"...few reporters have looked closely at Flagger membership or the individuals and organizations with which it has found common cause. Some of these individuals are directly connected with White Nationalist groups such as the League of the South, which openly promote white supremacy. Such a close association blurs the lines between legitimate concerns for the preservation of history and heritage and the racial politics of the present."
Levin's use of nonspecific quantifying ("some of these individuals") could be considered misleading, and the term "has found common cause" is highly misleading. Besides the League of the South, what "white nationalist" groups is Levin talking about? He identifies no others. To use the plural makes it sound like the Flaggers have found "common cause" with many groups, but unless he names them, we have to conclude that the "white nationalist groups" accusation is deliberately deceptive.
That a small handful of League members have attended heritage events does not give the League "common cause" with Confederate heritage. Regardless of how the individuals may feel, the League has grown increasingly hostile to Confederate heritage. No "common cause" there. Nor is there a "close association" between the Flaggers and the League, or any other non-heritage organization. I am calling this terminology an outright lie.
"Their (the Flaggers') understanding of the war falls neatly within the confines of the Lost Cause narrative: Slavery had nothing to do with the cause of the war; relations between white and black Southerners were peaceful before the war; the Confederacy fought solely for states’ rights; and African Americans supported the cause in large numbers."This is completely and totally his opinion, and not only a mistaken one, but a hostile one. Certainly slavery had something to do with the war, most people understand that. What heritage folks reject, however, is the binary, elementary-school view that the evil South was fighting solely to keep an entire race in chains, and the sainted north was fighting solely to free them. Everything in Levin's description is designed to paint heritage people as mental clones, all believing the same thing about one of the most complex events in our national history. Anybody who has been around the heritage community for a while knows how hard it is to get us to agree (like "herding cats") and knows about our legendary disagreements, the circular firing squads, etc. As much as Levin has obsessed over the heritage community, I'm sure he knows this. Thus, I'm calling this statement another deliberate falsehood.
What Levin neglects to mention about the banning of flags in Lexington for one weekend a year is that the push was spearheaded by an immigrant with hostility toward the South and its heritage, and no respect for us and our traditions, or that very likely, the petition to remove the flag included signatures of people who were not residents of the town. He also neglects to mention that the flags removed from Lee Chapel were done so at the behest of a small handful of African-American students, at least one of whom wished to recreate and step into the role of a demonstrator from the 1960s civil rights glory days. Levin did not mention how the "trauma" of these students over the sight of the battle flags in a small alcove of the chapel stacks up to (and, frankly, trivializes) the horrors that real civil rights activists encountered in the mid-20th century.
"In 2012 the Flaggers were photographed parading with Matthew Heimbach. Heimbach was the founder of Towson State’s White Student Union and Towson’s Youth for Western Civilization. In 2014 he became the League of the South’s training director and is considered by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be the “new face of white nationalism.”
What Levin neglects to mention is that this handful of photos were not made at a Flagger sponsored event, and that most of the Flaggers had no idea who he was (and probably still don't), what he believed, where he was from, and what he had done at Towson, which they also did not know was the university he attended. Is a stranger walking next to you as you enter or leave a stadium for a football game a "close contact"? No. Thus, Levin's term, "close contact" is not just a lie, it is a blatant lie.
While it is unfortunate that a couple of the landowners the Flaggers have a business arrangement with made bigoted remarks that have been reported on the Internet, that is not any sort of indication that anyone in the group shares those beliefs. Probably everyone has had to do business with people whose beliefs they find repugnant... for example, I've had to share a workplace with people who blatantly supported the killing of children in the womb, but you can rest assured, I did not and never will share that belief.
Levin's hostility to the VaFlaggers is rooted in his hostility to the South and our heritage, of which the Confederacy, the war and their aftermath, are an indelible and essential part. He takes the politically correct view of the evil, dirty South, because of slavery, while totally ignoring the north's enabling of slavery, and the north's enormous economic benefits from slavery. I think he probably has a lot of animosity for Southerners regardless of their views of the war and Confederate heritage.
I suspect if he doesn't share the view of his wife, as expressed on his blog a few years back, he doesn't really object to it. She was upset because she misinterpreted a graphic image of Obama as having a "bloody" face. It doesn't depict that, as I demonstrated here: http://mybacksass.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-wish-for-early-croakin.html
Because of her own misinterpretation of the image, and her blowing the comments up all out of proportion, she expressed this wish for an early death for Southerners:
"If they were in Germany they probably would still find many arguments why Hitler was such a “success”…all in the “gentle” spirit of “heritage”, excluding Jews, commies and the rest of “them”. The only thing that makes my day is that the overall education these people enjoy and their general attitude to life, especially their choice of diet will statistically make enough a difference that they croak earlier than the average person in the US. Bless their heart!"Both of the Levins have exhibited hostility toward Southerners, their culture, history and heritage, and that hostility -- or is it outright hate? -- is clearly on display in Kevin's "Daily Beast" hit piece.
The Heimbach Files at Backsass