Saturday, March 22, 2014

"Gawker" has article on League of the South

Gawker, an online news source, had an article on the League of the South. It is online here:

A reporter for Gawker went to a League of the South protest against immigration and Republican Florida U.S. Senator Marcio Rubio for his policies regarding immigration. The League of the South billboard with the word "SECEDE" has attracted local attention which is what billboards are designed to do, but in this case there is extra attention since you don't often see a billboard urging secession.

Link to League of the South web page on demonstration.  Link to Facebook page on demonstration.

Link to League of the South web page about the billboard.

What is of notice regarding the billboard is that the League of the South has the money to pay for it. Billboards cost a lot of money. I thought the League of the South was just a remnant of former self and would be just fading away over time. They have a physical headquarters also.  So they seem to be persisting, perhaps growing..

They also seem to have become activist group rather than a perpetual study committee.

Adam Weinstein also notes how the League of the South manages the media.
The way I met Hill was this: I started talking to Snuffy Smith with the Liberian flag, and three minutes later, Hill came urgently striding over like a recess teacher on the playground. "Media?" he asked. "Talk to me. Talk to me."
Michael Hill actually denied being neo-Confederate to the reporter. Which shows that neo-Confederates will say anything if it is expedient. Weinstein reports:

As suspect as that talk may sound, Hill insists his group is not neo-Confederate: "We're not so blind as to think that we can turn back the clock and have things the way that it was 100, 150 years ago, and we don't want to do that. We're men and women who live in the age that we've been placed, and we're not romantic dreamers of some idyllic past or something like that." 
Hill's Facebook page suggests otherwise. In late January, for example, he posted a note celebrating the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. "[L]et us emulate them and continue the honorable cause that motivated these two noble Southern men—the survival, well being, and independence of the Southern people," he wrote.

The following day was MLK Day, so Hill added another thought. "Note: If you wish to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. please go elsewhere. He is not one of us," he wrote of the Atlanta-born Southern preacher.
The read learns that the neo-Confederate movement can be less than candid.

Weinstein reports Hill Facebook posting the next day where Hill makes his views clear: 
On this day when the racial propagandizing of America reaches it[s] ugly zenith, I offer a simple photo graph of Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1952 and ask you to contrast it with the same city today. Or with Detroit, Memphis, Birmingham, etc, etc. When will we stop believing lies and turn this situation around for the very preservation of our civilization?
Weinstein is perceptive enough to see how neo-Confederacy could have popular appeal and that people should not just laugh them off:
Perhaps this scene reinforces the League's reputation as a comical fringe element, a gaggle of old racist Lost Cause types who dream of the Confederate battle flag again gracing their statehouses, who lament the Union's retardation of their familial livelihoods. And their manhoods. "There were more men in America in 1776 than there are today," Hill recently wrote on Facebook. "[I]t can be changed, you know. Just 'man up,' as they say!"

But intellectual elites and newsmen caricature this movement at their own peril. One of the most famous Southern revivalists of the last century wrote a conservative manifesto titled "Ideas Have Consequences," and in America, in 2014, the League of the South's ideas are not without consequence.

Beyond its race-tinged Dixie jingoism, much of the League's public rhetoric is in line with a wider American attitude. It emphasizes truly small government—the dictatorship of the individual, the republic of the family, the overthrow of the cultural and bureaucratic forces that the League believes threaten our insular networks and affinity groups.

This dovetails not simply with neo-Confederacy and conservatism but with a broader, bipartisan disillusionment with government and mass media—the contemporary ethos that elevates selves and loved ones above the din of 308 million meatsticks screaming, stamping, belching, reaching nothing but the most tenuous consensus on anything enduring. Get government out of the way. Abolish artificial ties with strangers. Focus on the immediate, the personal, the deeply felt—"faith, family, and folk," as the League puts it.
In the recent decade we have seen neo-Confederate ideas slip into the mainstream such as nullification. Weinstein realizes that the neo-Confederate movement has a potential to be a serious problem. 

Richard Weaver who wrote "Ideas Have Consequences" also wrote a key founding book of the neo-Confederate movement, "The Southern Tradition at Bay," edited by M.E. Bradford and George Core. Core and Bradford explained in the book that Richard Weaver's conservative ideas were neo-Confederate ideas reformulated to appeal to broader audiences.

The article has, if I understand the indicators by it, 29,000+ readers and has been shared. So it does help people become aware of the neo-Confederate movement and be warned. However, it also helps the League of the South get new members.  However, I think that this article is overall good in that it is an accurate portrayal of the League of the South revealing that they have a racist agenda and also importantly that they try to not represent it to the media. Importantly, Weinstein sees that the neo-Confederate movement could have a broader appeal and is a potential menace. 

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