Wednesday, October 21, 2015
FreeMississippi.org Weekly Update No. 2
Tomorrow night (July 30th) John Cripps will be speaking in Lucedale, Mississippi at The Landmark Cafe 5173A Main St. 601-766-9617. Bob Sansevere and Kandi Shivers have worked together to secure the location and promote the meeting. Bob goes all the way back with us to the first flag flag in 2000-2001 and we met Kandi at the Beauvoir meeting two weeks ago. Since it will be mainly a new group, I will speak briefly about FreeMississippi.org and what makes us different, and I will touch on some of the background issues and why we are once more faced with the removal of our historical/cultural symbols. We will form a chapter that will encompass George, Greene and Perry Counties. As these counties grow in numbers, we will branch them off to individual groups.
BRAXTON LAST WEEKEND
It has been 14 years since our last big roadside event and we were a bit unsure how our Braxton Bash was going to go. It didn't take long to find out. Once we erected the old 18' battleflag, cars began to pour in before we could complete the setup. It was a madhouse! Over the course of the weekend, we talked with hundreds of angry Southerners who pulled over to see what we were all about. There were literally thousands more that honked their horn as they passed our display. Often it was so loud you could hardly talk with folks. Dozens stopped just to have their photo taken with our huge flag. We signed up dozens of new volunteers!
It was certainly different than the flag fight in 2000-2001. Back in the day, we had to work to fire people up. We don't have that problem anymore. Folks were angry and many were so red-faced it looked as if they needed to hit something to let off some steam. We kept hearing over and over again, "Our enemies have gone too far this time." What amazed many of us was the fact these Southerners got out of their air-conditioned cars and came to chat with us in blistering heat. I do not believe there has been a hotter day in Mississippi than Saturday!
People wanted battleflags by the score and we only had a few. We promised we would return when we had some to put out. The good news is we have an arrival of battleflags, in various shapes and sizes, coming tomorrow just in time for both the Lucedale meeting AND a Braxton v2.0 event.
Ray White secured permission from the owner to hold another roadside event this weekend, August 1st and 2nd.
We want to use this weekend as A TRAINING EVENT. We have signed up a lot of new volunteers and we want to teach them how to hold events like this, how to talk succinctly with people, how to deal with large crowds, and deal with any security issues. A FreeMississippi.org roadside event is not simply throwing up a flag and setting up a table. It is a complicated, well-planned strategy gleaned from years of roadside experience. You will see how our experienced team can take an area of grass and quickly transform it into an incredible carnival-like atmosphere with a huge display of flags and everything we need to interact with people. You will learn why "our" setup attracts so many people when others can't seem to get garner any interest.
We can only train a limited number of people at a time. If you want to volunteer, please contact John Cripps immediately at 601.385.4125. You can volunteer for either day or both. Setup with begin at 9:00 sharp. If you cannot be there at 9:00, then please volunteer for another day. A smooth setup is the most complicated, yet most critical aspect of the day. When the first flag goes up, people being to stop..making it difficult to complete the setup.
Heat. It will be hot, so dress accordingly. We take the safety of our members seriously. We provide tents and awnings so you will not be in the direct sun (except those who occasionally go to the roadside and work "flag down duty). We will have a cooler loaded with ice and bottled water. If you prefer something else, feel free to throw it in the cooler. You may want to pack a sandwich and some snacks. When its busy it becomes difficult to run grab a burger somewhere. It is certainly OK to do so, but you probably will not want to. It is such a high to chat with all the passionate people who arrive, it's easy to get caught up in it and not want to leave.
Security. Everyone seems scared to death of gangs stopping by and causing violence. While there has been some videos online of genuine attacks on Southerners with flags, it has never happened at any of the hundreds of events I've hosted. You will note these attacks are almost always a gang of thugs vs. one individual. There will be several of us and we always have a security team who is prepared beforehand for any potential trouble. We have never once had to use them, but they are ready for anything that could possibly come their way. If we had an ounce of fear, we would not bring our children and let them stand on the roadside and wave flags.
You may have heard about a "hate crime" committed in our own State this week. A man in Pascagoula had a State flag on his private property pulled down, burned and then his driveway spray painted with the words "Blacks Rule." This is hitting close to home, and this is why we need to move quickly to have our county chapters set up. We need to make a quick and strong response when an atrocity like this occurs. I was told some people had brought this man a new flag and there has been an offer to scrub his driveway.
Do not misunderstand what I am about to say. It is fantastic folks have stepped up to the plate and given this man some new flags. It is noble to volunteer to get out in the heat and clean the spray paint off of his driveway. BUT...this is not how you handle this. The event made news for THEIR SIDE. It emboldens other radical blacks to do similar things UNLESS they see a strong backlash. The way this SHOULD have been handled is:
Call a large group together carrying flags, while strapped.
Put the flag back up and have a detail clean the drive while the remainder stand on the perimeter visibly angry and facially daring anyone else to try it.
Call the newspaper and TV reporters beforehand. Wait until they arrive to put the flag back up so it can be filmed.
Have your best spokesman look into the news camera with burning eyes and say this will not happen again without repercussion. Do not say what that means. Leave it a mystery. Take the offensive. Do not say this is "Heritage not Hate." That only plays into their strategy.
Lastly, have a daily patrol for several days and let a couple of armed men spend a hour each evening at the end of the driveway holding a flag. This will send a strong message while also protecting the brave man who is willing to continue flying a flag.
Why is this the proper procedure? Because it will hit the news and maybe even go national. It puts US in the saddle and takes away the empowerment they received from the media coverage. The goal is not to put one of our pretty faces on national TV – we are not glory-seekers here! The prize to be won is stealing the empowerment they get from these violent acts...acts we normally just roll over and take!
This is one of the reasons why we are trying to get these isolated groups to join up with us. We have over two decades experience in Southern activism. Tragedies like this must be turned around into opportunities. Our enemies are attacking us on all flanks this time around. Mississippians must unite! We cannot afford to sit around in little Facebook groups and expect to win this. Yes, newbies will gain experience over time. The problem is we do not have the time!
FREE SOUTH NEWS SERVICE
Recently we announced our upcoming news service and asked for name suggestions. We got a big response. This past weekend while in Braxton looking at our huge 18' Battleflag with "FreeSouth.org" on it, I had a brain flash. Our leadership has already made the decision FreeMississippi.org will not be disbanded in the future, like we did after the last flag victory. We further made the decision we would not expand into other States, and FreeSouth.org would therefore never come back into existence. Well, here we are with all of this FreeSouth.org branding. We have flags, t-shirts, caps, coffee mugs, thousands of bumperstickers etc. with FreeSouth.org on it. It's a great name. I have had numerous offers over the years to sell it.
You guessed it...Free South will be the name of our news service. I am currently in the process of recruiting a team of researchers and copywriters. I do not want to launch the service until we have a good team ready to go to work. This news service will be professionally designed and managed. The news will not be based on rumors or hearsay, but rather verified stories with commentary. This will be the real deal. We will list atrocities, cultural attacks, scalawag politicians, unfriendly businesses to boycott and things of this nature. We will also have an event calendar for organizations to post events to.
Anyone good at researching news articles and verifying the authenticity can volunteer by getting in touch with us at 601.385.4125. We are especially hurting for good copywriters. I'll keep you all updated.
Jen is working on some new FreeMississippi.org t-shirt designs. Over the years many groups asked me if it was OK to use our old slogan "Are You Mad Enough Yet? I always told them I didn't own the trademark so why not. Now in 2015, we find it has been used all over the place, so we want to come up with something new. We love the Texas motto: "Don't Mess With Texas." We would like a catchy Mississippi equivalent. "Leave Mississippi Alone" somehow seems wimpy next to Texas. Now the Texans will tell us that Mississippi will always be wimpy next to them. How are we gonna respond to that my friends? Put on your thinking caps and come up with a good slogan for Jen to put on the shirts, but do it fast...we are about ready to get tees printed up!
That is all for this week folks. We are being pulled in all directions throughout the State. We do not yet have the horsepower to meet these demands. It is up to us, my fellow Mississippi brothers and sisters, to rise to the occasion. If we do not bravely stand firm on the principles we all profess to hold, we will lose everything that is dear to us. A lot of people have the mentality, "What can one person really do?" Terry Joe Rainey was one man who didn't know what to do until he joined up with us 15 years ago. That one man decided to walk to Jackson with his little rat terrier. He took two months off work, walked mornings, and set up a table in the afternoons. I know most people can't take an extended leave from work, but the point remains. I can't begin to tell you story after story of what one man, or one woman, accomplished in the past history of our organization. They are true heroes. None of them had ever done anything like this before. They had no training and they were all nervous to one degree or another. But they got hold of their fears and found the strength of heart to go forward and do something. Once involved in the fight, the little sparks grew into passionate flames within the souls of many of our people...just common everyday Mississippians.
That is what we are...common folk. We don't have rich donors or famous people on our rolls. We raise our funds by taking donations for flags or license plates. The truth is, we have never been concerned about quantity...what we seek is quality. We seek quality of character, quality of commitment and quality of service. They say getting Southerners together is like herding cats. FreeMississippi.org is a family made up of such diverse people you could never get us together for anything...yet here we are. We found a way to come together as a people...
We want you in Lucedale and Jackson this week...even if you had to make a drive to be there. Come out and support us and help get this train rolling...
For A Free Mississippi,