The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

League of the South Slammed by Former Board Member

By Heidi Beirich on October 4, 2010 - 5:03 pm, Posted in Neo-Confederate

Ray McBerry, the longtime head of the Georgia chapter of the racist and secessionist League of the South (LOS), turned in his resignation this past Friday after being asked to quit the group’s board. In a long letter where he described loyally serving the league for 15 years, McBerry, sounding hurt, wrote that he had “willingly given thousands of hours” and “thousands of [his] own dollars” to the cause. Then he offered a few stinging criticisms of the group whose praises he once sang.

The spat apparently broke out after McBerry, a two-time failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate, set up his own far right outfit, Tenth Amendment Solutions (TAS), this past year to educate the public, as McBerry had it, on the importance of state’s rights. That mission is remarkably similar to the LOS’s, where state’s rights are a main emphasis, and TAS events regularly featured LOS speakers and distributed speeches by LOS leaders. Also, McBerry runs DixieBroadcasting, which features programs by prominent neo-Confederates, including many who serve in LOS leadership positions.

McBerry called the decision to ask him to quit the board, which he said was made without consulting him, “indicative of the kind of paranoia that will forever prevent the success of the League.” (His letter suggested that he had been booted off gthe board because LOS leaders saw TAS as directly competing with the LOS.) McBerry also accused the LOS’s president, Michael Hill, of being power- and money-hungry — ironic charges, given that the LOS incessantly attacks the so-called “Northern Leviathan” for exactly the same kind of “materialism,” to use Hill’s word.“What it comes down to is that Dr. Hill, as the League’s national president, was afraid that a few dollars would go to some other place than to the League’s national office,” is how McBerry put it in his Oct. 1 resignation letter. McBerry also criticized Hill for deciding that “anyone who achieves success and popularity” is a threat and for placing “a higher priority on maintaining the small principality the League has built” than reaching the Southern masses.

“The truth is that I was bringing members to the League; I had not ‘taken’ any members from the League,” McBerry wrote. “I have often wondered why so many former League members, especially those in leadership positions, left the League,” McBerry said in closing. “I now understand why many of them have made that decision and why it appeared that the League had burned bridges with so many quality people over the last few years.”

E-mails requesting comment from Hill on McBerry were not answered.

During his two attempts to secure the GOP’s Georgia gubernatorial nomination, McBerry certainly did toe the LOS’ line, refusing to salute the American flag while tirelessly defending state’s rights. He was also attacked in the press for his position with the LOS, which has been listed as a neo-Confederate hate group for the past decade by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Among its many sins, the LOS thinks the South should be ruled by “Anglo-Celts” (meaning white people), opposes racial intermarriage, and defends slavery as “God-ordained.”

McBerry has had other disappointments this year. During the GOP primary, it was reported by The New York Times that he had his teaching certificate suspended in 2004 after findings by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission that he had conducted an inappropriate relationship with a student and deliberately misrepresented his actions to school investigators. He later resigned his teaching position. It was also reported that he had an affair with a former campaign manager. Since his primary loss, McBerry has concentrated his efforts on TAS and DixieBroadcasting, which currently advertises a show by longtime LOS activist Walter “Donnie” Kennedy.

It’s been a bad few weeks for the neo-Confederates. Besides this rift, in early September, the LOS’s longtime board member Jack Kershaw died at age 96. Kershaw was a hardcore segregationist who represented James Earl Ray following his conviction for the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Kershaw served from the beginning on the LOS’s board and the group had a foundation named after his wife, Mary Noel. Never shy about his racism, in 1998 Kershaw said: “Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery. Where in the world are the Negroes better off today than in America?”

And just this past week, Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell put an end to that state’s tradition of calling April “Confederate History Month.” “One hundred and fifty years is long enough for Virginia to fight the Civil War,” the governor told an academic conference, where he apologized again for omitting any mention of slavery from his proclamation earlier this year of Confederate History Month. McDonnell had quickly reissued the proclamation last April with a new reference to the “abomination” of slavery.

The text of McDonnell’s original resolution was largely written by another neo-Confederate group, the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), which has been embroiled for years in a vicious internal conflict for control between members demanding the group explicitly denounce racism and expel racists and those who disagree. LOS members have been prominent in those battles.

The SCV is clearly not happy with the governor. Bragdon Bowling, a former leader of the SCV’s Virginia chapter and long its spokesman, accused the governor of selling out the state’s confederate descendants. “I think it’s cowardly of him,” Bowling told The Washington Post. “He didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to his political enemies or the media.”

  • Southern Son

    After reading this post once more I would like to place an argument not in defense of slavery, but in defense of the Word of God. Above, Carter stated,

    “It seems that reading the Bible, God also “ordained” a great many things that are simply inappropriate 2000-5000 later. I doubt the Lord is disappointed with the extreme lack of animal sacrifices.”

    I do not know how divine of a Christian you claim to be, or if you even are one at all for that matter. Assuming that you were, you would know the whole basis of Christianity is on the fact that Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on the cross and then rose again three days later, defeating hell so that mankind could spend eternity in heaven.

    The purpose for Christ shedding His own blood is that His blood was the ultimate sacrifice, which made sacrificing animals no longer necessary because Christ’s blood paid mankind’s debt in full.

    I do not know of any valid contradiction in the Bible. Anything that was written in the Old Testament that was no longer necessary was taught as being no longer necessary in the New Testament. If a topic was not covered as being no longer being necessary then we can stand assured it still stands today. Remember, God’s law and man’s law does not always match up. As well as what God sees as acceptable and was modern society sees as acceptable does not always match up.

    The Southern States are known as “The Bible Belt” for a reason. If you want to have a biblical debate with a true southern man you better know your bible. It is this way because it’s part of our southern culture. Thank God.

  • Southern Son

    In response to “D”,

    It seems that the people who have posted here are educated and intelligent people, voicing there opinions which is your God given right (thank God). The one post listed here which strikes me as ridiculous is that of “D”. Your writing and presentation of your post reads and sounds very unprofessional almost to the point of being barbaric.

    The southern people do not wish in reinstate slavery although some do disagree that slavery is wrong (Deuteronomy 15:12-15; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1), and will not allow their ancestors to be called evil or wrong for having slaves by our federally ran school system. It seems that when the general American public hears the word “slavery” they automatically think of blacks/negros (I do not use the term “African Americans” because we are all just Americans). Slavery has been used since pre-history and all races have been affected (the Jewish race most of all).

    Finally, my closing remark is that Matthew 19:30 is referencing the story of the rich young man which was told he had to give up all his riches in order to enter heaven. The verse is stating that those who have nothing will have everything in heaven. It has nothing to do with slavery. Most misinterpretations in the Bible come from not reading the whole scripture.

    P.S. – I seems that I can read and write, and do it better than you.

  • D

    Are you serious? Are we not trying to see what is really going on in America? Are we really stuck in the hillbilly world? Newflash: THERE ARE ALL DIFFERENT TYPES OF ETHNICITIES AROUND YOU!! You can not do anything about it. And saying that the South should be ran by whites. lmao NEGRO pls!! If anything the south should be ran by the NATIVE AMERICANS because they were here FIRST!! let’s keep in mind about history “supposedly” Columbus discovered America… now, how can a person discover something if IT ALREADY EXISTS??? That’s like me driving to Florida and “discovering” Disney World. Let’s use our thinking caps on this one. Smh it doesn’t matter how you feel about blacks, hispanics, latinos, asians, or whomever, we will be around and there’s nothing and I do mean NOTHING you can do about it. There are laws that protect everyone. You have a right to exercise your OPINIONS just like i do. So slavery is not going to come back… and if it does… I have a feeling that it WILL NOT be the African American race who’ll be slaves. :-) Read your Bible. You know that great scripture Matthew 19:30. Look it up… if you can read. :D

  • IludiumPhosdex

    Among its many sins, the LOS thinks the South should be ruled by “Anglo-Celts” (meaning white people), opposes racial intermarriage, and defends slavery as “God-ordained.”

    Which is probably on the same level as apartheid South Africa, considering where they thought “Afrikaners” (as in white South Africans of Dutch-German-French Huguenot derivation) were entitled as of Divine Right to rule over what they saw as “God’s Own Country.”

    Said arrogance being reinforced by the likes of Afrikaner-centrist organisations as Die Broterbund and the Voortrekkers youth movement … their designs for a socioeconomic ideal known by the Afrikaans term Volkskapitalisme (lit., “people’s capitalism”) … and such excesses of Afrikaner ostentation as the Voortrekker Momument outside Pretoria and the rituals surrounding same, especially on December 16th.

  • Carter

    “LOS thinks the South should be ruled by “Anglo-Celts” (meaning white people), opposes racial intermarriage, and defends slavery as “God-ordained.””

    It seems that reading the Bible, God also “ordained” a great many things that are simply inappropriate 2000-5000 later. I doubt the Lord is disappointed with the extreme lack of animal sacrifices.
    However that is not the main thrust of my agenda with LOS.

    “Never shy about his racism, in 1998 Kershaw said: “Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery. Where in the world are the Negroes better off today than in America?””

    What a specious argument; to compare 3rd World Nations with the USA! Why not examine the slums of eastern Europe with the USA? The whole of their reasoning is a painful joke to minimize the literal enslavement of human beings.

    Said a clever quack to an educated physician: “How many
    of the passing multitude, do you suppose, appreciate the value of science, or understand the impositions of quackery?”
    “Not more than one in ten,” was the answer.
    “Well,” said the quack, “you may have that one, and I’ll
    have the other nine.”

    Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.