Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Loathing Lincoln"

For years the Vermont secessionist movement has been a proponent of Abraham Lincoln historical revisionism. Lincoln bashing by the Second Vermont Republic leadership has been a staple of the local seceshers, along with promotion of the scribblings of Lincoln hating "writers" such as avowed neo-Confederates like Thomas DiLorenzo and Donald Livingston; both served as advisory board members of the then nascent SVR.

Next week the Louisiana State University Press will be releasing John Barr's Loathing Lincoln which examines both 19th century and modern day Lincoln bashers and historical revisionists. Today's Lincoln haters permeate the present day neo-Confederate and secessionist movements. Imagine my utter lack of surprise when I found in the book's bibliography a notation about the neo-Confederate Livington's contribution to then SVR co-chairman Rob Williams' hate journal.

One of the very first times that I heard Williams, a Vermont secesher leader and an adjunct faculty member at Champlain College in Burlington, VT, speak about Lincoln was on a local radio program. Williams railed:

"We have to get over our hero worship of Abraham Lincoln. He really was instead of the "Great Emancipator", we like to call him the "Great Centralizer." (sic) He essentially invented a new and novel unconstitutional interpretation and then foisted it upon half the country that was trying to leave..."

"Lincoln was very clever and maneuvered the South into firing the first shots..."
Hogwash! Or as one caller to the radio program directly challenged Williams, "Academic nonsense." Williams' media acumen was lauded by neo-Nazi and eventual member of Williams' exclusive Free Vermont listserv, James Duncan aka "Donnachaidh," at the hate forum of the Vanguard News Network ("No Jews, Just Right") here. Duncan so loved the Vermont secesher movement that he even minted an SVR coin in silver with his very own profile on the coin face. At the listserv he liked to swap wisecracks about lesbians, race mixing and rounding up Vermont law enforcement for some kind of trials when the seceshers took over. Duncan was the seceshers largest out of state contributor to its gubernatorial candidate, Dennis Steele, who when he learned of Duncan's background still publicly opted to keep the money. Duncan had more than 6,300 deeply anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic and neo-Confederate posts on the neo-Nazi hate forum. What he never disclosed there or elsewhere was his predilection for salt and pepper porn. Go figure. Duncan/Donnachaidh disappeared from the Internet (at least using those identities) shortly after his hateful neo-Confederate activities were exposed by this blog.

A noted researcher of the modern neo-Confederate movement, Ed Sebesta, wrote of Barr's new work,
"What I think is going to be interesting is when the public realizes that there is this modern movement that hates Lincoln. Lincoln is the personification of the modern democratic egalitarian America. This is why he is hated so much by neo-Confederates who dream of a hierarchical society. The attacks on Lincoln are attacks on modern democratic egalitarian America."

"Some so-called "heritage" groups are going to seem much more ominous to the American public as the public realizes how hostile neo-Confederates are to Lincoln, that it isn't a few cranks, but a movement, and further realize that this movement is hostile to modern democratic egalitarian America. Also, it will be realized that indulging the Lost Cause view of the Civil War has consequences."
More details about Barr's Loathing Lincoln can be found at Sebesta's anti-Neo-Confederate blog here.

To preorder Barr's excellent work use this Amazon link.

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For the archive of the Free Vermont Framework listserv, click here.

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