Print This Post
Like mentor, like protégé.
Newly reelected Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker raised a few eyebrows even in this conservative state with his release last week of a radio campaign advertisement in which he said “liberal activist judges” like U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips should be listed with Al-Qaeda among America’s biggest security threats.
Why? Because of her September ruling that the U.S. military’s so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy is unconstitutional, which, if it survives legal challenges, would mean that gays could serve openly in the armed forces. (The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an indefinite stay of Phillips’ ruling on Nov. 1). ( continue to full post… )
Print This Post
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. ( continue to full post… )
Print This Post
Jack Kershaw, one of the most iconic American white segregationists of the 20th century and the lawyer who represented James Earl Ray following his conviction for the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has died in Nashville at the age of 96.
He died on Sept. 7, but his death was not made public until Sept. 17, after funeral services were held.
Kershaw was a co-founder and board member of the League of the South (LOS), formed in 1994 by a group of 40 intellectuals. The LOS espoused intensely racist views, including support for a second Southern secession, defense of slavery and opposition to interracial marriage to preserve the “integrity” of black and white people. The Southern Poverty Law Center listed the League of the South as a hate group in 2000.
One of Kershaw’s most enduring quotes was uttered in 1998: “Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery,” he told a reporter. “Where in the world are the Negroes better off than today in America?”
Print This Post
The American Civil War was the costliest, most devastating conflict in the history of our country. At least 620,000 soldiers died, as did some 400,000 civilians who fell to disease, suicide, murder and similar causes. Hundreds of thousands of others suffered horrible wood-saw amputations and terrible wounds. In the four years the war lasted, it cost $2.5 million daily — an incredible amount at the time. In the end, the South was laid waste, its industries, its grand homes, its roads and its farms largely destroyed. It would be a century before the region fully recovered.
Yes, it was a splendid little war — that is, if you believe the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Southern heritage society that in the last decade has seen a large number of racial extremists in influential and sometimes top positions.
“CELEBRATE THE BEGINNING OF THE CONFEDERACY IN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA,” the SCV wrote its members in a breathless announcement on its E-mail list Monday. The event, scheduled for Feb. 19, 2011, will feature a parade up Dexter Avenue to the Alabama State Capitol — the end of the very same route taken by Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of others who participated in the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march in 1965. It is to be followed by other events around the South commemorating the sesquicentennial of each year of what some Southerners still call the War of Northern Aggression. ( continue to full post… )
Print This Post
Each summer, a few lucky young folks, whose parents presumably have neo-Confederate sympathies, spend a week at a Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) Sam Davis Youth Camp. The camps are inspired by the words of a Confederate officer warning that a Southern loss in the Civil War meant its history would be “written by the enemy.”
Now in their seventh season, the Southern heritage group’s youth camps are supposed to help parents take “responsibility” for teaching “our Southern history and culture.” They feature a week-long reeducation of sorts, one that is needed, says the SCV, because today’s youth run a “terrible gauntlet” and “many are struck down along the way by one or more of the politically correct influences which flourish in our schools.” The youth camps are meant to harden these youngsters so they can withstand “the liberal, politically correct view of history.”
The camps are heavily indebted to Kirk Lyons, a white supremacist lawyer who led a decade-long effort to recruit hate group members to the SCV (Lyons was at one time a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance). Lyons, who said in 2000 that his goal is “a majority European-derived society,” serves on the SCV committee that oversees the camps. He has lobbied to have SCV funds dedicated to camp scholarships and his own children have participated in the events.
Also serving on the camp’s oversight committee is Ron G. Wilson, a former SCV commander-in-chief (2002-2004) who once served on the board of Lyons’ legal firm. Working closely with Lyons during his tenure as commander, Wilson appointed racists and anti-Semites to key SCV posts, purged some 300 SCV members and leaders who opposed racism, and worked to turn the SCV into an actively neo-Confederate organization. The Sam Davis Youth Camps, which are programs held in various venues rather than specific physical locations, were inaugurated under Wilson’s leadership.
So what does the SCV teach today’s youth? Campers are exposed to various “truths” about what the SCV calls “the War for Southern Independence” and are given “thoughtful instruction” in a whole host of topics: “Southern history, the War Between the States, the theology of the South during the War, lessons on Southern heroes, examples of great men of the Faith, and for the first year, special programs and sessions for our Southern ladies!” ( continue to full post… )
Print This Post
The neo-Confederate movement’s best known legal champion is getting some media buzz for urging Southerners to declare their race as “Confederate Southern American” on the 2010 U.S. census questionnaire.
In recent video messages posted on YouTube and Facebook, white supremacist attorney Kirk Lyons told his compatriots to eschew the traditional racial classifications and instead write in “Confed Southern Am” (abbreviated to fit the space) under “other race.” Census forms were mailed or delivered this month to homes across the United States.
“There is no identifiable group more persecuted, humiliated, embarrassed, singled out for ridicule, fired from jobs, kids suspended from school, civic groups representing [them] being denied parades, than the Confederate Southern Americans of the United States,” he said in the first video message. “This is an opportunity for us to put our numbers on record, tell the government how many of us there are, and tell our fellow citizens how many of us there are.”
Lyons insisted that “Confederate Southern American” is an appropriate designation because the South seceded to form an independent nation for four years during the Civil War — or, as he puts it, the “War of Northern Aggression.” “If there can be Cajun Americans, if there can be Serbian Americans, there can be Confederate Southern Americans,” Lyons said. Proclaiming their national origin as Confederate Southern Americans would send the message that they “will not sit in the back of the bus anymore.” He added that the Confederate community constitutes “the largest single minority group in the United States today.”
Over the past several days, Lyons’ plea has been noted by mainstream and alternative media outlets, including the Washington Post, Hartford Courant, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nashville Scene and AlterNet. Most have treated his census initiative as a curiosity and provided little information about Lyons besides his title: chief trial counsel for the Southern Legal Resource Center (SLRC). A notable exception was Fox News radio host Alan Colmes, whose questions about Lyons’ background sent the “Confederate Southern American” into a tizzy. When Colmes asked Lyons to confirm that he was married at the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations compound during the live interview Monday night, Lyons repeatedly accused Colmes of attacking his family. “You don’t ask any other people this kind of nonsensical, ancient history question,” he fumed. He also lashed out at the Southern Poverty Law Center for characterizing him as a racist (which he denies) and refused to give his opinion of Richard Butler, the late Aryan Nations leader who presided over his wedding. Lyons’ best man at the wedding was Louis Beam, a particularly vicious ex-Klan leader who was, for a time, on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. ( continue to full post… )
Print This Post
Last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center exposed an unsavory collaboration between the Second Vermont Republic (SVR), a quirky left-leaning band of New England secessionists, and the white supremacist League of the South, long categorized by the SPLC as a hate group. Their shared goal was to build a national secession movement.
The SPLC report, titled “North Meets South,” also documented links between SVR founder and leader Thomas H. Naylor and other extremist organizations. Naylor has appeared on the hate radio program “The Political Cesspool,” which is run by white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens board member James Edwards. He is also an associate scholar at the Atlanta-based Abbeville Institute, which is run by former League of the South leader Donald Livingston and is devoted to the ignored “achievements of white people in the South.”
Naylor initially denounced the SPLC story, calling it “a vicious attack spearheaded by the well-financed, hate-mongering, witch-hunting, left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center.” He cited no factual errors. But a few weeks later, he had second thoughts. In a letter that appeared to signal an end to the alliance, he called on the League to distance itself from racism and hatred. In the July 4, 2008, letter, he wrote, “So long as the albatross of racism hangs around its neck, the LOS can never be a truly effective partner for SVR.” His own group, he said, “risks being tainted by the scourge of racism simply by associating with the LOS.” He provided a few helpful suggestions for the League: Renounce racism, recruit black members, bring in black speakers, and promote Southern racial unity. And one more thing: “the Confederate flag has got to go!”
The divorce didn’t last long, however. Naylor and a close ally, prominent New York leftist writer and editor Kirkpatrick Sale, are now scheduled to speak at a conference on secession being organized by the Abbeville Institute. They will share the stage at the Charleston, S.C., conference in February with neo-Confederate scholars such as Thomas DiLorenzo, Clyde Wilson and Livingston, the Abbeville Institute founder. All three have current or past links with the League of the South. ( continue to full post… )
Print This Post
They just keep coming, says Bishop Arthur Dowdell. The racial epithets. The vile aspersions. The death threats. They arrive via E-mail, the U.S. post and phone calls in the middle of the night. They’re shouted at him by passersby.
“A lot of them call me the N-word. Some of them call my mother a bitch. One said they was going to urinate on my wife and children,” Dowdell told Hatewatch. “Another said I better not show up to the next City Council meeting, or I’d be a dead man.”
The trouble started on the afternoon of Thursday, April 23, when Bishop Dowdell, an elected member of the Auburn, Ala., City Council and its only black member, was picking up his daughter from Auburn Junior High School, which is located next to Pine Hill Cemetery.
According to Dowdell, he’d recently received several complaints from African-American constituents regarding Confederate battle flags being placed in the cemetery. Dowdell said he decided to see for himself and, sure enough, there were about 50 small Confederate battle flags waving in the breeze.
Dowdell wasn’t having that. “It’s offensive to me,” he later told The Opelika-Auburn News. “To me, it [the Confederate battle flag] represents the Ku Klux Klan and racism.”
He snatched up four of the flags and tossed them into his trunk.
Happening to witness his actions were two members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), who’d placed the flags earlier in the week, as they’ve done since the 1950s, in preparation for a celebration of Confederate Memorial Day, which is observed as a state holiday in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. This year it fell on April 27. ( continue to full post… )
Print This Post
Notorious white supremacist lawyer Kirk D. Lyons has thrown his hat in the ring again for a spot on the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) General Executive Council, the national governing board for a group representing male descendants of Confederate veterans. Lyons, who was married at the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations compound by that group’s now deceased leader Richard Butler and who has a lengthy personal history of racist activities that includes past membership in the neo-Nazi National Alliance, is running for the post of councilman for the Army of Northern Virginia (ANV), the largest of the SCV’s three geographical divisions. Lyons is a past commander of the I.N. Giffen Camp, located in his hometown of Black Mountain, N.C.
In his campaign platform, Lyons (above, with family, in photo released with his campaign announcement) aims to turn the 20,000-odd member organization into one with a million. Perhaps he will do so by loosening standards. In a 2004 E-mail to SCV members, Lyons wrote, “Mere Klan membership should not be sufficient to remove a member.” What he says explicitly in his campaign announcement is that he hopes to use his position to reverse the outcome of the Civil War: “I look forward to being part of a gathering of eagles at Elm Springs [the SCV’s Tennessee headquarters] to lead the SCV to the victory our ancestors were denied — a victory that with God’s help we can and must secure for our posterity.”
Since the late 1990s, Lyons’ plan has been to turn the SCV into an arm of the radical right, something he made clear during a speech to the racist American Friends of the British National Party in 2000. In a videotape obtained by the Intelligence Report, Lyons talked about how a group of “unreconstructed Southerners” or “white trash,” including himself, had helped to move the SCV increasingly towards a white “nationalist perspective.” “The civil rights movement I am trying to form seeks a revolution,” Lyons told his extremist colleagues that day. “We seek a return to a godly society with no Northernisms attached to it — a majority European-derived society.” ( continue to full post… )
Print This Post
Thomas H. Naylor, the founder and leader of the secessionist Second Vermont Republic (SVR), has called on his former allies in the racist League of the South (LOS) to unequivocally distance themselves from racism and hatred. The LOS (see related recent post), which among other things believes slavery to be “God-ordained” and is against interracial marriage, has participated in two SVR meetings that gathered together secessionists of all stripes. SVR has also participated in LOS meetings.
In a letter dated July 4, Naylor writes, “[s]o long as the albatross of racism hangs around its neck, the LOS can never be a truly effective partner for SVR.” He adds that SVR “risks being tainted by the scourge of racism simply by associating with the LOS.”
Naylor’s letter comes in the wake of a recent Intelligence Report exposé, “North Meets South,” that examined SVR’s budding relationship with the LOS. In March, Naylor hotly defended the LOS, telling the Report that though the LOS is “not perfect,” it is “not racist.” He also told the Report, “I don’t give a shit what you write,” and that, “If someone tells me that I shouldn’t associate with the League of the South, it guarantees that I will associate with the League of the South.”
( continue to full post… )