Confederate commander withdraws demand to fire Tarleton professor

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By Quanecia Fraser— 


A Sons of Confederate Veterans Commander who called for a Tarleton State University history professor to be fired is now saying he retracts that demand.

This comes after Dr.  Michael Landis, a Tarleton history professor, was featured in an article from Hood County News about Granbury’s Confederate history. In the article, Landis described celebrating the Confederacy as a “devotion to white supremacy and the Lost Cause.”

Freeman is the Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Granbury. Photo by Quanecia Fraser

Richard Freeman is the Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp H.B. Granbury #427 chapter. Freeman wrote a letter to Tarleton State University’s office of the president, demanding that Landis be dismissed from his position as a history professor.  

“As I told your university president, you need to be dismissed immediately,” Freeman wrote in another letter that was sent to Landis. “You are a complete fraud!  You have no business even being around students, much less calling yourself a professor of ‘history’.”  

In the letter to President Dominic Dottavio’s office, Freeman called for the university to “DISMISS him from your staff… For the good of your university and students, immediate action should be taken by you or your trustees.” 

Landis says he is amused by a demand that he be fired. He also says he is not surprised, because academia has faced scrutiny from similar groups.  

“Not only [do] Neo-Confederates talk like this, many groups– a lot of them– are waging wars against universities right now. This is the kind of language they use. They say we corrupt the youth,” Landis explained. 

In the last paragraph of the letter to Landis, Freeman wrote:  

“If you continue as an educator, you need to at least stop corrupting students with your BS that you reported to the Hood County News.”  

That “’facts’ documents” can be found here:  

Landis said he read the documents which include Freeman’s ‘facts’ sheet, but found nothing compelling about it. 

“All of it’s just a bunch of nonsense,” said Landis. “He wants me to teach the Neo-Confederate version of American history… These people are not interested in actual facts. They want a version of reality that serves their purpose.” 

Freeman says he “believes” in what is written on the back of his shirt. Photo by Quanecia Fraser

In a recent interview with Texan News, Freeman retracted his demand that Landis be fired.  

Freeman says he no longer thinks Landis should be fired, but is still upset about the comments he made in the Hood County News interview. 

“My feelings when I wrote that were a little bit different than they are today,” he said. 

“That letter was a little bit harsh and I realize that. I am a professional person. I take pride in that,” he began. “But, we [Sons and Daughters of Confederate Veterans] are going through a tremendous amount of problems right now… because the statues, the monuments and everything being torn down, and it is purely based on false history.” 

Regarding Landis’ comments, Freeman said, “It’s statements like this right here that are causing the problems in this country.”  

On the subject of racism, Freeman insists, “It didn’t have anything to do with the Confederacy.” 

Freeman said he is not representing the organization, but his own beliefs. Photo by Quanecia Fraser

“Did you know there were 100,000 slaves in the North?” asked Freeman. “So, how could that be totally racism…?” 

Despite him wearing a ‘Sons of Confederate Veterans’ hat during the interview, Freeman said that he is not representing the organization, but his own beliefs.  

“I have several books, one of them titled… ‘Slavery was not the cause of the war’ and it’s a tremendously accurate book,” said Freeman.  

Regarding how he knew the book was accurate, Freeman responded by asking, “Well, how does he [Landis] know his books are correct?” 

Freeman says he would “like for Professor Landis to provide one factual document—notice I said factual document– that proves slavery was the reason the Union fired on the South in 1861.”  

Freeman also said that he no longer wishes to meet with Dottavio and Landis, but will gladly meet with them if they request to meet for a discussion. 

At the time of the interview, Freeman said the office of the president has not responded to his letter requesting that Landis be terminated.

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1 Comment

  1. Barbara Gannon October 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM

    An excerpt from the South Carolina Seccession document-why we seccceeded in a nutshell. This is one, there are meny many more.
    These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

    We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

    For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the *forms* [emphasis in the original] of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

    This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

    On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

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