Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Help! Help! My right to oppress others is being oppressed!

A group of neo-Confederate lawyers wants people to self-identify on the 2010 Census as "Confederate Southern Americans”.

“A significant number of Southerners identifying themselves as Confederate Southern Americans on the Census form could finally spell the beginning of the end for the discrimination that has been running rampant, especially for the last 20 years or so, against all things Confederate, and for that matter against Southern heritage and identity in general,” SLRC executive director Roger McCredie said in a written statement.

He said this campaign could result in protections for “Confederate Southern Americans” much like those for other groups.

“In this age of honoring diversity, Southern/Confederate people are the last group in America that can be maligned, ridiculed and defamed with impunity,” said SLRC Board Chairman Neill H. Payne. “Using the Census to unite the Southern/Confederate community can be a significant first step to our obtaining rights and recognition that all American ethnic groups are entitled to.”

So... crackers are an ethnic group, then? And furthermore, separate from Caucasians elsewhere in the USA. Apparently Pennsylvania hillbillies are innately different from the Carolina variety.

And furthermore, the descendants of Confederates are apparently the victims of discrimination. (Because, you know, all that slavery, and Jim Crow, and lynching, and Bull Connor and Strom Thurmond and George Wallace and all that, that doesn't count.)

But who, exactly, is the SLRC? Well, the Southern Poverty Law Center has an article on the founders of the Southern Legal Resource Center (SLRC):

Since its incorporation in 1996 by Kirk Lyons (see biography, "In the Lyons Den," Summer 2000 edition, Intelligence Report) and two other men, the Southern Legal Resource Center has operated out of a nondescript duplex on a quiet street in Black Mountain, a historically liberal town near Asheville.

The SLRC replaced an earlier Lyons creation in Texas known as CAUSE, short for Canada, Australia, the United States, South Africa and Europe — the parts of the world where Lyons judged white majorities' rights under threat because of rising minority populations.

. . .

From the start, the SLRC was the creation of extremists. The core staff is made up of Lyons and his long-time partner and brother-in-law, Neill Payne, along with the two men's parents-in-law.

Both Lyons and Payne were married on the compound of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations in Idaho. The pastor presiding over their 1990 double wedding was Aryan boss Richard Butler, and their spouses were both daughters of Betty and Charles Tate, who now work at the SLRC. Betty Tate had been an Aryan Nations secretary, while her husband was a Butler aide; the couple's son is in prison for terrorist crimes. Louis Beam, a violently racist former Klan leader, was Lyons' best man at the ceremony.

The SLRC's board includes Lourie Salley III, who is executive director of the board and also a prominent member of the League of the South, a neo-Confederate hate group. (Salley's hobby, according to Aiken, S.C., City Attorney Richard Pierce, is refitting small planes as "Nazi German observation planes.")

. . .

For more than two years, Kirk Lyons has been a key player in an attempt to turn the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) from its original mission of defending the memory of Southern Civil War combatants to far-right political activism. He helped organize a major pro-Confederate flag rally in South Carolina in 2000, which in turn helped to boost Lyons' credentials within the 32,000-member SCV.

There's much more, including evidence of outright fraud and deception, and the article is seven years old- which means there's seven years not covered by its evidence.

So... a legal board founded and run by a white supremacist wants white decendants of Confederates to use the Census to advance his self-serving battle to preserve white power.

And he and his are the victims.

Let me be very blunt here: there is only one defining factor that splits southern white people in America from the rest. There is only one bit of heritage that both unifies the South and differentiates it from the rest of the Union. It is the "peculiar institution" that the first seven states of the Confederacy seceded to defend.

It is race-based chattel slavery.

Defending the memory of brave soldiers who fought for the South in the Civil War, putatively in defense of home and hearth against Union invasion, is one matter. Defending the culture that started that war by firing on the American flag- first on January 6, 1861 against the ship Star of the West, then on April 13 to force the surrender of Ft. Sumter, both in Charleston, SC- defending that culture is entirely different. That culture was built upon the belief in aristocracy and racial supremacy- and upon a contempt bordering on anathema for the entire concept that "all men are created equal."

That culture does not need to be celebrated, or preserved, or protected. It needs to be buried and washed away by the years.

But not forgotten. No, never forgotten- for the evils of the past can return, if we forget just how evil they were... even the undeniable evils of slavery and racial supremacy.

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