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 Boots Neo-Nazi Matthew Heimbach

By Mark Potok on October 8, 2013 - 9:42 am, Posted in Neo-Confederate, Neo-Nazi

Earlier this week, racist one-time student organizer Matthew Heimbach assured his followers that he would not throw his neo-Nazi allies “under the bus,” saying it was time to abandon fear and create a “big White Advocacy tent.”

Now, a chief ally is throwing him under the bus instead.

Last night, Michael Hill, head of the neo-secessionist hate group League of the South (LOS), disinvited Heimbach and his followers from an LOS march set for this weekend in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The rally was against the “demographic displacement” of white southerners by people of color.

Hill also booted Heimbach out of the LOS.

“Matthew Heimbach, a former member of The League of the South, has apparently decided to cast his lot with Nazis and others who do not represent the traditional South, the Southern Nationalist movement, and The League of the South,” Hill wrote on the Facebook page for the Murfreesboro event. “Neither he nor his friends will be welcome at our demonstrations on 12 October. This notice is for information purposes and not for discussion.”

Hill was clearly reacting to reports on this blog and elsewhere about Heimbach’s trajectory from a self-described “conservative” to a full-fledged neo-Nazi. Yesterday, this blog carried a photograph of the founder of the White Student Union at Towson University sieg-heiling with a group of neo-Nazis and Klansmen standing under twin swastikas in Kentucky. Heimbach also announced earlier this week on his Traditionalist Youth Network blog that he would be speaking at a Nov. 9 Kansas City rally put on by the National Socialist Movement, currently the largest neo-Nazi group in the United States.

  • Erika

    btw, aadila, i’m happy to report that Satan has loosened his grip on my computer and i can again read Chick Tracts online.

    And for people who haven’t checked out Jack T. Chick’s website recently, you really need to see his response to claims that Chick Tracts are “hate literature” which of course comes in tract form and claims that Chick Tracts are really love literature – of course, given that this is the man who wrote “Lisa” his “love” especially of chidlren is downright terrifying .

    Speaking of which, there is also an excellent new Halloween themed tract as well because even though Halloween is Satan’s Birthday its the perfect opportunity to terrify small children by giving them cartoons telling them that they will die and burn for eternity in The Lake of Fire, oopsie, i mean “save souls.”

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “2. I have heard — on, I must acknowledge, completely unknown authority — that the term, “National Socialism,” was invented in fact my a Jewish intellectual named Moses Hess. Can anyone here address that to confirm or debunk?”

    Not sure about that but during the Russian Revolution and the aborted revolutions in the fracturing German empire, a loose movement known as “National Bolshevism” appeared. In fact a lot of fascist ideologies trace their roots to that period of time. Many of these people claimed that they were socialists or at least against capitalism, but that they believed in strong traditions and national identity. They wanted to go back, to pre-capitalism rather than forward like Marxists. Of course in practice fascism only succeeded where it was supported by the rich bourgeoisie in countries where they felt threatened by socialists and social democrats.

  • Scott S

    Matthew Heimbach is a distorted non-thinking racist that is showing his true views of promoting violence. I predict he will crash and burn like most other idiots of his kind.

    I am Scott Shepherd and I approve this message :)

  • Joe Northpal

    Looks like League of the South should rename themselves Tribe of the South

  • Erika

    aadila, since i believe that Jack T. Chick didn’t write his first tracts until the mid 1960s i find that highly dubious.

  • aadila

    R. Pinkerton,

    The first use of “national socialist” was actually from a Chick Tract, as explained in this comment thread, though I will grant you the epistemology is a bit unclear and perhaps dubious.

  • Robert Pinkerton

    1. In the comment-stream of an earlier article here, I made mention of an icon I have, depicting an angry Ganesha wreaking wrath upon Nazis, caption: “The Nazis stole the swastika. Ganesh wants it back.”

    It will likely take centuries before the stigma with which the Nazis imbued the swastika, wears off.

    2. I have heard — on, I must acknowledge, completely unknown authority — that the term, “National Socialism,” was invented in fact my a Jewish intellectual named Moses Hess. Can anyone here address that to confirm or debunk?

  • aadila

    Dan, you have great wisdom. It is a joy to see you use it now and then. Just remember what we see and what is are not always the same.

    Ruslan, swastikas were used as good luck charms by aviators in northen europe well before the rise of the Nazi perversion. In fact I’ve even seen the symbol in Native American art, which suggests to my mind that it was carried from Asia long before it became prominent. There is a very ancient proto-swastika found somewhere in Russia, I believe, which might be a bird, but is thought to have been the oldest known representation.

    Rey, an important distinction is the 45 degree right facing swastika which became associated with Nazis, not that it faces right. For thousands of years this symbol has been used in the Asian wisdom cycles, facing either direction, with various symbolic meanings I know nothing about. I think the Jainists use the left facing swastika, usually colored red, with four dots around it, to avoid being hated, but this is not necessarily traditional. Hindus also use it. I’m not Jain so I don’t know. But they are peaceful people and won’t piss anybody off if they can avoid it.

    My view on symbols is that if they offend someone I will not use it. I don’t care too much about symbols, but some people feel differently so I just mention all this to make people think a little bit about what stuff really means, not to resignify the swastika or brush aside the offense people feel in their hearts because of the memory of genocide.

    If it makes anyone feel better to think of it as a meaningless stick figure used by morons to offend people, then I am good with that.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Not to quibble too much over swastikas, but I’ve seen many Tibetan Buddhist tapestries from Mongolia and Buryatiya and they contain swastikas which look just like those which adorned the tails of Luftwaffe aircraft. In fact I brought back this calligraphy tapestry from China and upon closely examining the yellow border I found tons of little swastikas in that configuration.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    “…so people won’t automatically assume that someone from India driving around with a svastika sticker on their bicycle is necessarily a Nazi, when they might be Jain…”

    That _may_ be true. But most people, even in India, if even slightly educated, will recognize it as a Nazi symbol.

    But if you or I were to display a swastika, rotating in either direction, not one single person in the US will think we are a Jain. Not even a Jain.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    “So, Dan, out of curiosity, do you view the cross as a symbol of racism, given that crosses were burned on people’s lawns by the KKK?”

    I regard the cross as a racist symbol because it has been carried by more genocidal maniacs that any other symbol throughout history. The Klan, all together, do not form a pimple on the butt of christian violence.

  • Sam Molloy

    Very perceptive synopsis, Ruslan. I can only add that there’s a high percentage of students who want to rise above the crowd by going to college, and a very low percentage of jobs that really require a college education.

  • Gregory

    You are being somewhat naive regarding the Confederates. They did not consider themselves “Americans”, if we use that term to mean citizens of the United States of America. That is why they seceded, to maintain a lifestyle built on slavery.

    If you mean “just like you and me” to refer to a common history of immigration and continental occupation, then I might agree. If you mean “just like you and me” to refer to armed insurrection against the legitimate government in order to keep slaves, then we must part ways.

  • Reynardine

    Aadila, *that* swastika was normally depicted revolving clockwise, with its streamers running left. The reverse swastika represented the overpowering force of darkness, and the Nazis, to whom Hitler was the “Black Sun”, radiating darkness as the sun of day radiates light, chose it deliberately.

    Anything now so charged with the screams of the murdered is attainted for centuries to come.

  • aadila

    My point is not to question the obvious, but to look a bit deeper into the symbolism here so people won’t automatically assume that someone from India driving around with a svastika sticker on their bicycle is necessarily a Nazi, when they might be Jain and one of the most peaceful people on the planet. Surely you can see how religious discrimination might result from the a priori assumption that this symbol represents the Nazis?

  • aadila

    So, Dan, out of curiosity, do you view the cross as a symbol of racism, given that crosses were burned on people’s lawns by the KKK?

  • Dan Zabetakis

    “Dan, and the Confederates who the League of the South worship weren’t “major losers” and “enemies of America”????”

    No, of course they were not. I’m shocked that you could even say that. The Confederates were Americans, just like you and me. As soon as the war was over reconciliation and reconstruction were the priority.

    You’ve probably heard how Lee refused to refer to the union army as the enemy, instead saying “those people”. Lincoln called the war “a new birth of freedom”. Yes, the war was nasty and violent as all wars are. But unlike WWII neither side had an apocalyptic vision of total destruction, genocide, or eternal war.

  • Erika

    Dan, and the Confederates who the League of the South worship weren’t “major losers” and “enemies of America”????

  • Dan Zabetakis

    “The swastika is not a Nazi symbol.”

    I’m afraid that it is.

    ” It is an ancient Asian religious symbol…”

    Yes, we all know this. But the history of WWII will override this fact for the foreseeable future. Maybe in 500 years the symbol could be used again in it’s earlier meaning.

    But the attempts to rehabilitate the swastika are, while well-meaning, both embarrassing and futile.

  • aadila

    Forgive the slight tangent, but I would like to respond to Dan Zabetakis.

    The swastika is not a Nazi symbol. It is an ancient Asian religious symbol important to Hindus, Buddhists, and Jainists, and its original name “svastika” means “it is good” in sanskrit. It’s understandable that the use by the Nazis of the right-facing, 45 degree swastika as symbol of their false claim to “aryan” origins (Ruslan has debunked this repeatedly so I won’t go into detail here) has become stigmatized, but it is still unfortunate that educated people don’t look beyond 1920 when the symbol was stolen and its meaning distorted.

    My hope is that if anyone sees a swastika they won’t automatically grasp to hate and fear (for their own sake, not mine, since hatred is a poison), but recognize that there is far more to the symbol than the Nazis and these ignorant children playing dress-up in the photo above.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    While I oppose the LOS, I can at least grasp the point they think they are making.

    I cannot understand neo-nazis at all. Isn’t is _obvious_ to everyone that the Nazis (the real, actual Nazis) were: A) Major Losers; and B) Enemies of America?

    No US citizen, not matter how ‘conservative’, should ape nazi behavior or use nazi symbols or peripheral. Right? This is _obvious_, right?

    My only other question is whether than American Family Association now considers Heimbach to be an ‘out’ homosexual?

  • concernedcitizen

    Once again I am overwhelmed by the level of stupidity that runs afoot with those who believe themselves to be a superior race especially given that probably not one of them has made any notable contributions to the human race. They have yet to prove any superiority just amongst those who live under the same rock with them.

    I guess if you drink enough beer and hold your breath long enough the brain damage could be sufficient to create enough self delusion and appoint yourself king or queen of any ant hill.

  • Yodz

    Dang tablet, hit submit rather than delete.

    What I was saying is that my hope is that the catastrophe doesn’t extend beyond himself and those he’s so unwisely hitched his wagon to. What a waste.

  • Yodz

    I’m going to assume that he grew up being the “fat kid” based upon his recent former (although he does appear to have slimmed a bit lately). I don’t say this to be glib, but oftentimes a person who does grow up chubby is picked on relentlessly, particularly when they’re intelligent. I speak from experience when I say that he’s probably grasping onto anyone that gives him acceptance/approval. This is doubly so when he’s been told and/or perceives that he’s important. It’s a shame that he is choosing this path, as it can only end in catastrophe. I hate to say that my hope is, if he doesn’t rid himself of the David Duke/Jared Taylor (or worse) influence,

  • Gregory

    My original comment seems to be stuck in moderation, so I will rephrase it. Am I the only person who finds it amusing that the LOS would turn him away fo being TOO white?

  • dinosaur

    I kind of wonder if this announcement has something to do with Brad Griffin’s influence in the LoS. Griffin doesn’t seem like the type who would want to share the stage with a younger man. It took him a decade to get the attention that Heimbach got for himself in a year or so.

    The only thing left for Heimbach to do is hitch himself to the Craig Cobb wagon. Cobb’s accepted support from the NSM and he’s desperate for a friend.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    I’ve seen a lot of Heimbach’s work and I know the type very well. He’s very “book-smart” but lacks real world experience. No doubt he was singled out one way or another in childhood as “gifted,” and probably tended to be more intellectual than the peers in his age group. However, praise from those around him caused him to believe his own hype too much. By the time he gets to college, he’s already convinced that there’s a conspiracy against his beliefs so he decides to reject any information he receives which doesn’t fit into his worldview.

    I think this is a major problem with college because when you deal with 18-19 year olds they seem to divide into two types:

    1. Those who never had any strong beliefs and are suddenly exposed to politics in college. They become total converts to whatever their favorite professor tells them, but they often butcher the ideology and reduce it into a farce. That seems to be the case with a lot of campus “left” ideology.

    2. Slightly bright young people from conservative backgrounds who are “prepped” for college by being told it’s a hotbed of left-wing propaganda. They are convinced that they already know how the world works and they don’t need to learn anything.

    You can see why this isn’t really conducive to actual learning.

  • Patrick

    What kind of work does this young man do for a living? Surely nobody would associate with a nazi. I read someplace he graduated college. What was his degree in? He doesn’t seem too bright.

  • supersonic250

    ……I don’t even know what to say to this. This is absolutely hilarious. Are we sure the SPLC isn’t turning into a comedy news site now?

  • aadila

    What concerns me is that Heimbach is going to be increasingly isolated and will be forced to go one of two ways: either he will be forced to abandon the path he is on, or he, and others who are on the same path, will band together and become increasingly concerned about their political survival. This has the very great potential to turn violent, and at least, to become intractable. At that point, if he decides to get out, he may not be able to.

    I sincerely hope that Heimbach sees that the path he is on is destined for bad things. He is young and still has a chance to change. He can put this behind him. But if he doesn’t he is probably headed for a very, very unfortunate destiny, along with everyone who stands beside him.