(1) It's not like the group has any sway in the greater scheme of things. -- If anyone wants to show me the sway/pull/influence this group has had I'll be happy to look. But I don't see how it has influenced the outcome of many events and issues discussed there, from the Lexington flag case to the Reidsville monument, to the Shreveport flag removal, to the Texas SCV license plate issue. Perhaps indirectly, by posting information about the issue, which spurred some offline group or individual to protest or fight locally. However, I do note that heritage flags are still banned from city poles in Lexington, the Reidsville monument will be relegated to obscurity, the Shreveport flag is gone. The Texas license plate issue is going to court not because of the SHPG but the SCV.
(2) True or False:
(A) The SHPG not a 501C3 nonprofit group with tens of thousands of members like the Civil War Trust. -- True.
(B) It's not the SCV, which has thousands of members, highly visible heritage defense efforts, and a legal department not afraid to use the courts when necessary. -- True.
(C) It's not even the Civil Warriors blog and forum. It's just a Facebook group, just one of 620 MILLION Facebook groups. -- True. (I acknowledge that the 620 million figure may be inaccurate, as it dates from almost a year ago. But that doesn't change the fact that the SHPG is a Facebook group.)
(D) In other words, it's an internet-based social media anyone can join -- anonymously. -- True.
(E) Most of the group's 1,300+ members are lurkers who never post. -- True.
(F) Some people use it to post or read about heritage issues around the country, but clearly, most activity on the group's page comprises the airing and sharing of personal opinions. -- True, but if anyone wishes to take exeption to this, I welcome their corrective comments.
(G) In other words, it's a discussion group/chat room -- i.e., Mark Zuckerberg's updated version of Usenet. -- True.
(H) It has little to no power or influence. Another statement I believe is true but that others may disagree with. I would be delighted to see evidence that proves me wrong. But the fact is, even the group's founder has admitted on several occasions that what we're doing isn't working. That was evidently the reason behind his creation of the Action Group. Granted, I don't see everything that gets posted there, but I have not seen posts announcing the successes of the Action Group. (The successes need to be posted. Posted? They need to be trumpeted! Why keep them secret?)
If you Google Southern Heritage Preservation Group, you don't see links to the group's heritage success stories reported in the media. What you see most is links to posts at the Hall, Levin, Simpson, Meyer blogs denigrating the group.
None of what I describe and acknowledge here is intended as disrespect of the group, or the efforts of its members. In fact, I was a member of that group until a few hours ago, glad to be a part of it, and hopeful that the efforts of the SHPG, and all other heritage preservation and defense efforts, would eventually see a rising tide of success. I have the highest respect for those who are in the trenches -- the Virginia flaggers, the SCV, etc. But I know what an uphill battle we are facing. I know that my own personal efforts -- this blog and my proSouthern novels -- also have little to no power or influence. Saying so doesn't mean I disrespect my own efforts, and it doesn't mean I'm going to stop doing them. You'll never get anywhere if you don't try.
I admit to being clueless about one thing, though, and any clarification from others would be welcome. How does acknowledging that the SHPG is primarily a discussion group largely unknown outside the online Southern heritage community (and a handful of critics) equate to "tarnishing our Southern History and Heritage with disrespect"?
And none of this changes the fact that Brooks Simpson's interest in the SHPG is mystifying; nor does it change my opinion that people like him need to create/fabricate somebody to feel morally superior to because liberalism's moral relativity has a way of leaving people feeling uncertain about their own integrity....
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