Monday, November 14, 2011

Bigotry 101

Dear Readers, don't you wonder sometimes how some people managed to get so highly educated and hold such lofty positions in the academic establishment of this country -- without basic reading comprehension skills? That's been the case repeatedly with Perfesser Brooks Simpson and, to a lesser extent, Corey "Billy Yank" Meyer, who is apparently employed in education but not in such an elevated position as the perfesser.

Today (Nov. 14) Brooks is holding forth about my pictorial essay on respect for flags. He managed to write almost 800 words while completely missing the point of the essay. In fact, he swerves more than once into irrelevancy without ever coming to an understanding of my blog post. Does it come as any surprise that I think his missing the point is intentional, simply a device for enabling the criticism of Confederate heritage advocates that he loves to wallow in?

As time and my schedule permit, I hope to answer his swerves AND remind him what the point of the essay really was (you know, the one that either went totally over his head, or that he intentionally ignored). But for now I want to address his claim that the Southern Heritage Preservation Group on Facebook "...contains members that embrace the desecration of monuments to Union heroes..."

I didn't remember seeing any advocacy for desecration of Union hero monuments but I don't get to visit the group as much as I'd like. Between limited time, Facebook's cockmamie way of operating, frequent overhauls and changes, its bugs and glitches, fast-moving entries and abysmally inadequate search function, I don't see everything that gets posted in SHPG -- or any group I'm a member of -- so I had no idea what he was talking about. However, I can tell you I viewed his claim with titanic skepticism.

It so happened that he had a link to a post that supposedly proved or illustrated his claim that members of the SHPG "...embrace the desecration of monuments to Union heroes..." so I followed it:

It took me to a screen that displayed this notice.

So the thread is gone, removed. However, I wasn't going to just drop the matter, so I messaged several officials of the group and conversed with them about it. With the permission of the group's leader, I post the material parts of that conversation here:

Connie Chastain: Brooks Simpson has a post up at Civil War Crossroads saying there are members of this group who "embrace" the desecration of monuments to Union heroes. He has a link presumably to a post advocating such desecration, but it takes you to a notice that the post has been removed or can't be loaded.

I know a lot of people think it's a waste of time engaging these yankee bloggers, and I'm not asking anybody to. I would just like to know if any one knows anything about the post/thread Simpson is referring to. I attempted to put the link in this message but Facebook won't allow it because it's an "invalid URL."

Generally speaking, I'm not enthusiastic about removing posts or threads, unless they are just over-the-top -- filthy language, sacreligious, etc. I'm especially disappointed when we censor threads such as the one Robert Baker figured prominently in several weeks ago, just because it got a little heated. But if that is the consensus of the leadership, I'll accept it. Just so you know, I am a strong advocate of freedom of expression whether I agree with it or not. I think ideas we disagree with should be met with counter ideas, not removed.

In any case, if anyone knows what that post/thread said and who made it, could you let me know? If you don't want to respond here, email me at Thanks.

JS: Gary posted here a couple of days ago, along with an apology, the picture of him joking around at Grant's monument in San Francisco. It created a firestorm. This group does not encourage the desecration of yankee monuments we have to be a cut above those that desecrate our monuments!

CR: I should say not, far from it! Only the Left and people like the Woodsboro Baptist Church advocate the destruction of soldiers monuments to American heroes.

KR: Connie, I do not know what he speaks of, but will be glad to take a closer look at it. I for one do not advocate desecration of any marker, monument, or gravesite, whether it be Confederate or Union. nor am i a believer in censorship. We can debate (even heatedly) as long as it does not fall prey to name calling or insulting anyone's intelligence or educational background.. stick to the subjects involved. First amendment guarantees the freedom of speech to me even if i deem it offensive or not, the individual has a right to say it. i have a choice to react or not react

BE: Connie, When there is an independent audience or neutral turf, then it's a joy putting them through the wringers, but if they are going to control the environment and even "Edit" your Posts, it's time to gather up your keyboard and go home.

CC: May I use these comments on my blog? ... I just want to put up an explanation for how abysmally stupid Simpson is being if he zeroes in on joking around as desecration while monuments and memorials to Confederates are removed or targeted day after day...

JS: You have my OK Connie!

Okay, so I vaguely remembered seeing that photo but I didn't read the thread. So, perfesser, was that the one? Gary pretending to take a leak on Grant's monument? ONE freaking member posting ONE freaking photo of himself JOKING AROUND at Grant's monument? THAT is how you define "embracing desecration of monuments to Union heroes?" One person out of 1,224 members, one photo out of 2,401 photos? A joke that creates a FIRESTORM of protest from other members?

Lemme ax you something. Why did you mention the offensive post of ONE MEMBER but not the FIRESTORM of protests from others? Why didn't you mention that the "guilty party" APOLOGIZED for and VOLUNTARILY REMOVED the post?

Does your dishonest approach to the SHPG in general and this post in particular begin to dawn on you?

BTW -- when was the last time you enountered anybody APOLOGIZING for advocating for the desecration/removal of Confederate monuments, memorials and symbols?

Gentle readers, this is not the first time Perfesser Simpson has attempted to smear the whole group of hundreds of members based on what a tiny handful post. Last time, he was disdainful of a few posts that showed disrespect for the U.S. flag -- but judging by his response to my recent pictorial essay on flag respect, presumably he's not REALLY offended by the disrespect Americans show their flag so long as they're not Confederate heritage advocates.

You know what it is when somebody smears a whole group by the negative words or actions of a few, don't you, dear readers? Yes, it's called bigotry,

As I said, when/if I have time, I'll address the other bits of idiocy he brought up in order to keep from seeing the point of my photo essay -- that SHPG members claim slavery "wasn't really all that bad" -- and then I'll address his completely pointless comments about the essay itself; and it's gonna be a doozy. So stay tuned.

Note: KR's sentiments that even heated debate is okay so long as it does not fall prey to name calling or insulting anyone's intelligence or educational background apply to the Southern Heritage Preservation Group on Facebook -- not my blog. Here, I will call bigotry what it is. I will call mendacity, hypocrisy, evasion, missing the point and poor reading comprehension skills what they are -- even when they're exhibited by a lofty academic.

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