Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Are You Being Stalked?

Over at the Civil War Crossroads thread, where Perfesser Simpson is telling us extreme fringes all about slave labor building the U.S. capitol, I have discovered I'm not only a fringe element and a cockroach eating garbage, but a stalker, to boot.

It started with this entry:

Since he seemed to be mistaken about my position on this subject, I posted this in the comment thread:

In 1861, when the Union Army was making war on the South, Philip Reid, a slave from Maryland, was heavily involved in the creation of the statue of Freedom Triumphant Over War and Peace that was later located atop the capitol dome. He was not emancipated until 1862. Now, if there were no slaves working on the capitol during the war then (1) the war did not start until after 1861 or (2) Philip was freed before the war started, not in 1862, or (3) Freedom Triumphant Over War and Peace is not part of the capitol….
He replied: "He replied:
You seem confused, Connie. I mentioned the emancipation of 1862, and Reid was a part of that emancipation. I did not say there were no slaves working on the Capitol during the entire war; I pointed to the end of slavery in DC in 1862 as marking when that would have ended.

For Reid’s story, see this.

Could you show me the plaque marking the contribution of enslaved black labor to the buildings used by the Confederate government in Richmond? Thanks.

Naturally, I couldn't let that go unanswered, so I posted:
I’m not confused, Mr. Simpson.

Your essay implies that the “extreme fringes” of the Southern heritage movement make claims that are not true — i.e., that slave labor was used to build the U.S. capitol while U.S. troops were warring on Southerners. In fact, it is true.

What Richmond and the Confederacy did or did not do has nothing to do with the hypocrisy of claiming the north was fighting to free slaves when (among other factors) (1) there were five slave states in the union and (2) slave labor (specifically Phillip Reid’s) helped to build the U.S. capitol WHILE U.S. troops were making war on Southerners.

The plaques acknowledging that slave labor was used to build the capitol didn’t exist until 2010, so the U.S. government didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to recognize that contribution for 149 years.

Maybe some people think sticking up a plaque almost a century and a half after the fact absolves the U.S. of its hypocrisy. I disagree.

Well, he couldn't let that one go unanswered, so he posted....
You are confused … and now you are misleading people. As I’ve pointed out, the research into the use of slave labor concerns building the original Capitol building (thus the plaques), and some people seem to have that confused with what was going on in 1861-62 (when slavery ceased in the District of Columbia). I haven’t said that slaves were not involved in the process in 1861-62: I’ve said that I’ve seen significant confusion among some people who have chosen to comment on the broader subject, and that includes you. That you continue to change your story suggests that you now know that your original claims were based on such confusion.

Now you claim that people are saying that the North went to war to free the slaves. I haven’t, so what’s your point?

As for hypocrisy, my understanding is that southerners have been part of the United States government for some time, and in fact white southern slaveholders took the lead in locating the District of Columbia in slave territory (and using their own slaves in the process). I also understand that you’re a United States citizen. Care to tell me what role southerns played in overturning this omission in the historical record? Or are they just as guilty as everyone else? Wouldn’t that make you a hypocrite to overlook that fact as you point fingers? Why yes, it does. But I’m sure you don’t understand that, either, which suggests why it’s a waste of time discussing things with you. Thanks for the reminder.

Meanwhile, of course, you remain silent on your embrace of the League of the South, including its call for violence. So much for southern courage.

It’s been interesting. Now continue your stalking (which you admit doing on your blog). Without folks like me you would have nothing to blog about to your dozen devoted readers. But, as you have reminded me to ignore you, I agree that to continue this would be to wallow in your mud puddle. Just don’t complain when you see the result.

Interesting thing is, I replied to that, but my reply isn't showing, can you imagine!

Mr. Levin popped in for a quick comment, "I like the strategy, Brooks. You can make the historical point without directing readers to these silly little sites and still feel comfortable knowing that they will eventually get around to reading it," to which Mr. Simpson replied: "Oh, I think we already have evidence of that. Helga Ross and Connie Chastain … stalkers."

I don't know who Helga Ross is, but apparently she's somebody else who visits civil war blogs and posts on comment threads.

I know my readers are just dyin' to know what I posted that Mr. Simpson was too authoritarian to let through, so here 'tiz:


"I’ve seen significant confusion among some people who have chosen to comment on the broader subject, and that includes you." ~Mr. Simpson

Cite my comment, please. Along with a link? Surely if you're prepared to mention it, you're prepared to link to it.

"That you continue to change your story suggests that you now know that your original claims were based on such confusion." ~Mr. Simpson

Could you also post a couple of links to my "changing story" re: slave labor used to build the capitol while the union army was making war on Southerners -- one showing it one way, and one showing it another?

People do say the north went to war to free the slaves. Lots of 'em do. If you haven't said that, I'm obviously not talking about you.

My reference to hypocrisy was very clear and specific. It was the hypocrisy of the union's making war on the South for its practice of slavery while there five slaves states in the union and the U.S. capitol was being built using slave labor.

Quick question. Do you "embrace" every organization you post links to on your blog? The links on the sidebar of my blog (LS, UDC, SCV, and others) are for convenient access to the information on these sites for my visitors. Your imagination appears to have run away with your ideology. Nevertheless, since you asked, I'll probably post about the League on 180DTS -- when I'm ready to.


Somehow, I just knew this would be the reply that got my participation in the thread derailed. Gotta have something to do with my asking him to cite my comment and changing story, with links.

I know what you're thinking. This is boring. You're right. Stalkin's a boring job, but hey, somebody's gotta do it.

(Photos: StockX.chng, Dreamstime)


Simpson sez, "As I’ve pointed out, the research into the use of slave labor concerns building the original Capitol building (sic) (thus the plaques)..."

Whose research? The only research he mentions is a couple of government papers. Is federal research the only research allowed on this subject? Who decides what research can be done and who can do it? Only the goverment in D.C.? Or is Professor Simpson himself the only one with the power and authority to declare what's legitimate research on it and what ain't?

Note that he also he mentions those who he says are mistaken about this issue without actually identifying anybody. There are the "extreme fringes of the Confederate heritage movement" (but no cockroaches, I note). He's slapped that fringe label on me, and he's also said I have written about this subject, and changed my story on it -- without identifying what I said and where I said it.

He also mentions "some corners" without identifying who they are or what they say.

See, unless he identifies specifically what he's talking about, we don't know whether he's accurately characterizing what these folks say or not. It may be that he's the one who's confused; maybe that's why he's so coy about specifically identifying what was actually said and who said it.... What he's describing might be his own misinterpretation. But since he's made these nonspecific criticisms that can't be verified, the only thing left to do is ... dismiss 'em.

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