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In the wake of recent murders in Memphis, Tennessee, the Southern Secessionist Sanctuary (SSS), a radio show affiliated with the white nationalist League of the South, has called for the lynching of black people and their murder by police sans due process.

The SSS’s call for the extra-judicial killing of black people comes as Memphis is reeling from a shooting spree and two separate incidents in which five people were killed. Two men, both African-American, have been arrested so far in connection to the murders. The victims were both black and white.[1]

While the victims and their families deserve justice, this is not now, or ever, what these white nationalists are advocating. Rather, per usual, they are using these horrific acts to ramp up racism toward black people, assail civil rights and call for murdering African-Americans accused of crimes absent the due process rights written into the U.S. Constitution.

On September 9, the Southern Secessionist Sanctuary (SSS) Telegram channel posted images of lynchings and declared,

“This is how you deal with murderous negroes (sic) who target our people. This is likely how things would have been done in Old Tennessee but nowadays the negro (sic) is a federally protected class of people. Any Whiteman (sic) in Memphis knows that even if he can survive, find this negro (sic) going on his anti-White (sic) shooting spree that Biden’s DOJ would lock him up and throw away the key. The (sic) was the true goal of the ‘Civil Rights movement’. They wanted to insure blacks could run wild and victimize our people and that we’d no longer be able to unite and use force to stop these outrages. That’s what the anti-lynching, hate crime , and other ‘civil rights’ bills are all about.”[2]

The Southern Secessionist Sanctuary describes itself as “Allied with League of the South” as well as “White Nationalist,” “Southern Nationalist,” “Pro-Secession” and linked to a “A Radio Show Dedicated to Unite Pro-Whites.”[3] The same day, the SSS also spuriously declared that, “The majority of negroes lynched  were thieves, rapists, murders, or general career criminals.”[4] It also wrote that, “the Police shouldn’t take the Memphis Murderer in alive.”[5]

From the 1880s to 1960s, more than 4000 lynchings took place in the United States. While whites and people of Mexican and Asian descent were also lynched, the vast majority of these public murders targeted African-Americans, as the practice became a violent tool to assert abject white supremacy in the post-Reconstruction period. Blacks were lynched based on unsubstantiated, often fabricated, charges, received no due process and were often killed based on solely having been accused of violating racist social “mores.”[6]

The Southern Nationalist Telegram channel, an outlet for the “thinking” of League of the South President Michael Hill, circulated the SSS channel’s statement in defense of lynching.[7] The Southern Nationalist also expressed the ideas that led it to join forces with neo-Nazis, on September 9 writing the following: “The South has a negro problem because we have a jew (sic) problem.–Michael Hill.”[8] Previously Hill had written that, “The South will be saved only when antisemitism becomes mainstream.”[9]

League of the South President Michael Hill’s (in foreground) self-image of a “Southern Nationalist” includes the Confederate and Nazi flags

As we work to counter the activities of white nationalist groups like the Patriot Front, and the broader assault on democracy in the ongoing spread of lies about the 2020 election, we cannot forget the murderous impulse of groups like the League of the South and their allied entities.



[1] Hanna, Jason, Alonso, Melissa and Aya Elamroussi. Body found in Memphis is that of abducted teacher and a suspect is being charged with murder, police say. CNN. September 7, 2022.; Helsel, Phil. 4 dead, 3 wounded in ‘senseless murder rampage’ across Memphis that forced residents inside. September 7, 2022. James, Jordan, Royer, David and Courtney Anderson. MPD now says Teen not killed in shooting rampage. September 10, 2022.; 

[2] Southern Nationalist. September 9, 2022.

[3] Southern Secessionist Sanctuary. Telegram. Accessed September 9, 2022.

[4] Southern Secessionist Sanctuary. Telegram. September 9, 2022.

[5] Southern Secessionist Sanctuary. Telegram. September 9, 2022.

[6] For more on the history of lynching, see: Equal Justice Institute. 2017. Lynching in Americva: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, Third Edition. Montgomery, Alabama: Equal Justice Institute; NAACP. History of Lynching in America.; Sequin, Charles and David Rigby. National Crimes: A New National Data Set of Lynchings in the United States, 1883 to 1941. Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World. May 6, 2019.

[7] Southern Nationalist. Telegram. August 18, 2022.

[8] Southern Nationalist. Telegram. September 8, 2022.

[9] Southern Nationalist. Telegram. August 20, 2022.


Chuck Tanner

Author Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner is an Advisory Board member and researcher for the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. He lives in Washington State where he researches and works to counter white nationalism and the anti-Indian and other far right social movements.

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