Rep. Joe Wilson tied to racist southern heritage group





Since Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina bellowed at President Barack Obama, “You lie!” during the president’s nationally televised speech on health care, the fourth-term backbencher has emerged as a hero for the conservative grassroots. One of the most enthusiastic endorsements of Wilson’s histrionics came from the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), a group that Wilson has belonged to according to his own biographical materials.

“Mr. Wilson, never apologize for allowing your love of truth to overrun your desire to be polite,” the SCV Tea Party declared on its website. “It is the liar who must apologize, not the one who identifies the liar!”

Who are the SCV? A once-proud organization of Confederate history buffs and Civil War re-enactors that traditionally spent its money to restore battlefields and Confederate cemeteries. By 2006, however, the SCV had been substantially taken over by an organized cadre of white supremacists (read here for more background) who sought to turn the nation’s oldest Southern historical society into what the veteran white supremacy activist Kirk Lyons called “a modern, 21st century Christian war machine capable of uniting the Confederate community and leading it to ultimate victory,” had seized much of the SCV’s leadership positions, the Southern Poverty Law Center released an extensive list of SCV officials who belonged to “hate groups.”

Lyons, a key member of this new leadership, had harbored dreams of creating a seemingly benign front group for a more sophisticated version of the Ku Klux Klan. “I have great respect for the Klan historically, but, sadly the Klan today is ineffective and sometimes even destructive,” Lyons told a German neo-Nazi magazine in 1992. “It would be good if the Klan followed the advice of former Klansman Robert Miles: 'Become invisible. Hang the robes and hoods in the cupboard and become an underground organization.'” With the SCV, Lyons discovered he didn’t have to go underground after all.



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David M Ward - 9/14/2009

" you will see that Joe Wilson and his cohorts in the health care disruption movement are becoming more and more similar to a genuine fascist organization: they have the demagogery, the racism, and will to organize for freedom for capitalism and white America by disrupting the democratic process."

Sorry mate. Your post is typical misrepresentation. The Demagogery, fascism, and racism is with some of the proponents of health care reform and big government.


Jeff Schneider - 9/12/2009

The quote in the description of the SCV is a play on on words of the key phrase from William Lowndes Yancy in his description of the purpose of the League of United Southerners: "To fire the southern heart and precipitate the Cotton States into a revolution." (1858)If you watch the September 12 rally of the organization Freedom Works on CSpan you will see that Joe Wilson and his cohorts in the health care disruption movement are becoming more and more similar to a genuine fascist organization: they have the demagogery, the racism, and will to organize for freedom for capitalism and white America by disrupting the democratic process.


M Edmonds - 9/11/2009

I find the title of this article quite misleading. Although I'm not a supporter of the SCV by any means, I'm also not convinced that the SCV is itself a "racist" organization. It sounds like some SCV officials have expressed racist ideas or are members of OTHER hate groups. In my eyes, labeling the entire organization and its members "racist" is not much different than those who accused Obama of being a racist because the leader of his church (Jeremiah Wright) made some questionable statements.

More importantly, perhaps, I wonder how this is at all relevant to the healthcare debate.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how long it takes the more extreme among the Confederate apologists to find this article and dismiss all historians as degenerate left-wing nutjobs. I have to say, I'm afraid this article only gives them ammunition for that neverending fight. It does more harm than good.

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