Confederate names at local schools remain at issue

Well, Larry Johnson has outed himself. Yep, he went to Lee-Davis High School in the mid-1960s. Actually saw black people walking into a classroom at a school named after a Confederate general. And he feels bad about it. Only took 50 years, Larry, but, you mustered up the courage to remember how bad you feel now about how bad you felt then.

But the worst part was the horror of that 1966 Pep Rally. I can’t believe you’ve survived all these years. And you still live in Hanover County, Virginia -- the epicenter of worldwide racism.

Slavery ended 150 years ago. Maybe we look forward. We can’t change the past.

Larry and anybody else wanting to remember suddenly how bad they felt, go study your history. And I’ll give you a place to start:

In 1830 alone, there were over 3,700 black men owning over 12,000 slaves. Oops.

John St. George

Mechanicsville

Reader offers rebuttal to recent letter

This is a polite reference to the letter written to The Mechanicsville Local by Larnie Allgood Jr. (which appeared in the July 24, 2019 issue). Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this gentleman used the-boy-who-called-wolf analogy in a defense of “a controversial group.”

I’ll begin this rebuttal with the phrase OMG, and then commend the writer on the very appropriate use of “sheep herder” in the letter.

First; if you do not believe that the wanton, evil, desperate, sick and disgusting revival of centuries-old racism is upon us all now (again, after 400 years of strife.

No one is crying “wolf.” If you’re espousing an absence of this hateful disease, then you’re either a sheep or an ignorant enabler (“ignorant” unlike my issue of “stupid” is only temporary; it can be remedied).

Second; let me try to educate you. The Constitution (I defended the danged thing for nearly 24 years, starting with the oath to guard it with my life if need be) was written in good faith. However, I’ve always had an issue with the “all-men-are-created-equal” portion and the “every-citizen-has-the-right” portion ... therein. It sucks for these reasons (black folks [and to a lesser extent: women] didn’t even have those rights in the beginnings here!).

You’re calling attention to the “right to/of assembly” (of this “controversial group”) of these people didn’t fare well with black folks who simply wanted to assemble and vote (years and years after the 13/14th Amendments to the Constitution). They were all scattered and lynched -- hung in a tree because they wanted to vote, or they were successful, or they (lie) whistled at a white girl, or they (tried to assemble, etc.).

Then you use the “extreme left” as an epithet. Let me tell you: “liberal” comes from the Greek word(s) which give way to “Liberty,” which freed us from the tyrant George III in our American War of Independence. You’d still be subject to the British crown if that war wasn’t fought!

Seems the main users of the adjective(s) “far-left” and “liberal” are/were (historically ... please see Adolf Hitler’s Germany in any high school-leveled world history text) on the polar opposite side of the political spectrum (again refer to the text cited above).

If “objective and fair-minded” people do not see the wanton, evil, desperate, sick and disgusting revival of centuries-old racism, then they need to get their heads out of the sand.

Today’s “political environment” is so filled with racism (white fear actually) and is being fanned by the (perceived) white messiah in the White House; that a fourth grader can see it. If an adult cannot see this then I’d suggest a redo (of third grade).

Then your “controversial group” .... Ha! Just call a spade a spade man. Yes, the Ku Klux Klan does have a “constitutional right” of free speech. Question: Does this “free speech” border on yelling “fire” in a movie theater? I think it does (but I’m nobody and there’s nothing I can do save these letters to attempt to educate).

The “far-left” sees much, much more than a “political issue.” They see a resurrection of hate, which began to simmer underneath it all when a black man dared to take the Oath of Office for President of the United States in January 2009.

They see the sleepy little town of Charlottesville explode into a mini-race-war almost exactly two years ago (yes: happy anniversary again) because tiki torches (OMG, again) paraded around the night before it all with more chants (from Nazi Germany). They see (very) unnecessary and over-reactive manslaughter with “stand-your-ground” and (a few bad apples) cops-stopping black guys (for tail lights out). They see (Trump inspired) mass-murder “to protect against an invasion?!”

Your letter, which obviously dilutes the race-hate issues) is killing our fledgling infant country (China is 4,000 years old and Russia is a 1,000 years old) and will add to the ongoing death of a dream to self-rule set aside for us by our forefathers’ own dreams.

Get yourself lots of popcorn because it’ll be an epic and long movie (Czar Vladimir Putin has his popcorn already).

Dr. Richard Ryder

Mechanicsville

Resident agrees with NAACP on changing names

I disdain the NAACP as I consider it a racist organization, and I abhor all things racist. However, I agree with the group’s desire to change the name of at least Lee-Davis school, road, and anything named in “honor” of the quite deplorable, racist Jefferson Davis.

As all Southern white slave owners, he was a Democrat and it amazes me daily how minorities so cling to the party of slavery, but Davis was a particularly dishonorable man. He owned 116 slaves and Davis said that he believed blacks were inferior to whites.

His biographer stated that “he favored a Southern Social Order of democratic white polity based on dominance of a controlled black caste.” (KKK rhetoric.)

Davis was an ineffective leader and was hated by the military, Congress and the working class public as he favored his rich and powerful plantation supporters.

He encouraged the poor boys to die for the Confederacy. He considered Yankee and Negro rule of the South oppressive after the war and after his cowardly escape from Richmond to Danville ahead of the Union Army he continued his rants on slavery being states rights.

He said he was the “Champion of slave society which embodied the values of the planter class.” He tried to gain support of European nations to support his cause threatening them with cotton supplies but his efforts failed. Britain had abolished slavery in 1830. They were not on his side.

My parents were immigrants and my father, an Army officer, was intrigued by the Civil War, pitting countrymen against countrymen. He came from Poland where they had to fight foreign intruders for centuries. When he was stationed at Ft. Monroe we learned a lot about Jefferson Davis and visited the casemate prison where Davis was imprisoned and charged with treason (albeit never tried). It was a glad site to the see a photo last week that the Jefferson Davis Memorial Park sign has been removed.

General Robert E. Lee was not a slave owner – yes, his wife was and now that family property is Arlington Cemetery. Lee was an honorable man of character and obeyed his commander who was Davis. There is no other relationship other than Lee was a general under Davis’ very ineffective command and they should not be in the same sentence together.

When I moved to Mechanicville six years ago, I was stunned and ashamed of the name of the high school that my grandchildren will attend. It is offensive to many whites as much as to the blacks in the area and then to add insult, their mascot is Confederates.

For the Hanover County Board of Supervisors to be so insensitive is racist in itself and the cost of defending a lawsuit will be far more expensive than finally changing a name after so many decades of being asked to do so. There is no good reason to continue with controversy.

Mechanicsville High School Bulldogs is non-offensive to anyone. Why is it necessary to sue to get your attention?

My daughter is a teacher in Fairfax and her first statement when seeing the Lee-Davis Confederates is that the racism is blinking red lights. I wonder how the school would fare if all black athletes protested and refused to participate in team sports. Hmm …

Patricia Lassiter

Mechanicsville

Grassroots cause seeks to resend Peace

John Grisham has released 47 books, which have sold over 275 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 42 languages. But, the story didn’t begin with him as a successful writer. He was a lawyer.

John Grisham said that he could hardly give away his first book, “A Time to Kill.” By any standards, it was a flop. John wasn’t deterred.

Like his first book, his second book, “The Firm,” wasn’t advertised; it was reviewed but not a lot and what reviews he did get were all bad.

But, the people who read “The Firm” liked it; and they told a friend, “You should check this book out”. More people did that and more people did that until, ultimately, “The Firm” spent 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and has sold well in excess of 7 million books.

“The Firm” became the bestselling novel of 1991 and Grisham sold rights of the book to Paramount Pictures, which made a movie of that book.

John Grisham’s career as a writer didn’t happen because of advertising; it wasn’t because of a real clever marketing plan; and it wasn’t because of great reviews.

Grisham was successful because of people sharing -- one person liked his book and told another person and that person told another person until literally millions and millions of his books have been sold, including, later, “A Time to Kill.”

Our goal is to send Republican Chris Peace back to the Virginia General Assembly as our 97th District delegate.

Del. Peace was “thrown under the bus” by the current incorrigible committee members of the local and state Republican Party of Virginia (RVA). Nonetheless, similar to Grisham, Peace has not been deterred from political aspirations.

I don’t have a clever marketing plan; a group of politicians who are able to step up and promote Del. Peace as the loyal Republican that he is, or even to ask Peace to campaign. Because of his Loyalty Oath to the Republican Party and status as a Republican with the Virginia Department of Elections, he cannot campaign or say anything to promote his own write-in campaign.

That goal is dependent upon one person telling another person who tells another person who tells another person until we have 100 voters telling 1,000 voters who will tell 12,200 voters to write-in Chris Peace on their ballots in the Nov. 5 General Election. When you do the math and there are 36,000 citizens who will vote, we only need 12,200 voters based upon historical data. It’s not hard when one person commits and another and another, etc.

That’s grassroots in Virginia. Be a part of something, which has the great probability to be historical in the 97th District.

It’s the natural outflow of citizens who recognized what happened in the 97th District Republican Party nomination process -- and you are not satisfied with what happened. I’ve talked to many people and you can trust that there are literally thousands of people who are justifiably angry!

Why wouldn’t we want to share the news that we will write-in Chris Peace’s name, knowing that when we do, we keep a quality Republican in office who has always served his constituents locally and on the state level.

It is our privilege to take the grassroots in Virginia effort into our hands and take the foolishness of the RVA and a candidate who does not deserve to have his name on the ballot as the Republican nominee out of their control.

The RVA and the candidate, Scott Wyatt, didn’t play fair and he doesn’t deserve to represent us in the General Assembly.

This letter will not get Chris Peace elected. Nonetheless, together we can elect Chris Peace. Start sharing and talking now. It’s little more than two months until the election.He will serve when elected.

You must write-in Chris Peace on your ballot to get him elected.

Stay tuned.

Ray Alexander

Mechanicsville

Writer defends heritage, turf through years

That anti-Confederate letter by Don Ducote that you published for the second time, with understandable reason given, is the most vicious, ignorant, insulting, and inflammatory letter I have ever read in The Mechanicsville Local, and I have read nearly every copy since day one. Pardon what might seem intemperate language here, but there is certainly nothing temperate about his letter.

Many, and likely most, of the anti-Confederate letters that have appeared in The Local over the years are from persons who have no roots in Hanover County. They are from individuals who have moved here from out of state or other localities in Virginia.

In defending the Confederacy, I am defending my own heritage and own turf that goes back centuries. My ancestors were among the first settlers of Hanover County and participated in the Revolutionary War.

My maternal great-great-grandfather owned the “Cold Harbor Property,” all 182-acres, before, during and after the War Between the States. His son, my great-grandfather fought and bled for the Confederacy, along with other ancestors.

No, I’m not abandoning their memory or sacrifices! Neither should others abandon theirs. Today the pressure to do so is great due to the fact that the media, academia, business, government and entertainment are all bumping into each other to see who can be the most politically correct.

The local branch of the NAACP, which has filed an unjustified Federal lawsuit to change the names of two Hanover County schools are among those who protested the recent appearance of the KKK at the Hanover Courthouse.

My own father, the Times-Dispatch’s first editorial cartoonist, before becoming internationally syndicated with the Chicago Sun Times, was a target of the KKK because of his Catholicism back in the days when the KKK was very strong.

In my published book, “Whistling Down the Halls,” which contains some 800 of his cartoons and a biography, I cover that topic.

(My book, incidentally, was praised by Tom Silvestri, publisher of the Times-Dispatch, as “an absolute delight.”)

I was a cartoonist for a short-lived, mostly black-staffed weekly newspaper in the mid-1960s.

Each week I produced a cartoon that featured a young black married couple with two children living in a diversified community.

Michael T.

“Mickey” Reardon

Mechanicsville

Receive daily news emails sent directly to your email inbox

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.