To Mourn. To Honor.

Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

“The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increases learning.” ~ Proverbs 16:21

Spoiler Alert. I am not a serious journalist. I have very little formal training other than on-the-job experience with high school newspapers, literary magazines, and the startup of a pretty impressive video production lab — all of which were briar patches that I maneuvered with the enthusiastic help of my students. I am, however, a very serious citizen of the United States of America, and I am frightened with the direction that our community, state, and country are heading with the prodding of a very large and very ugly stick held by a sinister, manipulative media. The “Free” Press. And I am terrified by the implications of today’s galloping plague, Group Think.
We each have a single voice with singular, independent ideas, yet many of us are lately tossed into an unlovely lump, (haters) and are being mocked and ridiculed by a majority who make up the Internet Mob whose harassing mantras are parroted by street protesters, many not yet old enough to vote, and whose signs need to be run through a good spell check (and an editorial washing machine — filthy language). Pathetic.
Those of us who fall on the less vocal Conservative side of the coin that makes up the currency that is now this unequally divided country, find ourselves in a name-calling contest with our Liberal friends. “Haters” they shout. “Liars” we warble back, a tear in our throats. Most of us had not been used to seeing our values shredded by vitriol, nor were we used to others assuming that they knew what was in our hearts. It is not Hate, I can tell you that, for I know my fellow Christians, I know my hard-working middle class neighbors, I know the hearts of my family and I know of their loyalty to our southern heritage.
I was broken-hearted to discover that a large group of protesters showed up to blast the County Commission when they prepared to read into its minutes the yearly proclamation of Confederate Memorial Day. There are those of us who grew up believing that Robert E. Lee was a model of honor and patriotism. At the same time we were learning to understand how there were those in our communities who had been denied their rights, yet we were still close to the stories and memory of great grandfathers and great, great uncles — just plain hardscrabble, dirt farmers — whose stories were tragic. They had lost their land, their future and some had lost their lives. But they belonged to us. They still do. They always will. You can drag their statues shamefully through the streets, rip their images from a giant granite mountain, deface their graves, but you cannot take the melody of Dixie from our hearts, and I cannot apologize for my people wishing to honor their dead, not The War, their dead! Precious young men, sons, brothers and fathers, who like their descendants who would be spit on when they returned from the Vietnam War (also an “unpopular” war), our Confederate dead are still our veterans and are still mourned.
What a sad and sorry lot we must seem to the rest of the world watching us tear one another limb from limb. Our international friends must rightly think we have lost our minds. A sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall will soon push and shove to see the once-shamed female comedian who held the decapitated head of the President …” Laugh Your Head Off.” That’s the name of her comedy tour. Despicable.

“Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear.” ~ Eph 4:

We are losing even a modicum of good taste and reasonable behavior to mean-spirited, bullying, and vitriolic reporters who are not real journalists, not real arbiters of the facts but are “opinionists.” The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is a perfect example. This annual “Roast,” once a gentle lampooning of fellow journalists, was a hate-filled gathering who watched (and laughed) as some lackluster comedian ”burned at the stake” one of the present administration’s representatives. Exacting their pound of flesh. Disgusting. And made jokes about…ready…abortion. Inexcusable.
So who are the journalists of today, the trusted purveyors of news and events of grave importance? Who is really running the country? Politicians? Voters? Us? Or is it “unaccountable, unelected individuals who bear no consequences for their participation or leadership (and) have become the arbiters of justice.” (Tucker Carlson) Just let the mob get the upper hand and we are done for.
An aside: Last week I joined friends in Manchester to honor our Confederate dead. We were not there to “celebrate” them but to honor them. Of the over 160 “Facebook Friends” on my site, only 20 people responded to the photo I posted (standing beside a wreath) with a “like.” I guess I wasn’t really surprised, but these people know me; they know I am not a hater, a racist, an idiot. But I am fed up and more so, I am afraid for our First Amendment rights. They are not just one-sided, folks, but they are becoming harder for some of us to express. Speak out. Please.

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