Friday, January 8, 2016

Prattville Dragoons' Commander's Column for January 2016

Fox News December 27, 2015 by Bradford Richardson – Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson says Americans have a propensity to assume a racial animus in conflicts involving people of different races. Carson said that we don’t have to “inject race” into everything.  But our 44th President can’t help himself, after all, it’s what got him where he is and he can’t let it go else his cause de celeb and political base would crumble.  “Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC complained that the Star Wars franchise was racist because the major villain is black.  Darth Vader is black in the sense that Johnny Cash is black – (a) white guy in (a) black outfit. People kept waiting for Harris-Perry to crack and let us know that she was joking. But she wasn’t joking.  This isn’t the sort of thing that drives people nuts: If you’re breaking down the hidden racial significance of Darth Vader’s black armor, you’re already there. A popular image among AR-15 enthusiasts shows the fearsome-looking rifle over the caption: “It’s because I’m black, isn’t it?”  The same joke has been made about coal (and) black cats.  Barack Obama doesn’t get the joke. In an interview with NPR, the president argued “some of the scorn directed at him personally stems from the fact that he is the first “African American” to hold the White House.” i.e., “It’s because I’m black, isn’t it?” This is kind of clever, in a way in that by saying it’s about him, he’s really saying it’s about his critics and their bigotry and prejudice.  “It’s not me, it’s you.”  That is, needless to say, intellectual dishonesty, which is Barack Obama’s specialty. The really maddening thing though, is that President Obama thinks the reason he isn’t perceived as being especially good at his job is that we yokels aren’t smart enough to understand how spectacularly spectacular he is.  It’s too late to break up with Barack Obama. But if we did, we’d have to tell the truth: “It’s not us.  It’s you.” (National Review December 22, 2015 by Kevin Williamson)

Apparently though, Obama has a few genuine fans on Facebook in Alabama’s River Region.  They just “love his black axx” according to one Montgomery resident who was offended by our participation in the Prattville Christmas parade and expressed this displeasure in a venomous rant on that social media site.  Yes, the same idiocy which has gripped Columbia SC and the Montgomery AL state capitols and the city council of New Orleans as well as college campuses from Texas to Virginia, popped its head up in our beloved quiet town of Prattville.   In the smoldering light of Charleston SC and Ferguson MO, suddenly, the Prattville Dragoons pulling their float with Christmas lights and decorated tree and folks dressed in period dress and displaying historic Confederate flags while handing out candy was just intolerable, the cheers greeting our entry by thousands of parade spectators clamoring for our hundreds of mini-Battle flags, SCV coins and overflowing bags of candy not-withstanding.  

This situation highlights the importance of the new prerogative that the Dragoons must embrace.  It is imperative that in these tumultuous times where the flames of reverse racism are being fanned from Baltimore to Ferguson to Pennsylvania Avenue to our own backyards that Camp 1524 assume the high road of community outreach and service.  While parades are fun, they serve to get the SCV and the Dragoons in front of the community in a positive holiday light and we are predominately warmly received and exuberantly greeted by thousands in every parade in which we participate.  But even then, we must use the event as an opportunity to put our best face forward and be overtly polite and congenial while presenting ourselves as an educational entry. We need to be viewed in a positive public light through constructive input with our elected officials but also by the actions our camp takes as part of our charter.  The Alabama Division has promoted the Vision 2016 initiative most specifically in education and marketing.  In that vein, I was most pleased with the Dragoons next public display following the parade, our billboard advertisement wishing all our Prattville neighbors a “Merry Christmas (and) Christ’s Blessings in the Holiday Season”.  But we need to accelerate our promotion of the Cause and education of true Southern history and heritage by continuing and broadening our school outreach which has consisted of classroom presentations and JROTC awards. We need to seek more opportunities for community service including continued maintenance of the cemeteries which we have adopted thru the SCV Guardian program like Indian Hill and Robinson Springs as well as renovating additional cemeteries.  But additional opportunities exist such as the Salvation Army bell ringing which compatriot Karl Wade suggested. We will adopt a location next year and will need volunteers to man the kettle.  Other possibilities exist like adopting a highway to keep the roadside clean of litter.  There are certainly more but we need members to step up with ideas and to lead these initiatives.  I challenge each Dragoon in the New Year to make a resolution to step up in such a way, to lead or get involved in a community service project for the camp so that we can showcase SCV Camp 1524 as a valuable contributing member of the Prattville community.  Wishing you all and your families a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

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