That Dog Won’t Hunt

Sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie. And other times, it’s best to keep the dogs out from under the table and on the outskirts of the village entirely. In this case, probably the latter choice would have made more sense, but–since we’re sliding cliche to cliche–that ship has already sailed: a local organization has admitted to the vendor list for the Christmas Bazaar an individual who espouses the righteousness of the slavery of the Confederacy (and I suppose by extension, the same institution to our times) as a desirable relationship between humans.

You can read all the details at Blue Ridge Muse. For my part, seems the best outcome would be for the man to be ignored and go home from this Floyd County event with nothing to show for it.

But there are here, I suppose, as there are everywhere a few supporters of this notion of supremacy and bondage. If any potential “believers” in this man’s work took a few minutes to check out his “credentials”, he’d be seen as without credibility, authority or standing. At least that’s what Doug Thompson’s evidence very strongly suggests–and I’m inclined to trust its validity myself.

So, if you’re given the opportunity to give this man’s appearance in Floyd or his book a second look, don’t. Maybe if we ignore him, this dog’ll just slink off and go away.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Unfortunately, ignoring him goes against basic human nature. Or at least it seems to, as I’ve never seen the “ignore the troll” strategy actually work in any venue.

  2. It’s sad that the group who invited him to Floyd did not check on his background more closely. At least ignoring him & not buying his book should convey the message that his viewpoint is unwelcome.