Publisher’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Chapter 12 of Set the World on Fire, which will be published 12 August 2017.
I have a long list of failures in my political activity. I failed to bring the members of the Libertarian Party together, despite offering a thousand olive branches. I lost several of the fights during the blacklisting hysteria. I was unsuccessful in my Internal Affairs complaints against Officer Chapdelaine and Corporal Wasserman. I lost the primary election. I was unable to announce my second candidacy at Charlottesville. The Unite the Right movement ended with the downward spiral and ultimate fracturing of the right wing, despite our sincere efforts to the contrary.
But my greatest failure in all these political endeavors recounted was not the loss of the election or the disaster in Charlottesville: it was my failure to prevent our one & only Confederate monument being removed from Downtown Orlando.
In Orlando we have one monument to the soldiers of the War Between the States. It is a statue of an unnamed soldier that had looked over Lake Eola from the time I became an Orlandoan to the time of its removal. A black New Yorker came to Orlando and decided that he was outraged by the existence of the statue. This Black Lives Matter agitator petitioned the City Council to have it removed, citing white supremacy and all the usual garbage.
But the urgency of the matter, he said, was that it concerned Unity Day. The statue absolutely had to be removed before the anniversary of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub – in the spirit of unity. What Porter deliberately glossed over, what Mayor Dyer and the other traitors failed to consider, and what the vast majority of Orlandoans apparently did not realize, is that it was not a white Southerner who massacred homosexuals at a nightclub: it was a Muslim. David Porter, Black Lives Matter, and the rest of the leftists did not have the integrity or the temerity to show up at City Hall and demand that the mosques be shut down in Orlando. Their moral outrage was cover for their true agenda: tearing down whites.
I was on the road at the time this nonsense arose in my hometown. I made a point to travel back to Orlando in order to address the City Council, and I published an open letter, which I also emailed to each person addressed:
Mayor Dyer & the Orlando City Council:
I am writing to inform you that I will be present at the meeting of the City Council on Monday the 15th at 2:00pm. I will be unarmed, and I will issue strict orders to my supporters that this will be a peaceful, professional discussion.
Mr. David Porter has made a media issue of removing our Confederate monument at Lake Eola. He has announced that he will be present to speak for the removal of the monument. I am announcing that I will be present to speak against removal.
I am attending this meeting as an Orlandoan with a sincere & fervent interest in preserving our Southern heritage in my hometown. I spent my boyhood between Wekiva and Altamonte Springs, but I attended middle school and high school in Conway and Downtown respectively, and my children now attend elementary and middle school in Orlando.
I have gone to Valencia, coached at Boone, and attended my kids’ school functions. I practiced as an attorney until my retirement, worked on local charity boards, chaired the Libertarian Party of Orange County, and participated in many other things besides. The City Beautiful and its professional class may not want anything to do with me, but I am as Orlandoan as anyone else, and its history is mine as well as Mr. Porter’s.
So I will be there Monday afternoon, and I hope to speak without incident. I look forward to having a civil dialogue and expressing the view of many millions of Southerners – black, white, Hispanic, and otherwise; Texan, Floridian, or Carolinian – who are sick to death of watching their heritage be destroyed in the name of tolerance, their history wiped from the earth in furtherance of a totalitarian agenda.
Augustus Sol Invictus, Esq.
I arrived at City Hall with my children on the 15th of May to find that the room was packed. Most people were there to speak against the statue’s removal, but there was a very vocal, leftist minority front and center. Of more than fifty people who spoke that day, only about ten of us were actually residents of Orlando.
Throughout the hearing, the Black Lives Matter agitators acted exactly how one might expect. They hooted and hollered like monkeys, heckling those who spoke against removal. The first lady to speak was a Daughter of the Confederacy, an elderly white woman whom the leftists talked over and laughed at throughout her statement. This behavior continued without change except to alternately rise and fall in volume.
Mayor Dyer said that because of the number of people who had signed up to speak on the matter, he was going to change the five-minute time limit to two minutes. I spoke as quickly as I could, running over certain spots, but this was the address I had written out:
Address to the Orlando City Council
15 May 2017
Esteemed Members of the City Council,
Good afternoon. For the record, my name is Augustus Invictus, and I stand opposed to Mr. Porter’s proposal to remove our Confederate monument from Lake Eola.
Now I’ve been here a long time, long enough to see drastic changes in our city since the time I was a boy. I do not agree with what this Council has done with the City Beautiful. Neither do I agree with what I see as mindless commercial expansion and the greedy pursuit of material gain by our professional class. But that’s life.
My political activity is at the national level, and I have never had any desire to fight with you or the professional class of our city or the Orlando Police Department or anyone else in my hometown. My war is with the New World Order. I am happy to leave Orlando to its own devices while I focus on the enemy, even if I disagree with the direction you are taking while I am out on the frontlines.
But when the war comes home, I am honor-bound to fight it. Monuments to our proud heritage of fierce independence are being removed all over the South, whether in broad daylight or in midnight raids under cover of police sniper fire. I wrote an article about the mess in New Orleans a couple weeks ago, saying that while that day it was New Orleans, it was only a matter of time before the hysteria reached Orlando, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Richmond, Savannah, or any other Southern city. And as though it were prophecy, Orlando did indeed become the next target on the list.
The question is this: Where does it end? “Well once we’ve finished removing all mention of the racist Civil War from our midst,” you say. And yet the same people in New Orleans claiming exactly that are seeking to tear down the statue of Andrew Jackson, who died well before the War and who fought the Battle of New Orleans, for God’s sake. It has nothing to do with the Civil War but with the fact that he was a white slavetrader who fought against the Indians, and certain professional agitators are offended by this fact.
By this logic, how long will it be before the statues are to be removed of our Founding Fathers, who were white slaveowners and who fought the Indians? Thomas Jefferson had children with his slave, who he refused to emancipate: when do we remove his monuments? Abraham Lincoln said that as soon as the blacks are emancipated we need to send them back to Africa: when do we tear down the Lincoln Memorial? But why stop there? We have a Spanish fortress in St. Augustine – and the Spaniards murdered and enslaved the Native Americans when they reached Floridian shores: when do we tear that down, stone-by-stone, and throw the cannons into the ocean?
Where does it end?
If Confederate history does not belong in public places, then, logically, we must ban it from the public schools. Change the names of the schools and of the streets leading to them, and remove all references of our heroes from the textbooks. Forbid lessons on Jefferson Davis or General Lee or any of the soldiers – black or white, Hispanic or Cherokee – who fought for their homeland against the tyranny of the Federal Government. That is the logical conclusion of this crusade that Mr. Porter has signed onto.
Now, you read the autobiography of Malcolm X, or Revolutionary Suicide by Huey Newton, and there you can feel pain. You can feel the pain that Mr. Porter is talking about when they speak of growing up black in a white school system. White teachers beating black children, telling them they’re stupid, ostracizing them. That is pain. That is racism. That is real.
But that isn’t what we’re talking about here, is it? We are talking about someone being offended by history itself. One-hundred years this monument has been at Lake Eola. One-hundred years. A full century has passed, and how many Ku Klux Klan cross-burnings and neo-Nazi torch rallies have been held at Lake Eola because of it?
Mr. Porter claims that he wants the statue removed because it is a symbol of division. He wants it removed before Unity Day, and in doing so he invokes the deaths of 49 persons killed by an agent of the Islamic State – clearly not a white supremacist – half a mile from here. If his concern were unity and not division, then he would not make such a divisive proposal at such a time as this.
I would like to propose an alternative to attempting to ban our heritage from public view. I suggest that Mr. Porter work with this Council to build monuments for the black community instead of removing monuments he feels to be representative of only the white community. If Mr. Porter or this Council would seek to build a monument to Malcolm X or Huey Newton, I will gladly assist. I will personally help with fundraising and organization and whatever else you might need.
There is no reason for us to fight. There is no reason for hostilities to erupt in Orlando as they have in Charleston and New Orleans and elsewhere. We still have a chance to work together and to set an example for the rest of the South. And that chance would be blown altogether if this Council seeks to tear down the white community instead of uplifting the black community.
Thank you for your time.
When I spoke of the history of the Spaniards in Florida, the one Hispanic on the Council was shaking his head in agreement. He voted against removal, but his vote did not matter. The sick joke about all this was that the outcome had already been decided before the hearing had begun. Mayor Dyer had already decided before hearing anyone’s statements that the monument would be removed to the Greenwood Cemetery, out of sight & out of mind. The hearing was just for show.
Unprompted by me, my daughter Jezebel (10) and my son Alexander (11) co-authored a letter to Mayor Dyer. I edited this letter for grammar and punctuation, and I broke up the paragraphs. Otherwise, everything here was written by them of their own accord, without any input from me:
Dear Mayor Dyer,
We would like to express our thoughts about the monument being moved. As people said before, it is a historic landmark. Moving it will erase that history from Orlando.
It is a soldiers’ memorial. It should not be moved. It has been moved too much. It is in a perfect family friendly park. That is where it should be. It should be seen by families and friends and people who are new to Florida, not hiding in an old cemetery where barely anyone will see it. It needs to be at this park where people can learn about it. It might even encourage them to learn more about Florida, and also the United States of America.
I also noticed you were on Porter’s side. You gave him extra minutes. [Referring to the fact that Porter was unfairly given extra time that no one else was afforded.] You also did not make him give his address. [All speakers at City Council meetings are required to provide their residential address for the record.] My father, Augustus Sol Invictus, has had more death threats than Porter ever has. As well as an ACTUAL ATTEMPT UPON HIS LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!! Yet he gave his address. So it seems you are in collaboration [i.e., with Porter].
He [i.e., Porter] was one of the very FEW PEOPLE who voted to move it. The overwhelming majority says otherwise! So if you move this statue, just because the “Black Lives Matter” group (who have nothing to do with this), change your mind.
Surely democracy isn’t even in your mind at all! Nor the history it serves! Because these men are declared U.S veterans! And surely by God you know never to spit on a soldier’s grave! When you move this MAGNIFICENT monument, that’s what you do. You spit on every soldier who fought in the Civil War! So if you keep it there, you keep [a tool of] education to the citizens of Orlando. And you keep history around long enough to wipe the spit that you have cast upon their graves!
So please. Whatever you do, please do not move the monument. It’s been moved enough, and is roughly 100 years old! So please leave it be.
Jezebel and Alexander Invictus
On the 27th of May, during Memorial Day weekend, The Revolutionary Conservative organized a protest against the monument’s removal, along with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Oathkeepers, the Three Percenters, and Identity Evropa. We had a strong showing, and none interfered. Even the police stayed at least 100 yards away at all times, especially after I informed them that I was in charge and that we were all armed. The event went off without a hitch. The news vans came and went. But in the end, it didn’t matter. The Black Lives Matter New Yorker won a propaganda battle and the resulting removal of a landmark that my kids and I had lived with for decades.
The treason of Mayor John Hugh “Buddy” Dyer in this is not to be forgotten. All these Southern mayors who have been complicit in the deliberate destruction of our heritage will be remembered.