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NOW IS THE be Seen and Heard

Now is the Time... to be Seen and Heard

If you are reading this, you probably have a lot of interest in what’s rightfully ours: our past, our traditions, and our beloved Flag. I imagine a lot of us have breathed a collective sigh of relief over the last election outcomes at both the National and State levels. We suppose that the PC attacks may lessen or at least not be taken so seriously, and that basic liberties such as the second amendment might be safe at least for the time being. Maybe we don’t need to speak up so much and we might even can afford to rest the Battle Flag for a while.

I think you’d be wrong and submit that now, more than ever, we need to double down on our efforts because those that would see us exterminated might be licking their wounds right now, but it is a short-sided view to think they’ve gone away for good. In a previous post I mentioned a few ideas about being an active supporter of Southern Heritage. Another area I could have included is to be an outspoken and visible supporter. You can do this a number ways: you can speak at public forums, you can display the Flag, and you can write posts, letters to editors and public officials, and you can respond to things others write.

In this post I want advance a few of personal ideas about writing. It can be very effective when done well. It can also be a double-edge sword that ends up making us not look so good. One of the keys to being an effective writer, is to first be well read.

I read all I can that’s written from our point of view because in addition to good information, it is also comforting to know there are plenty of people out there fighting the good fight and keeping the faith.

I also read a lot from what the other side is saying too, because quite frankly, it is everywhere and knowing your foe is important. It is also enlightening to read the comments that follow articles and posts to gauge the impact on readers. Our people are also everywhere and it is the rare slight in print that goes unnoticed and is allowed to pass unscathed. I think that’s great.

But the comments our folks leave are just as varied as the tone of the articles themselves. Both can run the gamut from superbly composed and supported by history to hysterical and profane, and points in between. Having been the consumer of years-worth of these opinions and retorts, I have a personal idea of what I think helps and does not help us in terms of what we say in print. Consider the following for what you think it is worth:

Overly emotional replies are easily dismissed as being, well, emotional. I cringe when I read someone railing against an injustice and using all caps, multiple exclamation points, and /or profanity. They have swallowed the bait and will not get taken seriously. Calm, composed, and well-grounded replies have much more effectiveness and stand a far greater chance at getting others to consider our point of view. Replying while angry is seldom a good idea.

Emotional replies often include a nice helping of name-calling, and name-calling’s first cousin: belittling. While I appreciate sly sarcasm and using terms like “carpetbagger” in the abstract, directly calling someone a nasty name or referring to them in a really derogatory manner has dubious value in my humble opinion. Our opponents love to label us in an attempt to marginalize us and I hate playing their game. I like to think: “What would a yankee do?” and then do the opposite.

If you are going to cite history, know your history. I have seen way too many occasions where a supporter from our side refutes some historical argument with something lame like, “Yeah, well you better go reread your history” with no facts to support his side of the story. Then, the originator comes back with even more historical detail, eviscerates our guy, and really shores up his argument. We are not going up against imbeciles, but they sure will make you look like one if you are not careful. Knowing our history should be second only to knowing the Bible.

Lastly, in this age of instant communication, proper grammar and correct spelling seem to be on permanent vacation. I think it matters. Whatever you write does not have to read like an academic journal, but it should be readable and coherent. It helps to proofread too. The idea is convince readers that ours is the true and correct position. We want to win hearts and minds. A rambling discourse full of typos and awful grammar only helps the other side’s contention that we’re all buffoons.

It only takes a little extra effort

Jerry Smith, Ocala, FL

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