Posts Tagged 'censorship of Southern history'

WEIRD PENSACOLA POLITICIANS

In 2000, the Confederate Battle Flag in Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays was replaced with the First Confederate Flag (a.k.a. the Stars and Bars).

Yet on June 24, 2015, Republican Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward censored the First Confederate Flag–by replacing it with the State Flag of Florida.  He did this without the consent of his constituents.

Then on June 25, 2015, all five members of the Escambia County Commission–Republican Doug Underhill, Republican Grover C. Robinson IV, Republican Steven Barry, Republican Wilson Robertson (whose seat is now occupied by Republican Jeff Bergosh), and Democrat Lumon May–chose to keep the First Confederate Flag censored from Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays.  They did this without the consent of their constituents–including me.

The First Confederate Flag remains censored from our Five-Flags Displays–without our consent.  We have not even been allowed to vote on this.  Because our historical flags displays belong to us, all the people of Escambia County, Florida–not to the politicians who have censored them–this government-imposed censorship is a gross infringement on our First-Amendment right to freedom of speech.

The censorship of the First Confederate Flag from Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays is historically inaccurate.  The State of Florida was a nation only according to one obscure source on the Internet–and only for two or three weeks in 1861.  And according to this source, that Republic of Florida’s flag was of a totally different design than that of the State of Florida.

The censorship of the First Confederate Flag from Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays is also downright ridiculous.  Although African slavery was practiced in the Confederate States, African slavery continued to be practiced in the United States–in Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri–until the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified by senators and representatives of both the United States and the Occupied Confederate States, in December, 1865 (Republican President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was simply a propaganda tool to elicit the support of Britain and France, because it only applied to the Confederate States–the remaining slave states of Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri were exempt from it).

And Spain, France, and Britain were three of the five European powers that brought African slaves to the Americas, in the first place (the other two were Portugal and the Netherlands).

Politicians who censor flags from their constituents’ historical flags displays–especially without their constituents’ consent–are control freaks.

And control freaks are weird.

HISTORY, CIVICS, AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY PENSACOLA’S FIVE-FLAGS DISPLAYS

HOW ABOUT YOU, PENSACOLA?

On June 24, 2015, Republican Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward censored the First Confederate Flag from Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays.  He did this without the consent of his constituents.

Mayor Hayward stated, in a press release:

“While the Confederate Flag undeniably represents a part of Pensacola’s history, to many it is a painful symbol of racial hatred and intolerance.”

Mayor Hayward didn’t mention that the “Confederate Flag” he had censored was not the Confederate Battle Flag–but the First Confederate Flag.  This flag:

On June 25, 2015, Escambia County Democratic Women’s Club President Dianne Krumel made this demand of the Escambia County Commission:

“I understand the flags are down, but I want to make it permanent.  I don’t want any chance of those flags going back up.”

All five members of the Escambia County Commission–Republican Doug Underhill, Republican Grover C. Robinson IV, Republican Steven Barry, Republican Wilson Robertson, and Democrat Lumon May–gave in to Dianne Krumel’s demand, and chose to keep the First Confederate Flag censored from Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays.  They did this without the consent of their constituents–including me.

This government-imposed censorship of the First Confederate Flag, from our historical flags displays, continues–without our consent.

On July 29, 2015, Monica Miller, of the American Humanist Association, emailed a thirteen-page letter to Republican Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward, City Attorney Lysia Bowling, and City of Pensacola Parks & Recreation Director Brian Cooper, demanding that a historical cross be censored from Bayview Park.  She emailed a copy of this letter to the East Hill Neighborhood Association.

Miller’s letter began thus:

“A City of Pensacola resident has contacted our office on behalf of several concerned residents to request assistance with regard to what is correctly perceived as a constitutional violation.  Specifically, the City of Pensacola is violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by prominently displaying a towering, stand-alone Latin cross–a Christian symbol–on government property in Bayview Park.  An image of this cross is provided below.

“Because this cross violates the Establishment Clause, we hereby demand that the City promptly remove it to private property, and if the City does not, our organization will pursue the matter through litigation in federal court.”

And Miller’s letter ended thus:

“In view of the aforementioned authorities, it is clear that the City is in violation of the Establishment Clause.  This letter serves as an official notice of the unconstitutional activity and demands that the City remove the cross from Bayview Park immediately.  We kindly ask that you notify us in writing within seven (7) days of receipt of this letter setting forth the steps you will take to rectify this constitutional infringement.  Thank you for turning your attention to this important matter.”

The Bayview Park Cross has now been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. The City of Pensacola is appealing this ruling, with pro bono legal representation by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty–and U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson has suspended his order to remove the Bayview Park Cross by July 19, 2017, pending this appeal.

An “important matter” indeed.

Yet this “important matter” didn’t even exist until Republican Mayor Ashton Hayward censored the First Confederate Flag from Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays, without the consent of his constituents, and all five members of the Escambia County Commission–Republican Doug Underhill, Republican Grover C. Robinson IV, Republican Steven Barry, Republican Wilson Robertson, and Democrat Lumon May–chose to keep the First Confederate Flag censored from Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays, without the consent of their constituents.

Because of abusive local politicians (all but one of whom are Republicans)–and Digital-Age Pensacolians mindlessly tolerating their abuse–Pensacola is no longer the City of Five Flags.

Yet Pensacola may soon be known, nationwide, as the City of Censorship.

And there are numerous potential targets for pro-censorship activists in Pensacola, Florida.

Here are just a few of them:

Pro-censorship activists can make an “important matter” of every single one of the above Pensacola icons–and countless more.

Yet it’s not pro-censorship activists who abuse the people–it’s corrupt and cowardly politicians who give in to them.  Corrupt and cowardly politicians like Democrat Lumon May, Republican Wilson Robertson (and his exact-duplicate replacement, Republican Jeff Bergosh), Republican Steven Barry, Republican Grover C. Robinson IV, Republican Doug Underhill–and especially Republican Ashton Hayward, who started this vicious cycle of censorship in Pensacola, on June 24, 2015.

Instead of censoring historical flags and crosses, I’d rather censor corrupt and cowardly politicians who engage in government-imposed censorship–who infringe on their constituents’ First-Amendment right to freedom of speech.  I’d rather straighten those bastards out–or get them out of office.

How about you, Pensacola?

AMERICAN FLAGS

We expect our American troops to defend our current American Flag against all foreign enemies.

But if we don’t defend our historical American Flags against all domestic enemies, how can we be worthy of our American troops?

RESIST GOVERNMENT-IMPOSED CENSORSHIP, OR DON’T RESIST IT

WEAR news has stories about the controversy over the Bayview Park Cross every night, lately.  So many people are furious that this cross is slated to be censored.

But these same people said nothing when the First Confederate Flag was censored from our Five-Flags displays, without our consent–and they still say nothing about this government-imposed censorship of our Five-Flags displays.

When your First-Amendment right to freedom of speech is violated, you can’t pick and choose.  If you say nothing about the First Confederate Flag being censored, without your consent, because you have a negative opinion of this flag, or because you have no opinion of this flag–you have no business complaining about this cross being censored, without your consent.

If your right to freedom of speech is violated by politicians engaging in government-imposed censorship, your opinion of what is censored doesn’t matter. What matters is that your right to freedom of speech is violated.

You can’t pick and choose–stand up for your First-Amendment right to freedom of speech, or don’t stand up for it.

Resist government-imposed censorship, or don’t resist it.

THE ULTIMATE COST OF CENSORSHIP

I last visited New Orleans in the summer of 1991, when I was 25.

It was a wonderful experience–so much to ponder.

One night there, I stayed at the Cornstalk Inn Hotel, in the French Quarter.

Among the many sites I’d seen that day was a slave market–just down the street from this bed-and-breakfast hotel.

According to the legend of the Cornstalk Inn, Harriet Beecher Stowe was among the many notable guests who had slept there–and she was inspired to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin, after visiting that slave market.

Of course that slave market was still in business when Harriet Beecher Stowe was there.

And of course I pondered what that must have been like–seeing people being sold like cattle.

That slave market was still there, in 1991–as it still is today.

It was far older than that historic hotel–in fact, it had probably been built by the French.

And if it hadn’t have been there, I couldn’t have pondered anything.

Before Mitch Landrieu’s term is up, he’ll almost certainly destroy that slave market too.

And at this point, he might as well.

After all, I can never again ponder the historical significance of the Battle of Liberty Place, in New Orleans.  Nor can I ever again ponder the historical and cultural significance of U.S. Secretary of War and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, U.S. Civil Engineer and Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, and U.S. Lieutenant Colonel and Confederate General Robert E. Lee–all three men greatly, and validly, admired by the United States and Confederate States, alike.

This is the ultimate cost of this posthumous extermination of the Confederate States of America.

This is the ultimate cost of censorship–especially government-imposed censorship, executed by self-serving politicians, with no regard for the constitutional or civil rights of their constituents.


Categories