SCV Plans to ‘Celebrate’ Confederacy in Montgomery

Neo-Confederates

The 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War is approaching, and some Southern diehards are still fighting the so-called “War of Northern Aggression.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), a Southern heritage group that has seen many racial extremists in its ranks and leadership in recent years, E-mailed its members recently to announce how it intends to mark the occasion — first and foremost, with a Feb. 19, 2011, reenactment of the swearing in of Jefferson Davis as the first president of the Confederate States of America. It is to take place at the Alabama State Capitol building, where Davis took the oath and where, more than a century later, the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march ended.

Preceding the reenactment will be a parade up Dexter Avenue to the Capitol. The SCV’s parade will take marchers right past the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. began his ministry in 1954 and helped organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott. At the Capitol, there will be a reenactment of the raising of the first Confederate flag, as well as cannons firing a salute.

Montgomery is one of six southern cities in which the SCV plans to conduct annual anniversary events. Last year, the group convened in Charleston, S.C., near where the Civil War began at Fort Sumter. Richmond, Va., Jackson, Miss., the Atlanta area, and, in 2015, Shreveport, La., will be sites of future gatherings to commiserate about the Lost Cause.

The SCV E-mail stressed that “it is IMPERATIVE that this event be well attended. We must show the world that we will not permit the History and Heritage of the Confederacy to be forgotten and unobserved during the Sesquicentennial. It is up to us to see that this history is remembered and portrayed the right way.”

Some sense of what is meant by “the right way” can be gleaned by perusing the SCV website “150 Years: History, Heritage & Honor.” One clue is provided in the essay by Chuck Rand calling Abraham Lincoln a criminal and claiming that the Emancipation Proclamation was mere propaganda. “This was much like Hitler claiming his invasion of the countries neighboring Germany was to ‘save the world from communism,’” said Rand, a former member of the racist League of the South. “In a moral and legal sense there is no difference between the invasion of France by Hitler and the invasion [of] the Southern States by Lincoln.”

Another essay on the website, by SCV member Eric J. Brock, maintains that "the ideals for which our forefathers fought are not dead, nor are the issues which brought about the war in which they gave all to defend them. Although the resources of the enemy were superior, the ideals of the Southern cause were superior still."