Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

The Self-Appointed Defenders of Southern Heritage

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on August 3, 2011

On Wednesday, Kevin Levin put up a post about the Southern Heritage Preservation Group (SHPG) on Facebook. I would encourage you to read it, because it makes excellent, well-considered points. I appended a long comment at the end, saying that “there’s lots of name-calling, taunting and insults — and that can get pretty ugly, make no mistake — but when you strip all that away, and look past the epithets, it’s just sort of free-floating vitriol wrapped up verbiage about ‘heritage’ and ‘values’ and black Confederate ‘deniers.’ ”

Sometimes the name-calling is so over-the-top it’s funny, but in others cases there’s nothing funny about it at all. In case anyone doubted the ugliness and vitriol with which some of these folks go after those who challenge their preferred historical narrative, consider this posting — unedited and in its entirety, and reposted here with Kevin’s permission —  made on July 3 by Carl W. Roden, one of the designated officers of the SHPG. It begins with an historical newspaper citation, but Roden gets to the point in the third full graf:

 From The New Orleans Daily Crescent, Dec. 6, 1861:

“It would be impossible to give an account of all the acts of personal valor which took place in the fight; but I cannot omit to mention that Levin Graham, a free colored man, who was employed as a fifer, and attended to Capt. [J. Welby] Armstrong [Co. G., 2nd Tennessee], refused to stay in camp them the regiment moved, and obtaining a musket and cartridges, went across the river with us.

“He fought manfully, and it is known that he killed four of the Yankees, from one of which he took a Colt’s revolver. He fought through the whole battle, and not a single man in our whole army fought better.”

I showed this story to a pair of Deniers (not Levin or Hall but a pair of their supporters who often frequent their sites–I won’t give names, though I would love to) both of whom were not impressed.

One insisted that the story was pure revisionist propaganda, that the Confederates would never have allowed a black man to fight and was not really a soldier just for picking up a gun and killing “loyal Americans.” When I pointed out his inconsistencies–that first he denied the truth then tried to justify what was written–he really turned nasty and in typical PC fashion attacked me with personal insults and stereotypes.

The other started out nasty, when told of this story he flat out told me (his words not mine!): “There’s no way they let a n***er fight with them! Keep that lying bulls**t out of this! You f***ing SCV grannies just want to kiss those n***ers asses while you meet, eat and retreat! F*** You and your black Confederate s***! 88!” (For the record, the man in question has posted much of Andy Hall’s research on at least one white supremacist site for American Neo-Nazis–the part at the end “88” is a code used by Neo Fascists to identify one another also as a signature, the letter H being the 8th letter of the English alphabet and two being HH = Heil Hitler…of course on Kevin’s page when he shows up, he is a bit more cordial needless to say.)

Its funny how the Deniers (in all shapes and sizes) choose to deny what is obvious and what is clearly written.

One more fact: back then in the South the idea of arming slaves or any other black man was not a good one at the time (no denying that) so why would a Southern newspaper post an account of a black freedman taking up arms and fighting…even for propaganda purposes?

Food for thought.

Ten group members “liked” this post, including two SHPG officers (Roden “liked” his own post) and group president Gary Adams. The SHPG leadership not only condoned this ugly allegation, they endorsed it.

Roden has done this before. On May 20, he posted:

Once again the Deniers continue their intellectual and academic lynching of Black Confederates and their service….the Ku Klux Klan would be proud of them (and are from what I understand!).


I feel a need to clarify the statement that I made upon posting the latest tirade of Southern hatred disguised as “academia” on the part of Andy “Dead Confederates” Hall and posted at Kevin Levin’s “Civil War Amnesia” blog.

I do not say that either Mr. Levin or Mr. Hall are collectively active supporters of the Neo-Fascist Movement or the Ku Klux Klan with my statements, but I know for a fact that their actions serve the obscene causes of those groups respectively.

It is a well know fact–one reported to me by several sympathizers of our struggle to preserve and honor our Southern heritage who keep tabs on Klan and Neo-Nazi sites (forgive the use of the N-word again)–that at least seven known individuals to date (and who knows how many others) who follow the actions of Mr. Levin, Mr Hall and our old pal, Corey Meyer frequently are individuals who likewise actively participate in white supremacist blogs and websites.

Those individuals spout the most obscene things regarding Black and Jewish Southerners…things that I will not dignify by either listing said sites, or in repeating those disgusting words.

The “research” of Mr Hall at his site: [sic.] concerning Black Confederates is currently in use by members of those groups mentioned to further the current onslaught against our heritage and its true meaning with the ultimate goal of discrediting all preservation efforts so that the practitioners of white supremacist false doctrines may lay full uncontested claim to our symbols and our ancestors good names….a goal with does not include respect for Black Confederates or Jewish Confederates (or any other minority who supported the South’s struggle for independence at all).

Now then from what I have observed of and know of both Mr. Hall and Mr. Levin, I do not believe that either are either white supremacists themselves or in sympathy with the goals of such groups….both are merely PC ideology who follow the Leftist views of our heritage with an almost fanatical obsession. They, like the leadership of the NAACP and other such groups currently attacking out heritage, merely fall into the category of “useful idiots” as far as the white supremacists go, but are no less dangerous than the latter enemies.

Ultimately the success of men like Mr Hall and Mr Levin and other such Deniers known and unknown benefit the cause of white supremacist racism more than it ever will whatever political or social goal that they themselves seek….a fact well known to us, but would never be acknowledged by such men.

No such men are dangerous, but not because of their actions so much as their ignorance. Such is always the danger of those who hide their hatred behind a cloak or “reicheousness”….or in their case: education.

Roden demurely declines to identify the “seven known individuals to date (and who knows how many others) who follow the actions of Mr. Levin, [and] Mr Hall,” and “likewise actively participate in white supremacist blogs and websites.” He conceals the identity of one person who, he says, has “posted much of Andy Hall’s research on at least one white supremacist site for American Neo-Nazis.” He also declines to identify the purported websites to which material has been posted, or what research of mine, specifically, is supposedly of such great interest to neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Roden has made a similar accusation on at least one other occasion, never identifying any of the supposed “real” white supremacists, but claiming that Kevin and I are serving as “useful idiots” who unwittingly enable their vile ideology.

So I really gotta ask — why is Roden protecting the identities of these alleged neo-Nazi, white supremacist “supporters” of Kevin’s and my blogs? The ones he “knows for a fact” are using our work to “serve the obscene causes of those groups”?

Or does he not identify them because they don’t actually exist, and he made up the whole, rancid thing?

Food for thought, indeed.

So, an open and public challenge to Carl Roden: I don’t believe you.

By declining to provide the evidence to support your allegation, you are protecting the identity of the “at least seven known individuals” who you “know for a fact” are frequenting white supremacist and neo-Nazi websites, and reposting information from my blog there. People like that should be called out and exposed, publicly. Post their names and online handles in comments section below. Identify the two “supporters” of mine you “showed” your news article to. Identify the website(s) or forums that are reposting this material, and provide links that show that.

Expose these people right here, today.

Prove that what you say is true. Stop protecting those who need to be exposed for who and what they are.

You have a choice, Mr. Roden: either provide the full and complete evidence of your allegations, in full, or leave it to others to reach their own conclusions on why you don’t. Or can’t.

Update, August 5: Mr. Roden has replied with a long, self-congratulatory post about patriotism and his commitment to “calling out anyone who directly or indirectly deals with, or helps to advance the continued disgrace against the Southern and American people with their so-called ‘research’.”

Calling out the actual white supremacists or neo-Nazis and their websites still appears to be something he’s not committed to, because again he refuses to provide the evidence to support any of his allegations.


35 Responses

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  1. corkingiron said, on August 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Food for thought? I hope you have a food taster. THis stuff is all over the place!

    • Andy Hall said, on August 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      I’m less concerned that an individual would make such an odious accusation, than that it goes unchallenged — and is even applauded — by his fellows, on more than one occasion.

      At what point, exactly, does a bug become a feature? How long does a post like those above have to stay up, how many “likes” does it have to get, before the group effectively owns it?

  2. David Woodbury said, on August 4, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Anyone finding their posts online stands a good chance of finding your rebuttal, and that makes your challenge worthwhile. And you’re right, there needs to be a challenge to that idiocy, for whatever it’s worth.

    • Andy Hall said, on August 4, 2011 at 7:13 am

      If you notice, Roden did not link to this blog in either of his posts, and in one gave the web address incorrectly. I don’t know if that’s intentional or not in this case, but the SHPG folks have rarely addressed anything I write in a specific, detailed way. There is much general carping in that group about Kevin, me and others, but very rarely is it focused on anything specific that can be directly challenged. It’s almost always something about our lack of values, or agenda, or inability to acknowledge “the truth.”

      In this case, though, Roden made a very specific accusation, and he needs to back up his claims with the evidence. It says much about the tenor of that group generally that a completely unsupported accusation like that is accepted without question, and applauded.

  3. Foxessa said, on August 4, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Though his intent is clear, what he says in incoherent.

    Good. grief.

    Love, C.

    • Andy Hall said, on August 4, 2011 at 11:49 am

      The two posts are presented verbatim, in their entirety, with original punctuation and spelling.

  4. Corey Meyer said, on August 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Andy, I will second your challenge to Carl.

    • Dave Tatum said, on August 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      The Sock Puppet Speaks ?
      Andy I know you had to help him with the Samuel Tatem, Black confederate post!
      The reply was way beyond his capacity! Now as for the name calling thing did you read the exchange between KB and myself? I posted it a while back at
      I don’t care if you post the link or not, but take the time to read what your sock puppet says when your or Kevin’s’ hand isn’t working his mouth !
      Y’all have a nice day !
      DT !

      • Andy Hall said, on August 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm

        Dave, thanks for taking time to comment. I saw your “sock puppet” post, and (for the record) I have no idea what that’s about. I didn’t post it, and have no knowledge (before or after) of who did, or what it said.

        Not sure what you’re referring to re: Samuel Tatem, because I don’t see where Corey — that’s who you’re talking about, right? — has discussed that. If you mean the discussion about Isaac Cox, yes, I contributed to the discussion on his blog about that case. I also posted Cox’ full CSR — which your SHPG researcher failed to do — because it’s always important to bring as much documentation to the discussion as possible. It’s easy to go off the rails if you jump to conclusions based on a single word or phrase in isolation. And I should point out, all of my participation in that discussion was open and above-board.

        In that specific case, the SHPG researcher made a rather egregious oversight, asking a rhetorical question to “prove” that the Federal prison camp authorities considered Cox to be a soldier, not a slave, when the very next lines of the book she quotes from show that, in fact, exactly the opposite occurred.

        • Dave Tatum said, on August 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm

          out all of the Yankee Bloggers your the only one I “Half Way” trust!
          Mind ya I don’t often agree with you !
          But that’s the way it is !


  5. efgoldman said, on August 4, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I suppose Roden and his buddies don’t like that they are fluffing traitors who’s actions caused roughly 600K deaths. And that you call them on it.

    Truth hurts.

  6. Valerie Protopapas said, on August 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Having looked at this matter, I find that the Trotsky-coined term “racist” is being used to silence dissent and expunge Southern history and heritage. It has neither meaning nor place in any discussion of the War of Secession and those who use it should be viewed with great suspicion regarding their motives. There seems no wish by establishment “historians” to view matters with more care and, indeed, what has been put in place is a system by which all contrary opinions are being denied access to the public forum. There is nothing that cannot be debated among people of rationality, honesty and good will. Ad hominem attacks of this nature only prove the paucity of the arguments of those who use them.

    As for me, I care nothing for the slavery/race issue. It is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter WHY the Southern states chose to secede. Like New England during the War of 1812, secession was their constitutional right and while one may agree or disagree with their reasons, that in no way changes that right , neither does it mitigate the treasonous nature of the war initiated by the federal government as a means of nullifying that right and keeping by force the means for funding Lincoln’s “American system” of crony capitalism.

    However, that being said, it is nonsense to posit that the issue was slavery alone since to keep the institution in perpetuity with the original 13th Amendment (Corwin) in the Constitution, all that the cotton states had to do was STAY in the Union. Virginia and North Carolina certainly did not secede over slavery but over Lincoln’s demand for troops from both states to commit treason (Article III, Section 3, United States Constitution) against South Carolina and other states that had already seceded! Hence, the “slavery” issue is no issue at all.

    • Andy Hall said, on August 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      Thanks for commenting. I’m not sure what any of your comment has to do with Mr. Roden’s assertions, though. Please stay on topic.

      Added: After reading Mr. Edwards’ comment below, I believe you may be responding to the reference to “white supremacist racism” in the post above. Please note that that’s part of the quote from Mr. Roden. They’re his words, and if they concern you, you should take it up with him.

    • John Stoudt said, on August 7, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      “As for me, I care nothing for the slavery/race issue. It is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter WHY the Southern states chose to secede.”

      I disagree.

      Southern political leaders in the antebellum era used the power of the federal government to limit Northern freedom of petition, and they denounced Northern state governments which did not suppress freedom of speech and freedom of the press in order to silence the abolitionists. Additionally, Southern political leaders demanded that Northern citizens, legislatures, governors, and judges submit to their demands to repeal the personal liberty laws and work actively to return runaway slaves.

      An expanded federal government, yes; but for whom?

      “Hence, the “slavery” issue is no issue at all.” — Again, I disagree.

      The estimated wealth of enslaved persons as property was almost 20% of the wealth of the United States in 1860. You might not care for slavery as an issue, but Southern political leaders of the deep South cared very much about it. They calculated the value of the Union, and, when they believed that they could no longer control the federal government to use activist measures to protect that property by dominating the North, they seceded from the union.

      As I have written elsewhere, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel is one of the very few Libertarian historians who takes the antebellum Southern political leaders to task for creating and advocating an expanded federal government. You quote Thomas DiLorenzo’s arguments well, but you could observe an excellent historian at work by reading Hummel.

      Also, Eugene Genovese and the late Elizabeth Fox-Genovese stated that the “southern defense of slavery ended with Slavery in the Abstract — the doctrine that declared slavery or a kindred system of personal servitide the best possible condition for all labor regardless of race.”

      If the “slavery/race issue” is irrelevant, and if you agree with the Genoveses that the Southern defense of slavery ended with the proposition that all labor should be enslaved, then what is left — a class-based society? Or: Marxism without Marx?

      While I admire your other actions and statements regarding the right to life, I find your denunciations of those who disagree with you to be tiring.

      I know that I will not change your mind; that is not my intention. But, perhaps it will be possible to agree to disagree without being labled as a “Trotskyist” or a “cultural Marxist.”

  7. Corey Meyer said, on August 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I love how quickly they label us as Trotsky like or communist/Marxists. Amazing…it is usually put forth with in the first couple of sentences.

    Actually I would not worry about Carl’s assertions…he usually makes this junk up to stir the pot and make waves. He is one big teddy bear and is, I believe, quite harmless.

  8. Bobby Edwards said, on August 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Mr. Hall, I am one of the frequent posters on the Southern Heritage Preservation Group, and I post on that site to illustrate my love of photography, and my desire for giving our Southern Heroe’s a fair chance in “Modern Revisionsm”. For example, Gary Gallagher claims that Forrest was a terribly “Overrated General”, that’s his opinion, but his method of describing Forrest as simply – “Vexing”. If you are a combat veteran or a hard core military veteran (hardly any academics are in this category), you would never use the meaningless word – “Vexing”. This is an example of “Revisionism”, and I do believe that that’s the purpose of our group is to call out those who want to rewrite the Narrative of History as we Understand it.

    The content on the Southern Heritage Preservation Group is mostly an expression of love of descendants for their ancestors, and the bravery and courage in which they defended their homes and hearth against a very agressive warfare against Civillians and the Countryside, that rates as barbaric and insane by our Country’s modern military leaders of today. I know that you are Southern, and if you want to defend the actions of a Military led by a Tyrant and Despot, who Ordered Generals to Destroy the Southern Communities of defenseless Women and Children – then that’s your priority.

    Valerie Protopapas is right on with how she identifies the “Modus Operandi” of what you said above – Your Quote of “white supremacist racism” and in reference to the Southern Heritage Preservation Group. You have included me in that comment, and I am a Vietnam Combat Veteran, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Past Officers in the Exchange Clubs / Kiwanis Club. I am a member of the descendant Camp, the R.E. Lee Camp No. 1 C.V. doing heritage research on the Soldiers’ Home of Richmond, a joint North-South Project to provide a Soldiers’ Home for the desitute and disabled Confederate War Veterans. We offer genuine historical research on our Ancestors, and the history and politics of the past, and for you or anyone else to call our efforts “White Supremacist Racism”, I am Very Offended.

    My best thought is to simply “Ignore” you and your group, but like the commentary of Ms. Protapas above, In my Opinion – you have a duty and responsibility not to exaggerate with throwing around terms like “white supremacist racism”. Sir, I would think that you would be better served trying to defend the Non War citizens of the South that, were brutally savaged by the Northern Aggresors for Four Years of Unrelenting Warfare against Children and Women. And, if you defended those women and children of the South, who were robbed and put out into the countryside to defend for themselves, then perhaps you would have reclaimed your Southern Genectics – You would not be a Racist or Supremacist for doing so.

    • Andy Hall said, on August 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      Mr. Edwards:

      Thank is for replying. You wrote:

      We offer genuine historical research on our Ancestors, and the history and politics of the past, and for you or anyone else to call our efforts “White Supremacist Racism”, I am Very Offended.

      Please note that the phrase “white supremacist racism” appears in Mr. Roden’s original posting, and was not directed at SHPG:

      Ultimately the success of men like Mr Hall and Mr Levin and other such Deniers known and unknown benefit the cause of white supremacist racism more than it ever will whatever political or social goal that they themselves seek….a fact well known to us, but would never be acknowledged by such men.

      They are his words, not mine. You have no reason to be offended over them — at least, not at me.

      Thank you for your service to this country, and for taking time to comment.

      • Kevin said, on August 5, 2011 at 5:21 am

        What stands out is that in the end Mr. Roden can’t back up his accusations. That says quite a bit about the profile of this group and the leadership of their officers and chaplain.

        • Dave Tatum said, on August 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm

          Breitwieser can post here also ?

  9. Valerie Protopapas said, on August 5, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Trotsky coined the term “racist.” That’s called “history,” folks! And if you champion political correctness, you are backing a Marxist strategy of cultural divisiveness. That’s called “fact,” folks. And if you demand that different views are denied access to the public forum because they disagree with your views, that’s called “censorship” folks. Put them all together, and it is obvious that you are neither scholars nor historians but Marxist revisionist shills. That’s called “the truth” folks.

    Oh, and if you delete this because it upsets your politically correct sensibilities, that’s called “cowardice” folks.

    • Andy Hall said, on August 5, 2011 at 7:31 am

      Ms. Protopapas, none of what you’ve written in either of your comments have direct relevance to the subject at hand. (Or at least none I can see.)

      There are plenty of bulletin boards out there if you want to discuss the constitutionality of secession, or censorship, or the Corwin Amendment, or the War of 1812, or Leon Trotsky. This isn’t an open thread to discuss whatever you want; either stay on topic or don’t comment.

      • Bobbie Jo Coffey said, on August 6, 2011 at 10:22 am

        You are so rude… and a pompous, bigoted, un-educated ass…is that on topic enough for you Mr. Hall?

        • Andy Hall said, on August 6, 2011 at 11:06 am

          But I’m the one who’s rude, right? 😉

          Thanks for commenting. I needed another one for my collection.

          Oh, one other question — when you suggested recently that I and other bloggers “needed bleach in their ‘genetic pool’..,” what did you mean by that, exactly?

    • corkingiron said, on August 6, 2011 at 9:39 am

      Hmmm. Trotsky (an avowed Marxist) said “x”. Mr. Hall said “x”. Therefore Mr. Hall is a Marxist. That’s called a syllogism, folks!

      Erecting an entire argument (cultural divisiveness) upon said syllogism? That’s called a “house of cards”, folks!

      Claiming Mr. Hall advanced an argument (censorship) that he in fact did not advance? That’s called a “straw man”, folks!

      And shouting “ooh ooh! Scary Marxists!” in the face of a challenge to produce any evidence? Why, that’s just called a non sequitor, folks!

      My politically correct sensibilities remain unblemished. My BS detectors, on the other hand, are in the red zone. (That’s red – as in colour – not red as in ideology. You seem to be easily confused on that score).

      • Andy Hall said, on August 6, 2011 at 9:53 am

        Trotsky (an avowed Marxist) said “x”. Mr. Hall said “x”. Therefore Mr. Hall is a Marxist.

        Except that I didn’t say “x.” The only reference in the post above to “racist” or “racism” is in Mr. Roden’s FB posting. If Ms. Protopapas feels strongly that use of that word is an indicator of Marxist leanings, she needs to take that up with Roden.

  10. bedbugsmith (Jeff Bell) said, on August 6, 2011 at 2:46 am

    No one, not even Mr. Roden, can convince me that they are trying to preserve their heritage when they try to make the argument that negroes fought for the Confederacy because they truly wished to remain enslaved. If paying respect to your ancestors and their heritage means that you believe that the South should have been allowed to succeed and thus slavery continue then you are (to me) trying to preserve the darker side of their nature. Why not remember them for what they actually were: a very hard-working, hard-fighting and loyal culture who were persuaded to go to war by wealthy Land-owners and Polititians. By denying your true heritage, you will be doomed to fight a never-ending battle within yourself and there will never be resolution. The South was and remains a very honorable culture but until you can come to grips with the faults of your ancestors, you are doomed to find a huge roadblock: the truth

    • Andy Hall said, on August 6, 2011 at 9:41 am

      Jeff, thanks for taking time to comment, and also for the heads-up to your blog.

      It’s obvious that, because I am a Southerner myself, with a long Southern lineage and scads of Confederate ancestors, I’m therefore obligated to hew to a particular — and particularly shoddy — historical narrative in the name of “honoring” them. I do think we have an obligation to our ancestors (literal or figurative), which is to present them as they really were: acknowledging the positive, while at the same time making no excuses or rationalizations for the negative. Above all, we should never fill in the gaps in our knowledge of those long-gone people with happy fantasy that serves only to assuage our own consciences.

      The SHPG and folks like them deal in two-dimensional cartoon images of unblemished, noble heroes (black Confederates, Robert E. Lee, the mythic Confederate soldier and their own ancestors) and degenerate villains (Lincoln, Sherman, the NAACP and bloggers like me), It’s well that they designate themselves as a “heritage” group, because what they do certainly isn’t history.

  11. Connie Chastain said, on August 6, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Mr. Hall, you keep saying that Carl Roden has made an accusation. When I first read on the SHPG his posts that you reference here, I didn’t see it as some sort of accusation; I still don’t. It appears to me that he was relaying an observation he made and expressing an opinion about it. I don’t see how that requires him to prove anything to you or anyone else.

    Far from accusing you of something, he clearly states he doesn’t think you or Mr. Levin share all the beliefs of white supremacists who agree with your rejection of black Confederates. I’m a little mystified why you are so up in arms about someone expressing an opinion about you or your blog. You and your fellow bloggers frequently express very negative opinions about us. Why is it okay for you, but nor for us? Why must we “prove” something to you, but you think you are and should be allowed to express your opinions about us without challenge?

    Mr. Bell, one problem with the whole black Confederates issue is that anti-Confederates can conceptualize their fighting in no other terms than fighting to keep themselves enslaved. I don’t think the issue was that narrow, even for slaves. Not all of them viewed the union army as liberators; not all of them viewed Confederates as their evil captors.

    My position on the South, the Confederacy and Southerners, past and present, is that they’re no worse than anyone else who has ever lived, certainly no worse than the people who came down here and made war on them. Everyone has a darker side and our Southern ancestors’ dark side was no darker than anyone else’s. In fact, I think it is supremely dark to make war on Southern women and children, most of whom owned no slaves, in the phony name of liberating slaves while slaves are helping to build the invading army’s national capitol.

    I think your description of Southerners as hard-working, hard-fighting and loyal culture who were persuaded to go to war by wealthy land-owners and polititians is the picture of arrogance, because what you’re saying is that they were dupes. I think studies of the letters of ordinary Southern soldiers establishes that they knew exactly why they were fighting, and they believed in the reasons for it. I’m not sure what it does for you to imagine that they were dupes, but perhaps you should consider examining that. I think it’s just as likely that you’ve been duped into believing the north=good, South=bad narrative. See how that assumption works?

    Your claim that we are denying our “true heritage” is worse than arrogant — it assumes authority you do not have. You do not have a corner on the truth. Sorry, you just don’t. You have your way of looking at the evidence, filtered through your own personal filters of perception, just like everyone else. You want to express your opinion, as I have expressed mine here, fine. But you are not the source of universal truth.

    • Andy Hall said, on August 6, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Mr. Roden was careful not to say that Kevin and I were acutally white supremacist or neo-Nazis, but his association of our blogs with them is explicit, and the inference is clear. I doubt most people who read his posts did so as carefully as you — just in this comment thread, I’ve had one SHPG group member, and possibly a second, accusing me of accusing THEM of “white supremacist racism” — but those were Roden’s words about someone else, not mine about the SHPG. If these folks don’t understand the concept of block quotes, I really doubt they’re going to catch the finer, legalistic nuance of Roden’s posting.

      Roden went far beyond “expressing an opinion” about me; he claimed to have detailed and specific knowledge about how my work, and Kevin’s, has been used by others for very ugly purposes. If that were true, that’s something that we need to know in detail. I called on him to back up his (public) claims by sharing that information; he has refused. I don’t believe that Roden actually has the information he claims to “know for a fact,” but even if one assumes he does, why would he not want to expose them — the “real” white supremacists and neo-Nazis — for who they are and what they do? By declining to out them publicly, Mr. Roden is allowing them to continue their odious work in secret while at the same time publicly accusing me and Kevin of being the “useful idiots” who are “dangerous.” Even if one assumes Roden’s allegations are true in every respect — which I don’t — the best interpretation of his actions are that he puts a higher priority on associating history bloggers with whom he disagrees with than exposing actual neo-Nazis and klansmen. Roden’s refusal to come clean with all he claims to know only serves to protect people like that; it seems clear that he sees Kevin and me as a bigger threat to society than the actual guys in white sheets and swastika tattoos.

      What if, for example, I were to announce publicly that I “knew for a fact” that excerpts from one of your novels were being passed around at Klan meetings by anonymous “supporters” of your work, and being posted to neo-Nazi websites, and in that way you were “dangerous” because you were unwittingly aiding them in their odious activities? And I actually claimed to quote, word-for-word, my conversations with these “supporters” of yours? And when you challenged me to back up those claims, I refused? Would you shrug that off as me simply expressing my “opinion?” Would I get a pass if I added that you yourself were not actually a white supremacist or neo-Nazi? Would you be cool with that?

      I kinda doubt it. Yet that’s exactly what Mr. Roden is doing here, and you claim not to understand why I would take exception to it.

      Mr. Roden will either back up his assertions, or not. It’s his call, and he understands that his credibility is on the line here.

      I have been very critical — sometimes sharply critical — of the work done by some SHPG members, particularly on the subject of “black Confederates.” But I’ve also been careful to (1) explain my criticism, point-by-point, and (2) not go so far as to impugn the character of the person making the claim. While I’m willing to say that someone is wrong, or even wildly wrong, that’s entirely different from (as Roden has done) lumping them in with the KKK and Aryan Nations as part of the “Axis of Fascism.” I really have to wonder — is any accusation or odious association beyond the pale for your group? Has there ever been a case where you, as an officer there, have said, “no, take that down — that’s just too much?”

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