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Sons of Confederate Veterans Accuse University Of "Narrow Minded Prejudice"
The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a heritage
organization which represents approximately 30,000 male descendants of
the Confederate States Army, has accused officials of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia
of "exhibiting the same kind of narrow minded prejudice and knee-jerk
bias that has always been the enemy of brotherhood and understanding."
The group, known as the SCV, was created in 1896 and is based in Columbia, Tennessee. According to a statement released by the SCV's Chief of Heritage Operations Ben Jones, the recent removal of Confederate symbols from the burial place of General Robert E. Lee was a "breaking point for us. Our patience with this 'new McCarthyism' is exhausted."
Here is the complete statement:
"The New Bigots"
A recent event at Washington and Lee University
has underscored the growing phenomenon of "South-bashing" in the media
and in academia. At the behest of several young law students, that
school's President made a decision to remove two St. Andrews Cross
battle flags from the Lee Chapel on the campus. Lee Chapel is the burial
place of Robert E. Lee, who led the Army of Northern Virginia. General Lee became President of what was then Washington
College after the War Between the States and is generally credited with
saving the school. The Chapel is a beloved and honored place to the
more than 65 million Americans who are descended from those who fought
for the South in that conflict.
The law students, who call themselves "The Committee", delivered an ultimatum to President Kenneth Ruscio
threatening civil disobedience unless certain demands were met. One of
those demands was the removal of Confederate symbols from the Chapel,
saying that the Christian Cross flags made them feel "unwelcome". On July 8th,
Ruscio announced that the flags would be removed from the Lee Chapel.
We cannot fathom why anyone would attend a school named after Robert E. Lee
and then say they were offended by the St. Andrews Cross flag. Nor we
cannot fathom how anyone could take them seriously and cave in to their
threats. But in the current climate of 'South bashing', such a radical
act as this seems to be accepted as some sort of litmus test for the
"politically correct police".
It appears that those who have a very simplistic view of American history have decided that the 150th
anniversary of The Civil War is the right time to demonize the Southern
culture, to intensify their vilification of Confederate heritage, and
to continue to act as if their actions are some sort of moral crusade.
who are of Confederate heritage honor our ancestors for their
sacrifice, their perseverance and their astonishing courage against
overwhelming odds. These men were our family, our kinfolks, and their
blood runs in our veins. But the new bigots of political correctness are
exhibiting the same kind of narrow minded prejudice and knee-jerk bias
that has always been the enemy of brotherhood and understanding. This
latest example is the breaking point for us. Our patience with this new
McCarthyism is exhausted. These mean spirited attacks upon us come from
the same sad place as do all racial, religious, and regional prejudices.
They are rooted in an ignorance combined with a sense of superiority.
Over 50 years ago, that courageous Southerner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "I have a dream that someday on the red hills of Georgia
the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be
able to dine together at the table of brotherhood." And that has
happened. We have done that for decades now in the South, in great part
because Dr. King did not qualify that dream or put asterisks on it. He
did not say that we would dine together in brotherhood only if we
dishonored our ancestors or if our family could routinely be called
bigots, traitors, and racists. He was a far better and wiser man than
that. He meant that we would dine together by accepting our past as it
is and that we would understand each other by our shared culture of work
and weather and food and music and memory. That way we could strive
together to heal the wounds of the past and thus build a proud and
loving South, where folks are judged only by the content of their
was not the sin of the South, but of the Nation. Chattel slavery
existed throughout every colony and state for almost two centuries.
Slavery was funded mainly by the Northern banks. The greatest profits
went to the North. The North built the slave ships and manned them. The
cotton also went North, to the vast textile mills in New England. The
North's complicity in prolonging and profiting from slavery is one of
the best kept secrets of American history. The work of the slaves helped
to build America, both North and South. And yet the South has long
been the scapegoat of these attacks from academia and the media.
South is the fastest growing economic region in our nation.
African-Americans are returning to the South in record numbers, finding a
more traditional way of life here and according to many, better race
is long past the time for the new bigots of political correctness to
get over their condescending sanctimony and to enter into the real world
of brotherhood and fellowship. And it is time they understand that
insulting our heritage is not the way to build bridges of progress.
Ben Jones Chief of Heritage Operations Sons of Confederate Veterans