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home : opinion : opinion November 24, 2017

8/18/2017 12:02:00 AM
SCV Spokesmen Condemn Illegal Acts
Weigh in on events in Virginia, elsewhere
Kirk Carter is seen speaking at a recent re-enactment event for the War Between the States. Carter said he mourns the death of liberal activist Heather Heyer. But he adds that the Stalinistic whitewashing of American history is not the answer.
(Photo Courtesy of Kirk Carter)

Kirk Carter is seen speaking at a recent re-enactment event for the War Between the States. Carter said he mourns the death of liberal activist Heather Heyer. But he adds that the Stalinistic whitewashing of American history is not the answer.

(Photo Courtesy of Kirk Carter)

Thomas Lark
Staff Writer

LINCOLNTON, N.C.––Recent events in Virginia and Durham are much on the minds of two local men.

Harmon Lackey, a spokesman for Lincolnton’s Hoke Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and Kirk Carter, a Virginia native, now a Cherryville-area resident and the commander of the SCV’s Thomas Caldwell Camp in York, S.C., spoke Wednesday to condemn the recent violence of rioters in Charlottesville, Va., and in Durham. The former sadly culminated in the vehicular homicide of liberal activist Heather Heyer at the hands of white supremacist James Alex Fields, Jr. The latter event featured a rioting mob illegally vandalizing and pulling down a Confederate statue––a felony offense, per U.S. law.

Carter, a noted historian, speaker and expert on the War Between the States, said that he and all the members of the SCV rightly opposed such violence and expressed condolences to Heyer’s family.

West Lincoln Vet 300

“May God bless her soul,” he said. “Our thoughts are with her family.”

All too often, said Carter, people of goodwill who are simply proud of their Southern heritage and history get lumped in with the evil Fieldses of the world. The embrace by ordinary folks of such symbols as the Confederacy’s many flags (and there really was a lot) is misunderstood by those who would hijack those flags, as Fields did, when it reality they are perhaps best understood as simply emblems of regional pride, rather like the Bavarian flag in wider Germany or the Scottish flag in a larger British context.

And with Confederate history now endangered throughout the South, Lackey expressed concern for the memorial monument on the lawn of the Lincoln County Courthouse.

“I am asking all of our members to keep a check on our memorial,” he said. “I know that I and others are worried that someone will take it upon themselves to be a hero for Black Lives Matter, Antifa or the Black Panthers. Let’s not let this happen. God bless our Southern way of life!”

Sixty years ago, an act of Congress retroactively rendered to all Confederate military veterans the status of American veterans. U.S. Law 85-425, section 410 did so, building upon another federal law from 1929 that rendered all Confederate monuments and gravesites likewise American. This in turn hearkened back to the spirit of rapprochement and resoldering pursued by presidents Ulysses Grant, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt (himself the nephew of Confederate naval veterans and the son of a Savannah belle) and other American leaders.

Thus, as Carter pointed out, if you desecrate or destroy a Confederate monument, you are really dishonoring American veterans. Does anyone who has thought this through honestly want to do that?

“There is nothing worse than desecrating the monuments of American veterans,” said Carter, himself the son of a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “People need to wake up and realise what true American history really is all about.”

And talking of presidents, most analysts note that President Donald Trump got his assessment right when he condemned both sides in the Charlottesville riots for enough hatred, violence and blame to go around. With racist reprobates on the one hand and treasonous anarchists, communists and cultural Marxists on the other, this really was a case of scum versus scum, as Carter noted. And he added that whether one is talking about the KKK or Black Lives Matter, both of them classed as terrorist organizations, racism and bigotry can be two-way streets that are best avoided for the higher roads of friendship and brotherhood.

Still, Carter said he was hopeful that Americans could learn the true history of the South––a thing that could lead to healing, understanding and the preservation of the past. It is on this path––that of education and enlightenment, not anti-Southern prejudice and misunderstanding­––that there lies a viable and sustainable future for all people.

“I think everyone should be proud of their heritage, no matter where they come from,” as he told WBTV News in a Tuesday interview. “I think we should love each other as our Lord Jesus Christ has asked us to do.”

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