The SPLC’s Smear of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Commentary
by J. A. Davis
This is another of those occasions where I have the opportunity to change hats and depart from any role I have with the Sons of Confederate Veterans in order to express my own opinions without in any way speaking or writing in any official capacity.
That is one of the strengths of the SCV. No one individual or clique of people within the organization represent the views of the organization. Without exception, the public expressions of the organization are centered in a chain of command headed by the Commander in Chief.
Fortunately for me, and many others, the Georgia Heritage Council offers us the opportunity to express ourselves as individuals with careful attention to the documentation of what it is we’re saying. Anything less won’t make it on the GHC website which continues as one of the most viewed websites with a noble view of a Southern point of view (over 1.1 million viewers in six years).
Current events such as the Joe Wilson outburst in Congress (Pres. Obama’s address to a joint session Sep. 9th) incited a deluge of editorial comment throughout the media. That is the American way. Unfortunately, some use events such as this to forward a biased hate agenda in their cultural war for the minds of patriotic citizens.
A review of commentary on this subject finds newspapers and media outlets in New York, Boston and others attempting to smear Congressman Wilson not by what he says or believes, but by his associations. The primary source these lazy, quick-to-judgment writers use is the archive of lies compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center (their Intelligence
Those in the field of journalism who are fair and just know this is unprofessional folly. First, the SPLC anti-SCV articles we saw quoted are several years old (2004-2007). They were refuted as untrue foolishness at the time. They should have been left in the dust bin from whence they came. But no, people without the ability to create a smear of their own still rely on what discerning journalists have come to know as a self-serving propaganda service from an organization dedicated to the purpose of smearing, scaremongering and fundraising with an endless series of hobgoblins in order to raise an asset fund of more than 200 million dollars.
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." –H.L. Mencken, from In Defense of Women, 1918
The so-called poverty center could operate for years without taking in another cent according to the leading philanthropic organization in America. That includes some executive salaries that fit very well in comparison to some on Wall Street. "Poverty" doesn’t seem an accurate or fitting word in their organization’s name or in their financial accounts.
The enablers in the media are just as guilty for aiding and abetting what has developed into one of the most shameful financial scams in America today. Citizens who are concerned about the many ills being addressed at Tea Parties should add this unholy alliance to their lists.
"What makes the Southern Poverty Law Center particularly odious is its habit of taking legitimate conservatives and jumbling them with genuine hate groups (the Klan, Aryan Nation, skinheads, etc.), to make it appear that there’s a logical relationship between say opposing affirmative action and lynching, or demands for an end to government services for illegal aliens and attacks on dark-skinned immigrants. The late novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand called this ‘the broad-brush smear.’" –Don Feder, THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER – NO ARTISTRY IN ITS SMEARS, 11/28/07
For the record (that can be checked out and documented) here below is a brief response to some of the lies some in the press have used to attempt to smear an individual by association, or to smear an association by an attempt to smear an individual. Either way, a lie is still a lie.
Liberals Lost Last Night, So Here Comes The Race Card – Vincent Bordini, examiner.com 9/10/09
The Sons of Confederate Veterans is the heriditary organization formed in 1898 by the original United Confederate Veterans.
These Confederate Veterans by an act (1958) of the U. S. Congress are honored United States Veterans and are accorded the same services and privileges as any U. S. Veteran. We resent the attempts to smear them and their descendants who are among America’s most patriotic citizens.
"…They tried to make my uncle Harrison into an informer, but he wouldn’t do it. He was only a boy… They tried to hang him, time and again they tried it, ‘stretching his neck’, they called it, but he didn’t say anything. I think he’d have died before he’d said anything. He’s the one I’m named after, and I’m happy to say that there were people…around at the time who said I took after him."
—President Harry S. Truman, SCV Member, speaking about what Kansas "Redlegs" did to his 13 year old uncle, during the War Between the States
SCV Camps are located throughout the world. More than 30,000 active members participate in various forms of community service. Among them is the preservation of historic battlefields, cemeteries where care is taken for both Union and Confederate veterans.
The SCV is highly regarded as a major historical resource for the War Between the States. Its main publication, Confederate Veteran, is rated as a leading literary source for Confederate history.
Contrary to the claims of the poverty profiteers, the Constitution and Standing Orders of the SCV prohibit membership by any known racist, white supremacist, or member of a known hate organization. When identified, some have been expelled.
The bogus claim that the SCV has camps named after John Wilkes Booth and Jesse James can easily be refuted by checking the SCV Camp Roster. Where are they? This is a well known SPLC tactic, allege, accuse, smear. Where is the evidence?
Another of the SPLC myths is that SCV members support slavery. This is absurd on its face. None, meaning zero members hold that view.
The Poverty Profiteers conveniently fail to recognize the black membership in the SCV. The SCV has long recognized and honored black members who are representative of thousands of both free men of color and slaves who served honorably in the Confederate military.
Recently I worked with Henry Louis Gates who accepted our SCV invitation to bring his PBS production crew for "Looking For Lincoln" to a SCV Reunion. During the course of events he met and interviewed several black Confederate descendants, including a black archivist for the state of North Carolina who ascertained the long list of black Confederate pensioners in that state.
Dr. Gates stated on the program his amazement that so many of us have been misled from childhood about the war and Lincoln by certain historians.
Descendants of other ethnic and religious groups are also found throughout the SCV, including Jews, American Indians and immigrants from many lands. Many furnished leadership in both the Confederate government and military.
The SPLC claims the SCV supports secession. This is also untrue. There is no movement within the organization to actively secede. SCV members do recognize the Constitutional authority which brought about the secessions in 1861. These are the same tenants that New York and New England states claimed as authority to secede in the three Hartford Conventions in the earlier 1800’s.
The SPLC fully immersed itself with some disgruntled members of the SCV several years ago. The obvious intention was to incite discontent and division within the membership ultimately leading to what they hoped would be a leadership coup.
It didn’t work as the camps of the entire Confederation were given the opportunity to vote at a convention in Concord, NC. The dissident faction backed by the SPLC fared poorly getting only around 6 or 7 percent of the votes on various issues.
Their defeat was so dramatic that one is quoted as saying "We should sue for non support."
Contrary to the reports by the SPLC there was no wholesale expulsion of members. Some few who were involved in the attempted coup who departed were terminated and a few more left of their own volition, some out of embarrassment.
The membership of the SCV has remained pretty constant in the low thirty thousands, both before and after the inept attempts to take over the organization.
The results of the SPLC to infiltrate and influence the control of the SCV was so pitifully handled little or nothing is heard from them currently. The rump organization they tried to develop called "Save the SCV" never really got off the ground and and is classed in SCV terms as among the missing. That might be termed another case of non support.
The poppycock about the SCV doing little to support the restoration of Beauvoir following the severity of the damage by Katrina is another evident and intentional distortion. Beauvoir is owned by an SCV camp. The restoration has been almost miraculous in both speed of the work and the universal support of camps throughout the worldwide organization.
The pouters from the poverty center have alleged the SCV is anti-American by refusing to recognize the U. S. flag. Anyone who has ever attended a national SCV event will note the U. S. flag is prominently displayed throughout.
Over the years the Southern Poverty Law Center has attempted to create other total fabrications about the SCV. Space won’t permit addressing every one of them. In fact, some are so off the wall they don’t deserve the time of day.
We do note that most of what we hear or read denigrating the SCV from the SPLC is pretty old hat, conveniently picked up by sloppy "journalists" who haven’t a clue about the truth. If that is the case, let them spew their hatred at the what appears to be the most current SPLC targets or opportunities to raise some cash. These include banning the Ten Commandments from public property, promoting gay marriage laws, advocating open borders and amnesty for all illegal immigrants, developing domestic terrorist lists for the Department of Homeland Security that include every responsible citizen who disagrees with their considerably leftist agenda.
To all those good patriots they are now harassing and defaming, we say welcome to the party! Now maybe you can get some idea of what we have been trying to tell you for a long time.
Stay tuned, our stable of respected journalists and creative thinkers have more to come.
"From deep conviction I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.
"Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall."
—President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a reply letter to Leon Scott, Aug. 9. 1960 (Scott questioned Ike’s respect for Gen. Robert E. Lee and his painting on Ike’s office wall)
Copyright © 2003-2009, GeorgiaHeritageCouncil.org