September 14, 2009

Joe Wilson and SCV Links

So, I was engaged in a little...discussion on Facebook with commenter Rob (#26) from Greg's post, "Joe Wilson's outburst is not about civility. It's about racism." We were...chatting about Rep. "Joe" Wilson's membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), when someone dropped in some reading that was too good not to pass along. Thanks to Graeme for the links.

Lost Cause

But preserving that firewall is an uphill battle. Hilderman's anti-racism campaign has generated little enthusiasm inside the SCV. Currently, the only publicly identified member of Save the SCV is Hilderman: The men who founded the group with him have since left the SCV--having evidently concluded it was beyond saving--and those SCV members who support Hilderman's cause, he explains, are afraid to say so publicly for fear of retribution. Indeed, ever since founding Save the SCV, Hilderman has been routinely denounced as a traitor and a scalawag; on SCV-affiliated websites, he is portrayed wearing a Union uniform. "May God forgive your ancestors for having such vile and ignorant offspring," one outraged SCV member e-mailed Hilderman.

A House Divided

The grainy video frames, now almost two years old, are somewhat cryptic. At length, the speaker describes "heritage coalitions" as a new way for SCV members to cooperate with other neo-Confederate groups in fighting so-called "heritage violations" — acts like taking down the Confederate battle flag.

"Theoretically, it's a citizen's coalition, anybody can join," the speaker explains to a room full of listeners in this April 2000 videotape.

For those on the outside, such coalitions may seem like harmless anomalies. But the speaker was none other than white supremacist attorney Kirk Lyons, one-time member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance and current darling of neo-Confederate extremists (see profile, "In the Lyons Den," Summer 2000 issue, Intelligence Report).

Standing next to David Duke, Lyons was addressing a gathering of the neofascist American Friends of the British National Party that included many of America's leading far-right activists.

George W. Bush and the Confederacy: Where Does He Stand?

While academics may argue over whether the museum celebrates or simply informs on the history of the Confederacy, it is clear that the Lone Star Ball, held on March 21, 1998, celebrated many of its aspects. Held at the Tredegar Iron Works Gun Foundry Building, the place where Civil War arms were produced for the Confederacy, it flew the confederate flags of all the Southern states and featured hundreds of guests in period costumes. A spokesperson of the museum said that Bush had written a letter of welcome to the attendees of the ball, which each year honors a southern state and in that case honored the state of Texas. Bush’s office refused comment.

What Trent Lott is, cont'd

Rather than reconcile himself and his state to Lincoln's victory in the Civil War, Lott has spent much of his public career seeking to burnish the reputation of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. He has urged the posthumous restoration of Davis' citizenship and proclaimed that the Republican platform reflects Davis' ideas. In May 1998, Lott spoke at the dedication of the Jefferson Davis "Presidential Library" at Beauvoir, the former Davis estate in Biloxi, Miss. His remarks were reproduced in a Sons of Confederate Veterans newsletter, with an introductory note by one of the chapter officers. "If there was any doubt [whether] the Senate Majority leader's heart is in our cause, this speech should answer all doubts." (For a deeper understanding of what is meant by the SCV "cause," look here and here. Lott told the assembled crowd, which included then-Gov. Kirk Fordice, who allocated more than $3 million in state funding to the Davis library, that the Confederate leader had been the guiding light of his political life. "Sometimes I feel closer to Jefferson Davis than any other man in America," he said. Perhaps he aspires to achieve the status he ascribed to Davis, as "the Congress's leading intellect and voice of Southern nationalism."

The Cross They Bear: Whiteness, Religion, and the Confederate Battle Flag in the American South (pdf)

At the regional level of the South, a variety of groups have been actively involved in the flag debate. Most prominent have been ‘Neo-Confederate’ groups who view the region as the exclusive domain of native Southern white Christians (African Americans are largely if not entirely excluded from their definition of the region), and who seek secession if necessary to create their vision of a white Christian South. We discuss the Neo-Confederate movement in more detail below. However these groups including the League of the South, the Council of Conservative Citizens, and, more recently, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, have been actively defending and flying the Confederate battle flag over the past two decades (Potok 2000, Sebasta and Hague 2002, Webster 2004, Webster and Leib 2005). These groups have been prominent in local and statewide controversies about the flag, have worked to defeat legislators they view as anti-battle flag, and have lobbied heavily for legislation promoting, protecting and defining the flag’s meaning (for example, the SCV has filed lawsuits against state motor vehicle agencies to force them to issue specialty car license plates that feature the battle emblem).

Enjoy your reading and any subsequent...gentle debate.

1 comment:

Paul said...

South Carolina has a long list of dignitaries that includes Lauren Caitlin Upton (Miss Teen USA 2007 pageant contestant), Board of Education Chair, Kristin Maguire, Governor (and avid Appalachian hiker), Mark Sanford and now Joe “the hater not a debater” Wilson or the “screamer not the dreamer” as others have dubbed him. I did enjoy him cut and running through his apology, which only goes to show that he stands for nothing. He is just another good old boy where in the morning these married men preach to you that there should be prayer in our schools and in the evening they are on their cell phones setting up a date with their other women on the side, hypocrisy has been bred in. I am not surprised that he felt compel to yell like he was at some Friday night game. So long Joey, you too will be seeing the unemployment lines.