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

Ron Paul Invites Neo-Confederate Witness to Testify in Congress

By Heidi Beirich on February 9, 2011 - 5:49 pm, Posted in Neo-Confederate

This morning, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) hosted his first hearing as chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank. Paul wants to look at the institution’s impact on job creation and the unemployment rate. Paul, a vicious opponent of the Fed, in the past has called for its abolition.

One of the witnesses invited to testify was Thomas DiLorenzo, a longtime activist in the neo-Confederate hate group, League of the South (LOS). The LOS advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by “Anglo-Celts” – that is, white people. LOS leaders have called slavery “God-ordained” and described segregation as necessary to the racial “integrity” of black and white alike. DiLorenzo also is an economics professor at Baltimore’s Loyola College.

According to the Washington Post, “when Paul opened up the hearing to questions from committee members, Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) directly took on DiLorenzo for his membership in the League of the South,” pointing to the designation of the LOS as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Clay also cited DiLorenzo’s many revisionist works about the Civil War and Lincoln, including “More Lies about the Civil War,” “In Defense of Sedition,” and “The First Dictator-President,” which examines “how Lincoln’s myth has corrupted America.”

“After reviewing your work and the so-called methods you employ, I still cannot understand you being invited to testify today on the unemployment crisis, but I do know that I have no questions for you,” Clay concluded.

DiLorenzo has a long history with the LOS. His essays have appeared in the group’s publications, and he was identified as a member in a 2000 issue of its Southern Events. DiLorenzo spoke at the LOS’ 2002 conference and that year’s Southern Heritage Conference, hosted by longtime LOS leader Steve Wilkins. DiLorenzo was listed for years, up until at least late 2009, as an “affiliated scholar” at the League’s Institute for the Study of Southern Culture, dedicated to ending any furtherance of the idea “that the commercial value of slavery was the cause of the war.”

DiLorenzo has other extremist connections. He has spoken at events that included other hate group members, and has been published by neo-Confederate outfits. In 1995, he wrote an essay entitled “A Defense of the Confederate Cause” published in the Journal for Historical Review, a Holocaust denial publication. It argues that “slavery was not one of the rationales” for the Civil War. “Since the battle flag represents a fight against high taxes and centralized government, every freedom-loving American should honor it,” DiLorenzo’s essay concludes.

Though trained as an economist, DiLorenzo’s life work appears to be rewriting the history of the Civil War and Lincoln’s role in it. DiLorenzo argues Lincoln was a paragon of wickedness, whose secret intent was to destroy states’ rights and build a massive federal government. “It was not to end slavery that Lincoln initiated an invasion of the South,” DiLorenzo writes in his 2002 attack on the 16th president, entitled, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War. “A war was not necessary to free the slaves, but it was necessary to destroy the most significant check on the powers of the central government: the right of secession.”

In addition to his position at Loyola, DiLorenzo is a senior faculty member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a hard-right libertarian foundation in Auburn, Ala. In 2003, LewRockwell.com, a Web site run by Von Mises Institute President Llewellyn Rockwell that at the time included a “King Lincoln” section, hosted a “Lincoln Reconsidered” conference in Richmond, Va., starring DiLorenzo. The conference became a bit of a road show, reappearing around the South and headlined by DiLorenzo.

Ron Paul has connections to von Mises as well. When several of Paul’s newsletters from the 1980s and 1990s were found to include bigoted rhetoric about African Americans and gays, Paul claimed not to know who wrote them. But in 2008, Reason Magazine fingered the culprit: Paul’s chief ghostwriter was none other than von Mises founder Rockwell, who had earlier served as Paul’s chief of staff. To this day, the institute runs Paul’s commentaries and, according to Reason, “Rockwell remains a friend and advisor to Paul.”

Update: This morning DiLorenzo posted an angry screed in which he described Congressman Clay as “sleazy” and claimed he had “lied  about my non-existent working relationship with the League of the  South.” DiLorenzo says that his last interaction with the League was 13 years ago. So it is somewhat ironic, or perhaps hypocritical, that the League has DiLorenzo listed as a speaker at a 2009 League of the South Summer Institute on what is a favored topic of DiLorenzo’s, “Lincoln Reconsidered.”

  • johnq

    ON FEBRUARY 10TH, 2011 AT 4:43 PM
    Thank you, SPLC, for shining the light on these bigoted knuckleheads, Lew Rockwell, Thomas DiLorenzo and (sadly) Ron Paul. In spirit, if not in fact, they are all comrade-in-arms with George Lincoln Rockwell (1918-1967), founder of the American Nazi Party, who I had the stomach-churning experience of witnessing spew his hate speech in 1966. We must continue to expose these sneaky bigots.

    Yet, Dick couldn’t prove what he said with a shred of evidence.
    Color me shocked!

  • johnq

    >He needs to be targeted, not his stooges.

    Obama would be so upset with you for using the word target. WHat happened to civility.

  • Ray Martinez

    I attended college with Tom (Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA). Back then he was our fraternity president (Theta Chi) and our fraternity was the only one on campus to have “minorities” as members (in the mid-seventies). Not sure what has happened between then and now.

  • Tom Jantz

    Greetings! I have read with interest all of the letters people have written on the causes of the Civil War. There is so much anger in most of these letters and even name calling, very upsetting. I have written many letters on the subject that can be found by typing in “Thomas Jantz, Confederacy”. When people join organizations they seem to lose their identity as an individual and all the people in that organization are lumped together as if they are one person believing exactly the same thing. This applies to political organizations, religions and so forth. It is important to note that most or all of the people writing on this site are not condoning slavery but rather are talking of the particulars of it and who is to blame. The truth is that there is a lot of blame to go around not only in this country but around the world. It seems as though the ”stain” of slavery has been transferred onto the confederate flag [battle flag] from the American flag. Some people do not want to say that there was slavery under the American flag or for that matter say that all the slave ships had American flags flying over them and that American ships continued in the slave trade even after the practice was outlawed. These northern slave trader brought the slaves to northern ports and then sold them to southern plantation owners for the most part. On our currency [Federal reserve notes in reality] are pictures of American presidents who owned hundreds of slaves, should we condemn them and take their pictures off our currency?no really, I am asking! Slavery was wrong, wrong, wrong and still is, that is what we all need to agree on instead of pointing fingers at people in our history who just happened to live in areas that slavery flourished but had nothing to do with it. A close look at the economic policies enacted before the war will enlighten anybody on a big cause of the war. Many people point to the fact that some southern states stated in their constitutions that ending slavery would ruin their economies and defended the practice and that is why they had to leave the Union. I would be the last person on earth to defend those words but I do not think the answer to ending slavery was an invasion by Northern States where there were also slaves [not as many] and slave owners who owned many plantations in the southern states. Many Northern newspapers knew this and about 300 newspapers were shut down for saying so. Upwards of 40,000 northern people were jailed for speaking out againsed the war and the illegal invasion of the southern states. It is interesting to note that former Pres. Harry S Truman, the man who desegregated the armed forces, was a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans as is actor Clint Eastwood. Former Pres. Eisenhower always had a picture of Robert E. Lee in his office as President and during world war 2 and refused to take it down. Lets all remember that patriotism should be directed to our fellow Americans, not the Government. The South left the Union with great sadness and regret and adopted a constitution much the same and a flag that was/is so much like the American flag that they had to adopt another flag for the battlefield so as not to confuse the troops fighting . I do not mean to confuse anyone about the flags, please type in Confederate flags for some pictures. I welcome and respect anyone who would like to reply to this letter. We are all Americans. A person can love his or her country and still be a defender of the Confederacy. It is very healthy and patriotic for people to vent their views on this matter, no matter what their opinion is. Hope all is well with everyone in these troubled times. Tom Jantz in Michigan.

  • joe

    Ludwig von Mises Institute is nothing more than a “think tank” for the neo-confederate movement. They’re very clever and a good example of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you cut through all their talk about “freedom” it’s really nothing more than longing for the good old days before Govt forced the white people to share restrooms and dining facilities with blacks. Last week Ron Paul had no problem voting for oil subsidies. He has often said the Supreme Court has defined the word “liberty” too broadly in the 14th Amendment. It’s really hard to take him seriously as a libertarian. The “End the Fed” talk is his claim to fame and an attention getter. He doesn’t seem to understand monetary policy or simple things such as inflation. He’s fond of saying it takes 20 dollars to purchase what a dollar could purchase in 1913. I suppose people would rather get paid a $1/hour than $20/ hour. some how he forgets that inflation means it costs more for services, not only goods.

    The hearing itself was quite humorous. Clay’s beat down on Delorenzo was wonderful. Check it out if you have an hour to spare. It’s on the financial services website. I have it and will probably put the highlights on youtube this week.

  • The Juanster

    Also google the founder of the Penal colony of Georgia; Lord Oglethorp and why Ga. was established as a sanctuary for The Convicted Debtors of the British Empire, of whom none were African, and see Coldham’s listing of the contents of “Ol Bailey and the rest of London’s Gaols.
    Thjis is the history neither Ron Paul or any of the others of his ilk wishes to be exposed, but Whites were enslaved under harsher conditions and for reasons that Blacks never were. See how Oliver Cromwell treated the Irish and Catholics during the establishment of the Ulster Plantation

  • The Juanster

    As I read the Paul article and the many responses to it, I was made aware of the level of denial and lack of knowledge of the intent of the alleged Founding Father’s of this nation.
    The majority of people living today in the U.S. are doing so under the illusion that they have somehow become the posteity of The Founding Fathers, the authors of the Constitution and are required to defend and uphold it when this was never the intended goal of those authors. Unless this is understood, the illusion is self perpetuating.
    The persons exploited by the group A/K/A We-The-People, the authors of the Constitution, did not include the persons relegated as Slaves, Convicts and Indentured as constituting the group WE-THE-PEOPLE that received Land Patents from the British Crown. The group used as human resources and transported to the British Colonies as Free Labor are listed in the work of Peter Wilson Coldham’s work “Emigrants In Chains”. When the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution is read from this perspective, the institution of slavery takes on a new meaning. The constituents of the CSA were the descendants of those transported persons fron the British Empire viewed as the dregs of that Elistist Society. None of the current historians has seen fit to explore the question of why the 5% of the the Colony’s population felt they had a chance in defeating the Army of the British Empire and the 95% of the resident Loyalists that supported the King’s policies, without the aid of that unincluded group of 3/5 types of human resources??
    Coldham’s books answers these questions.

  • Jordan

    jordan,
    No, the 4th Amendment protects people from forceful searches and seizures without a warrent, if one doesn’t take the time to learn their rights than that’s their own fault. If one voluntarily incriminates oneself than that is also their own fault, that is why education is important.

  • jordan

    freedom/rights/equality
    I beleive everyone should have equal rights even if they are criminals or even terrorist. I also beleive that freedom is important and everyone should be treated equaly. One kid in my school was pulled over by the police. The police man took advantage of his rights since he did not know them and asked him if he could look in his car without a reason and he let him. do you feel like its a violation of the 4th amendment?

  • Mitch Beales

    @Lourie Salley ” They wished only to establish a government, with the consent of the governed.” Oh really? Did they seek the consent of their slaves? Liar!

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Foe the mental midget that thinks secession is treason, perhaps we should thank the treasonous founding fathers for their treason against the crown.”

    Yes, they committed treason against the crown. And the CSA committed treason against the USA. If you hate America, then go ahead and declare that treason against the US is fine by you. I’m not judging the idea, only the dishonesty of neo-confederates here.