Monday, February 16, 2015

Oh My Captain, My Captain - Lincoln, Booth, and the League of the South

The League of the South had said that it was going to celebrate the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth.

This sentiment has been present since the time of Lincoln's assassination among ex-Confederates and neo-Confederates. Southern Partisan magazine in their Christmas catalog sold a t-shirt celebrating the assassination of Lincoln.  CLICK TO ENLARGE.

The Confederate Veteran magazine, official publication of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), a neo-Confederate group, (or if you are Kevin Levin, a 'Southern Heritage' group) publishes pictures of members with Lincoln re-enactors in jokes about the assassination of Lincoln. 

In the Jan./Feb. 2010 issue of Confederate Veteran magazine, on page 29, there is a photo of a group of SCV members giving a Lincoln re-enactor a ticket to Ford Theater. On page 31 there is a photo of an SCV member pointing a gun at a Lincoln re-enactor with the re-enactor not realizing it. The SCV thinks this is hilarious. 

The neo-Confederate (or if you are Kevin Levin, 'Southern Heritage') groups have a seething hatred of Lincoln. The May/June issue of the Confederate Veteran has a major article where Lincoln is compared to Hitler by James Ronald Kennedy. There is a book about the Republican Party being a hot bed of Marxism by Al Benson Jr. and Walter Donald Kennedy which is sold by the SCV, You can find the book "Lincoln's Marxists" being sold on

Rick Lowery, editor of National Review, has this article about the Lincoln haters.

So it should be no surprise that a neo-Confederate group has come out and said point blank they celebrate the assassination of Lincoln. Among the neo-Confederate groups a seething hatred of Lincoln is common. 

The questions to be asked is why the League of the South is doing this now. Is it for the publicity it will give them among other neo-Confederates? It is a recruitment effort? 

Or is it a continuing shift in the neo-Confederate movement where factions are one upping each other in denouncing Lincoln? After the dialog among neo-Confederates has reached the point where Lincoln is denounced in vitriolic terms and compared to Hitler, Marx, and Stalin what is the next step in being plus ultra on hating Lincoln? 

The SCV has steadily increased its animosity against Lincoln in its writings and the books it recommends, however I don't think that they are ready to come out openly in favor of celebrating the assassination of Lincoln. SCV members might privately celebrate John Wilkes Booth's assassination of Lincoln, but publicly doing so would demolish their efforts at "heritage defense" and their involvement with the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), and their public acceptance would be gone.

The League of the South knows this and their celebrating the assassination of Lincoln gives them a competitive edge over the SCV. It might cause some problems within the SCV since some members might demand that the SCV also celebrate the assassination of Lincoln openly. 

The drive to openly celebrate the assassination of Lincoln might simply be driven by a feeling that the anti-Lincoln message isn't getting before the public.  It would be the next logical stage of activity in an anti-Lincoln campaign. To get public awareness and interest in their message. The celebration of the assassination of Lincoln might simply be rage bursting forth from the confines of the fear of public opinion. 

As for Kevin Levin's outrage over the League of the South celebration of the assassination of Lincoln, he needs to recognize that he is an enabler when he gives the SCV and neo-Confederates a free pass. A person who won't use the term neo-Confederate is an enabler of neo-Confederates. 

A good history of anti-Lincoln hatred is John McKee Barr's book "Loathing Lincoln." 

His web page is

On a closing note I refer to Walt Whitman's famous poem, "O Captain, My Captain," regarding the assassination of Lincoln.

Some readings on YouTube:

In the above readings I find something that might be said at a funeral. I think the readings would be much better is they were done in a voice distraught as if the speaker was discovering that the captain is dead and as if they were on a deck on a ship headed home. 

I was unable to find a YouTube reading like this. 

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