Despite revelations of his 'Aryan' paramilitary past — including convictions for armed robbery, theft and criminal conspiracy — Southern heritage activists continue to claim Michael Tubbs as one of their own.
Michael Tubbs, a prominent member of Florida's chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, resigned his post as chaplain of the state organization in October after his remarkable criminal past was brought to light in an Intelligence Report exposé.
The Fall 2004 Report detailed Tubbs' record (see C-4 and the Confederacy), which includes a 1987 armed robbery that prosecutors say the former Green Beret committed in the name of the Ku Klux Klan. Authorities subsequently discovered that Tubbs had amassed a stockpile of weapons and explosives, stolen from military installations while Tubbs was in the service.
The munitions were part of a plan to form a racist group targeting prominent black and Jewish targets. After pleading guilty to theft and conspiracy charges, Tubbs served four years in prison.
This was not the first time a scandal involving extremists in the Florida SCV caused a ruckus. In 2002, John Adams, then commander of the state organization, was responsible for flooding an Intelligence Report writer's inbox with some 250 pornographic e-mails (see Dirty Tricks in the Winter 2003 issue).
That incident was later made public by the magazine, much to the SCV's embarrassment. Adams, who was also Webmaster and adjutant-in-chief of the national SCV, was stripped of those posts as a result.
Some SCV members saw Tubbs' prominence in the Florida chapter as a similar debacle, casting a group that professes to be peaceful, law-abiding and non-racist in a drastically different light. "I'm just praying it does not get circulated in the legislature like the porno episode did," Florida SCV First Commander Bob Mays wrote in an e-mail message circulated to Florida division members.
Florida's second commander, David Hackel, was just plain outraged. "This type of news is just too much," he wrote, demanding a full investigation of the charges and an emergency meeting of Florida's remaining SCV officers.
But not all SCV members were disturbed. Two days after the story broke, Florida Division Commander David Dawson acknowledged Tubbs' criminal past in a letter to members, but commended his contributions to the group.
"That time was served some 15 years ago and his debt to society was paid in full when he was released," Dawson wrote. His letter went on to say that while Tubbs had chosen to resign as chaplain, he would remain an SCV member. As for disciplinary actions, Dawson said Tubbs' local SCV "camp" in Jacksonsville "must be left to decide if his history meets any test requiring discipline of SCV members."
Apparently, Tubbs' history suits members of an overtly racist neo-Confederate group, the League of the South (LOS), just fine.
Days after his resignation as Florida SCV chaplain was announced in October, Tubbs, who also is vice chairman of the LOS' Northeast Florida chapter, appeared at the hate group's annual national conference in Montgomery, Ala.
Tubbs joined other LOS members in a demonstration outside the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), where a smattering of some 30 conference-goers placed Confederate flags and a pink toilet near the Center's Civil Rights Memorial and held up signs saying, "Flush the SPLC."