Revealed: Neo-Confederate Group Includes Military Officers and Politicians

Historians in the News
tags: Police, neoconfederacy, Sons of Confederate Veterans

Leaked membership data from the neo-Confederate Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) organization has revealed that the organization’s members include serving military officers, elected officials, public employees, and a national security expert whose CV boasts of “Department of Defense Secret Security Clearance”.

But alongside these members are others who participated in and committed acts of violence at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and others who hold overlapping membership in violent neo-Confederate groups such as the League of the South (LoS).

The group, organized as a federation of state chapters, has recently made news for increasingly aggressive campaigns against the removal of Confederate monuments. This has included legal action against states and cities, the flying of giant Confederate battle flags near public roadways, and Confederate flag flyovers at Nascar races.

Last Monday, the Georgia division of SCV commenced legal action against the city of Decatur with the aim of restoring a Confederate memorial obelisk which was removed in June 2020, and later replaced with a statue of the late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis.

Last year, in a widely criticized move, the University of North Carolina’s board of governors proposed creating a $2.5m charitable trust which would pay the state’s SCV organization to maintain a Confederate “Silent Sam” statue which had been removed from the campus.

That deal fell apart in recent weeks. But critics – including former members – alleged that the SCV commander for the state, Kevin Stone, associated with extremists and other “scary” individuals who had been recruited to the group.

Stone, who who also co-founded the SCV Mechanized Cavalry, a motorcycle club associated with the SCV, reportedly led a takeover of the branch which pushed out anti-racist members.

College of Charleston historian, Adam Domby, whose book, The False Cause, details the history of the neo-Confederate movement, said in a telephone conversation that “throughout its history, the SCV has been linked with white supremacist groups, and historically it has avowedly supported white supremacist groups”.

Jalane Schmidt, a professor of religion at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, has been active in the campaign to remove the statues that the Unite the Right rally sought to defend in 2017, and is working on a book about the history of neo-Confederate groups including SCV in Virginia.

In a telephone conversation, she pointed to an 1 April ruling of the Virginia supreme court which reversed lower court rulings in favor of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Monument Fund in their quest to ensure Charlottesville’s monuments stayed in place.

“According to the supreme court, the SCV and the Monument Fund were wrong all along, and we could have taken down our statues in 2017,” she said.

Instead, the statues were still standing when Unite the Right was organized. As a result of the rally, Schmidt added: “People are dead.”


Read entire article at The Guardian

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