The Madison County Journal
January 5, 2000
point coming in fight to save culture
Saturday, January 8, 2000,
will be a turning point in the battle to save Southern culture
from it enemies. A giant rally is scheduled for Columbia, S.C.,
in support of the Confederate Flag that flies above the state
capitol. On that day, the South Carolina Heritage Coalition,
a group formed to fight the NAACP's boycott of South Carolina,
will sponsor a gathering of pro-South groups, including the Sons
of Confederate Veterans, United Daughters of the Confederacy,
the new Southern Party and many others in an effort to convince
South Carolina legislators to keep the flag flying.
The flag, styled after the Southern Cross, one of the more popular
battle flags used by the Confederate army, flies below the U.S.
and South Carolina flags above the dome of the South Carolina
Statehouse. It was placed there to honor Confederate soldiers
and sailors on the 100th anniversary of the end of the War for
Southern Independence. (There was nothing "civil" about
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP) has, in recent years, become the kind of organization
that it was originally formed to defeat. It regularly expresses
bigotry, racism and hate toward all things Southern. Its boycott
against South Carolina is a prime example of that bigotry. Here
are some of the hate-filled quotes from the NAACP's 1991 resolution
about Southern symbols: "tyrannical" "evil,"
"vile" and "idiotic." How do you think those
practitioners of political correctness would react to the same
terms applied to the NAACP, or the Black Muslims? Currently,
they are making an effort to drive Atlanta pitcher John Rocker
out of baseball for making far less inflammatory comments about
New York Mets fans. Yet, the media not only backs the NAACP in
it bigotry against the South, it is joining in. One commentator,
when told of the devastation suffered by South Carolina at the
hands of Northern soldiers said, "They got what they deserved."
One commentator after another decrees Southern symbols as representing
a war to preserve slavery - a totally false reading of history.
It will be interesting to see if this giant rally receives any
significant coverage in the national media. Will C-Span send
a camera crew? Will FOX news be fair and balanced in reporting
the event? Will CNN even notice that it takes place? Will the
Sunday talk shows interview speakers from the event? Do I have
to give you the answer? In order to win coverage by these organizations,
the turnout will have to be massive.
A dozen NAACP protesters can draw national coverage. But it will
take thousands of Southern supporters to get their attention.
Everyone who loves the South, its culture and symbols and heroes
should make every effort to be in Columbia on Jan. 8. Don't limit
your visits to the rally. Make South Carolina your vacation and
convention center for as long as the NAACP continues its boycott.
If they see their bigotry backfiring, perhaps the leaders of
the NAACP will return it to its original purpose, promoting tolerance
and unity among all Americans.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.
The Madison County Journal
January 5, 2000
Five headlines for 2000
While political mayhem
drew a lot of attention last year, 1999 included some noteworthy
positives for Madison County.
A 911 system was established. The county finally took action
on constructing a new jail. Construction began on a Hull water
system to serve the county's commercial hotbed, as well as a
new elementary school which was nearly completed in 1999. Meanwhile,
doors opened to new wings of the high school and middle school.
Renovations to the historic Madison County courthouse began.
And a change to the county's legal fee policy marked a major
step toward county commissioners gaining the trust of their constituents.
Madison County enters a new century with reason to smile. But
county leaders and citizens must maintain "2020 vision,"
looking at how actions now will affect the quality of life in
Here are five headlines I'd like to write over the next year
- news that would certainly bode well for the future.
·'County jail nears completion' - Madison County's existing
seven-bed prison consistently ranks as the most overcrowded county
detainment facility in the state. County leaders have chosen
a jail site behind Fine Finish off Hwy. 98 and have taken steps
to finance the project. But the action followed a long lull in
public discussions on the matter. It was nearly a year and a
half after the passage of a county sales tax for the jail that
leaders finalized a site. Hopefully, the jail project will now
proceed at a quicker pace.
·'Construction of animal shelter under way' - Like many
rural communities, Madison County has a dreadful problem with
stray cats and dogs. Dog attacks have been frequent and homeowners
have sometimes been trapped in their houses, afraid to leave
because of wild dogs outside. Madison County needs a place to
put these animals, as well as an officer who spends at least
half of his time focusing on animal control in the county.
·'Hull sewage project planned' - With a water system in
the works in the Hull/Dogsboro area, Madison County can expect
more commercial growth and more tax revenue. But many businesses,
such as restaurants, want sewage services too. The county industrial
authority is looking at the feasibility of providing such services
in the area. Sewage would certainly prove costly. But more infrastructure
improvements will be the best way to ensure long term commercial
growth in the Dogsboro area, something many county residents
would appreciate 20 years from now.
·'County divorce rate dwindles' - Between 1995 and 1997
Madison County's divorce rate was the 14th worst out of 159 Georgia
counties. According to the Georgia County Guide, there were 71
more divorces than marriages (511 to 440) in the county in this
three-year period. Consequently, a lot of kids are growing up
in broken homes in Madison County. Hopefully, this trend won't
carry over into the new century.
·'No fatalities on county roads in 2000' - Madison County
has had some of the highest road fatality totals of any county
in the area in recent years. Eight people died on Madison County
roads in 1999, down from 11 in 1998 and 15 in 1997. Many county
roads are not clearly marked with road side lines and center
lines. However, the county government began a road-striping project
this past year in hopes of making county roads safer. Hopefully,
this will eliminate some of the tragedies that have been painfully
frequent. But for this to happen, motorists, including me, should
Good news is much more satisfying to print. Let's all hope there
will be plenty for Madison County in 2000.
Zach Mitcham is editor of The Madison County Journal.