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Commissioner Calls Confederate Flag “Racist Sh*t” After Honoring Confederate Veterans

HERNANDO – The midterm election is well over a year away but Board of County Commissioner candidates who are up for re-election have already drawn lines in the sand, and the mudslinging has begun.

Last week’s fracas over the Brooksville Confederate Monument opened the door for heated debate among Hernando County residents. When it came down to a final decision, there was no question where the BOCC stood when they all agreed to keep the monument, and even build a fence to protect it. But one Commissioner has come under fire after he recently referred to the Confederate Flag as “Racist sh*t,” just days after claiming to strongly support Confederate Veterans.

Weeki Wachee resident, Larry Ball contacted RNRF after a heated dispute with County Commissioner Jeff Holcomb. Ball tells RNRF that the conflict began last Sunday when he tagged Holcomb on his Facebook page with a Confederate Flag campaign pin, that reads “Clinton – Gore, 1992.” Holcomb responds to Ball, “Dude, don’t tag me in that racist sh*t.” Ball replies, “What racist s**t?” Holcomb writes back, “Don’t tag me with Confederate flags.” Ball tried to explain that he was just trying to show the “hypocrisy” within the Democrat Party. Holcomb responds, “I spent all afternoon promoting a fundraiser. I don’t want a damn Confederate flag on my page.” Holcomb continues to chastise Ball, by writing, “So, I guess that makes you Champion’s bitch for repeating his lies about me!” Holcomb is referring to fellow County Commissioner Steve Champion in his statement.

Just three days before his conversation with Ball, Holcomb voiced his deep conviction for protecting the Confederate Monument. In an email Holcomb writes, “I am confused by how an act of violence in VA has provoked a movement to remove confederate monuments?  The monument in Brooksville has been there for over 100 years. Why now, what has changed and what is the basis to remove it?  This monument honors Confederate Soldiers, when I see it, I think of the Civil War where this country lost 600k lives in the fight to eradicate slavery from this country.” Holcomb further stated, “My research has found that the Confederate soldiers are Veterans of the United States, as veteran myself I would be opposed removing a monument to Veterans without documentation showing that they are not veterans. I think we should look at this as an opportunity to move beyond all the rhetoric and communicate with all sides to make our community stronger!”

I asked Holcomb to comment on the conversation and what he meant by Commissioner Champion’s “lies.” Holcomb declined to explain his contradictory position but he did provide the following statement: “For the past 4-5 months special interests that lobby the County Commission have been spreading inaccuracies about me in an effort to gain favor. I’m disappointed that some commissioners are repeating these falsehoods without knowing the facts. As an elected official who just returned from the Southwest Asia fighting terrorists on behalf of this nation, my only allegiance has been to do what’s right, not what a lobbyist wants me to do. In addition, I find it extremely offensive that someone is “tagging” me in social media posts to further their own political agenda. I will continue to fight those who look to tear us apart and strive to make Hernando a better place to live, work and play.”

I asked Commissioner Champion to comment on Holcomb’s accusations and he replied, “I never talk about Commissioner Holcomb unless it’s a vote that’s on public record.”

It should be noted that the Clinton – Gore Campaign pin has not been proven to be an officials pin released by the campaign; however, some 20th century Democrats were known to support Confederate heritage.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2017 RNRF Incorporated.

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  • It is an idiotic waste of money to have a fence put around that statue.

    Saturday, 26 August 2017, 11:16 pm
  • Please Gov. Scott Bring back Mr. John Mitten at least he could relate to the people of Hernando County !

    Saturday, 26 August 2017, 2:20 pm
  • Time to upset you all.

    “Our new government is founded upon exactly [this] idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth”
    – Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens
    March 21, 1861.

    The war started April 12, 1861

    The confederate flag was a symbol for the state rights to own slaves. As to what it means to you now, could be anything, but when you see us ignoramus saying it is racist, at the very least you may understand where some of us stand. I know many of you are not racist, but at the same time, I know the origins.

    As far as Jeff Holcomb, he is a patriotic AMERICAN, who has put years into defending our nation against terrorism. In fact, he just recently went into active service to fight terrorism.

    You know, something I find utterly fascinating, you don’t see most Germans worshiping the Nazi flag, or statues of Nazis as part of their history.

    Friday, 25 August 2017, 8:56 pm
    • Yes! Also, see my comment below. It’s a long one.

      Saturday, 26 August 2017, 11:20 am
    • Lol! You really think these folks who voted for a man-baby with a Hoover econ plan are actually going to read something? Lol that’s a good one!

      These gop sheep will contort their minds in multiple shapes to arrive at their predetermined position, that for some reason always makes the uber rich richer…

      Saturday, 26 August 2017, 2:40 pm
    • OH ,,,Some people …study your history ////the confederate flag was a battle flag ,,so the north and south could tell the difference…the Democrarts wanted slavery to continue ,,,and try they did… so sad that no one knows any Civil War facts…….

      Monday, 28 August 2017, 7:00 pm
  • First off the Civil War did not start off as a war against slavery. It was sparked for states rights as the south wanted to govern themselves without the control of a federal government. It only became about slavery after Lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation. The fire was also stoked when the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin came out by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The monuments are there to remember the men and women who spilled their blood to make this country what it is today. They are all American Veterans as they are all American. By removing these monuments its basically trying to erase history or alter it due to “hurt feelings”.

    Friday, 25 August 2017, 4:51 pm
    • Lol! The csa was against states rights. It’s a myth. Read anything from secession, the Crittenden compromise.

      The South was only for the rights about slavery. No amendment for states rights existed. They were strongly against the rights off the northern states when they wouldn’t return fugitive slaves.

      It’s about racism.

      And most of the racists left for the hop the 60s.

      It’s amazing how little these “heritage” people know.

      Saturday, 26 August 2017, 1:43 pm
    • They were ruled by a court too be veterans. They fought against our country. These monuments to oppression only tell the slavery and racist history. They are woefully incomplete.

      Their only purpose appears to be to terrorize our black countrymen.

      Saturday, 26 August 2017, 1:47 pm
      • They only tell of slavery and racism to the narrow and closed minded.

        Wednesday, 30 August 2017, 7:57 am
  • It’s not about hate or heritage anymore it’s politics ,bandwagon jumping , how come he’s never brought anything up before . Well remember they thought Hillary was going to win and look what happened , he’s just another politician who’s time has come to be replaced

    Friday, 25 August 2017, 2:53 pm
  • Okay, so here’s my stance on this whole situation. Long read.

    1. The Democratic Party of the 1860s and 1870s bears little to no resemblance of the Democratic Party of today. During the post-Civil War era, the Republican Party was the party of a strong centralized federal government, which most southern Democrats took umbrage with because they were opposed to federal control, especially as it applied to policies and laws opposed to southern efforts to continue the oppression of blacks. In the 20th century, when the Democratic Party began to represent the disenfranchised, and especially in the mid-20th century when its support of the Civil Rights movement became central to the party’s philosophy, southern Democrats fled the Democratic Party for the Republican Party. So if anyone points to this (“The Democratic Party was racist!”) as their primary talking point, you now know that you can respond with, “Yes, that may be true, but the Republican Party of that time valued federal power over states’ rights, so as you can see, the two parties have basically switched poles.”
    2. The KKK is believed to have been started as a small, grassroots organization in TN. Yes, the initial members were democrats. But it was not the Democratic Party that started it. Just as twenty democrats in a room are not “The Democratic Party,” the democrats who started the KKK were not the Democratic Party. And please see #1 again if your first response to this is, “See! Democrats were the original racists!” Things have shifted in terms of party philosophy since then.
    3. The Confederate monuments we see today were, in large part, erected between 1890 and 1930, during a scrabble in the south to reverse what little and hard-won progress blacks had made. Some compare these statues to public lynchings as a racist means of reminding blacks of their “place” in southern society. That’s an extreme viewpoint, but you can see how the comparison might be made. A more middle-of-the-road view is that these monuments were erected to whitewash (no pun intended) the history of the Confederacy and its leaders, to extinguish the idea that the Civil War was fought by the Confederacy over slavery and not states’ rights, and to assist wealthy southerners in continuing the narrative they began propagating during the Civil War (see below). And this viewpoint is absolutely pervasive in the US, especially in the South.
    4. The Confederate Flag: its creation by William Porcher Miles was ordered by PGT Beauregard and Jefferson Davis (yes, Jeff Sessions is both of their namesakes) as a new symbol for the Confederacy. Many native southerners (and, confusingly enough, some northerners) see the flag today as a symbol of a rebellious spirit, of having a “no one tells ME what to do” attitude, or of their heritage. But that’s usually a lie. Not necessarily by the people who say it–they may honestly believe that. But how the flag came to symbolize that is all based on a number of lies. When the small, elite planter class needed to drum up support from poor southern whites (they needed troops), they relied upon fear tactics, giving speeches and writing and distributing pamphlets that called upon white, non-slave-owning subsistence farmers–i.e., the masses–to fight for them, to voluntarily join the “planter crusade,” lest acts of violence and rape committed by the “semi-barbarous race” plague them all. They also fed into the egos of non-slaveowners by stating that, wealthy or not, all whites were elevated in class merely by believing in the existence of a lower race and supporting slavery. So, basically, hate the blacks with us, abuse them and treat them horribly, and you, too, are one of the elite now. And no, I’m not saying white supremacy wasn’t alive and well before the advent of the Confederacy. But feeding into it and use of these techniques were critical to have enough troops to fight. How else were they going to convince the masses, who would see no profit from the continued enslavement of blacks by the planter class, that they should be willing to DIE for the cause? Scare them. Tell them they’re part of the clique now. Ta-da!
    5. The continued veneration for the Confederate flag also ignores the fact that not every man of fighting age in the south fell for the planter class’ propaganda. Eastern TN was a hotbed of anti-Confederate activity. Thousands of men from the Ozarks fled to fight for the Union. Confederate sheriffs hunted down men who refused to fight for the south, and either forced them into service or killed or imprisoned them. Not even close to all of these men were abolitionists–I’m sure many were horribly racist–but they did refuse to die to save the ruling class’ lifestyle. It’s important to note here that those who owned 20 or more slaves were EXEMPT from the draft. Exempt. And as the war progressed, anti-Confederacy sentiment among Confederate soldiers grew–over 100,000 Confederate soldiers, mainly poor, abandoned the Confederate army. The feelings of hostility towards the planter class from the non-elite classes also increased, especially when they (planters) refused to switch from cash crops sold internationally (tobacco and cotton) to food crops to feed and support the southerners who were dying for them. So continuing to worship the Confederate flag not only has a history of white supremacist ideology, but it also supports the idea that the non-elite, what we call the 99% today in political discourse, exist solely to toil and sacrifice and die to protect the prosperity and lifestyle of the 1%. Unless your ancestors were members of the planter class, you are dishonoring their memory by worshipping a symbol of the fact that the elite viewed them as both disposable and an easy mark. And if your ancestors were members of the planter class, you should be embarrassed they engaged in such tactics.
    6. Finally, on Robert E. Lee. Sigh… he was not a genial Colonel Sanders, no matter how much he may have looked like him as he aged, and no matter how much he has been falsely lionized and elevated as a hero since the Civil War. He owned slaves. Yes, he inherited them. But he did so through some legal chicanery in the interpretation of their previous master’s will. They had expected to be freed. And yes, he agreed to free them. But only when a Virginia court ordered him to do so. And while he had them, he was awful. He split up families, breaking a longstanding tradition that existed between these slaves and their previous owners. Just imagine your spouse or child being ripped away from you, never to be seen again. Yes, he once wrote that slavery was a “moral and political evil,” but he also went on in that same piece to say that the “painful discipline” that slaves endured (like the time he had two escaped slaves whipped upon their return and then had brine rubbed into their wounds) as “necessary instruction for their race.” And his statement at no time takes into consideration that the blacks whose forced servitude he was discussing might have any opinion on the subject, let alone a valid one. As a Confederate general, his army routinely captured free blacks in the north and sent them south to be sold as property. He ordered the massacre of a group of black Union troops who attempted to surrender to him. He was not a nice man.

    So what to do? Personally, is like to see the Confederate flag universally reviled by everyone who doesn’t consider themselves a white supremacist. I’d like the monuments of the leaders of the Confederacy gone. Melted down or moved to museums with giant plaques attached explaining the truth about the kinds of men they really were. As for the monuments to anonymous Confederate soldiers, like the one we have in Brooksville, I’d actually like to see those ones stay. But again, we need some large signage attached that reads something like this:

    “May we never forget that racism, combined with the greed of the ruling class, is to blame for these men’s deaths.”

    Friday, 25 August 2017, 2:36 pm
    • Jane, If you could retype this, I’d appreciate it.

      Saturday, 26 August 2017, 5:47 am
      • Do you mean, like, revise it, or do you mean something less? I realize there are some typos, but it’s hard typing something this long in a comment box.

        Saturday, 26 August 2017, 12:08 pm
  • Just lost 8 votes…

    Friday, 25 August 2017, 11:50 am
  • The problem is not confederate or union here, it’s BLACK AND WHITE. ARE ALL OF US FORGETTING THE MONUMENTS IN WASHINGTON D.C. COMMEMORATING THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE BLACK TROOP WHO FOUGHT IN THE CIVIL WAR??? These men formed their own troop, armed themselves and fought for EVERYONE’S FREEDOM – FOUGHT AND DIED FOR ALL OF US. They may not have come from the south but they did not care if they were fighting for black, white or whatever. What the heck is wrong with all of us fighting over history that glorifies EVERYONE’S FREEDOM ?????

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 9:13 pm
  • I think Commissioner Holcomb should be removed from office. He is definitely biased.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 7:54 pm
  • Can we please show little bit of professionalism and dignity in to witch we the people of Hernando County can rest at night knowing that our affairs and tax dollars aren’t being squander with this Elementary School Yard B-ll Sh-t. do these guy’s still live in there mom’s basement or what?? drink your chocolate milk and do your job if you can’t please someone more qualified will gladly take your seat.. you should be ashamed of of your self’s…. Thank You..

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 6:21 pm
  • A two faced politician? What is the world coming to! Holcomb needs a diaper.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 6:09 pm
  • I have ancestors on both sides in the Civil War. Maybe it would help if we erected a second statue of a union soldier right next to this one.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 5:52 pm
  • I would like to learn more about Mr. Ball and am very grateful for his service to our country. I am a hard working transplant from the northeast. There is a north, south, east, and west. and we are all part of the USA! I am glad delighted that Brooksville has taken the stance they have on the memorials. As it should be!! I also appreciate Mr. Martins earlier remarks. My quote as of late has been
    ” How can we be United when we are so divided” God Bless Our Land.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 5:03 pm
  • Someone should read a history book to Commissioner Holcomb. The war was not fought to end slavery. North and South had slavery when it started, both had it when it ended. The passage of the 13th amendment ended slavery. The whole “the war was about slavery” and “Lincoln freed the slaves” is the North’s version of history.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 4:14 pm
    • Nobody is going to believe that..

      Friday, 25 August 2017, 7:20 am
    • It was about 75% tax….. They fought for a year after…

      Friday, 25 August 2017, 11:54 am
  • You know what,
    YOUR FIRED!!!!
    move on now go on get…..

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 4:02 pm
  • Larry Ball is an antagonist, manipulator and uses lies to promote himself. I was warned about him by a former commissioner and experienced his devious ways personally.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 3:16 pm
  • Thank you Mr. Holcomb !!!!! you made my choice clear and easy next election !!!!!!!!!! Good luck on your new job !! You can say “will that be plastic or paper ” right

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 3:14 pm
    • I agree with you, I have been very disappointed since his return

      Thursday, 24 August 2017, 6:05 pm
  • It’s time for people to vote on things that will effect their life and not the commissioners having full say on what happens, it’s our life as well and we should have a vote. Not only the monuments but the trash issue as well, raising our rates well over 50% and we don’t have a voice?

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 2:24 pm
  • Not a smart thing to say in the south .

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 2:08 pm
    • Is there a south anymore ? ITs all full of New Yorkers/Immigrants/Canadians . So is there really a true south ? More like lazy whites that came from elsewere and claim a southern laid back life style.

      Thursday, 24 August 2017, 2:57 pm
      • Stfu

        Thursday, 24 August 2017, 8:02 pm
      • Amen , well stated.

        Thursday, 24 August 2017, 9:46 pm
      • Lazy Whites ? that’s Funny i bust my ass everyday at a job to Fricking to survive i get no handouts and you have the Fricking the nerve to call people lazy if i were you i would fly your Fricking Bird Ass somewhere else jerk.

        TheWatcher

        Friday, 25 August 2017, 7:40 pm
  • Holcomb had best figure out his stance and provide evidence that this back stabbing is truly aimed at him

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 2:03 pm

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