“To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we submit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which made him glorious, and which you also cherish. Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.” ~ Lieutenant General Stephen Dill Lee, Commander-in-Chief, United Confederate Veterans, 24 April 1906.
I joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans for three reasons. The first was to honor my ancestors who served under the greatest of men, General Robert E. Lee, in the Army of Northern Virginia. The second was to honor and protect the memories of, and monuments to, every Southern soldier, sailor, and marine that served the Confederate States of America in her struggle against the tyranny of a power-hungry Federal government. The third was to help perpetuate the truth about what led the Southern States to secede from the Union and what really caused Americans to slaughter each other by the tens of thousands in the War of Northern Aggression. I remain, and shall remain, a proud member of the SCV. That being said, I feel that the Sons, as a whole and generally speaking, are guilty of not fulfilling the charge given us by Lieutenant General S. D. Lee one hundred and twelve years ago.
I realize that there are many who are joined in the fight to protect our monuments and flags; I am not addressing these Sons in this piece. I am also aware that our Commander-in-Chief, Paul Gramling, is implementing a long-term plan to protect Confederate monuments. While I have the utmost respect for CIC Gramling, I feel that by standing down, however temporary it may be, we are allowing the further destruction not only of our monuments but also the further degradation of the name and honor of the Confederate soldier, sailor, and marine.
Make no mistake, gentlemen, we are at war. Our heritage is being destroyed, and while a long-term battle plan is indeed required, there are skirmishes being fought on many fronts that we, as the defenders of our ancestors’ memory and honor, should be involved in, i.e. protecting Confederate monuments.
We, as descendants of the Confederacy’s magnificent fighting men, are looked to for leadership by the millions of Southerners that are actually taking a stand for the things WE have been charged with protecting, and they are feeling let down. They have good reason for feeling that way, for far too many of us are not fulfilling the duties we have to the blood we carry, and we are, after all, the ones who SHOULD be out there standing our ground against those who would see our heritage and the righteousness of the Southern Cause erased from history. How can we expect them to stand when WE won’t.
As many of you know, I have ignored the order to stand down. I shall continue to do so; God and Duty to the Blood demand it of me. I have been out amongst the Philistines, so to speak, and I have stood my ground beside True Patriots, grossly outnumbered and under the most profane and vulgar of verbal attacks. I have been threatened, weak as those threats may be, and I have witnessed first-hand the hate and aggression of the mob that is our opposition. I have also witnessed their cowardice. They are only seen and heard when their numbers far outweigh ours. Their weapons are misinformation, disruptive noise, and of all things, five-and-dime smoke bombs. They spout indoctrinated rhetoric and when we reply with information which they can’t dispute, they drown us out with music (if it can be called such) blasted through loudspeakers and with shrill, childlike screams and chants piped through mega-phones. When I am out there doing and experiencing these things, if asked, I sadly tell folks that in no way do I represent the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I tell them that I represent the Facebook group “Heirs to the Confederacy,” of which I am founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors. I tell them that I am there in order to preserve my heritage as a North Carolinian, a Southerner, a descendant of Confederate soldiers, and an American. I tell them that I am there to preserve the truths of this nation’s history, whatever those truths may be. And when they are willing to have a civilized conversation, I tell them the South’s truths, and I answer their questions as best I can. I wish I COULD tell them that, yes, I am a member of the Sons, but as things stand as far as our organizations position on the matter, I can’t. So I carry on, my only regret thus far being that I can’t look at a crowd of protesters and say, “Yes, I am a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and I’m damned proud of it.”
Gentlemen, I ask each of you to carefully re-read the charge given us, and to decide what it means to YOU. I beg of you to ask of yourselves why you became a member of the SCV. I urge you to ask yourself how important your Confederate heritage is to you, and search deeply within your heart for the answer. If you find that your answers make you feel as if you should do more in this fight, please, do more. All I’m asking is that you do all that you can. That is all anyone can ask of you, and they have every right to ask exactly that of us, as Sons of Confederate Veterans. The charge given us so long ago may not be a sworn oath, but I, for one, and others I know, take it as a sacred trust that is NOT to be broken. What is it to you?
22 December 2018
At some point we are going to have to engage the enemy on the ideological battlefield. In other words the best and most experienced and knowledgeable intellectuals of the Southern tradition are going to have to engage the Leftist – so called intellectuals – who have taken the educational high grounds of our schools and universities while we stood idly by. There has to be new public debate that will influence and inform the general public’s mind in order to sway opinion and change the Tide that now comes against us. While engaging the already indoctrinated useful idiots on the ground in front of Monuments may be initially gratifying and in most cases necessary, only a few minds there will be informed or changed for the better. Unfortunately if the apex of our efforts are at the grounds of heralded or already fallen Monuments, the most profound result will be in providing for and fueling a left-wing Psyops operation that was coordinated with the complicity and foreknowledge of the media, academia and government. Our enemies are well entrenched and have been working towards this moment since April 9th 1865. The only lulls wherein Southerners thought there was unity and reconciliation were calculated efforts to persuade us to fight the despotic Empire’s wars abroad.
While we should never stand down we should be wise where we choose to create inflection points for the furtherment of our Cause. Victory will take a long and concerted effort. Our enemies nature, cause and origin are anything but American and are diametrically opposed to the original intent of our original Constitution and Republic. This has to be exposed. I recommend the books To the Victors Go the Myths and Monuments by Arthur R. Thompson, Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists by Walter D. Kennedy and Albert Benson Jr., as well as Blood Money: The Civil War and The Federal Reserve by John Remington Graham. I understand that I am a nobody in regards to the Southern Heritage movement but I have put in as much effort as I can especially during the effort to take down the Monument in Randolph County. I have spent thousands of dollars to create my own personal library of Southern history, Heritage and culture and hope to be as much of an asset to the SCV as I possibly can. My prayers and heart are 100% behind any and all of your efforts. ~ Keith Craven