OXFORD, Miss. –– In response to the University of Mississippi’s recent decision to distance itself from its contentious confederate past, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the Mid-South Flaggers joined the racist League of the South (LOS) to rally under the guise of protecting “southern heritage.”
Billed as a protest, members of all three groups waved Confederate flags alongside the LOS Southern Nationalist flag and signs proclaiming that “Anti-racism is the brainchild of racism” as they marched last weekend through the center of Oxford, Miss.
The event was organized to protest the University of Mississippi’s recent decision to rename Confederate Drive –– a street that cuts through the center of campus –– and install plaques at racially divisive sites to better contextualize them. The changes came after three students hung a noose and a pre-2003 Georgia state flag around the neck of a statue of James Meredith, the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi.
But, at an event billed as a rally in defense of Confederate heritage, one has to wonder if the event's true intent was merely another moment to hide hate behind heritage.
While the SCV has long existed as a heritage group, the LOS is anything but, claiming to work toward a second secession and the formation of an ethno-state dominated by “European Americans.” In recent years, the LOS has even openly embraced more racist themes in its rhetoric. This year, LOS leaders included a section of Robert Whitaker’s racist “mantra” in the keynote address of their national conference: “Africa for Africans, Asia for Asians, and White Countries for everyone!”
Around 40 members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the Mid-South Flaggers, a group that claims to “Celebrate our Southern heritage, honor Confederate veterans, and apologize to no one for remembering their noble deeds,” were joined by about a dozen LOS members, including Brad Griffin and his wife Renee Baum Griffin, the daughter of Gordon Baum, co-founder of the Council of Conservative Citizens.
Griffin, a prominent LOS organizer, noted on his Occidental Dissent blog the community’s displeasure at the event. “I’ve participated in eight League demonstrations ... and have never seen such a negative reaction from the public,” he said.
One of the young, energetic voices of the neo-Confederate movement, Griffin didn't stop there. He claimed to be so dismayed by the public distaste for the protest that he had only a dire warning for white Americans in response.
“People ask, ‘What would it be like if the demographics in South Carolina or Mississippi flipped, and a strong black majority came into power? What would happen to whites?’” he told a Hatewatch reporter covering the protest. Then, he answered his own question. “[P]ersecution. I think it’s going to be terrible.”