My Reply to Bill Crawford

“Mississippi’s favorite scourge looks to afflict politics again this year,” writes Bill Crawford, in his latest column in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. And by scourge he means the race issue. Yet this always-volatile topic has yet to emerge in the campaign season of 2023 in Mississippi, until now, as Crawford himself is the first to raise it.

Like Sid Salter, Crawford is quite obviously in the camp of Delbert Hosemann and any liberal Democrats on the ballot. He obviously has it in for Senator Chris McDaniel in his race against Hosemann for the important post of Lt. Governor.

Crawford opened an attack on McDaniel with the race card by using quotes by Joe Wasp of the “Identify Dixie” website and from a recent column I wrote in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

I am unfamiliar with Wasp or that particular site. As for me, I do not identify as a “White Nationalist,” nor have I ever used that term. In fact, I abhor nationalism as a very dangerous and destructive ideology. You won’t find a single word I’ve ever written using such language. Nor can you find anything linking Chris McDaniel to such an ideology as “white nationalism.” It’s only in Bill Crawford’s leftwing world does this connection exist. The inference here, in using both Wasp and myself, is that we are somehow connected, along with McDaniel. But we are not. 

In my piece, I dared to point out Salter’s advocacy of Hosemann. Salter, by the way, is a state employee who works in higher education at Mississippi State. I guess my attack on woke culture pervading our colleges and universities made Crawford and Salter a tad nervous. They seem to like things just the way they are. Chris McDaniel does not, nor do I, because it is quite obvious that higher education needs major reform.

But what about this warped worldview of leftists like Bill Crawford? You see, for liberals the clock is still set to the 1950s or early ‘60s in matters of race. They see Mississippi and Mississippians continuing to reside in the dark days of “Jim Crow” (which started in the North, by the way) and white supremacy. They refuse to see the great strides in race relations over the last half century. This only serves to keep our politics ugly and divisive, an oft-used leftist strategy of divide and conquer. 

This viewpoint is why Crawford said that I preach “a brand of history reminiscent of a 1950s Mississippi history class.” Aside from the fact that I have never been in a 1950s Mississippi history class, nor has Bill Crawford been in one of mine, his use of the phrase is simply a personal smear designed to make me seem like some kind of extremist, which my current employer obviously fails to see, as well as a way to smear McDaniel as an extremist by association. I’ve known Chris McDaniel since we were kids. There’s no extremism or ugliness in his veins at all. Nor in mine.

But as for my teachings on the “War for Southern Independence,” this is certainly true and I would dare say it is a view held by a great many Mississippians. It was not a “civil war” by any stretch of the imagination, but a movement for Southern independence. The South wanted to govern itself and believed it had every right to do so, just as our forefathers did in 1776. Such a position is not extremism in the slightest, any more than we can call the American Revolution extremist, although King George III would likely have sided with Crawford on this one. 

I do find it interesting, although far from surprising, that Crawford cherry-picked the most divisive things he could find, pointing out my book, Remember Mississippi, which, far from being divisive, simply exposed the truth behind the 2014 Mississippi Senate primary race between McDaniel and Thad Cochran, yet he failed to mention any of my other works, including two books on Grover Cleveland, one on the tragedy of the Apollo 1 fire, and one on President Warren Harding, which came out a year ago and is still going strong. It is because those don’t further his leftwing agenda.

What Chris McDaniel has done so far in this race, as he has done in every race in which he has campaigned, is to emphasize philosophical and policy differences with his opponents. There is a great divide in the Republican Party between the conservative rightwing and moderate/liberals like Delbert Hosemann. Senator McDaniel is simply showcasing the divide and asking where most Mississippians stand. 

The true divisiveness came from Bill Crawford, not from myself or Chris McDaniel. Differences on policy and philosophy are what politics should be about. Attacks on the issue of race are low and uncalled for when the obvious tactic is to unfairly smear the other side, especially coming from one who closes his column with an accusatory scripture – “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness” – John 2:11 – then proceeds to do just that. 


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