Tag Archives: Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church

It’s Freedom of Speech, Stupid! (Unless I Disagree.)

During my lifetime, I have been involved with business and selling.  One of the many business mantras was that: “Fifteen percent of the customers will occupy 85% of your time.”  For me, this pretty much proved to be true.

Now, after retirement, I believe this business mantra can be ever so slightly reconfigured to apply to today’s society.  I am convinced that “Fifteen percent of the population is doing 85% of the bitching, promoting and protesting in America.”

Do you remember who Dylann Roof is?  Dylann is the psychopath that walked into the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and shot and killed nine black members of the church in June.  A tragedy by any measure.

Fifty years ago, the American public would have branded Dylann a psychotic psychopath, and left it at that.  Today….the media and the reality show-based mindset of the American public will not allow such a simple distinction.  Today…we have to know why.  Did Dylann have a difficult childhood?  Did Dylann have an abusive father?  Was Dylann bullied as a child?    Do you get my drift?  It was so much easier to label him a ‘whack job’ and move to the business of dispensing justice for the crime.

But wait…just like in the informercials…there’s more!  Some enterprising member of the media found a picture of Dylann standing next to the Confederate flag.  And there you have it.  Dylann was not responsible for the tragic killing of those church members…the flag was responsible!  (I am sure you can find a picture of Bill and Hillary standing next to a Confederate flag, as Bill passed legislation during his term as Governor of Arkansas to fly it above the state capitol!)

The Confederate flag.  The Stars and Bars.  That banner that was once served by such evil people as Jefferson Davis, Robert. E. Lee, James Longstreet, Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and a host of other devious Southerners.  And so…the typical American behavior of overreaction, fueled conveniently by the media, begins.

I need to digress for a paragraph to inform the misinformed that the reason the Civil War was fought was not primarily because of slavery.  The primary reason is because of states’ rights and the federal government imposing its will on the free-minded, independent Southern states.  It is well documented that Lincoln would have allowed the continuance of slavery to stop the horrible conflict, which was tearing the nation apart. This war took a toll of over one million people that were lost to battle or to disease.  It affected military and civilians alike.  Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.  This document freed all slaves.  With the North ultimately  winning the war in 1865, slavery was truly abolished in the United States.

The four evil Confederates I referred to in a previous paragraph?  They were all noble gentlemen, fighting for a cause in which they believed.  Robert  E. Lee was offered overall command of the Union armies.  He declined because his home state, Virginia, joined the Confederacy and he felt compelled to support his home state.  His family plantation is now Arlington National Cemetery.   Rest assured, these people did not fight this war solely to keep a race in bondage.

But somehow, because of the media, the 15% that I referred to in paragraph one, and our American propensity to overreact for the sake of political correctness, that historical flag has been denigrated to represent all things evil.  This flag has undeservingly become the one and only symbol of slavery,  Slavery that has been abolished in America for over 150 years!  Will the media or black race ever give this issue a pass?  Must we erase history and heritage in order to move forward in peace?  Can we not learn from our past and grow from knowing it?

The reactions to the flag after the picture of Dylann Roof standing next to one?

TV Land has cancelled The Dukes of Hazzard reruns because the General Lee (an automobile) has a Confederate flag on the door.  Did you know that show ran for seven seasons and had 145 episodes?  It was a popular show.  It was popular when people would determine what was appropriate or not by voting with their TV remotes.  If you didn’t like the show, you had the choice of watching something else.  But that doesn’t satisfy the 15% protesters and bitchers.  They will not be satisfied until their will is imposed on the other 85%.  Thus, the cancellation by TV Land.

Next to football, NASCAR is my favorite sport.  I like NASCAR and golf for one very simple reason.  Unlike other sports, there are no walk-outs, lock-outs or hold-outs.  As one driver put it, “if you want to make more money, go faster.”

NASCAR was originally founded using drivers, mechanics and pit crews that were involved in the  moonshining business.  Yup.  These guys were good drivers because of their ability to outrun the revenuers.  Again, for the uninformed, this moonshining business was predominantly found in the Southeastern states.  Not much moonshining was taking place in Montana, Michigan or Maine.  It was mostly in Virginia, Georgia and both North and South Carolina.  All of these states were, at one time, part of the Confederacy.  The man credited with organizing and founding NASCAR was a gentleman named Bill France, Sr.  Old Bill passed on the scepter of responsibility to Bill France, Jr.  Little Bill has since passed it on to Brian France, making NASCAR a family affair for over 50 years.  So what has one of my favorite organizations decided to do?  Why, they have requested from their fans that they no longer bring or wear any confederate flags to the NASCAR racing events.  Is this a good business decision considering that your organization was founded in the states of the old Confederacy?  Aren’t your most supportive fans from the same area?  Isn’t that request a violation of the freedom of speech?

NASCAR did not stop with this request.  NASCAR has taken it upon themselves to move their awards banquets from Donald Trump-owned resorts because of some of his recent comments,  with which they disagree.  So now, NASCAR has thrown its hat into the political arena.  You may or may not agree with what Donald Trump has been saying, but I believe he has the constitutional right to say what he thinks as guaranteed by the First Amendment.  Apparently, NASCAR disagrees.

NASCAR made these two decisions within a week of each other, all for the appearance of ‘political correctness’ in the eyes of their sponsors.  I have a bit of advice for NASCAR.  Stay out of the political arena!  You will not have to worry about political correctness with your sponsors if you don’t have any viewers!

The state of South Carolina has decided to remove the Confederate flag from the capitol.  I have no problem with that, as it was determined by vote of the South Carolina legislature.  After all, this tragedy took place in their state.  At least it was not done by a federal mandate.

What truly amazes me is that since the tragic murders of the nine black people, there have been proposals to remove statues, rename parks and streets, and even remove bodies of Confederate war heroes from public cemeteries.  OMG!  Get a grip!  The overreaction rock is rolling at a dangerously fast pace.

So now I want to pose a question.  Do you really believe that over 15% of the population has that much concern over the Confederate flag?  If someone wants to display or wear the Confederate flag, isn’t that their privilege under the First Amendment?

Here are some of the things that we have endured over the years, all in the name of Freedom of Speech:

Burning of draft cards during the Viet Nam War years.

Burning the American flag during the Viet Nam War years.

Having Jeremiah Wright, the professed religious advisor to the POTUS giving a speech in which he says, ” God damn America.”

Anything that comes out of the mouth of Al Sharpton.

The American flag being used as a beach towel, swimsuit, and being imprinted on toilet paper.  (It disturbs me that Willie Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame, wears a sweat band of the American flag.)

A myriad of  stupid comments spoken by politicians or celebrities, too numerous to mention.

The salient point of my blog is this, regardless of the issue, whether it be about the Confederate flag, same sex marriage, or whatever:  it appears that 15% of the population is doing 85% of the bitching and protesting.  The silent majority chooses to be just that: silent.  Unfortunately, with the assistance of the media, our politicians are passing legislation based on the voices of the loudest, most often heard minority.  This is done with the dangerously tacit silence of the majority.  A majority that appears to be too frightened to disagree, for fear of being labeled “a racist” or worse.  Being a realist, much like being a hard worker or a person of hard-earned wealth, is being the bad guy in America these days.

The Mauler just returned from a weekend visiting family in New Orleans, where she grew up.  New Orleans – a place rich with history, a city also grappling with its Confederate past, a city also giving in to the pressures of social media in the aftermath of the South Carolina tragedy, as they consider removing a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, as well as other monuments that acknowledge the Confederate past.  By removing this history, the Mauler fears New Orleans is removing the very reason people visit The Big Easy – to  see a city that has endured and grown and flourished because of and despite its history.

Everyone supports the freedom of speech, unless they disagree.  Then the 15% rears its ugly head.