Much to my happy surprise, H. K. Edgerton responded to my recent post about Ron Wilson. He’s going to be requesting a presidential pardon for South Carolina con-man, because, um, too many people hold high regard for Abraham Lincoln, or something:
I am deeply grieved about what happened to the Honorable Ron Wilson and to those who were hurt by his actions. And I pray for them and for Ron equally. There are not many men who have not made serious mistakes in their lives. I shall never falter in my love and respect for Mr. Wilson, and shall never see him as a racist, or the other unkind things that take away from the content of his character that shall always deem him to be an Honorable man. If one chooses to make an Honorable man of Abraham Lincoln, then one should choose to seek a Presidential Pardon for Ron, and one for young Candice Yvonna Hardwick that I have already asked him for. And I care less about the unkind words spoken here about me. Christ and General Nathan Bedford Forrest had to endure worst.
For those who don’t know, Candice Hardwick (above and right, via Mugshots.com) is a young woman from Latta, South Carolina. In 2006 she was suspended twice from school for wearing a Confederate flag shirt. She sued, and her case became a cause celebré among heritage groups. Just a few months ago, Edgerton participated in a ceremony presenting Hardwick with a medal for her heritage activities. Nonetheless, her case was dismissed in March and three months later, in June, she burglarized a home in Latta and stole eight firearms. In August she was sentenced to six years in prison, but will likely be out in three.
Hardwick’s story is a sad one, and I’m not unsympathetic to it, but it’s not one that represents a gross miscarriage of justice. There are lots of people serving longer sentences, for lesser crimes, than either Hardwick or Wilson. And the notion that Ron Wilson is “an Honorable man” who simply made a “serious mistake” that should not reflect on “the content of his character” is one of the more preposterous things Mr. Edgerton has said over the years.
As to the “unkind words spoken here” about Mr. Edgerton, it’s actually more serious than that. I’ve directly challenged claims made by Edgerton and others that his organization, Southern Heritage 411, actually holds non-profit status, or that contributions to it are tax-deductible. I can find no evidence that either of these things are true. I’m no lawyer, but I can’t help but think that if Southern Heritage 411 is, in fact, the for-profit corporation that it claimed to be in filings with the Georgia Secretary of State, Mr. Edgerton has made a very “serious mistake” of his own.
As always, of course, Mr. Edgerton is welcome to provide documentation that I’ve got this non-profit stuff all wrong. But I don’t think I do.