Southern Secessionist Defends MS Flag – MPB Intvw

Southern secessionist

You need to watch this. William Flowers, a man from Georgia, came to a demonstration in Jackson, MS, as a leader in the effort to defend the Mississippi flag, which features an emblem of the Confederate Battle Flag. He leads the self-described southern nationalist group, League of the South.

This interview is not simply someone with a video camera. This is Mississippi Public Broadcasting interviewing a spokesman for the organized protest.

Claytoonz cartoon.

Cartoon posted with permission, copyright Clayton Jones.

The man speaks of the cultural attack on southern heritage as a genocide. That is the language and strategy of the Ku Klux Klan. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I returned home from Germany this August to find a message on my answering machine from a Presidential candidate arguing for a fight against the genocide of the white race. This man refers to genocide of southerners, which is novel, at least to my experience.

The argument reminds me of a powerful cartoon by Clay Jones, on right, featuring an African American man carrying a shot child, grieving silently, next to a wailing southern white man carrying his Confederate Battle Flag, in a shape resembling the child on left.

When asked about secession, Flowers openly advocates for it. He is explicitly a secessionist, who then says that he’d prefer a political solution. That sounds like a threat to me.

If you ever needed a demonstration that the Confederate Battle Flag is divisive, this fellow made it crystal clear. He refers to heritage, then dismisses any relation to slavery. He’s unhinged. We have this stuff scanned and online now. Mississippi’s first statement explaining its causes for secession says that slavery was its fundamental cause.

If you’ve visited my site before, you know where I stand on this. If you haven’t check out:

But seriously, watch this first:

It’s 7.5 minutes long, but you can get the most important stuff within the first 3 minutes.

If you haven’t already, visit and “like” my Facebook author page and connect with me on Twitter (@EricTWeber).

‘We’re Number 10!’ Reasons the U.S. Is Losing Ground

The United States for so long has been a champion of innovation, but because of powerful special interests and also because of some unwise reasons, we are losing a great deal of ground. When I was growing up, we would hear chants that “We’re Number 1!” especially around the time of the Olympics. Americans were proud. We thought, whether rightly or not, that we were or had the best of everything that counted. Travel abroad offers reason for humility. I found a striking example when I visited Germany this past August. There were solar panels everywhere.

German field of solar panels.

The U.S. is known for innovation for a number of reasons. The first is that early on the country was guided by a pioneer spirit. While Europe was strongly controlled by longstanding conventions, in the Americas, so many things were new. Much of the countryside was “wild,” a characteristic that was harmful when ascribed to the native peoples. Considering the wilderness of forests, bears, and other things that could kill you, there was much to do to survive. Innovations were necessary.

Photo of a telegraph controller. Beyond that, as de Tocqueville and later Max Weber pointed out (no relation, by the way), America had an industrious spirit and brought a Protestant work ethic to its industries. While the U.S. had its many troubling capitalist robber barons, it also has long been a land of invention and creativity. It’s remarkable how many inventions came from the United States, like the light bulb, the telegraph, and the telephone.

When you consider that the United States invented the automobile, it seems sad that Ford Motor Company failed to innovate and anticipate the changing market for fuel. With increasing gas prices, which of course fluctuate, demand naturally has risen for smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles. My wife and I bought a Prius. It has a 10 gallon tank of gas, or thereabouts. That might seem small. On that 10 or 11 gallon tank, we can drive 5.5 – 6 hours from Oxford, MS to Altanta, GA. True story. We get there needing to fill up soon, but we get there (I’ve got family there, so we’ve done it several times).


Mr. Bryant, Take Down the Flag

or "Governor, Take Down This Flag," in The Clarion Ledger, September 20, 2015, 2C.

Thumbnail photo of the Clarion Ledger logo, which if you click will take you to the Clarion Ledger's site where you can read the full article.My piece, “Mr. Bryant, Take Down the Flag,” came out in The Clarion Ledger this morning. In the printed version, the title is “Governor, Take Down this Flag.” For the next week or two, please head to the electronic version of the piece on the newspaper’s site. You can download and print a PDF of the article by clicking on the image of the printed version.

This is a photo of my op-ed. The link, when you click on the image, takes you to an Adobe PDF version of the published piece, with OCR.

I’ll soon post the full article on my site. For now, be sure to check out my blogpost arguing that “Racism Defies the Greatest Commandment.”

“Violence Taught When Corporal Punishment Used”

Originally published in The Clarion Ledger, May 14, 2013, 9A.

The harsh treatment of prisoners in the U.S. causes much controversy, yet in our public schools, institutionalized
violence is commonplace.

This image is shows part of the scan of my 2013 Clarion Ledger article, 'Violence Taught When Corporal Punishment Used.' If you click on this image, you'll be taken to the full scan on my page.

In April, the Hattiesburg American reported that corporal punishment declined in Mississippi schools between 2007 and 2012 from more than 58,000 reported instances to around 39,000.


The logo for The Giving Net.Looking forward to an interview with Andrea Price on The Giving Net podcast, based out of Little Rock Arkansas. The Giving Net focuses on civic engagement, philanthropy, and public service. I’ll be talking about my book, Uniting Mississippi.

Date: October 19, 2015
Time: TBD
Appearance: Interview on The Giving Net podcast
Outlet: The Giving Net: Civic Engagement, Philanthropy, Public Service
Location: Little Rock, AR
Format: Podcast

If you'd like me to speak with your group, visit my Speaking page.

The logo for KUAR 89.1 NPR, University of Arkansas Little Rock's Public Radio channel.Looking forward to interviewing on “The Clinton School Presents” radio show on Little Rock’s NPR affiliate, KUAR, 89.1 radio.

Date: October 19, 2015
Time: 1:30-2:00 p.m.
Appearance: Interview on The Clinton School Presents
Outlet: NPR Affiliate in Little Rock, AR
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Format: Radio

If you're in town, come to the book signing earlier that day at the Clinton School for Public Service, from 12-1. If you're interested in having me speak with your group, visit my Speaking page.

One University with Great Leadership

At so many colleges and universities, administrators can be checked out and out of touch, or be disaffected pencil pushers. Faculty and their administrators rarely get along well. I am with folks who want to challenge leadership when it’s wrong. At the same time, it’s important to give credit where it is due. On top of that, when there is great leadership, we should recognize it and point it out, especially if we want more of it.

The Lyceum building at the University of Mississippi.

Some fantastic universities can be really poorly run. I recall hearing recently about some foolishness from Emory University’s President. He encouraged compromise in the public sphere with reference to the 3/5ths compromise as his guiding example. It was one of the awful elements of our Constitution. Fortunately, Emory will soon have a new President, who will, I hope, be a bit more thoughtful and wise in his public commentaries.


Photos from the book signing at Square Books

Thanks to Daniel Perea for snapping these pictures at the book signing on Wednesday (September 9th, 2015)! Daniel kindly agreed to let me have the copyright for the images (Weber, 2015). Please do not use these without permission. Visit my contact page and drop me a line if you’d like to use one, especially for press or promotional purposes for future events. Thank you, Daniel!

I also want to thank Cody Morrison and Square Books for being great hosts. It was a wonderful first book signing experience. I’m honored and was very grateful and encouraged to see a number of nice folks brave the weather to hear about Uniting Mississippi. I’m pleased to report that we sold all but two copies, though one of those remaining is now gone. Square Books has one left as I write this, though a new shipment will be there soon. I’ll head over at some point soon to sign those, as one of the really cool things about real, brick and mortar bookstores like Square Books, and about literary towns like Oxford, is that authors sign books here and you can get your new book already signed by the author. You can’t do that on the forest-river-yellow Web site site. Thanks again, Square Books!

To learn more about the book, visit my page for Uniting Mississippi. If you’d like to support local bookstores like Square Books, you can order your copy on their Web site here:

Buy ‘Uniting Mississippi’ from Square Books

You can also see a brochure about the book here:

Printable Adobe PDF Brochure for ‘Uniting Mississippi’

Photo of Weber signing a book for Mrs. Gray in Oxford, MS.

I’ve got a gallery of photos from that evening, which won’t be found here if you clicked on the “Photos” link in the menu. It has something to do with the kind of post I put the gallery in. Anyway, click here to see all the photos from that night.

Thanks again to Daniel Perea for taking the pictures that night. Please do not reuse these without requesting permission first. Copyright Weber 2015.

Reflections & Call for a Moment of Silence for September 11, 2001

I remember vividly how weird a morning it was on September 11, 2001. At the time, I was living in Nashville, heading to work at a downtown law firm. I learned that year why I didn’t want to be a lawyer. That morning was unusual, because I didn’t usually turn on the radio until I got in the car on my way in to work. That morning I did, though. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was something confusing about New York City.

Never before had I felt America stand still. It was eerie. Not knowing yet quite what was going on, I went to work, still feeling concerned and confused.

Image of the Twin Towers burning on September 11, 2001. Photo by Michael Foran, creative commons license, as found on Flickr and Wikipedia.

I grew up in the New York City area. People there were and are friends of mine. They’re not just American friends. The United Nations in the U.S. is centered in New York, not D.C. So diplomats from all over the world are there and were threatened too. New York City is also the landing pad for so many people who come to the United States, furthermore. It is a place that for so long was unique. It is such an icon for the country, as we are not a land of one ethnicity, race, or religion. America is an idea about how different people who want freedom can live together and govern themselves.