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July 2, 2015 0

Confederate heritage group denounces extremists, but has them in ranks

The Sons of Con­fed­er­ate Vet­er­ans (SCV), a so-called Con­fed­er­ate “her­itage” group, recently denounced the deci­sion of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a North Carolina-based Klan group, to hold a July 2015 protest in front of the South Car­olina state­house in Columbia.

Missouri CCC members receive SVC awards

Mis­souri CCC mem­bers receive SVC awards

Accord­ing to a press release issued by the SCV, the group’s mem­ber­ship “vehe­mently oppose[s] and denounce[s] this hate­ful and divi­sive event.” The SCV also trum­peted what it referred to as its “strictly enforced ‘hate’ pol­icy,” claim­ing that any­one with ties to any racist orga­ni­za­tion or hate group is denied mem­ber­ship and will be “imme­di­ately expelled.” The state­ment was attrib­uted to Charles Kelly Bar­row, the “commander-in-chief” of the SCV.

One may legit­i­mately won­der how “strictly enforced” the SCV’s “hate” pol­icy actu­ally is. After all, one of the major fig­ures in the SCV for many years has been Kirk Lyons, who has played a major role in the politi­ciza­tion of the SCV dur­ing that span. For decades, Lyons has been a friend to and rep­re­sented numer­ous white suprema­cists in court cases, once describ­ing him­self as an “active sym­pa­thizer” of their causes. Lyons has also spo­ken to or before a vari­ety of extrem­ist groups, rang­ing from the white suprema­cist web­site Storm­front to the equally white suprema­cist Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens (CCC).

The SCV has its own CCC prob­lem. The con­nec­tions between the “her­itage” group and the white suprema­cist group—the lat­ter allegedly a source of edu­ca­tion and inspi­ra­tion for Charleston church shoot­ing sus­pect Dylann Storm Roof—are exten­sive. In Jan­u­ary 2014, for exam­ple, three mem­bers of the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, includ­ing its founder and leader Gor­don Lee Baum (who died in March 2015), all of whom were SCV mem­bers, received “SCV War Vet­eran Medals” from one of the group’s Mis­souri chap­ters. Another CCC founder, Leonard Wil­son, who died in 2013, was an SCV mem­ber and the for­mer Alabama state com­man­der of the SCV.

In 2014, SCV mem­ber (and for­mer Ten­nessee state com­man­der) Gene Andrews spoke at the CCC’s annual national con­fer­ence. Andrews also con­tributed an arti­cle to the CCC web­site in 2010. In 2009 and 2011, Cecil Fayard, then the “National Chap­lain” of the SCV, spoke before the Car­roll County, Mis­sis­sippi, chap­ter of the CCC. In 2008, SCV mem­ber John Flip­pin, also a CCC mem­ber, spoke before the Web­ster County, Mis­sis­sippi, chap­ter. These are just a few exam­ples of SCV-CCC crossover.

Even Charles Kelly Bar­row, the cur­rent com­man­der, may have had extrem­ist ties. Accord­ing to a 2002 South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter report, Bar­row was a mem­ber of the League of the South, a neo-Confederate hate group that has recently orga­nized protests that have included neo-Nazis and issued dire warn­ings of “race war.”

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June 19, 2015 2

White Supremacists React To Charleston Tragedy With Anger, Vitriol

dylannstormroof

Dylann Storm Roof

As news spread of the tragic shoot­ing ram­page at the Emmanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Car­olina, America’s white suprema­cists reacted swiftly.  The killing spree left nine dead and a com­mu­nity in shock. The alleged shooter, Dylann Storm Roof, was arrested on June 18 and charged with nine counts of mur­der one day later.

Some white suprema­cists were, pre­dictably, openly delighted by the mas­sacre. On The Daily Stormer, a pop­u­lar neo-Nazi web site, there was unabashed praise for Roof. “He had the balls to do what most white suprema­cists only talk big about,” com­mented Spar­tan 117 (punc­tu­a­tion and word­ing in com­ments repro­duced here are as in the orig­i­nals). “He is prob­a­bly tired of all the race mix­ing pro­pa­ganda, arro­gant blacks, and tired of the negro get­ting pushed down his throat at every turn…. who cares what fate befalls the negros. We should have as much con­sid­er­a­tion for blacks as we do a fuck­ing tape­worm latched onto to our gut. Face it, negros are an enemy peo­ple to us, we shouldn’t care what hap­pens to these arro­gant n—–s.”

Oth­ers cheered Roof because they believe his actions would has­ten the destruc­tion of Amer­i­can cities, seen by some white suprema­cists as ground zero for the diver­sity “prob­lem.”  A poster iden­ti­fy­ing him­self as John Sov­er­eign wrote on the white suprema­cist dis­cus­sion forum Van­guard News Net­work (VNN) that “the best thing that will come out of this is more ape rage and more cities destroyed…Good! Keep it up.”

Many posters on Storm­front, the most pop­u­lar white suprema­cist Inter­net forum, fret­ted over the impact the shoot­ing would have on the white suprema­cist cause, empha­siz­ing the appar­ent lack of con­nec­tion between Roof and orga­nized racist groups. “I’ve heard of tar­get­ing ‘soft tar­gets,’” wrote user Fid­dler, “but this lat­est lone wolf nitwit picked a ‘mushy target.’Could he have pos­si­bly cho­sen more sym­pa­thetic victims?”

Gen­er­ally, com­ments on Storm­front were more muted than at some other white suprema­cist venues, with a few Storm­fron­ters even express­ing dis­gust over the vio­lence. This drew the ire of white suprema­cists on other forums, such as VNN.  “They are cry­ing over the split blood of these ‘Chris­t­ian’ N—–s over on Storm­front,” posted user EricPow­ers on  VNN. “Can’t believe so many peo­ple have sym­pa­thy on these N—–s just because their Chris­tians. Like that some how makes them sympathetic.”

The real “vic­tims” in this tragedy, accord­ing to some white suprema­cists, were the white suprema­cists themselves—and their 2nd Amend­ment rights. Right-wing extrem­ists fre­quently cast vio­lent acts in the news as con­spir­a­cies and “false flag” oper­a­tions intended to falsely cast blame on the extreme right, pos­si­bly as an excuse for some sort of crack­down.  Roof, to many extrem­ists, was just a pawn in a larger conspiracy–perhaps orches­trated by the Jews—to exac­er­bate racial ten­sions and deprive Amer­i­cans of their guns. The true risk after a shoot­ing like this, accord­ing to Daily Stormer poster Ben­nis Mar­dens, was that “the Jews” would respond by crack­ing down on gun own­er­ship. “The kid is nuts,” Mar­dens wrote. “He’s not a ‘hero.’ He didn’t help our cause. Now the Jews will push for gun con­fis­ca­tion and more hate crimes legislation….Furthermore, not all black peo­ple hate white peo­ple. They ARE more tribal than we are, for sure, but their anger toward us is CAUSED by the Jew media and Jew academics.”

Brian Avran, a self-described National Social­ist, raised the idea of “race war” in a June 18 Face­book post: “I smell a psyop/ gov­ern­ment op. just like Sandy hook, Aurora and Columbine. This church shoot­ing is what the media needs; a ran­dom act of white-on-black vio­lence to push their hate whitey agenda, since an epi­demic of black-on-white vio­lence is hap­pen­ing every day, which goes unre­ported. ‘They’ want a race war. it might also be used as incen­tive for more gun con­trol laws. “

“It didn’t take long for the media to begin the race bait­ing with the Dylann Roof shoot­ing,” wrote Storm­front mem­ber “stuck on stu­pid.”  “This will be used to flame the fires of the on going race war. Please arm your­self and be pre­pared to defend your life at any moment.”

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June 4, 2015 13

League of the South and Neo-Nazis Join Forces in Kentucky

Mem­bers of the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) joined together with neo-Nazis and other white suprema­cists on May 30 for a “Feds Out of Ken­tucky” rally in Alexan­dria, Ken­tucky, a few miles south­east of Cincinnati.

League of the South, Alexandria, KY

“Feds Out of Ken­tucky” rally in Alexan­dria, KY

The rally was orga­nized by Cole­man Lacy, a young mem­ber of the LOS from the local area who serves as the group’s “state chairman.”

In addi­tion, Geof­frey Rash, the Ken­tucky leader of the neo-Nazi National Social­ist Move­ment (NSM) and also a local res­i­dent, brought mem­bers to the event. After­wards, Rash stated that it was good for the LOS and the NSM to work together “to rid this coun­try, start­ing with our own states, of the Zion­ist Jewry that decays our peo­ple, our states and our nation.”

Though the LOS pro­moted the event, only about 14 peo­ple took part in the rally, wav­ing flags and anti-government signs.

How­ever, the sig­nif­i­cance of the event was not in its size.

Rather, the Alexan­dria rally marked the com­ple­tion of the LOS’s grad­ual trans­for­ma­tion from a neo-Confederate group that typ­i­cally denied hav­ing racist ties into an unabashed white suprema­cist group.

The LOS has had ties to other hate groups in the past but fre­quently denied such ties or dis­tanced itself from hate groups when ties were actu­ally pub­li­cized. In 2005, fol­low­ing the dev­as­ta­tion of Hur­ri­cane Kat­rina on the Gulf Coast, mem­bers of both the NSM and White Rev­o­lu­tion announced the LOS’s coop­er­a­tion in pro­vid­ing assis­tance to “white only” vic­tims of the hur­ri­cane. The LOS later said that it did not take part in or endorse such measures—though it did post “whites only” offers of assis­tance on its own website.

As recently as 2013, the LOS expelled a mem­ber, Matthew Heim­bach (also head of the Tra­di­tion­al­ist Youth Net­work, a small white suprema­cist group), for attend­ing a neo-Nazi event in Ken­tucky. How­ever, in another sign of the trans­for­ma­tion of the LOS into an explic­itly white suprema­cist group, Heim­bach was back inside the folds of the LOS within a year. Heim­bach attended the Alexan­dria rally.

Behind the grow­ing rad­i­cal­iza­tion of the LOS is none other than its founder and long­time leader, Michael Hill. Once a col­lege his­tory pro­fes­sor, by 2011, Hill was urg­ing his fol­low­ers to arm them­selves and “join the resis­tance.” The LOS began offer­ing mem­bers weapons train­ing around this time.

Protests by African-American com­mu­ni­ties in 2015 in the wake of highly-publicized police shoot­ings moved Hill even fur­ther into bla­tant white supremacy. In May 2015, Michael Hill declared his deter­mi­na­tion to par­tic­i­pate in a race war if “negroes,” egged on by the “largely Jewish-Progressive owned media,” engaged in “black rage.” Hill warned that “if negroes think a ‘race war’ in mod­ern Amer­ica would be to their advan­tage, they had bet­ter pre­pare them­selves for a very rude awak­en­ing.” On June 1, Hill openly declared that “our South­ern fore­bears” who opposed civil rights for African-Americans “were right.”

With a leader spout­ing tirades about race war and fol­low­ers openly cavort­ing with neo-Nazis and other white suprema­cists, there can be no fur­ther doubt that the League of the South, despite its past denials, is any­thing other than an explic­itly white suprema­cist organization.

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