I write about neo-Confederate groups which I describe as organizations which have members who wish the south would have won the Civil War. Most also can be described as white supremacist or segregationist groups. Their numbers are small but they may play a role in radicalizing peripheral members of their movement (including disturbed ones like Charleston shooter Dylann Roof) to acts of violence (and acknowledged by a League of the South leader here). I have followed the League of the South most closely because of the involvement of Michael Peroutka and his Institute on the Constitution. Peroutka is a former board member of the League and current senior instructor David Whitney is the chaplain of the MD/VA state branch.
The League was mentioned briefly in the Washington Post article on the South Carolina shootings. While the group doesn’t figure in the tragedy directly, their materials are easily available on the web and they have moved toward more public demonstrations.
In one representative post, the League’s president Michael Hill reflects on how good it is to be a white supremacist:
In what is probably one of the clearest statements of the white supremacist views of the League of the South, organization president Michael Hill penned an article calling on League members to relish the white supremacist views of their Southern heroes. Anne Arundel County Council candidate and proud League of the South member Michael Peroutka told a news conference audience that he repudiated racists in the League and would pray for them. Well, he does know Michael Hill amd so he has some repudiating and praying to do. After reading the essay, I think Hill would just laugh at Peroutka’s prayers.
Hill reminds his readers that historically Confederates and their sympathizers saw the South as “white man’s country.”
“in 1928, historian Ulrich B. Phillips called the South “a white man’s country.” [“The Central Theme of Southern History,” American Historical Review 34 (October 1928), p. 31.] From the beginning of their history in the early 17th century, Southerners had taken this statement as an unchallenged fact, and the presence of an alien race in their midst drove it home with added emphasis. Few if any Southerners, or for that matter Northerners, believed in racial equality at the time of the War for Southern Independence nor in the decades to follow. That Phillips made his non-controversial (at the time) statement more than six decades after the end of that war speaks volumes about the stubbornness of what is now vilified as “white supremacy.” Thus, I think it is safe to say that our Confederate ancestors and their descendants for at least two generations would qualify as “racists” and “white supremacists” by today’s definitions of the terms.”
That is just fine with Hill, and as it should be.
It is easy to imagine an impressionable young person adopting their ideology and then figuring out how to put it all into practice. Read the rest of the post here.