"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 We Southrons will adopt exactly the same methods if the Untied (sic) States does not withdrawn (sic) from our lands.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."There was dead, ringing silence from several self-identified Southern nationalists I contacted directly by Facebook messenger.
There was also a post by Brooks D. Simpson on his Crossroads blog followed by a bunch of comments from his readers, both of which contained some interesting observations.
I note first that Simpson doesn't trust his readers to reach the proper understanding of what he posts unless he explains to them. He posted screenshots of Hines' comments, interspersed with his own recap -- to make sure they understood what they read as he thought they should:
"Pat Hines Advocates the Murder of Schoolchildren? ... That’s right … Pat Hines, southern nationalist, advocates the murder of schoolchildren if the United States does not leave the South to itself. He did so on Connie Chastain’s “Backsass!” Ms. Chastain and another poster were mourning the horror of the Beslan massacre some eight years ago, and they expressed concern that the same sort of horrible slaughter might happen in the United States.Presumably, we are to assume that Simpson's readers cannot read the Backsass thread for themselves and properly conclude what Simpson feels he has to tell them.
Then Pat Hines piped up [screenshot of Backsass thread]....
Let’s give credit where credit is due here. Chastain not only distances herself from Hines, but she expresses her incredulity that Hines actually means what he says. Hines has no problem confirming that he means what he says: [another screenshot] ...Again, it must be that Simpson's readers cannot read the Backsass thread for themselves and properly understand what they read, hence the necessity of his explaining it to them.
Folks, it’s time that these sorts of threats of violence are stopped. Report the group and Hines to Facebook. ... Is this what southern nationalism is all about? I doubt it, but let’s see what folks who like Hines do when they discover this. That’s right, League of the South … I’m looking at you boys right now."Following this post at Crossroads, there were some equally interesting tidbits in the comment thread from Simpson and from his readers.
Simpson notes, "Yet Ms. Chastain retains him [Hines] as a member of the group. So there are limits to her outrage." As if "limited outrage" is the only possible explanation for not removing Hines from the group.
One of Simpson's regulars follows with, "Gee, just when I was beginning to have a little respect for her" --apparently buying into Simpson's notion that he has identified the only possible reason for not removing Hines from the group. (For the record, don't give a rat's patootie about this woman's respect for me, or lack thereof.)
They have extremely narrow tunnel vision over there, and the tiny tunnel aperture only focuses on whatever appears to support their pre-existing beliefs.
Eventually someone offers another (equally mistaken) explanation: "Well, I believe she has a flawed understanding of free speech. I think she very properly denounced him (Good going, Connie!) but wrongly believes that kicking him off her group is violating his free speech rights."
Nope, that's not what I believe. I know that removing someone from group membership is not a violation of their free speech rights. They're still free to speak elsewhere.
A couple of other Simpson followers posted that they'd reported Pat and his comments to Facebook. Another related his experience reporting the threat to the FBI:
Just got off the phone with the FBI. They tell me because it is a non-specific, non-targeted threat it is protected under the first amendment. The agent I spoke to was concerned and told me the FBI does take these matters seriously and it will be looked into. He told me their job in a situation like this was to investigate and make sure that nothing escalates beyond the threat. I think I got that all right. I directed the agent to this page and I hope we will all feel we can do our part to help him in his investigation.As interesting as that is, this comment is what epitomizes the mindset over there:
"Threats of violence like this must be taken seriously. That means reporting them so that they can be investigated by people who are trained to do so. Connie should have reported him to the authorities, but, since she hasn’t, someone should."I'm curious how this woman knows what I have or have not done... I have not stated that I reported, or didn't report, Pat or his comments to the authorities. So how does she know? Did she look into a crystal ball? Call Miss Clio? Throw chicken bones?
If the Crossroads people are so astute that they can just "know" things presumably by magic, they ought to just know that social media is already heavily, heavily monitored by the feds. Federal monitors likely knew about Hines' comments within hours of his posting them on the 26th, long before Simpson posted his interpretation to his reading-comprehension-deficient followers, and two days before most of them replied.
If, God forbid, a school in the U.S. ever experiences a Beslan-style siege and murder spree by Islamic terrorists (the likelihood of siege and murder by Southern nationalists being miniscule to none), you have to hope and pray the school children survive their FBI "rescue" better than the Branch Davidians survived theirs.
Photo: Branch Davidians' Mt. Carmel Center near Waco, Texas in flames and FBI tanks used in military-style assault on the center April 19, 1993. Presumably this photo was taken by a government employee and as such is in the public domain, as it appears on numerous sites on the Internet with no attribution given.