Assemblyman Space shows thin skin in threatening lawsuit of flag controversy
This can't end well.
What began as a night out with his wife tailgating before a Hank Williams Jr., Lynyrd Skynyrd concert has ended with controversy, backlash, and now a potential lawsuit. It all started when Assemblyman Parker Space attended the show and had a picture in front of a novelty flag that has the Confederate flag as a background and Hank Williams Jr.'s face in the center with the words "If the south would've won we would've had it made." He posted it on Facebook and wrote, "Tailgating waiting for Hank. Hope no one is offended! LOL."
Bill and I talked about this on air when it first blew up and while I think the confederate flag is a symbol of treason and hatred, this flag at this concert in 2017 isn't exactly the official Confederate flag. (Actually, if you know your Civil War history, you know what most commonly accept as the Confederate flag was never even the official flag of the Confederacy.) This was a novelty flag just like any other concert t-shirt or other swag, except it was certainly borrowing the pattern of the Confederate flag and the phrasing about if the south had won. I supported the assemblyman because I felt he wasn't posting this with any hatred in his heart. If he wants to take a picture in front of this hillbilly novelty flag I say he has the right to do it. Would I have done it? No. But I also don't think most people who were there at the show would have been taking this flag as anything other than a symbol of southern culture and southern music. This was not a Klan rally. Yet many across New Jersey reacted as if it were.
In full disclosure, when a vote once came up in the Assembly on condemning displays of the Confederate flag Space was the only lawmaker to abstain. The vote was 73-0. Also recent published reports are claiming that Assemblyman Space has a tattoo of a Confederate flag but I cannot independently confirm that.
The backlash was huge. Many have called him everything from inappropriate to outright racist for the Hank Williams concert photo. Space was largely unapologetic which seemed to only fuel the fire.
Now Space says Democratic state Assembly candidates Kate Matteson and Gina Trish are behind attacks on employees at his family's farm, Space Farms. Seems people have been calling and yelling at whoever answers, calling them racist, etc.. Space says not only their campaign but the county Democrat committee have been part of an effort to destroy his family business using personal harassment, liable, and an aggressive economic boycott. He has hired an attorney and is strongly considering a lawsuit.
Well, Space, even though I supported you through all this, you're being ridiculous. If you have the right to publish photos of a doctored Confederate flag, people who disagree with a state lawmaker doing so certainly have the right to protest. If some are calling for a boycott of your family business, hey, that's America. If most agree with you and think the protestors are being ridiculous it will never work. If they are not breaking any laws and simply speaking out against what they think is an injustice, as much as you think they're wrong this is still America (the one the Confederacy fought against) and they have every right to do so.
I'm kind of surprised the tough talking, unapologetic Parker Space would resort to lawyering up as soon as the backlash got loud enough. Is a lawyer's office your version of a 'safe space' Parker? Maybe it turns out everyone has one.