Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Virginia Flaggers and PR

They're tsk-tsking over on Crossroads about an article in the Richmond Times-Disgrace  about the petition against the I-95 flag project. True to what passes for journalism today, Reporter Ted Strong sprinkles a few comments from "the other side" to make his article look objective, and that's what Flogger Simpson and his Floggerettes in the Crossroads Peanut Gallery focus on. Natcherly, I had to snip back at them, and since Simpson is skeered to post my comments on his blog, I hafta do it here.
First, from Simpson's post:  
So let me understand this: proposing to fly a divisive symbol isn’t inflammatory, but objecting to doing so is? The Flaggers as victims theme continues.
Pointing out what's happening is not claiming victimhood. Yes, the petition is inflammatory because the "divisiveness" of a symbol is in the eye of the beholder; while a petition is an instrument of divisiveness by its very nature. It exists for the purpose of opposing something others want, or promoting something others don't want. It is not symbolic but a concrete act and instrument of divisiveness.  
“Many” is defined as fifty, as we’ll see below. It’s far less that the number of signatures on the petition who hail from Virginia. Also, to be consistent, the Virginia Flaggers would have to validate the residency of the fifty people who are part of the organization. Just sayin’. Don’t want no outsiders involved, eh? Hear that, Connie Chastain from Florida?
Well, greater numbers don't necessarily indicate rightness... “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."  Just sayin'.
Besides, it all depends on how you understand what Jimmy said. I understood it this way: "We (VaFlaggers) are determed that the flag will fly." The "many of us" reference is defined immediately following.  The "many" are we who "have not,  and WILL not forget the honor, valor and sacrifice of our Confederate ancestors.” That's obviously a great many more than the VaFlagger membership, and extends far beyond Virginia.
Validate residency? What for? Consistent with what? Nonresidents signed the petition in Lexingtion, and this petition about the I-95 flag.
I'm not involved in the flag raising on I-95, except to defend it online. I haven't even been able to make a donation, which I certainly wish I could do.  
I will note that many of the Flaggers believe that the wrong side did win the Civil War.
I'm not a Flagger, but I believe that. 
I never knew that attendance at an event constituted membership in the group.
Nobody has claimed it does, and implying that they did is dishonest and hitting below the belt.  
This makes me a New York Yankee, a New York Islander, and a member of the United States Senate.
No, it makes you a liar.    
Last time I did the math, 50 … or 500 … is much less than 9,800. So who’s a fraction of the Richmond community? The Flaggers are a fraction of the petitioners. Thanks for the reminder, Jimmy.
But the Flaggers aren't the only ones who support the project. And their right to fly the flag on private property doesn't depend on how few or how many are opposed to it. And as noted above, greater numbers don't necessarily indicate rightness... “Enter through the narrow gate..." etc.  
If this constitutes the Flaggers’ new media strategy, when they need to work on it …
The Flaggers have no control over how they are portrayed by a hostile media, or a hostile critic who distorts what they say, how they are portrayed, their motives and actions....
... but then this is the group that embraced Rob Walker...
He approached them wanting to make videos of them. They appreciated the offer because that meant videotaping events wouldn't require taking a Flagger away from flagging. That's not "embracing" Rob Walker.  To say it is, is untruthful, and hitting below the belt.  
 ...and announced that his coming to the group was a sign of God’s hand in the affairs of the Flaggers. As Susan Hathaway announced last May:

There is no denying God’s hand in this… in bringing Rob to Monument Ave. last November, and then, miraculously again last night at the exact moment and time to prevent what could have been irreparable damage to one of our most treasured monuments AND facilitating the first arrest (that we are aware of) of these punk vandals that have no regard for the rule of law:  neither God’s nor man’s.
 Susan is a person of faith and trust. People who are not cannot understand it. Like many Christians, she is aware that the Lord works in mysterious ways, and that many times, what appears to be a setback (say, being betrayed by a wolf in sheep's clothing) becomes, with time, an abundant blessing.

For example, Susan's sincere explanation and apology was readily accepted by people because of her candor and serves as a great blessing for the VaFlaggers. For another example, the incident is showing how mean-spirited and predatory you are about the VaFlaggers, by constantly bringing up a minor incident in a continuing attempt to smear them, after everyone else accepted and appreciated Susan's statement, and moved on.

On to the comments section.

Thelibertylamp, who apparently came to Crossroads via the link posted in the Times-Disgrace comment thread, posted this:  
You might be right, they might be successful in getting that flag up, but I think they are going to run into a lot of problems and issues.    I think cost is going to be their major issue. They estimated $3000 for the flag and pole, but have they included the monthly payments for the land it is on? They signed a lease, I am guessing there is some sort of rental payment for the piece of property?
But, let’s just say some good ol’ boy supporter is letting them install their “performance art” for no charge, then what about this paranoid induced need for fencing, lights and … security cams? Who is going to pick up the electric bill for these big flood lights and 24 hour camera surveillance?  How are they going to get the wiring done and make it weather proof? All this just to wave a stupid (and ugly!) piece of cloth that is going to irritate and alienate more people than do any kind of good for society. 
 Ya know, libertylamp, I'll bet they didn't think of ANY of that. Cuz they're a bunch of hicks and morons with third-grade educations and teeth missing and no shoes and no indoor plumbing...  See?

They're too stupid in the way of the world for any of this stuff to even occur to them.... Except for, maybe, the fellow with two college degrees, and another who is a retired cop, and another who works in specialized complex commercial construction and another who's an expert in information technology (i.e., programming) ... and except for their pretty lady leader who is a heckuva lot more savvy regarding public relations than any of the Floggers who get their kicks besmirching her.

But just because you're sooo concerned, you know, I'll pass along your comments ........ (Sheesh.)  
Keep fooling yourself, Betty, and fetishsizing (I know not a real word but it works!) a rag that symbolizes some backwards fantasy of the most dreadful part of American history. Yes, it is about SLAVERY, TREASON, and reactionary ignorance. You might have your freedom of speech to wave your rag of hate, but the rest of us have the freedom of speech to call it out for what it is.
 Secession by some of the states was about slavery. Other things, too, but primarily slavery. The fighting was not. Secession and fighting an invading army were not treason. There have been lots of dreadful parts of American history. Most people think slavery is the only dreadful part, and it's mankind's worst sin. The government's attempt to genocide the Plains Indians by allowing the extinction of their food supply, the buffalo, rates right up there with slavery for dreadfulness. So does imprisoning Indians on reservations in conditions worse than plantation slavery.
You have a right to call it out for what you THINK it is, but to imply that people who fly it are doing so from hatred is, well, something you can't know, unless you can see into hearts and minds, and only God can do that. So basically what you're doing is projecting  your beliefs about the flag onto others, and then condemning them for your projection.  
 I’d agree with the first sentence and dissent from the second. I wonder whether it would be possible to convince you that it was somehow about slavery, although not in the simplistic way pursued by some.
My gosh, MY GOSH! HELL MUST BE FREEZING OVER! I actually sort of agree with Brooks D. Simpson, professor of  history at Arizona State University, about some of this! Yes, it (secession, the war, etc.) was about slavery (among other things) but not in the prevailing simplistic way it is taught and accepted in this country.
 If it was used incorrectly during the Civil Rights Era in order to deny blacks their rights, was it not used to deny them there freedom between 1861-1865?
No, it was used by soldiers to identify themselves on the field of battle. And they were fighting to defend their homes, families and communities from a barbaric invading army, Corey. Secession involved slavery, among other things. The war involved defense against an invading army.  
 Interesting they now bring up “out-of-town” signers of the petition when those Flaggers protesting in Lexington were all “out-of-towners”. Keep it consistant flaggers, keep it consistant.
Corey, there is a difference between those who advocate by public demonstration, and those attempting to use petitions to the government to force their will on everyone. Besides, the real "out of towners" in Lexington were Anna Brodsky's students who signed the petition. The real "out of towners" in Richmond are people from all over the country who are signing Wonder Woman's petition.
The difference is that in the case of Lexington, the Flaggers sought to dictate what others should do, while in Richmond they claim that they are being dictated to.
They are being dictated to. Or rather, there is an attempt by some to dictate to them using the force of government.

Actually, the petition in Lexington had non-resident signatures, so those were the real outsiders dictating to locals. Most of the people protesting the ordinance were, well, protesting -- the same thing people are doing now that you're defending. And the 10,000 signatures on the anti-flag petition include some from all over the country. More outsiders.  
I’ll let you figure out why it is thus ironic that they lean so heavily upon Connie Chastain.
They don't rely on me, Simpson, except to upload content they email me to their blog, and letting me rip your attacks to shreds, which I'd do anyway -- blog uploading or no blog uploading..
From M.D. Blough    The Flaggers refuse to grasp the central principle of the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment...
M.D., I wouldn't worry about this much if I were you. There've been very few complaints of free speech restrictions by the Flaggers, although if the petition is given to governmental authorities in a attempt to force the VaFlaggers to not raise the flag, and government prevents it, that will be a true violation of freedom of expression.  I wouldn't give Simpson's rendition of this much credence. It's never wise to trust his spin. 
If anyone has suggested denying the flaggers their right to express themselves with that flag on private property, I missed it.
Al, check some of the comment threads following news reports about the project. Also, this petition will be given to state and local authorities with the hope they will prevent the raising of the flag on private property. And look at the posts and comments by some of your Flogger buddies and their Floggerette commenters. It isn't always given direct wording, but that is basically what many of them want.
I have a bit of a problem calling confederate veterans American veterans.
I've come to have something of a problem with that, too, but some people see it that way, and I'm not going to tell them they shouldn't. They cite some act of the U.S. Congress recognizing Confederates as American Veterans. Which is all well and good, I guess, but I don't have a lot of respect for the US Congress or most of what it enacts. Confederates were American veterans in the sense that the Confederacy was American, as in The Confederate States of AMERICA. (Please capitalize Confederate, Al. It's a proper noun in this usage).

Image: Judy Smith, Photographer

1 comment :

  1. Oh man they are really beside themselves with bitterness over there on the Hate Pages huh Connie?


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