Anonymity, Vague Concepts, Inability or Willingness to Articulate What Southern Is
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Anonymity, Vague Concepts, Inability or Willingness to Articulate What Southern Is
By Mark Vogl
A recent article posted through Southern Heritage News and Views titled "Yankee in the Wood Pile" provided an excellent opportunity to illustrate that there are people competing for your sympathies as a Southerner whose modus operandi may indicate a dangerous outcome should they ever rise to power. Like a high hanging curve ball, I could not resist the opportunity go without offering a counterpoint piece.
This article was posted anonymously. This is one of the greatest faults within the "Southern movement." Did Jefferson Davis, John C. Calhoun, R. E. Lee, or any of the other Southerners of the Great War hide in anonymity. Were there Southern leaders in that time whose actions were secret? Unfortunately, the answer to that is yes. The men of the Knights of the Golden Circle were operating in the shadows. Their agenda, never really defined in writing with a list of names of the sponsors available for study. I can testify that in my own case concerning the Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, I found anonymity to be a favorite tactic. There was no published list of names of the Texas DEC who voted to expel me from the division. Instead, they hid. Just as there was no list of names of the members of the DEC who voted to hold a Texas Reunion in Oklahoma!
Unlike the article mentioned above, I will state that my name is Mark Vogl. I will sadly admit that I was born on Long Island. I will proudly say that my great great grandfather David Parks Walter was from North Carolina, did serve with the 33rd North Carolina, lost his leg at Chancellorsville. I will further state that my grandmother was born on her grandfather’s farm, and was raised by him. And I will further state, that she played a large part in raising me. Further, because of the loss of a father at a very young age, I adopted R. E. Lee as a role model. Finally, and proudly I proclaim I am a Christian, and admit to being a conservative, though not a Republican.
That is a lot of personal information…maybe more than you want to know, but, it should demonstrate I am very open about who I am. Unlike those who cast aspersions against people namelessly, using a means condemned in the Ten Commandments.
Anonymity is not a strength of any system. Quite the contrary, it displays the lack of personal courage by leaders to be known for who and what they are. In this case, the article written that discusses making several vague statements proclaiming that they are worried about the purity of the South and the Southern movement. Again, they don’t say who they are.
Let’s move on. And deal with the points of the article.
The writer and I agree that the Southern movement is made up of a wide variety of different groups, and I suspect we would both agree that the movement is made up of individuals with very different views of the South and the future. Where the writer is vague is " The Yankee way of life is often alien to most folks born and raised in the South." Tell me specifically, what is different. Specifically. Is the writer saying here that the only real Southerner is one who is born in the South? Wasn’t Jessie Jackson born in the South? How ‘bout LBJ? What about the fella that runs the Southern Poverty Law Center?
The writer says " They have never had to deal with the memory of a conquered nation of the indoctrination of their children with self loathing and guilt." How does the writer know what a Southerner born in the north has to go through. Imagine believing in State’s Rights, a Republic, non-reliance on government, and seeing the federal government as an evil, amongst an entire population that sees union, and the federal government as the core of their nation? Who do you think defends the South more; a Southerner in the South, or a Southerner in the North? Who faces constant alienation?
He then goes on to mention the "black issue." It is this issue that most clearly demonstrates the evil in some of the Southern movement. These folks seem to have no memory of one South, a South where blacks and whites lived in peace, working together. They have no memory of the South working towards emancipation of the slaves in the 1830’s and 40’s until the North attempted to intervene in the internal matters of the South. Instead these "Southern spokes- people" do what they can to keep a divided South. They continue to articulate a "whites only" South. There never was such a thing.
They love to use two words when describing people they disagree with, apology and rainbow. Let’s deal with these words. Because I have called slavery a sin, they attribute the word apology to me. I have never used the word, not once in a written statement, or speech. I do not advocate the South apologizing for slavery.
I do advocate a recognition that slavery was a sin. Taking a man’s freedom, a gift from God to each man, is stealing. It is taking the natural condition God placed man in. That is my position, and was the position of many Southerners at the time of the war and before. Repeatedly we are told only 5% of Southerners owned slavers. Were the other 95% too poor to own them? Or did they reject the concept?
With respect to “rainbow,” they do what the democrats and liberals do. They confuse and alter words to suit their meaning. I do embrace the idea that the men who fought for the South, who served the South, who wanted a Confederacy were white, black, indian, Cajun, Mexican etc. I do not and have not ever expressed any comment about Gays in the South. I have stated on SNN that I am prejudiced towards Gays, people who use illegal drugs, criminals, etc. If the rainbow they speak of is on ethnic grounds I happily accept the charge, and ask them to deny the service of every ethnic minority to the South.
In this article the writer went off on comments about an "American empire." I am an isolationist. But, on their side, the Knights of the Golden Circle looked for an empire, one that reached into South America and the Caribbean so their internationalist ambitions are hardly less aggressive or evil than what exists today in the US.
As I told the men of the Texas Division when I was elected as the Lt. Commander of the Division, when I was coming down to be born I had an argument with God and lost. I was born in NY. But after thinking about that for more than a year, I wonder if I did. You see in coming South I have seen that in many ways, especially with regard to politics, many in the Southern movement are no different than Yankees. They are just as sneaky, just as committed, just as selfish, and just as devious. The real difference is that northerners are pretty obvious about their motives. Where as some in the Southern movement will hail the character of Lee and Jackson, but have no clue what that character was. They have not read one letter from either. They have not spent a life time searching out who these men were and how they defined right and wrong.
If the South is Quantrill to you, then you are right, I am very different from you. For me, the South is Lee, Jackson, Hampton, Calhoun, and The Citadel, my alma mater.
Through a formula devised by Dr. Ray James of Texas A & M we now know that there may be as many as 80 million descendants of Confederate soldiers. Because of the article “Yankee in the Wood Pile” I have to ask, does that mean nothing? Is being born in the South the sole prerequisite for being Southern? Or are there more but they start with being born in the South?
Let me leave you with one thought. There are approximately 108 million people living in the South today, and about 30% are not Caucasian. Further, millions if not tens of millions were not born in the South. Yet, if there is to be a future for the South, if there is to be a regional identity worthy of the men who first gave their lives for the South, from the American Revolution through to war for a Southern nation, than the leaders of the Southern movement had better come to terms with who and how the South is today, and build a vision based on the foundation of Christianity and a constitutional republic where the consent of the governed is equal to the will of the majority.
God Bless the South