Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Constant Carping....

Watching Brooks D. Simpson, professor of history at Arizona State University, obsess over the Virginia Flaggers and their current flag project, reminds me of what Lewis Grizzard wrote about the William Kennedy Smith rape trial. He said a lot of men rooted for Willie simply because of the female prosecutor, who "bitched and moaned and said the same things over and over and reminded us of our ex-wives."

Kinda makes you wonder whether the floggerettes in his peanut gallery -- who, after all, supposedly care about history, not heritage -- are getting tired of it. How many times has he carped on Rob Walker, Tripp Lewis on video, and now, the I-95 flag project? What's interesting to me, though, is how he subtly -- and sometimes not so subtly -- "restates" what VaFlaggers and their supporters have said. For example, his current claim of Flagger hysteria -- most of it aimed at me. It's really not hysteria, btw. His problem with me is that (a) I don't respect him and (b) I don't mind saying so.

From Flagger Hysteria (Neither Heritage Nor History) --

What Simpson claims:  Grayson Jennings of Richmond, Virginia, has claimed that he’s worried about vandalism...

Report of what Grayson actually said: It now plans to light the flag at night and install security cameras and a fence to deter would-be vandals.

Doesn't sound like worry to me. Sounds like simple, reasonable precautions, considering vandalism to Confederate monuments and such (including the actual removal of stick flags from cemeteries) in recent years.

What Simpson claims: We’ve had talk of terrorism as well  by Flagger supporter Carl Roden of Chester (South Carolina).

What Carl said:  I worry that sooner or later some lone nut or two, possibly inspired by the anti-Confederate flag rhetoric of these people will – in the name of “tolerance” and “patriotism” of course – commit some heinous act of violence of the type that took place in Aurora, CO or recently in Boston, MA.

I'm not sure why that would ruffle Simpson's feathers. We live in an age of terrorism. Granted, most of what happens in the USA is Islamic terrorism, called "workplace violence" and other euphemisms by the Obama regime, but when you read some of the sheer malevolence of some comments toward the flaggers following news reports, it is only prudent to consider what some of them could lead to.

What Simpson claims: Chastain’s hysteria reached new levels this weekend when it was suggested that the Flaggers’ determination to dig into what they claim is historic soil where Confederate soldiers camped, fought, and died might have the unfortunate effect of disturbing important cultural and historical resources, including perhaps the bodies of buried Confederate soldiers.

What I actually said can be found by scrolling back through recent posts here on Backsass. Don't you love how Simpson's embedded links say things like, "...the implications of the Flaggers’ own declaration..." but you follow it and it takes you to something HE said on his own blog? He has a habit of that kind of circular reasoning. 

To make the case that there are bodies -- or could be -- RIGHT IN THE VERY SPOT WHERE THE FLAG IS GOING UP -- Simpson references ... Gettysburg, which, according to Mapquest, is 182.39 miles from Richmond...

Simpson says: Chastain confuses unmarked graves with a cemetery for reasons I’m sure she’ll explain away.

Actually, I didn't confuse them. Simpson didn't use the term "unmarked" in his previous posts. The term appears for the first time in Flagger Hysteria (Neither Heritage Nor History), which went up today, August 27, and a search of  his blog shows this post to be the only one of his entire blog where the term appears. What he said previously was "laid to rest" which implies deliberate burial -- which may or may not imply a cemetery, but usually does.

In any case, as Dave Tatum noted in a comment thread at Backsass (and I can't believe Simpson doesn't know this) -- "If during the excavation for the foundation of the Flag pole any evidence of historical significance is found, construction should stop. The State should then be notified. I've dug a lot of footers for buildings and that's the way it works."

That's the way it works in Pensacola, too. When excavation of the ground virtually anywhere in the area uncovers something that appears to be archeologically significant, the Division of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of West Florida (for years, ably headed by Judy Bense, now president of the university) was called in to assess the find.

In any case, as already noted, flag poles (and sometimes fences and lighting) are ubiquitous in military cemeteries, and are hardly considered "disturbances."

Simpson offers this parting shot: It would also be sad if the people who claim that they seek to honor the Confederate soldier find themselves in an embarrassing situation die (sic) to their failure to exercise due diligence. You would think they would want to take precautions to make sure that they won’t be disturbing anything beneath that soil.

Well, he doesn't know they have failed to exercise due diligence or failed to take precautions. He is making up these gloom-and-doom scenarios not because he cares about Confederate graves, but because he hates the Confederate flag and any who honor it, and the soldiers who fought and died beneath it. His carping is designed to add weight to any efforts to stop the flag project; but if it cannot be stopped, he will settle for just smearing and harassing the VaFlaggers.


  1. I wonder if Mr. Simpson is using Arizona State University resources to preach hate for the Confederate flag and all things Confederate?

    And I also wonder if Mr. Simpson is the official spokesperson for the University on matters concerning the Confederate flag? Does Mr. Simpson espouse the University's official position on the Confederate flag?

    Seems to me if any of the above are true, than Mr. Simpson is speaking for the University, and establishing/writing the University's official position, and maybe the University would like to know about that!!

    Awe, maybe we should not pursue that too much. He might stop posting stupid questions and official University statements on his blog. I'm having too much fun reading about his ignorance.

  2. Janice, this appears on the "About" page of Simpson's blog:


    Crossroads offers readers a discussion of various topics, most related to history, historians, and the academic life, although here and there other subjects may be included.

    Brooks D. Simpson is a historian and writer who teaches at Arizona State University. He has been known to write about nineteenth century American history, although he’s also written on other topics, from George Washington’s Supreme Court appointments to Derek Jeter. You may contact him at cwcrossroads@yahoo.com.

    The opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and are not those of Arizona State University, for those of you who might be confused. Nor are they endorsed by ASU.

  3. 10 thumbs up for your great reply! Thank you for all you have done to honor our Southern fallen. Three Huzzhs for the South!

  4. I saw Mr. Simpson talk at Gettysburg on June 30, 2013 during the 150th Sesquicentennial. In that capacity Mr. Simpson was the “unofficial” spokesperson for Arizona State University whether he realized it or not. After all, Mr. Simpson was introduced as an Arizona State University history professor. Mr. Simpson's words had the capacity to bring dishonor upon the university, and Simpson was successful in that capacity.

    In my view, Mr. Simpson did not honor himself or the university. I was not impressed with Mr. Simpson's attacks on southern heroes. I heard Mr. Simpson incorrectly characterize, unjustly ridicule and question Gen. Robert E. Lee's integrity in a most vitriolic manner. Mr. Simpson's characterization of Lee, and supporting diatribe based upon that characterization was unbecoming a history professor of a major university. I believe Mr. Simpson operates and promotes his blog with the same theme in mind.

    I could not imagine having to study any form of American history under Simpson's leadership or direction.


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