Who are the white supremacists? There has been no formal survey, for obvious reasons, but there are several noticeable patterns. Geographically, they come from America’s heartland—small towns, rural cities, swelling suburban sprawl outside larger Sunbelt cities. These aren’t the prosperous towns, but the single-story working-class exurbs that stretch for what feels like forever in the corridor between Long Beach and San Diego (not the San Fernando Valley), or along the southern tier of Pennsylvania, or spread all through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, across the vast high plains of eastern Washington and Oregon, through Idaho and Montana. There are plenty in the declining cities of the Rust Belt, in Dearborn and Flint, Buffalo and Milwaukee, in the bars that remain in the shadows of the hulking deserted factories that once were America’s manufacturing centers. And that doesn’t even touch the former states of the Confederacy, where flying the Confederate flag is a culturally approved symbol of “southern pride”—in the same way that wearing a swastika would be a symbol of German “heritage” (except it’s illegal in Germany to wear a swastika).
There’s a large rural component. Although “the spread of far-right groups over the last decade has not been limited to rural areas alone,” writes Osha Gray Davidson, “the social and economic unraveling of rural communities—especially in the midwest—has provided far-right groups with new audiences for their messages of hate. Some of these groups have enjoyed considerable success in their rural campaign.” For many farmers facing foreclosures, the Far Right promises to help them save their land have been appealing, offering farmers various schemes and legal maneuvers to help prevent foreclosures, blaming the farmers’ troubles on Jewish bankers and the one-world government. “As rural communities started to collapse,” Davidson writes, the Far Right “could be seen at farm auctions comforting families … confirming what rural people knew to be true: that their livelihoods, their families, their communities—their very lives—were falling apart.” In stark contrast to the government indifference encountered by rural Americans, a range of Far Right groups, most recently the militias, have seemingly provided support, community, and answers.
In that sense, the contemporary militias and other white supremacist groups are following in the footsteps of the Ku Klux Klan, the Posse Comitatus, and other Far Right patriot groups who recruited members in rural America throughout the 1980s. They tap into a long history of racial and ethnic paranoia in rural America, as well as an equally long tradition of collective local action and vigilante justice. There remains a widespread notion that “Jews, African-Americans, and other minority-group members ‘do not entirely belong,’” which may, in part, “be responsible for rural people’s easy acceptance of the far right’s agenda of hate,” writes Matthew Snipp. “The far right didn’t create bigotry in the Midwest; it didn’t need to,” Davidson concludes. “It merely had to tap into the existing undercurrent of prejudice once this had been inflamed by widespread economic failure and social discontent.”
And many have moved from their deindustrializing cities, foreclosed suburban tracts, and wasted farmlands to smaller rural areas because they seek the companionship of like-minded fellows, in relatively remote areas far from large numbers of nonwhites and Jews and where they can organize, train, and build protective fortresses. Many groups have established refuge in rural communities, where they can practice military tactics, stockpile food and weapons, hone their survivalist skills, and become self-sufficient in preparation for Armageddon, the final race war, or whatever cataclysm they envision. Think of it as the twenty-first-century version of postwar suburban “white flight”—but on steroids.
Tea party candidate for U.S. Senate Chris McDaniel hopes to unseat current Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran (R) in the 2014 election. According to Mother Jones magazine, McDaniel addressed a neo-Confederate ball two months ago alongside speakers who called President Abraham Lincoln a “Marxist” and alleged that the “Birther” argument about the birthplace of President Barack Obama “hasn’t really been solved.”
In spite of the tea party’s historic unpopularity with the public at large, McDaniel is hoping to topple Cochran by attacking him as insufficiently loyal to the conservative cause and the values espoused by the tea party.
Cochran has received support from Washington think tank The Club for Growth and an endorsement from the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee headed by Republican Senator turned Heritage Foundation director Jim DeMint (SC). Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy marveled that the tea party is embracing a man who has advocated for secession and who consorts with groups and individuals who still maintain that the Confederates should have won the U.S. Civil War.
Gary North is not the only controversial figure involved in the development of that new Ron Paul Curriculum. One of the other people involved in it is Thomas Woods, an Ivy League-educated historian and a leading figure in the neo-confederate movement. Rachel Tabachnik has more information about him.
Woods was one of the founders of the League of the South, though he seems to want to downplay that at this point. An article he wrote in 1997 in the Southern Partisan has been removed but is still available on the wayback machine. Like most neo-confederates, he claims that the South losing the Civil War was the beginning of the end of American civilization. And he claims, accurately and unfortunately, that there are still people who want to refight that war today, which he says is about the survival of Christendom itself:
“But the growth of the Southern League and the continuing popularity of Southern Partisan reminds us that many Southerners are prepared to defend their civilization, and a people that still possesses even a spark of resistance, a sense of history and tradition, an attachment to the locality, and a strong Christian faith — is a potential threat to the Left’s new order.
February 8th, is the birthday of a truly great American, General William T. Sherman, aka “The Sherminator”
His cause was great. He was instrumental in defeating one of the world’s most totalitarian and genocidal regimes, the Confederate States of America.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILL SHERMAN,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!!!
It’s a pity he can’t ride his horse down the center of town in Atlanta one more time…
Meet The Senior Citizen Militia Members Arrested In Georgia Bio Attack Plot
By Ryan J. Reilly
November 2, 2011
“The Rally Begins - Nelson Waller: True Patriot Captain Dan Roberts is MC (to Nelson’s left) from “The Georgia Militia attends the 2003 Georgia State Flag Rally”
Federal authorities on Tuesday arrested four Georgia senior citizens for allegedly plotting to attack U.S. citizens and government officials with the deadly toxin ricin. Let’s meet the players.
Frederick Thomas; Cleveland, Ga.; 73
Thomas was allegedly the leader of the bunch. He lives in a brown two-story family residence that sits on two acres of property. The first meeting allegedly took place at his home, where he claimed he had enough weapons to arm everyone present.
Dan Roberts; Toccoa; 67
Roberts drives a 1990 Red Ford Ranger pickup and lives in a yellow-sided home on a 1.8 acre plot of land. Roberts allegedly said he knew people in Habersham County who ‘had a substance that could kill people with a very small amount.’ He claimed he’d been talking to a former Army soldier living in Stephens County whom he descibed as a ‘loose cannon’ who manufactured ricin. Roberts said he personally saw the ricin in powder form.
Ray H. Adams; Toccoa; 65
A retired Department of Agriculture employee, Adams lives in ‘a single story shelter constructed of wood plants and a metal roof.’ The rear of the shelter, according to an FBI affidavit, ‘is a travel trailer used for its kitchen facilities and storage.’ It’s located on 17.21 acres.
Emory Dan Roberts, 67, who was one of four militia members arrested yesterday in a wide-ranging terrorism plot, was also a neo-Confederate activist who has rubbed elbows with hate group leaders.
In 2003, Roberts helped organize a protest in Toccoa, Ga., against attempts to change the Georgia state flag, which at that time featured the Confederate battle flag in its design. The flag was replaced in 2003 by referendum.
Roberts’ “Georgia State Flag Rally” had on the bill prominent members of neo-Confederate hate groups. One of the speakers listed was Nelson Waller, a South Carolinian who has been a member of the hate groups Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which believes “mixing the races is rebelliousness against God,” and the League of the South (LOS), a secessionist organization. League leader Jack Kershaw once opined, “Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery.”
It seems in the state of Idaho the dominionists, neo-Confedrates, seccessionists, and just plain whack jobs are doubling down. They are now attempting to pass a nullication bill to ignore the healthcare law passed by Congress last year.
Idaho lawmakers are ready to introduce their plan to wall off the state from federal health care laws, but the Idaho attorney general’s office has come out against efforts to nullify federal law.
The legislation would declare the health care reform, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), null and void to Idaho citizens living within Idaho borders. The state would punish anyone who tries to enact or enforce the PPACA with up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine…
The attorney general’s office has disagreed with legislation in the past, which hasn’t always been a hurdle. Last year, the attorney general’s office said that legislation curbing federal regulations on guns made and sold in Idaho was unconstitutional, yet it became law.
Think Progress has a good write up on a certain Thomas Woods, Glenn Beck show guest and co-founder of the League of the South. Apparently his book is a must read for the crazies running Idaho
It’s both funny and sad to watch the people who are claiming to be the strongest defenders of the Constitution and liberty are the ones working at light speed to dismantle it and replace it with an authoritarian dystopia.
Saying slavery was the cause of the South’s secession during the Civil War isn’t politically correct — it’s correct correct.
The NYTimes is running a daily blog called “Disunion” about the run up and duration of the American Civil War. Today’s topic provides a map based upon data collected in the 1860 census showing where slavery was most concentrated. One data point - 57% of the population of South Carolina was enslaved in 1860. Remember that the next time some Neo-Confederate squeals that it wasn’t about slavery.