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Strong Connection to David Duke

Among the speakers at a pro-Confederate rally to be held in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12 will be Michael Hill, the leader of the League of the South.  Founded in 1994 as an educational institute dedicated to defending Confederate symbols and promoting the South’s current right to secede, the League hobbled along in its own corner of the white far right.  Most of the leadership had been professors and cultural figures. In recent years, however, the organizations has become more activist-oriented, and developed a following among younger men and women with a taste for rougher politics.  Indeed, the keynote speaker at the June 24 League conference in Wetumpka, Alabama, was David Duke.  According to Michael Hill, “A packed house gathered to listen… We are much obliged to him for coming to our conference and delivering this inspiring and educational address.”

Hill has spent a lifetime working to protect Confederate monuments and white-ist causes.  But on the central defining issues, he actually agrees with David Duke.  He is reported writing on a League of the South Facebook, that “Yes, the South has a ‘black’ problem. It also has a ‘yankee’ problem. But our biggest problem—and one even Christian members within our own ranks refuse (or fear) to acknowledge—is the ‘Jewry’ problem. Indeed, organized Jewry has been at the root of most of the South’s troubles for the past 100 years.

For more than the last two decades, David Duke has essentially sat on the sidelines, with very little sustained organizational impact.  After serving 18 months on a fundraising conviction, he lived and traveled in Europe, as he had before the conviction.  But he was thrown out of the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy on various charges, and he has spent more time living at home in Louisiana.  He tried to establish a yearly conference in Tennessee, but gave that up.  And he made some noise about Tea Partiers following him for a political campaign, but he gave that up before he started.  Instead, Duke did a regular internet radio program, and made himself a commentator on all things.  He stopped using the honorific “Representative” in front of his name, and called himself “Doctor,” an honorary title he received from an Eastern European university.  He grew a full white beard, academic style, in keeping with his new honorific.

Duke made a bit of a turnaround at the June convention.  He was clean shaven, looking young and sprightly, due largely to the face lifts he had when he was younger. Otherwise, his two-hour peroration was largely a recitation of his most recent oratory.  Remember, when he ran for political office in 1989 and 1990 and 1991, Duke claimed black people were the source of all that was wrong in his society.  Now, he claims it is Jewish people who oppress white people and cause all the problems in his society.

He began his talk by ladling praise upon Michael Hill, and the applause by League members was loud and strong for their leader.  He quickly transitioned away from Southern nationalist themes when he declared, “there is no Southern nationalism without the white race.”  After that, Duke spent most of his time trying to prove that the Jews ran the world and were conducting a war against the white race.  It was a long walk through his white nationalist beliefs.

“We are an occupied nation,” he declared, run by what he described as “war-mongering Jews.”  Further, he said, “we are going to have to reconquer this continent.”  Duke did not speak to the League of the South’s principal goal, which was “secession.”  And the audience did not press him on that point.  For a strategy, Duke declared: “Tell the truth,” by which he meant “the Jews.”  The crowd did not seem to push him on his actual lack of a strategy.

The League has a distinct strategic orientation now: activism.  In 2015, for example, the League sponsored 27 rallies.  Some were anti-immigrant, others promoted secession, but for the most part they were held in defense of Confederate flags and other memorials.  (Of all the speakers coming to Charlottesville on August 12, Michael Hill will be the most seasoned defender of all things Confederate.)  The emphasis on activism has paid off dividends.  The League of the South has attracted younger members to add to their gaggle of emeritus professors.  And it has grown.

League of the South Chapter Data

State Chapter FaceBook Likes Chairman Central State Address
Alabama  League of the South 705 Mike Wharton Wetumpka
Arkansas League of the South 1105 R.G. Miller Harrison
California League of the South NA Col. Roy Nunn Scotts Valley
Florida League of the South 2312 NA Jacksonville
Clay County Florida Chapter 102
Central Florida Chapter
Flagler County Florida Chapter 114
Leon County Florida Chapter
Nassau County Florida Chapter 247
North Florida Chapter 558
Tampa Bay Florida Chapter 185
Georgia League of the South 1106 Ed Wolfe NA
Kentucky League of the South 1192 Michael Munday Crofton
Louisiana League of the South 67 Porters Dowling Logansport
Maryland League of the South 66 (aligned with Virgina chapter)
Mississippi League of the South 861 Kevin Alawine Collinsville
Missouri League of the South 121 Robert Lee Mills West Plains
North Carolina League of the South 102 * Members Harold R. Crews NA
Oklahoma League of the South 76 NA NA
South Carolina League of the South 197 Michael Cushman Aiken
Tennessee League of the South 176 David Jones Lebelville
Texas League of the South 888 Jeff Murrah La Porte
Virginia League of the South 1395 Everett Case NA
West Virginia League of the South 61 * Members NA NA
League of the South – National 7441

This Chapter Chart was developed by using League of the South websites and Facebook accounts.  The numbers are not precise as to membership, except where noted.  The Florida counties are all in northern and central Florida, and League activities in those areas remain high.  One in three, or 9 of the 27 rallies in 2015, for example, took place in Florida.  The Virginia numbers are also higher than in both Mississippi and in Alabama.   They would tend to indicate that the League will be able to mobilize attendance for the August 12 event in Charlottesville.

At that time there will be and should be large protests, teach-ins and rallies by anti-racists to meet the coming group of white nationalist and Southern nationalist provocateurs.  But every anti-racist should understand that this conflict is not at its endpoint, but is just now barely beginning.

Leonard Zeskind

Author Leonard Zeskind

is founder of IREHR. For almost four decades, he has been a leading authority on white nationalist political and social movements. He is the author of Blood and Politics: The History of White Nationalism from the Margins to the Mainstream, published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in May 2009. [more..]

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