Friday, February 16, 2007

Vermont Guardian Calls on SVR to Break Its Ties With Racist Ideologues

In junction with a largely accurate summation of the central issue being raised here and on other blogs, the Vermont Guardian has called on the Vermont secessionist group, Second Vermont Republic, and its companion organization, "Vermont Commons", to break ties with white supremacist groups such as the League of the South.
"While guilt by association is often a slippery slope, in this case what is equally as disturbing as intelligent, well-meaning Vermonters relying on racists to think about ways to secede is the response from SVR supporters when these disturbing facts are brought to light."
"But, they are quick to dismiss the racist beliefs of these “advisors” who have links to documented hate groups in the South."
"... we believe that is in the best interest of SVR and the Vermont Commons to disassociate themselves from people connected with secession as a way to prove a Christian identity or racial purity through organizations such as the League of the South."  [1]
The "guilt by association" meme is one created solely by the leadership and supporters of SVR.  Rather than post immediately about the editorial and the entirely false notion about having charged SVR's of "guilt by association", I also wanted to take the time to look back at who might, in fact, have said that SVR, or its membership, was racist.

Unfortunately, that canard about "guilt by association" found its way into the editorial but that's not to be completely unexpected given all that's been written about SVR and its direct ties to white supremacists and their organizations.  The meme first wove itself into the discussion about SVR's numerous, easily documentable connections to known white supremacists and anti-labor, anti-civil rights writers and ideologues in an opinion/response piece written by Robert Riversong, a VTCommons contributing editor, in the comments section at Green Mountain Daily [2], a half day after a now embarrassingly adamant denial by an SVR founder, Jim Hogue, of any affiliation with a racist organization [3], and that Riversong then re-posted at the Vermont Commons blog titled "Guilt By Association." [4]  Hogue and Riversong also denied, in a way that implied that such a charge was being made, that SVR was in any way a racist organization.  That charge has not been made by me or by any other blogger that I am aware of.

For the sake of accuracy and clarity, I would point out that since the day that this blog went live, both SVR and VTCommons are in the links section that is not designated for "neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, Paleoconservative, Racist, White Separatist, and Related Links."  Have I found anything, to date, that would indicate that they are racist?  No.  Defensive perhaps to the point of maliciousness but certainly nothing yet from which I would infer that they are racist.  Are they in bed with racists by way of their affiliations, publication and advisory board?  On that there can be no doubt.

I will now add my own voice to that of the growing number of my fellow Vermonters and ask that the leadership of SVR and VTCommons recant their commitment to maintaining their admitted association with white supremacist organizations like the League of the South, either directly or indirectly, and white supremacist, anti-civil rights, and anti-labor writers, ideologues and activists.  If they expect to continue in a leadership role that they have assumed for themselves in Vermont's secession discussion, it's the very least they should be willing to do to restore some credibility for themselves.  An apology to those that they have maligned in their shrill, misleading defenses might not also be a bad idea to consider, as well.


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