You will know the League of the South’s street demonstrators by their flags – a variety of Confederate flags, yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” Gadsden flags and stark, black-and-white so-called Southern Nationalist flags. If the league’s organizers see their hopes realized, such demonstrators will be a common sight on city streets and plazas in the South.
The league’s leaders have developed a street demonstration strategy they hope will increase their public profile in the coming months. At a state conference in Alabama last month, they unveiled some of the details of that program, including a protest of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery in May.
The Alabama gathering, held at the league’s meeting hall in Wetumpka, near Montgomery, featured speeches by president Michael Hill, Georgia chapter chairman Ed Wolfe, South Carolina chapter chairman Michael Cushman and Brad Griffin, editor of the Occidental Dissent blog, who writes under the nom de plume “Hunter Wallace”. Griffin recently wrote about the league’s strategic shift in a post titled, “The Logic of Street Demonstrations.”
The shift appears to be primarily Hill’s idea, as he made clear in his opening remarks, and seems to be connected to the increasingly belligerent and radical positions he has staked out in recent years –symbolized by his exchange with a black reporter in Tallahassee earlier this year. Upon being asked if he minded if the league was depicted as a “bunch of racists”, Hill responded: “So what? I’m standing up for my people – white Southern people – no one else.”
Several of the conference speakers celebrated Hill’s response, including Griffin, who added: “We’re standing up for our people. It is the right thing to do, it is what we ought to do. We should have started doing it a long time ago. The fear of sticking our necks out has long been one of our worst enemies, and that more than anything has to be overcome before we can gather the numbers to move forth.”
Griffin and the other speakers argued that street demonstrations will provide people with a clearer view of their choices. They presented a disparaging view of counter-protesters, typically describing them, as Griffin did in a recent post, as “a bunch of queers and lesbians gyrating on a sidewalk with tambourine.”
Cushman celebrated the shift toward unapologetic racism by observing that the league was “smashing that taboo”: “We’re supposed to be embarrassed to talk about race. We’re supposed to turn red in the face and kind of turn away and whisper if we say anything at all about race. We’re smashing that taboo as well.”
Wolfe, meanwhile, demonstrated that the league is in the thrall of Posse Comitatus/sovereign citizen theories of government, describing at length how the United States is “not a nation, but a corporation.” Wolfe then argued that the Southern states more naturally made a true “nation” since the white people in it were “bound by blood”.
Hill, in a video made at the gathering, elucidated Wolfe’s point even farther, explaining that while people mistakenly believe “nationalism” relates to political borders, it actually relates to “borders that distinguish a people, a blood people.” He then went on a rant about those borders:
And who are our people? Our people are white European Southerners. Now, we’re mainly from the British Isles, but we’re also from other parts of northern and western Europe, and even parts of central Europe. But we are a distinctive people, based on blood. And from that blood comes culture. And from that culture comes our political institutions, and from the political institutions come our borders, and our nations – our nation-states, as we call them.
Germany, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden – Dixie. They’re all the same. We are a people. We are a nation. We are a blood, with the land.
Predictably, Hill’s remarks at the gathering were all about whipping up ethnic fears, warning that the white majority population of the United States was on the verge of becoming a minority, which “will mean the end of our civilization.” He went on: “There comes a time when you got to get just pure mad-dog mean. If your civilization is worth fighting for, that’s what you will – you will let nothing deter you from it.”