Thursday, February 13, 2003

Neo-Confederates Harass Man Over Lincoln Statue

After half a century living in the former capital of the Confederate States of America, Robert Kline figured he had established his Southern bona fides. Even if he did hail from Illinois, he was, after all, the guy who raised $1 million to build a Museum of the Confederacy in the late 1960s. Kline was a respected advertising man in Richmond, a booster who married a Virginia native and makes his living selling, among other historical tchotchkes, Robert E. Lee figurines, plates and books.

But these days, Kline is the object of angry petitions, sizzling e-mails, abusive phone calls and big plans for street protests. His offense: After thinking about it for 20 years, Kline decided the time was right for Richmond to erect a statue of Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Kline's U.S. Historical Society, a nonprofit that produces statuettes, stained glass and other knickknacks for museum gift shops, has commissioned a life-size bronze sculpture of the Great Emancipator and his son Tad as they may have appeared on April 4, 1865, the day of their visit to Richmond.

Also (no link):

WWBT-TV Channel 12, Richmond - 5:30 News, Feb.4, 2003 - Robert Kline and U.S. Historical Society (Inc.) are under hostile attack by people coming through their front door and into his office. As a result people are screened before opening their front door. The U.S. Historical Society is also under computer virus attack, but Kline said they have it under control.

The Moonie Times helped to whip this up by putting forth allegations that the non-profit Historical Society was really a for-profit company and thus questioning Mr. Kline's intentions (And the legality of fundraising efforts). This website with potentially defamatory information tries to smear a bunch of other companes by labelling this whole thing a scam.

The whole campaign is being pushed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, an organization which was recently taken over by unreconstructed bigots and modern day secessionists. And, of course, the Moonie Times, also pushing this "angle," has its own in-house neo-confederates.