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League of The South and neo-Nazis, too
9/11 was “the natural fruits of a regime committed to multiculturalism and diversity.” – Michael Hollis, League of the South president and founder
Last week we discussed the formation of the League of The South, their only slightly concealed white supremacy philosophy and the group’s gradual stride toward extremism.
But first, a note. While I deeply love the South, I admit I am critical of it, as well. I do not forgive its past, nor the bad habits of its present. I think that where we live is special, and we are all better for it. I love it enough to be honest about it, rather than to ignore the experiences of so many others. One of my close friends spoke to me about an instance approximately a decade ago when he was assaulted by a group of League of the South members. Not only do I criticize for the sake of honesty, but to give a voice to the pain of our neighbors.
As I mentioned, the League of the South gradually became a more rigorous hate group in the late 00s, in lock-step with Michael Hollis’s radicalization. In the past five years, this primarily philosophical group participated in some of the most vocal and visible White Supremacy events in the past decade.
On April 11, 2015, the League of the South hosted an event celebrating the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. On the League of the South’s Facebook page, the event’s invitation read, “Join us in April to celebrate the great accomplishment of John Wilkes Booth. He knew a man who needed killing when he saw him!”
Throughout 2016 onward, the group held multiple rallies across the southeast, empowered by the chaos of a presidential election year that many of us remember none too fondly. In 2017, the League joined the Nationalist Front, an amalgamation of neo-Nazi groups headed by Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement, which is now the largest neo-Nazi movement in the country. Do your own research on them, because a great deal of their rhetoric is not appropriate for publishing publicly. Four League of the South members (Ryan King, Christopher Monzon, Michael Peroutka, and Tyler Davis) were arrested during volatile rallies in 2017. The League of the South’s paramilitary wing, The Southern Defense Force, was formed in 2017, as well. This racist militia is still active. The League of the South / Southern Defense Force reached the height of their notoriety in 2017 because of their actions at the infamous Unite the Right and Unite the White rallies that occurred at this time.
As a result of the increasing violence of this group during political events, public safety measures began to be taken at events that they hosted or attended. The shift to guerilla tactics had damaged their membership because of the notoriety they’d attained. Per the Southern Poverty Law Center:
“The League was losing its appeal. (Michael) Hill announced the group’s departure from the Nationalist Front in late August, less than a week before a video surfaced of Hill and LOS members burning an Israeli flag and a copy of the Talmud and sieg-heiling.” This particular event took place following a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018.
These are the events that led to the aforementioned loss of their event center. It is worth noting that their racist rhetoric was obvious, though subdued, from the get-go. The Achilles heel of groups like this is when they start saying the nasty parts too loudly. As we all know from our own community, there will always be individuals interested in promoting hate groups like this. We can’t stamp out hate and racism in people, much like a War on Terrorism could not succeed. Human nature is, like nature itself, immutable. We can, however, stop tacitly permitting it to thrive when we see it.
Groups like the League of the South lead us to fear and hate one another. The South that I love is a sense of community and cooperation among neighbors. We love one another and support each other in our traditions, our gatherings, and in the time we make for each other. The South is love for your land, your neighbor and your history.
Is your local social club leading you to better love one another, or does it propagate violence, ignorance and hatred?
John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”