The Hypocrisy of Equality in the War on Southern Culture

The emotions of debate on the name-change resolution show on the faces of Bill Boyd, Lee Harris, and Myron Lowery. (Photo courtesy of http://www.memphisflyer.com)

On February 5, 2013 The Memphis Flyer blog reported that:

Galvanized into action by a bill filed in the Tennessee General Assembly but not yet acted upon, the City Council voted Tuesday to change the names of three downtown city parks that had been named in honor of the old Confederacy or for Confederate figures.

By a vote of 9 ayes against 3 abstentions, the Council changed the name of Forrest Park (which is managed by UTCHS) to Health Sciences Park; Confederate Park to Memphis Park; and Jefferson Davis Park to Mississippi River Park.

The action, taken toward the close of the Council’s afternoon public session, came on a resolution that consolidated drafts by Councilman Lee Harris and Council attorney Allan Wade, and it followed a stormy morning meeting of the Council’s Parks Committee, at which Council members had reacted to news of HB553 by state Rep. Steve McDaniel of Parkers Crossroads and state Senator Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro.

That bill, which had just been filed, declared that “[n]o statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, or plaque which has been erected for, or named or dedicated in honor of…” the bill then names a seemingly complete list of America’s wars, including the Civil War “… located on public property, may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated, or otherwise disturbed.”

Similarly, the bill would prohibit name changes to any “statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, plaque, historic flag display,school, street, bridge,building, park preserve,or reserve which has been erected for, or named or dedicated in honor of, any historical military figure,historical military event, military organization, or military unit” on public property.

A consensus of defiance apparently formed between the committee meeting and the afternoon public session similar to that expressed by the Council in February 2010 in response to maneuvering in Nashville related to the surrender of the Memphis City Schools charter.

Council members united around the Harris-Wade resolution, having reacted  to the McDaniel-Ketron bill as if it were a threat to local sovereignty and an imminent one at that.

Councilman Shea Flinn referred to it as “the ironic war of aggression from our northern neighbor in Nashville,” and Council member Janis Fullilove, who pointedly noted the Republican sponsorship of the bill,  called it a “snake” needing its “head cut off.” Councilman Harold Collins said, “I don’t care if the name is Nathan Bedford Forrest. He’s a dead man. We need to be focused on the living….but we will never let the legislature in Nashville control what we in Memphis will do for ourselves.”

When the vote was taken on an immediate name change of the three downtown parks, only three Council members — Jim Strickland, Kemp Conrad, and Bill Morrison — demurred, choosing to abstain, though, rather than voting no.

Just previous to the vote on the name change, the Council had passed unanimously a resolution by Strickland creating a multi-disciplinary committee to study the issue of names for the three parks. That committee is to be composed of “two members of the Council, two university professor, an NAACP rep, a member of the Shelby County Historical Commission and the Parks Director or designee, “ and it will meet as planned, even though the issue it was created for has at least temporarily been resolved.

Both Strickland and Flinn, a vigorous proponent of the Council resolution, agreed that, formally at least, the changes were only temporary and had been made so as to make any legislative action on the McDaniel-Ketron bill moot.

The two Councilmen opined, however, that the parks were unlikely to revert to their former names. That conclusion was also reached by Wade and Harris, who reckoned such a chance as non-existent.

Flinn, who served a brief appointed term as a state Senator, was asked if the Council’s action might be seen as hasty, inasmuch as the filing of a bill in Nashville, even one more mainstream than the McDaniel-Ketron bill, normally is followed by assignment to committees in either house. Then come several rounds of debate both in committee and on the floors of the two chambers before it might come to a vote weeks or months later. And that’s before the governor chooses to sign it or not.

“That’s how it’s done until it’s not,” Flinn answered.

Harris was frank to acknowledge that he had prepared a draft of his resolution weeks ago, before he or anyone else had any news of a bill in Nashville that might impinge on the renewed controversy regarding parks that commemorate aspects of the Confederacy. “It worked out just fine for us,” he said of the effect caused by the bill in committee. “This is the New South,” he said exultantly.

Yes it is the new South indeed, one in which “equality” is celebrated , but “equality” in the “New South” depends largely who and what race one is.  It is February  “Black History Month” , which is preceded by Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January. The popular perception of King Day and Black History month can best be summed up in a news report which appeared on the WHNT website:

February marks the start of Black History Month, and this year is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement. As part of a series of speakers and Black History Month events, Representative John Lewis (D – Georgia), kicked off the month-long celebration at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. Lewis was an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement, and was one of the original Freedom Riders in 1961. He helped organize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.`s historic march on Washington.

Lewis spoke on the importance of remembering where the black community, and the nation, have come from, and where we need to go from here.

“It is very moving and very gratifying that I think we are on our way to building what Dr. King called the ‘beloved community’. where we can lay down teh burden of race and see people as people and as human beings.”

Ironically the “beloved community” sees nothing but race and could care less about the human being.  As Black History month has gained prominence , the more attacks on White Southern history have occured. Numerous news stories verify this. Here are just a few:

In 2000, 17 years after the law’s official passage and the same year it pulled  the Confederate flag down from its statehouse dome, South Carolina became the  last state to sign a bill recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid  holiday. –

  • In Jan. 2001, Gov. Roy Barnes introduced a new flag. The Confederate symbol was reduced in size and incorporated into a new design featuring other emblems of the State’s history. Barnes knew that a similar effort in 1993 had nearly doomed the reelection of his predecessor. Nevertheless, he believed it was morally right, and he feared the consequences of inaction. Barnes saw the Confederate
    flag as a barrier to Georgia’s future prosperity – MHC Editors note: the above selection was from Caroline Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage” for which Barnes won an award in 2003 for his part in removing the Confederate image from Georgia’s state flag. Read more at: http://www.ontheissues.org/Archive/Profiles_In_Courage_Roy_Barnes.htm
  • Jan. 2003, Associated Press:State officials took down Confederate flags at two historic sites Tuesday  after Democratic presidential hopeful Dick Gephardt said they shouldn’t be flown  anywhere. Confederate battle flags were removed at the Confederate Memorial Historic  Site and the Fort Davidson Historic Site, said Sue Holst, spokeswoman for the  Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The flags will still be displayed  inside the sites’ visitor centers. Over the weekend, Gephardt said: “My own personal feeling is that the  Confederate flag no longer has a place flying any time, anywhere in our great  nation.”Read more:  http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,75519,00.html#ixzz2KLcosaOa
  • Feb ,2007, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton  said Monday that South Carolina should remove the Confederate flag from its  Statehouse grounds, in part because the nation should unite under one banner  while at war.”I think about how many South Carolinians have served in our military and who  are serving today under our flag and I believe that we should have one flag that  we all pay honor to, as I know that most people in South Carolina do every  single day,” Clinton told The Associated Press in an interview Read more:  http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,252842,00.html#ixzz2KLncNAOX
  • August, 2012,An iconic television car is getting a slight makeover to make it more politically correct.  Starting next year, toy models of the General Lee from the “Dukes of Hazzard” won’t feature the Confederate flag anymore.   Tomy Toys, which produces General Lee models, won’t comment on the decision.   Ben Jones, who played garage mechanic “Cooter” on the show and owns a “Dukes of Hazzard” museum in Nashville, criticized the change, calling it an “elitist move.” Read more at: http://www.wsmv.com/story/19420051/confederate-flag-being-removed-from

These are just a few of many examples in which one side celebrates “diversity” and “equality” while simultaneously attacking another groups heritage and history.  The recent decision by the Memphis, Tn City Council is nothing more than the culmination of many years of “purging” Confederate history by those seeking “equality”. It is the very definition of hypocrisy by those who have successfully made Black History Month mandatory and Martin Luther King Day a federally recognized holiday.

About aldermanlacy

I am just an average blue collar American who works hard and tries to be a good dad. I have a passion for history, music and freedom.

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: