Sunday, May 12, 2013

Texas Frontier Heritage & Cultural Center and Grady McWhiney and the League of the South

Grady McWhiney was one of the founding members of the board of directors of the League of the South. He is also an author of books and articles advancing ideas about a Celtic South and Celtics in general that scholars of Celtic studies find laughable.

This is the New York Times obituary for Grady McWhiney discussing his membership in the League of the South ( and (

This is the biography of Grady McWhiney at the McWhiney History Education Group.

You will notice in the online McWhiney History Education Group biography web page of McWhiney that his involvement in the League of the South is entirely omitted. Also, his Celtic South writings are held up as some form of academic accomplishment rather than the ludicrous writings that they were.

This is a concluding section of a letter by Berthoff to the American History Forum criticizing a Confederate Celtic article that had been published in it. After tearing the article apart Berthoff writes:
But why harp on what anyone with the least interest in such matters will recognize as a hopeless muddle? Unfortunately, three of our leading journals have now placed their editorial imprimatur on it. Even newspapers feature writers have been more skeptical (Houston Chronicle, November 30, 1980, sec. 2, p. 10). But, then, perhaps the display of proverbial indolence in research and impetuosity in publication by two Southern historians is itself a demonstration of their thesis. 

The following article in Scottish Affairs published by Edinburgh University explains how Celtic scholars found McWiney and others to be laughable and also details how this idea of the Celtic South is neo-Confederate ideology.

So in this specific way the McWhiney History Education Group works to perpetuate neo-Confederate ideology. It isn't necessary for an institution to support all the elements of neo-Confederate ideology. If one institution supports one element and another institution supports yet another element of neo-Confederate ideology, the sum of these efforts is a possibly effective support of a continuing neo-Confederate ideology.

I recently got a letter from the McWhiney History Education Group and so I looked up the website and sent them the following email on 5/12/2013:

Dear Texas Frontier Heritage & Cultural Center:
Grady McWhiney was a founding director of the League of the South which was white supremacist from the beginning. He is also one of the leading writers who started the neo-Confederate mythology of the Celtic South. 
The idea of naming any education or historical group after him is absurd. It would be like having a Lysenko Institute of Genetics, or a Velikovsky Institute of Astronomy. 
Plus he was a damn racist who helped found and gave credibility to an organization whose goals were to undo the modern civil rights movement. 
Your adopting his name for any institute, program, group, etc. really is a comment on the problems perhaps with Texas Frontier studies and the people who compose this effort. 
As for your claim that the McWhiney History Education Group will “stem the rising tide of historical illiteracy,” I would say better to be uniformed than misinformed. 
Your organizations tolerance for McWhiney’s white supremacist activities says something severely negative about yourself. 
Sincerely Yours, 
Edward H. Sebesta

The officers of the McWhiney History Education Group and others who are supporting an institution named after a white supremacist are:

Governing Board

President/CEO: Donald S. Frazier

Robert F. Pace
Josh Winegarner
Stephen L. Hardin
Stephen Dodd
Dallas Cothrum
Rose M. Burks

Local Advisory Board

Chair: George Nichols

Vice-Chair: Judy Wyse

Secretary: Kathy Phillipp

Katie Alford
Ariel Boggess
Eric Dodd
Carolyn Edmison
Debra Hulse
Anita Young Lane
Jeff Luther
Tommy McAlister
Raymond McDaniel
Rhonda Moore
David Perry
Tom Perini
Paul Thames
Dorothy Thompson
David Wyse

I fully expect Kevin M. Levine to come to their defense.

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