Thursday, July 31, 2014

TEXAS PLATES HONOR HISTORY



Column: Confederate license plates honor history

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Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:27 pm
“I’ll not willingly offend, Nor be easily offended; What’s amiss I’ll strive to mend, And endure what can’t be mended”
— Isaac Watts
A request by The Sons of Confederate Veterans to honor their forefather’s service with a Texas license plate is a simple fund-raising effort by a historical association with a long history of civic involvement.
Race-baiting and politics, however, seem to play more of a role in the coverage of this issue than the actual facts of the matter. This weeks’ 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling supporting free speech and ending the state’s denial of their request reveals what happens when such inflammation is replaced by thoughtful examination. The ruling is a win for a common sense.
To begin, The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a private nonprofit established in 1896, is requesting to pay for a license plate displaying their logo and their name.  The logo contains the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, commonly known as the Confederate battle flag. The SCV would pay the State of Texas $8,000 for the right to have a plate then recoup costs with each plate sold.
I am a member of the SCV; my great-grandfather James Monroe Cole served in the Louisiana Infantry during the War, died in the Texas Confederate Veterans Home and is buried in the Texas State Cemetery here in Austin.
As a statewide elected official, I sponsored the plate because of my commitment to Texas history — even the history others might find offensive.
It’s the same reason I sponsored a license plate to honor The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, another private, nonprofit organization interested in marketing their heritage with a license plate that displays their logo and their name.
Both plates represent private organizations proud of their history. Both are symbols for service to the state of Texas. But political correctness has warped perception of those ideas.
I am proud to support the Buffalo Soldiers license plate because these black troops deployed to the western frontier after the Civil War and served with great distinction in Texas. Many were recipients of the National Medal of Honor.
But an examination of the Buffalo Soldiers actions could also be deemed insensitive and politically incorrect. They were sent to Texas to implement a national policy of subjugation and enslavement of the Native American population, which is exactly what they did. They implemented a national policy forcing Indians into reservations to live essentially as prisoners of war held by the U.S. Government.
Is this a history of which we should be proud? Should these soldiers be commemorated on a license plate?
Of course they should.  The Buffalo Soldier license plate, just like the Confederate plate, is intended to honor soldiers who served with pride and dignity in defense of Texas. That’s all.
Viewed through our 21st century lens of political correctness, both the Buffalo and Confederate soldiers could be considered by some as having fought for a cause that fell short of the high moral ground. In the end, offensive behavior can be found throughout history if you’re looking to be offended.
Detractors often contend the Confederates’ effort to “destroy the union” or wage an “unlawful rebellion” are prima facie reasons why all things Confederate are just not worth memorializing. By that logic our unlawful revolt against King George, the “unlawful” secession by Mexico from Spain in 1810 and the “unlawful” secession by Texas from Mexico in 1836 also shouldn’t be celebrated today.
There is no statutory protection against being offended. Actually, it’s the privilege of every American to be offended. But that shouldn’t interfere with our willingness to understand the past in its own context, not from our present perspective.
For example, President Abraham Lincoln reveals himself to be what we would now consider a racist in the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debate in Charleston, Illinois. “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negros, nor qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people,” Lincoln said.
And for those who believe every Confederate soldier was fighting solely to perpetuate slavery, I’ll end with the quote of one of the greatest Americans of all time.
“There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age,” wrote Robert E. Lee while stationed in Texas before the Civil War in 1856, “who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil . . .we see the course of the final abolition of human slavery is still onward, and give it the aid of our prayers. . .”
JERRY PATTERSON was re-elected to a third term as Texas Land Commissioner in 2010 and is responsible for managing billions of dollars of state assets, investments and mineral rights on behalf of the schoolchildren of Texas. He is a retired U.S. Marine, Vietnam veteran and former state senator.

Monday, July 28, 2014

BUDGET AND FINANCE DEADLINE FOR FALL GEC MEETING ANNOUNCED


Compatriots,

 
The Budget and Finance Committee will review funding requests prior to the Fall GEC (General Executive Council) meeting.  Requests must be received no later than August 30, 2014 and must be received in one of two formats, to be considered!


(1)    It is preferred that requests and supporting documentation be sent as attachments to an email message directed to Adjutant-in-Chief Nash (nc46e@hotmail.com) and Executive Director Sewell (exedir@scv.org).

 
(2)     If you send the request and supporting documents in hard-copy format, they must be sent to AIC Nash, Executive Director Sewell and Army Commanders McCluney, Burbage and Lauret, who also serve on the Budget and Finance Committee.  Mailing addresses can be found on the National Committee page at: http://www.scv.org/committeeView.php?cid=BF.

Those requesting funds should read the Funding Proposal Guidelines found on the Forms and Documents page of scv.org at:
http://www.scv.org/pdf/FundingProposalGuidelines.pdf

The form to be used to make a Funding Request is also on the Forms and Documents page at: http://www.scv.org/pdf/SCVFundRequests.pdf

The information requested on the form is the minimum that is needed for consideration of a request.  Those making requests are encouraged to submit supporting information if it helps clarify the purpose and other particulars of the project.

If you have any questions regarding the guidelines, form or process, please contact me.

Douglas W. Nash, Jr.
Adjutant-in-Chief
nc46e@hotmail.com
(910) 635-9700

 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rally to be Held July 26 at Washington and Lee Over Flag Removal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

On Saturday, July 26th, there will be a rally in Lexington Virginia at 12 noon in protest of the decision by Washington and Lee University to tamper with the grave site of General Robert E. Lee. The rally will be held at Hopkins Green, which is at the intersection of Jefferson and Nelson Streets in downtown Lexington.

It has become even more important that every compatriot who can possibly attend this rally do so. A press release from Washington and Lee has basically accused the SCV of being potential thugs and vandals. W&L has closed the Lee Chapel from Friday afternoon through Sunday July 27th. According to the University, "This unscheduled closing is based on concerns for the safety of the facility and its staff on the day that the Sons of Confederate Veterans have scheduled a rally in Lexington. We must take this unfortunate precaution because of the inflammatory and threatening letters, emails and phone calls the University has received in response to the removal of reproduction battle flags from the statue chamber in Lee Chapel..."

In other words, they are suggesting that SCV members would desecrate the Lee Chapel or injure its staffers because of the disingenuous actions of President Ruscio. No group honors the Lee Chapel and wishes it to be protected more than the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This closure is a gratuitous insult to one of America's finest and oldest heritage groups.

It is imperative that our members attend the rally if possible, and it is important that we gather as Southern gentlemen in the manner of General Lee himself and with the dignity that his memory deserves. We must show the University that the continuing attempt to demonize the tens of millions of descendants of the Confederacy should stop and be replaced with genuine understanding and communication.

Ben Jones
Chief of Heritage Operations

New Chief of Heritage Operations Named

 
Compatriots,

In light of the issues at Washington Lee University, I feel it is important to let the membership know who I appointed to the position of Chief of Heritage Operations. Mr. Ben Jones, currently from Virginia, was a former US Congressman from the state of Georgia. His expertise in dealing with high profile situations is one of the many reasons he was chosen. His diplomatic skills will prove to be invaluable in this position.

On many occasions he has proven that he loves his Southern heritage by the fights he has already participated in. One of the most recent that many may remember is when he took on Warner Brothers after they announced they would remove the Confederate Battle Flag off the

General Lee, a car he repaired in the Dukes of Hazard. Yes, Mr. Jones is none other than "Cooter" in the hit TV series that still captivates audiences through out the world. He won that battle, as he has many, and brought awareness to the history of the flag, as well as the Southern people. I hope you will join with him as he guides us through the future heritage issues.

Deo Vindice!

Charles Kelly Barrow
Commander-in-Chief
Sons of Confederate Veterans 

New Executive Director Chosen

 
The Sons of Confederate Veterans has been blessed to have Ben Swell as Executive Director for 12 years. Under his leadership, the SCV has prospered and flourished with his expertise. When Mr. Sewell announced that he would retire, it was known that it would be difficult to find someone of the same caliber.

In Charleston, at the National Reunion, it was announced that Lt. Col Mike Landree, USMC, will follow Mr. Sewell as Executive Director. It is an exciting new chapter for the SCV, and I feel like Lt. Col Landree will continue to lead the SCV into the future. Lt. Col Landree will begin in his new position on December 1, 2014.

So at this time I would like to say welcome aboard to Lt. Col Landree and God Speed to Mr. Sewell.

Deo Vindice!
Charles Kelly Barrow
Commander-in-Chief
Sons of Confederate Veterans 
 

Message from Commander In Chief Barrow

 
Compatriots and Friends,

Let me take this time to tell you what an honor it is to be elected as your Commander-in-Chief. Words cannot adequately describe my feelings. I am humbled to hold an office that only seventy-three men before me have held. It is my pleasure to be a thirty-five year member of the SCV. I remember attending my first Lee-Jackson Banquet at Aunt Fanny's Cabin in Smyrna, Georgia where all of my family was inducted into the SCV, UDC and CofC. It was a special moment for me but little did I know what the future held.

Through the unity of our organization and the strength of our Confederate Ancestors, we shall continue to move forward to be the preeminent authority on Southern heritage. There are many days ahead of us in the Sesquicentennial and beyond that give us opportunities to promote and honor the heroic deeds of the men and women of 1861-1865. By their examples we can learn a considerable amount; it is our ancestors who endured "Total War" from an illegal invader. Today, like our ancestors, we must also choose to stand fast or retreat? They knew their duty, do we know ours? General Robert E. Lee once said, "Duty then is the sublimit word in the English language, you should do your duty in all things, you can never do more; you should never wish to do less."

The Confederate soldiers we honor and whose DNA flows in our veins took a stand to proclaim to the world the values of our American Liberties and their commitment to its Cause. Those Principles of 1776 and 1861 are still alive today. Friends, let us reconfirm our commitment to those liberties and the Cause which we hold so dear.

I would like to close with a quote from Jefferson Davis' proclamation from April 5, 1865 in the capitol in Danville, Virginia. "Let us not, then, despond, my countrymen; but relying on the never-failing mercies and protecting care of our God, let us meet the foe with fresh defiance, with unconquered and unconquerable hearts."

I now ask you to make a stand as they did, to be unified with others of the same mindset and lineage. As with anything in life, a unified group is more effective than any individual could ever be. I hope you will join me as we honor our Confederate ancestors and as we re-dedicate ourselves to those Principles of 1776 and 1861. May God Bless You and My God Bless the Sons of Confederate Veterans

Deo Vindice!
Charles Kelly Barrow
Commander-in-Chief
Sons of Confederate Veterans
www.scv.org