262202693/

The "Beslan event" was the September 2004 siege of a school in Beslan, Russia.by Chechen Muslim terrorists in which 334 hostages were killed, 186 of them children. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beslan_school_hostage_crisis http://www.examiner.com/article/the-8th-anniversary-of-the-rape-jihad

Is this an "honorable means"?
Beslan school hostage crisis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org

The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan massacre)[2][3][4]of early September 2004 lasted three days and involved the capture of over 1,100 people as hostages (including 777 children),[5]ending with the death of over 380 people. The crisis began when a group...
Gentlemen, I'm asking again. Do you agree with Pat Hines' threat to destroy a "yankee" (i.e,. American) school and everyone in it? Why the silence? If you agree with him, you need to remove "by all honorable means" from your motto. Murdering school children -- or even threatening to -- is not honorable. If you don't agree with him, you need to establish that.
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10/1, 10:10pm
Michael Hill

In a word, Connie, no. We will sanction nothing of this sort. Non-combatants have never been a legitimate target.
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10/1, 10:14pm
Connie Chastain

Thank you, Dr. Hill. I was very concerned about that. It is not the Southern way....

========

10/1, 10:14pm
Michael Hill

No, and it's not the Christian way, either.

========

10/1, 10:16pm
Connie Chastain

Agreed. Thank you again.

========

10/1, 10:17pm
Michael Hill

You're welcome, Connie.
Since that time, I've made it clear I think the League has radicalized, and I don't agree with many of its new directions.
http://mybacksass.blogspot.com/2013/08/phone-booth-conventions.html
http://mybacksass.blogspot.com/2013/08/phone-booth-conventions-update.html

I still believe the South (and Southerners) would be better off as an independent nation. I believe in the concept of secession and self-rule.

Despite my differences with some of the League's new emphasis, I have maintained very occasional but civil, even cordial, communications with Dr. Hill, Michael Cushman and a few others. But I don't follow the League like I used to. I know nothing firsthand about about the "threat of violence" from the League or its "paramilitary unit" -- but from just what I have read since Simpson started frothing at the mouth about it, I would guess it is for defense, not for initiating violence.

In a time when the very government that is supposed to protect us is allowing terrorists through our porous borders ... when there is talk of federal confiscation of citizen firearms at the very time when municipal police departments don't have the funds to respond to certain crimes (but, paradoxically, have the funds to trick theselves out in combat gear)... when brutal violence against whites goes unreported in the mainstream media and is winked at by law enforcement... well, that might explain why more and more people -- not just Southerners and Southern nationalists -- are paying more attention to defense of their families, their communities, and themselves -- not at all unlike Confederate soldiers did 153 years ago.

I'll keep an eye out for reports of Southern nationalist violence, but I'm not expecting to see much. On the other hand, I think it's a given that we'll see more "knockout games" by "teens" and "youths"...

* * * * * * * *

In other news...

Kevin Levin writes about the VaFlaggers on his blog, "And they wonder why no one takes them seriously."

I left a comment that won't get posted:
That is not true.

(1) I've never encountered any VaFlaggers wondering that.

(2) A lot of people take them seriously. That the civil-war left doesn't take them seriously doesn't mean that no one does. In my humble opinion, the only reason the VaFlaggers would ever pay attention to the civil-war left is because, as a subset of leftism in general, the civil-war left has been at the forefront of the demonizing and dismantling of Confederate heritage since the middle of the 20th century and, by now, has done considerable damage.

For most of the time that the left has been tearing at our heritage and evilizing our culture and history, there was no pushback, but now there is. Small, self-motivated, self-financed, it has no huge benefactors like leftist causes do. But how many causes in the past -- some of them leftist -- started small and faced mountains of obstacles?  The persistent ones grew, and they are the now presiding over the demise of western culture.

I would suggest tempering your smugness. You never know if/when something may happen to give the VaFlaggers and Southern heritage a huge increase in numbers, wealth and power. That, or simple persistence paying of in the long run.
I wonder why floggers are so thin-skinned. They can dish it out, but they sure can't take it.

* * * * * * * *
"The concept of "hate crimes" was concocted to make some victims more important than others." ~ C. Ward
 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Resist the Devil...

...and he will flee from you.

Even Hollywood gets it right now and then. Twilight Zone short episode, "I of Newton," starring Ron Glass and Sherman Hemsley...  Original air date, December 13, 1985.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Of Flags and Mutts

Is this an appropriate use of the U.S. flag? The flag of a nation countless American servicemen have died for? The flag of our country's sovereignty? I would say no.

Do those who denigrate people for honoring Confederate heritage and who think such honor disrespects the USA themselves show little concern about disrespect for their country and its flag?

As we used to say back in high school, is grass green? Is the pope Catholic?









 


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Outed and Stung, Simpson Attacks ...

...with Lies 

Posted at X-Roads:
















































You can see the two lies immediately, if you're fairminded and objective ... and maybe even if you're not.

You can go here: http://mybacksass.blogspot.com/2014/09/advocating-violence-on-social-media.html  and read the post up, down, back and forth, and nine ways to Sundays and not find where I have said, implied, hinted or suggested that it’s just fine to advocate violence against people.

So that's lie number one.

My post simply points out when threats of violence are not credible. It doesn't say it's fine to advocate violence. It doesn't even claim that non-credible threats of violence are just fine ... only that they aren't credible, and that people with common sense can tell the difference. The point is that floggers and their ilk smear and slander Southern heritage folks by pretending that the minute number of  non-credible mentions of violence online are actual, credible threats.

The second lie is that I played the race card. Nope. I simply pointed out flogger hypocrisy on race and violence, to wit, they screech and point when Southern heritage folks post on Facebook non-credible mentions of violence that nobody means or intends to carry out, but then ignore an avalanche of actual violence perpetrated by minorities that is sweeping the country and documented in the alternative media -- and sometimes, when it can't be ignored, in the lamestream dinosaur media.

So the esteemed professor of history at a major state university has compounded his display of pettiness, denigration and questionable ethics on Amazon with two blatant, baldfaced, outright lies on his toxic blog.

Digging himself in deeper and deeper.
________________

(P.S.  I guess this lashing out pretty much confirms that the wish-list Brook Simpson linked to the "None of your business" fake profile is indeed Brooks D. Simpson, professor of history at Arizona State University....)

(P.S.S. Anybody who goes over there to X-roads, please share with me what the reference to The Economist is about. I mean, if you know. I myself have no idea....)

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
 
LOL! Simpson let this post reside at the top of his poison blog page for a WHOLE DAY before superseding it with a ho-hum post about Washington and Lee...  It garnered three equally lack-luster comments from his peanut gallery before being unceremoniously bumped.

Of course, we know why. Any time he mentions my blog -- or even if he just mentions me -- and especially if he posts a link to Backsass, he runs the risk of his floggerettes encountering the truth -- i.e., the whole of what I've written, as opposed to the parts he cherrypicks and then presents as if they're the whole, in order to mislead his readers.

This Quote of the Week post is a superb example ... he edits out the part where I identified the group that these "violent" comments came from. He edits out why I posted about black crime (because they show flogger types to be hypocrites on crime and race)....

He could remove the post altogether, but that would be too blatant; it's already been seen. Best thing to do is post another blog entry to distract from it. LOL.....  So transparent.

Thanks, Spe-LUNK-er....

... ya Big LUNK, for helping to get the word out about how petty and childish your low-ethics pal, Brooks Simpson, is.

Y'all, Spe-LUNK-er has designated me a P.I -- presumably he means Private Investigator -- for posting about Simpson's anonymous reviews of my books, which are a thinly veiled excuse for attacking me personally. Apparently, the Big Lunk thinks it takes some kind of sneaky snooping for authors to keep up with the reviews of their books.

In fact, I don't do it nearly as much as some authors -- both trad- and self-published. They not only check their reviews, they delve into Amazon algorithms, also-reads and other marketing and promo items and processes...

Being as how these two reviews are the first low-star ones I've gotten, I wuz curious. I followed the reviewer's name link and made some discoveries that were not at all surprising. It doesn't take a private investigator to click links, ya know?

Back in January, when the first one was posted, I followed the reviewer's name link, and found that he had reviewed some civil war book, and a pen and pencil set, or some such item. Those reviews have been removed now.

In any case, the "reviewer" has gotten more honest, and removed those fake reviews, and now reveals that he created the profile solely to review -- i.e., trash -- my novels. And me.

Another tale-tell sign. Southern Man and Sweet Southern Boys are self-published, and I have posted lengthy excerpts at various places on the Internet. The "reviewer" didn't have to read the books to give the impression he had read them. Storm Surge, however, is not self-published, I do not own the rights, so I have posted very few, very short excerpts online. He doesn't know enough about that story to trash it -- so, no review.

Transparent as glass....

Anyhoo, much obliged. Spe-LUNK-er... lot more people will know about this now, thanks to your link.

  UPDATE  UPDATE  UPDATE  UPDATE  UPDATE  

Simpson continues to show his ethical depletion, and it's fun (and funny) to watch. After mentioning Storm Surge in this blog post, he posted a fraudulent "review" of it at Amazon under his fraudulent handle, None of your business. Thus....

Somewhere in Arizona
The first time I posted this picture, a series of comments followed, in which I said the following in reply to an idiotic comment by Kristen "Wonder Woman" Konate (using the hilarious handle, "Unity"):
Unity, my problem is that Simpson likes to hurt people. He enjoys doing things that he thinks will hurt them, like ridiculing them or their pursuits, or lying about them. Currently, re: the VaFlaggers, he's doing his dead-level best to hurt people I've grown to have a lot of admiration and affection for.

And for what? Because it sticks in his craw that a piece of cloth he doesn't like is going to fly from a pole in a city TWO- FREAKING- THOUSAND- MILES from where he lives?

How would YOU like it if somebody tried continuously to hurt people YOU care about?
So far, all his attempts have been to hurt people verbally (at least, as far as we know). Fortunately, for all his trying, he has not been able to hurt me. I would have to care about his opinion for his verbal assaults to have any impact. I don't, so they don't. It is just find it interesting to see how petty, childish, and unethical a man in such a responsible academic position can be.