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

Tennessee State Senator Doubles Down on Secession, Supports League of the South Offshoot

Posted in Neo-Confederate by Josh Glasstetter on November 1, 2013 - 5:50 pm

Tennessee State Senator Frank Niceley will be a featured speaker tomorrow at the “sixth session” of the Southern National Congress. Despite Niceley’s denials, the group is in fact an offshoot of the League of South, a neo-Confederate hate group that calls for a second secession.


The Southern National Congress first met in Montgomery, Ala., with the stated aim of creating “a permanent forum for the expression of distinct Southern interests, Southern grievances, and Southern solutions.” The Associated Press reported at the time that the “League of the South, a Southern independence group that is viewed as marginal and extremist by critics, is organizing the event.”

The two groups are tightly linked to this day. The current Southern National Congress chairman, Rev. David O. Jones, also chairs the Tennessee chapter of the League of the South, and so on. Nonetheless, Niceley has taken to Twitter to say the groups have little, if anything, to do with one another.

Whether or not Niceley understands the connection between the groups, he has much in common with both. As the Tennessean reported yesterday, he is broadly supportive of Southern secession:

He agrees with the group’s idea that the South might one day be its own nation, like each of the 13 colonies after the American Revolution.

“They delegated a little power to central government. When that fails, we go back to being independent nations,” he said. “We could team up with New Jersey and Oregon if we wanted to.”

Niceley will use his time tomorrow with the neo-Confederates to propose an end-run around the Seventeenth Amendment, which provides the direct election of US Senators. His proposal would reportedly end party primaries, thereby “allowing the legislature’s partisan caucuses to pick the candidates instead.”

As described in the Southern National Congress newsletter (which misspelled Niceley’s name), the proposal would “change the electoral dynamics of the US Senate as the Senators would have to be more responsive to the States rather than that nebulous concept of ‘the people.’”

Ah yes, “the people” is such a nebulous concept. Better to let the Republican legislative caucus decide instead of those pesky voters. That’s what real democracy looks like to a secessionist.

League of South Rally Provokes Anti-Racist Reaction

Posted in Anti-Black, Anti-Muslim, Neo-Confederate by Don Terry on October 10, 2013 - 2:59 pm

Since word spread about three weeks ago that the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) was coming to middle Tennessee this weekend to protest immigration and refugee resettlement, local anti-racists have been working hard to make sure the group’s stay is as uncomfortable as possible.

“We are completely non-violent,” Darlene Neal of the Tennessee Anti Racist Network told Hatewatch. “But we want to disrupt the League’s process, because their process is one of hate mongering and creating divisiveness in communities wherever they go.”

So far, so good. ( continue to full post… )

League of the South Boots Neo-Nazi Matthew Heimbach

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

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. ( continue to full post… )

Evangelical Broadcasters to Drop Controversial Course, at Very Last Minute

Posted in Christian Right, Neo-Confederate by Don Terry on September 24, 2013 - 3:36 pm

A controversial course on the United States Constitution developed by a board member of the neo-Confederate, pro-secessionist League of the South (LOS) and aired by the influential National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is “to be removed” from the network, a spokesman for NRB told Hatewatch today.

“It is actually going to be going down,” the spokesman, Kenneth Chan, said of the 12-week course presented by the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), which was co-founded by Maryland-based lawyer Michael Peroutka, the LOS board member who developed the course and teaches it on NRB.

But it’s unclear when the course will be removed from the NRB lineup. Only one session remains to be broadcast and is scheduled to air Thursday. Chan referred further inquirers on timing and on the impact of a pastor’s petition drive seeking to have the program removed to the president of the network, Troy Miller. ( continue to full post… )

League of the South Chapter in S.C. Gets New Boss – a Former Member of Neo-Nazi Group

Posted in Neo-Confederate, Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist by Keegan Hankes on September 18, 2013 - 2:32 pm

The South Carolina chapter of the League of the South has a new chairman, Michael Cushman, who comes complete with neo-Nazi ties for the neo-Confederate hate group.

This past weekend, the chapter’s board of directors voted to replace former Chairman Lourie A. Salley with Cushman, 36, of Aiken, S.C.

Cushman, who has been heavily involved in a new wave of LOS demonstrations against what the group calls “Southern demographic displacement,” hopes to buff up the group’s image. ( continue to full post… )

American Heritage Group Pushes Radical Theocratic Class on Constitution

Posted in Extremist Propaganda, Neo-Confederate by Don Terry on September 18, 2013 - 2:31 pm

If you didn’t know it already, this is Constitution Week across the country. Smack dab in the middle in Ohio, the Daniel Cooper chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) wanted to do something special this year to commemorate the 226-year-old document. But what? The group wasn’t exactly sure. “I haven’t read the Constitution since high school, many decades ago,” chapter head Betsey Taylor told Hatewatch.

Probably most Americans could make the same confession, so the women of the Daniel Cooper chapter decided to take a 12-week Constitution course and invite everyone in their Dayton, Ohio-area community — from teenagers to grandparents — to join them. But it isn’t the traditional civics-class version of the Constitution course they hope to share. The class Daniel Cooper has signed up for and is promoting is a highly controversial lecture series offered by the far-right Institute on the Constitution (IOTC). ( continue to full post… )

Georgia Police Chief Accepts Award from Extremists During Rally Against Latino Immigrants

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Neo-Confederate, White Supremacist by Hatewatch Staff on August 27, 2013 - 1:37 pm
Police Chief Lewis Smith of Uvalda, Ga., accepts “Robert E. Lee Award of Duty” from League of the South President Michael Hill.

Flying the Georgia Secession flag and the Southern Nationalist Activism flag, about 50 demonstrators took to the streets of tiny Uvalda, Ga., this past Saturday to protest the presence of Latino immigrants who they blamed for “Southern demographic displacement.”

The rally, sponsored by the neo-Confederate League of the South, was notable for the lack of overt racism as the organizers, including a man who once belonged to a leading neo-Nazi organization, sought to present a mainstream, non-threatening image.

The demonstrators – who were subject to a strict dress code forbidding Civil War regalia, inflammatory belt buckles and hats, and requiring tucked-in, button-down shirts – smiled and waved to local traffic for several hours in the morning before continuing their protest in nearby Vidalia. ( continue to full post… )

League of the South to Protest “Southern Demographic Displacement”

Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Neo-Confederate, White Supremacist by Heidi Beirich on August 21, 2013 - 11:58 am

The neo-Confederate group League of the South (LOS) will be holding a protest in Uvalda, Ga., this coming Saturday to protest the “Southern demographic displacement” allegedly caused by Latinos who have moved to the area. The rally is directed specifically at the town’s mayor, Paul Bridges, a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that led to much of Georgia’s anti-immigrant law being struck down by the courts.

Slated to speak at the event, which has been supported by the town’s police chief, are several LOS members, a former neo-Nazi and a man once imprisoned for stealing weapons from the military that he planned to use in a race war. ( continue to full post… )

Despite Boss’ Support, Rand Paul’s Aide Quits Amid Criticism

Posted in Neo-Confederate, White Nationalism by Don Terry on July 22, 2013 - 1:44 pm

Miss Scarlett, the “Southern Avenger” has surrendered.

On Sunday, Jack Hunter, a close aide to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, announced he had resigned from the Kentucky Republican’s Washington staff after a storm of controversy erupted July 9 surrounding Hunter’s past neo-Confederate statements and views, such as toasting the birthday every year of President Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

The resignation came despite Paul’s outspoken defense of his aide, in which the senator claimed that there was “no evidence” that Hunter had exhibited any bigoted beliefs or behavior. ( continue to full post… )

Rand Paul Aide’s Claims Regarding League of the South are Hogwash

Posted in Anti-Black, Neo-Confederate by Mark Potok on July 12, 2013 - 12:18 pm

In all the brouhaha surrounding Jack Hunter, the aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) exposed as a longtime neo-Confederate activist this week, Hunter’s past as the leader of the Charleston, S.C., chapter of the League of the South (LOS) hardly registered. After all, Hunter said when confronted by the Washington Free Beacon, when he was with the group in the 1990s, it was “explicit” in its rejection of racism.

Baloney. ( continue to full post… )