First allow me to state that my entire intentions of this writing are one of collector awareness and food for thought about what could indeed happen to our hobby. As well as what could happen to Confederate items in our collections.
I think it VERY important for groups such as Civil War Roundtables, Reenactors, Living History participants, Heritage Groups, Collector Groups, Relic Hunters, Authors, etc. to realize what we are witnessing, and the historical importance of a politically driven "movement" in the U.S.
This "movement" can and will jeapordize our beloved hobby if something is not done. Our hobby as a whole is subject to this "movement" in the U.S. Will Civil War collectors allow this?? Only time will tell.
I want to assure you that I am not paranoid, nor am I trying to be Orwelllian in my writings. Entirely not my point.
But, lest we forget, it has happened time and time again in history. Have we not learned anything??
Look back at 1930's and 40's Poland, Stalin's Russia, the climb of the Red Party in China, etc. All these places had very similar foundations, that we are currently witnessing here in America.
Consider what we are currently witnessing:
And the list goes on and on.
Herein lies the entire ON TOPIC for collectors and dealers of Confederate items, and for that matter, the Civil War hobby / lifestyle as a whole.
It is entirely clear, due to lessons from past and recent history, that we are in the midst of a terrible and troublesome time of political unrest. And this "movement" has a targeted agenda of Southron - Confederate ethnic cleansing.
In this day and age when it is unacceptable and most importantly ILLEGAL to discriminate against a member of an ethnic group, why is it allowed that Southrons are declared fair game?
Some Americans, as well as politicians, feel a need to have a group to despise and look down upon.
In the past, blacks, Jews, Italians, Chinese and others, were targeted. Today, the target is Southron history and the Confederate descendant.
This "movement" in America is a terrible mutation of what began as the Civil Rights movement. And it is all part of what is being referred to as the "Second Reconstruction."
All the while, the "movement" is focused on tearing down and destroying what is left of the old South, and building a new, and so-called "politically correct" society where all references to the Confederate States will be that of racists and hate mongers.
Heated attacks against Southron heritage and Southron people are on the rise. Targeted are anyone that believes in true history and has the pride to display Southron history.
On January 14, 1995, a 19 year old man from Todd County, Kentucky named Michael Westerman, was chased down by 2 carloads of blacks, and murdered in front of his wife and mother of 2 unborn twins.
Michael's crime?? He was flying a Confederate flag!!!
Also worthy of note, is the daily destruction and damage of vehicles, homes, buildings, National Monuments and plaques, etc that dare to display a Confederate Battle flag or a Confederate Soldier as part of a bumper sticker, advertisment, sign or other display of history.
I ask you... Is this still the land of the free, and home of the brave??
Or, are there special freedoms and license for mayhem given to "special" folks? The answer is quite clear.
Here is another typical way that Southron folks are being treated today. This past fall, our Missouri Division SCV - Sons Of Confederate Veterans were DENIED holding our annual convention at the St. Louis Adam's Mark hotel. The CEO of the hotel told us basically WE WEREN'T WELCOME and to find another place.
In a seemingly majority of locations and places, the Confederate Battle flag is portrayed as a symbol of racism and hate. And this ideal seems to be on the rise.
As well, it seems that the agenda will be carried out by whatever means neccessary by this "movement."
Considering all the aforementioned, I will state that it is entirely probable, that IF the Confederate Battle Flag is taken down by politics and the "movement" that it will not stop there.
If a simple modern rendition of an old Confederate flag can be branded as racist, and FORCED to be removed from the public and private sectors, then what about the actual equipment, accoutrements and weapons carried by these Southron men??
I would dare say that these relics could soon be labeled as implements of racism and genocide, and could be outlawed as well!!
Then, the only place these Southron / Confederate relics will be legally allowed is museums, most of which will fall under Federal regulations such as NPS, etc.
Groups such as the NAACP have already made it a big part of their platform in that the ONLY place for flags and equipment of the Confederacy is in MUSEUMS. Not in the hands of the private sector or on public and government buildings!!!!
I know that I don't want my collection in a museum, along with a "politally correct", history revised, placard stating they were:
"Racist weapons and accoutrements carried by Godless, hate filled, genocidal Confederate soldiers."
And if history has taught us anything, and SHOULD the Confederate flag forcibly be brought down, it will be probable that there will be witch hunts in which collectors and dealers of Confederate items will be searched out for their illegal and outlawed items.
Can you say contraband???
Also, possible are public bonfires and celebrations of destruction of these Confederate items reminiscent of days gone by.
Please, don't ever forget the photographs and films of the Nazis destroying the personal effects of the Polish, the French, etc. An attempt at total destruction and rewriting of their heritage.
AND IT COULD HAPPEN HERE!!
Hate groups such as the Aryans and KKK have taken the Confederate Battle Flag and used it as part of their symbols and platform.
This has done great damage to the South and Southron heritage!!!
In no way does the Confederate Battle flag, or any Southron Confederate item, represent these groups. I wish those fighting so fervently against the flag, would educate themselves.
As collectors and historians we should all know that this label of Confederate racism is not accurate and is a terrible insult to our collective intelligence and a disgrace to the soldiers of both sides in 1861 - 1865.
Even if the Civil War collectors out there are not of Southron heritage or pride, we owe it to history, as well as both sides that fought in the long and horrible war of 1861 - 1865, to preserve our heritage and history in an untainted and accurate manner.
We are indebted to those gallant men of old, to preserve history, in it's true entirety. And to keep our collections in the hands of the people that appreciate it for it's historical value and will strive to keep true history ever-present in the media, the classroom as well as the U.S. as a nation.
Because without TRUE history and representation, and with governmental and political intervention, what will our hobby, our heritage and our history amount to??
It will be nothing but a facade based on lies.
(In Eternal Memory Of Those Who Stood For Their Country)
Written By Russell R. Lenzini
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