Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The League of the South - J. Michael Hill, Founder

As I first started reading about Second Vermont Republic, I was surprised to see that among the few links noted on their website was one to the League of the South  (see SVR Links).  This alone could have meant little but when taken together with the composition of SVR's advisory board and the fact that several of these "advisors" are members of the LoS board or associated with the LoS and its affiliates, that was of some considerable interest to me and should be to all Vermonters who cherish this state's tradition of equality, cultural diversity and inclusion .

I've known about the LoS for years.  They had long ago been recognized as a hate group by various watchdog organizations like the Anti-Defamation League [1] [2] [3], the Southern Poverty Law Center [Citations too numerous to post here but will be provided as I proceed in this and future posts], Anti-neo-Confederate [4], Eye On Hate Media Center [5] [6], as well as others.  It is not uncommon for LoS members to have come from or continue to maintain memberships is other like-minded racist, anti-Semitic organizations like the neo-Nazi National Alliance [6], the Ku Klux Klan [7], the Council of Conservative Citizens (once known as the White Citizens Council) [8] and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) [9] , to name but a few.

Here's an example of the sort of racist, separatist beliefs of the LoS and friends, the lengths to which it goes to disguise it true nature while continuing to adhere to its tenets:
"On September 8, Roper (not an LoS member) announced a setback, saying that the League of the South was withdrawing its support of White Revolution's efforts and claiming that the group was afraid of being labeled racist.  The League of the South, for its part, claimed that it did not take part in or endorse any measures with White Revolution.  However, on its own Web site, the League of the South has continued to post offers of assistance from its members, including 'whites only' offers, such as one from Alabama offering a trailer to a 'white family of three or four,' and another from Tennessee announcing that he was willing to temporarily house a 'White Christian family.'" [1]
Starting at the beginning is always a good way to put forward additional pertinent information, so let me start with a little on the founder of the League of the South.

The group now known as the League of the South was first founded as the Southern League in 1994 by J. Michael Hill, Clyde Wilson, Thomas Fleming and others.  Hill opposes racial intermarriage, racial integration and women's rights.[10]  Hill has "called slavery a 'God-ordained' institution." [11] Hill has "characterized the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as a 'natural fruit' of multiculturalism and racial diversity. While supposedly promoting an anti-bigotry policy for the LoS Hill routinely espouses racist, stereotyping sentiments. [12]  Hill called for a hierarchal society composed of "superiors, equals and inferiors, each protected in their legal privileges" and attacked egalitarianism as a "fatal heresy." [13]  Naturally, Hill is displeased that these views were discovered, in part, on a invitation-only messageboard called AlaReb.

Hill and the board of the LoS have developed a long range plan for secession and separatism in the United States.  Much of the plan seems like the model being used by SVR and will be explored further in future posts.

Here's what SVR advisory board member and co-founder (along with Thomas Naylor, founder of SVR) of the Middlebury Institute, Kirkpatrick Sale, had to say about the LoS in the piece he wrote for CounterPunch about the first North American secession convention referred to above in the Anti-neo-Confederate link:
"The League of the South looks to be one of the strongest groups, with chapters in 16 states and members in ll others. It was formed in 1994, it has a national office in Arkansas, a bimonthly newpaper, a national conference, a website (, and an associated LOS Institute for the study of Southern Culture. Its primary goal is establishing "a free and independent Southern

1) de-legitimating the American Empire at every opportunity;

2) by proving our willingness to be servant-leaders to the Southern people; and

3) by making The League of the South a strong, viable organization that will lead us to Southern independence."

It argues that "legally speaking," the old Confederacy still exists because it never formally surrendered, and its strategy is to get "an educated and willing public" to realize this and create "a climate conducive to Southern independence." As Michael Hill, the LOS President, has put it: "Let us gain the confidence and support of our people by becoming their worthy servants. Then let us re-assert our independence and nationhood on the firm foundational principles of 1776 and 1861." He adds, "Though the South is presently a nation by right, this will mean nothing until the South starts acting like a nation in fact. To bring Dixie to that point is the League's goal." [14]
Not a mention in it anywhere of the Michael Hill's and the League's racist history and white supremacist goals.  The LoS was delighted with the write-up and said so in it's own report on the convention. [15]  A more complete report on the convention not carried in the SVR website's news coverage links was filed by the Christian Science Monitor. [16]  Early on, The Guardian produced an excellent overview of the neo-Confederates of the LoS and the rascist, white supremacist groups that dominate the secessionist movement in America, some of who now provide council to Vermont's SVR. [17]

In the premier issue of SVR's print group, Vermont Commons , the publisher, Ian Baldwin, asks, "How do we return to our roots, with all the new things we have learned in the course of a century, the good and the bad?"[18]

The ideological make-up of the SVR advisory board's out-of-state members, who are each it seems in some way affiliated with the League of the South's board or its "educational" efforts, should be of concern to all Vermonters regardless of their views on secession.  It would appear, I fear, that the reliance on advice from such people can't help but be heavily weighed toward the bad, rather than the good.


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