Posts Tagged 'courage'

A GOOD EXAMPLE OF A GOOD AMERICAN

H. K. Edgerton and the Pursuit of Truth

Mike Scruggs

August 19, 2005

“A few days ago I had lunch with H. K. Edgerton at Hannah Flanagan’s Pub in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  H. K., as almost everyone calls him, is a graying, 56-year-old African-American whose photo often appears in the news.  In fact, his photo was on the front page of The Asheville Tribune that very day.  What is remarkable to some is that very often he is carrying a Confederate Battle Flag, defending Confederate monuments or Confederate heritage.  H. K. is Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Southern Legal Resource Center, but it would be a serious mistake to think that was all he is about.  He is very knowledgeable on a very wide variety of political and social issues.

“H. K. had the chicken wings, a favorite dish for him.  I had the shepherd’s pie.  One of the things I like about Hannah Flanagan’s is that they have a good choice of authentic Irish meals on their menu.  One of the things I like about H. K. is that he himself is an authentic Southern style, American patriot.

“H. K. is an energetic advocate of truth and right.  It might seem strange to some that a former NAACP officer speaks so fervently for Confederate heritage.  But H. K. is not bound by the chains of political correctness.  He is a zealous advocate of truth, wherever it is found and however unpopular.

“H. K.’s internal drive seems to be based on a strong belief in the transcendent and eternal truths taught in Scripture.  The outward manifestation of that faith is his zealous drive for truth in all things, including history.  His zeal for truth in all things often brings strong opposition, but he persists with courage and grace.  Truth is not a popularity contest to him.  He possesses that remarkable, all-weather brand of courage without which no other virtue can long survive.

“H. K. was using a cane that day.  He had just returned from Memphis where there has been a political attack on Southern heritage centering on Confederate monuments in Memphis parks.  During his travel through Tennessee he hurt his leg and back mowing a lady’s lawn.  That in itself is a portrait of H. K.  He is filled with a courageous zeal for truth, but he is the soul of grace, compassion, courtesy, and helpfulness.  He is in every respect the model of the Christian gentleman whose devotion to duty, honor, courage, grace, and selfless patriotism Robert E. Lee sought to instill in his students as Superintendent at West Point before the Civil War and as President of Washington and Lee after the war.

“H. K. and I talked about a lot of things from home-schooling, property rights, the Constitution, and the moral tailspin of American society to the tidal wave of illegal immigration that is engulfing the Carolinas and other Southern states.  He is saddened that many black leaders have chosen to preach victimhood and aggravate racial grievances in the name of justice and that so many white business and political leaders kowtow to them.  At the same time he mourns that most public schools have distorted Southern history so much that young students are ashamed of their Southern heritage.  Every day brings forth some new instance of the very descendents of Confederate soldiers and patriots trampling the honor and courage of their forefathers to the ground to gain respectability with the vicious slanderers of Southern heritage.  Such is the advanced state of political correctness even in the South.  Of course, political correctness is not about the truth.  It is about shouting down the truth, and it feeds on an environment of obsequious moral cowardice.  

“H. K. Edgerton doesn’t put on any righteous or self-important airs.  He is as human and vulnerable to human frailties as the rest of us, but somehow his extraordinary courage, grace, and a zeal for truth shine through.  A lot of people, both white folks and black folks and others as well, love and admire H. K.  He would probably make a great preacher, but his life is a pretty good sermon itself.  I wish we had about 50,000 teachers like him.  I would rest more comfortably about the future of our country.

“H. K. showed me a letter he had written to President Bush, asking for a meeting with him.  I know the letter was hand delivered to the President by a friend.  The President would do well to meet with H. K. and listen keenly to what he says.  I am sure the White House can fix up some chicken wings, and America would be far better for it.

“Postscript: September 10, 2009.  President George W. Bush never met with Edgerton who is now trying to meet with the current president.”

From The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths

By Leonard M. (Mike) Scruggs

2011

WE HAD BETTER GET BUSY

“The South is still being subjected to an outrageous tyranny.  When the victors occupy the territory of the defeated for a long period, they are able to reshape history so well as to glorify enormous evil and shame righteous courage.  It is a form of tyranny more evil than the initial conquest.  Ignorance and cowardice enshrine as good what in truth was enormous evil.  Truth and courageous dissent from lies and distortions are not celebrated in societies where might has come to mean right.  Truth is displaced by self-justifying propaganda.  Nobility is crushed by outrageous slander.

“There are more books written about the ‘Civil War’ than any other topic except Christianity.  Yet most of the real causes of the war have been buried under twenty feet of propaganda.  Self-justifying propaganda is now the prevailing staple of ‘Civil War’ history in public and unfortunately even in most Christian schools.  It presents as a noble struggle against slavery what was really an unconstitutional military aggression to prevent Southern Independence.  This prevailing cover of propaganda serves both to bury uncomfortable history and as a tool for modern political agendas.

“Slavery was an issue that caused many serious tensions, but the full scope and nature of these tensions are largely unknown and badly misunderstood today.  The war was about the right of the Southern people to self-determination and government by the consent of the governed versus being held involuntarily to a Union which experience was proving not to be in their best political and economic interests.

“Has our society been in a moral tail-spin for too long to value truth?  Are Americans still morally capable of dealing honestly with the causes and conduct of the ‘Civil War’?  Once you have built your worldview on a lie, it is very difficult to see the truth, much less to embrace the truth.  But truth, however uncomfortable and unpopular or however deeply buried and trampled, is still truth.  It has a tendency to resurrection, though truth is hard to face after decades of believing lies.  Truth is hard to bear when you have for many years justified yourself and an idolized State with lies.  The standard school texts and teaching on the ‘Civil War’ in both public and Christian schools perpetrate enormous dishonesty as history.

“We now have a generation of Americans including most Southerners who are shamelessly ignorant of their own history.  What history they do know is laced with political deception.  How many high school teachers in the South in both public and Christian schools know anything but propaganda on the causes and conduct of the ‘Civil War’?  How many know the full truth about the Reconstruction era?  What are the penalties for them, if they step outside the chains of political correctness in their study and teaching?

“Yet there are reasons for optimism.  With the internet and many advances in computer technology in publishing, the Eastern liberal establishment is no longer as dominant in the publishing industry as it once was.  The truth about the war is seeping out into the public in newly published works and the republication of many older works.  I am optimistic that despite near fanatical opposition to the true history of that war, courage will eventually rescue truth.”

 

“Truth and courage are sorely needed in today’s morally disintegrating society.  It is especially important in recovering these virtues to know our true history.  Much of what is published and taught in public schools and colleges today is either a sanitized whitewash or perverted political propaganda.  But I have confidence that even in today’s politically correct climate, truth will not be blotted out.  We cannot, as R. L. Dabney said, ‘bury true history whose years are those of the God of Truth.’  William Cullen Bryant put it a little differently, ‘Truth crushed to the ground shall rise again; the eternal years of God are hers.’  We should also remember the words of Samuel Johnson: ‘Where courage is not, no other virtue can survive except by accident.’  No republic can long survive whose people and leaders are not both devoted to truth and resolute in their courage to maintain it.  Ultimately all courage, including political courage and courage in battle, is moral courage.  Moral courage, more often than not, is tested principally by time, often a long period of time.  I believe we can recover both truth and courage, but we had better get busy, for we are well on the way to destruction.”

 

From The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths

By Leonard M. Scruggs

2011  


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