Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

LoS President: Democracy Only Works When White Folks Run Things

Posted in African Americans, Leadership, Memory by Andy Hall on May 1, 2012

You’ve got to appreciate the candor of J. Michael Hill, founder, president, and self-described “big chief” of the League of the South; he leaves no one in doubt about what really matters to him:

Majority rule only works where there is already a consensus of sorts on the fundamental issues within a particular society. For instance, in a Christian nation that enjoys a high degree of homogeneity in its racial and ethnic make-up, language, institutions, and inherited culture, most matters up for a vote are largely superficial policy issues. They don’t tamper with the agreed-upon foundations of the society. However, in a multicultural and multiracial polyglot Empire such as ours is today, the concept of majority rule is often fraught with dire (and even deadly) consequences for the losers, especially if the winners bear a grudge.
 
As I write in 2012, there are projections that these United States—and our beloved Southland–will have a white minority by 2040 (or before, depending on immigration policy). Simply put, that will mean the end of society as we know it. You and Bill Clinton may be OK with this, but I’m not.
 
Who stands to lose by this devil’s bargain? The descendants of America’s founding stock will be the losers. As a native white Southerner, I’m primarily concerned about the future of the South. Our ancestors bequeathed us a republican society based on Christian moral principles, the English language, racial (and some degree of ethnic) homogeneity, and British legal and political institutions. All this will be gone with the wind if we don’t stand as united white Southerners against the unholy leftist trinity of “tolerance, diversity, and multiculturalism.”

To be sure, this line of argument is nothing new coming from Hill; this essay dates back to 2007 (at least), with only a few slight edits. It’s not a gaffe, a one-off, but rather suggestive of a thought-out, stable perspective on Hill’s part. It’s policy, and an  idea he’s expressed before:

We are already at war—we just don’t know it. One instance: Immigration. This is not just a matter of policy. It’s a matter of our very survival as white men and women of European Christian stock on this land we call the South. It is a zero sum game—we win or they win. There is no middle ground for compromise. Losing means that my grandchildren will grow up in a third world country. Multiculturalism and diversity means “we” cease to exist as a viable and prosperous people.

You have to wonder what Hill sees as the role and voice for African Americans and others is in his vision of an independent South is; some of those folks undoubtedly have families that trace back as far as Hill’s does, regardless of how they came to be there. (And note, as Will Rogers used to say, “some of them were there to meet the boat.”) What is their voice, their political agency in the “Free South” Hill and the League of the South envision? Sure, there will always be a place for highly-paid entertainers, fluffing people like Hill and assuring them how grateful black folks ought to be for helping them when the Supreme Court forced Jim Crow on the South, but what about everybody else?

Honesty can be invigorating, even when it’s unpleasant — like getting a cold bucket of water dumped on you. For all the discussion of abstract concepts like liberty and freedom, Hill’s core concern is, explicitly, about maintaining and preserving white power — political, cultural and social. His candor should be welcomed; it’s always good to know exactly where he and the League of the South stand, and what they stand for.
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10 Responses

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  1. Michael Lynch said, on May 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I was born in the South, I was raised in the South, I’ve practically lived my entire life in the South, I love the South, I have no desire to live anywhere besides the South and among my fellow Southerners, and so it should be taken as no small thing when I say that J. Michael Hill is so full of it that it’s oozing out of his pores.

    –ML

  2. Robert Baker said, on May 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    You have to wonder what Hill sees as the role and voice for African Americans and others is in his vision of an independent South is; some of those folks undoubtedly have families that trace back as far as Hill’s does, regardless of how they came to be there.

    Nice commentary Andy, as always.

  3. Shao Ping said, on May 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    “Our ancestors bequeathed us a republican society based on Christian moral principles, the English language, racial (and some degree of ethnic) homogeneity, and British legal and political institutions.”

    Does this mean that Louisiana is not part of the South?

    More seriously, I know my mother’s family belonged to a large Pennsylvania Dutch community and were still speaking German at the time of the Civil War. Apart from Louisiana, were there large Southern communities that did not speak English?

    • Andy Hall said, on May 1, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      There was a large concentration of German communities in the western part of Texas, largely north and west of San Antonio, where German was the dominant language. There was generally not widespread support for the Confederate cause or the war in those communities, which James D. B. DeBow, one of the leading intellectual lights of the arguments for slavery and secession, dismissed as “the crazy, socialistic Germans in Texas, [who] are too unimportant to affect the truth of the proposition.” There are many German-speakers there still today, although what they speak is now a very distinct dialect that only roughly approximates German as spoken on Germany.

      I should also point out that it’s easy to over-generalize about the Germans’ opposition to the Confederacy; in Houston, a social club from of those “crazy, socialistic Germans” actually formed a company that later became part of the 1st Texas Heavy Artillery, that did long service along the coast here.

      I’m sure others can suggest more examples. What’s interesting to me is that, even as the Confederate Heritage movement is trying desperately to depict the Confederacy of 1861-65 as one big, happy, tolerant family of all races, ethnicity and religious backgrounds, allied political groups like the LoS and its allies seem to me to be increasingly willing to define themselves as an explicitly white movement.

      • Margaret D. Blough said, on May 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm

        The Constitution, especially, the Bill of Rights also made major provisions for the protection of minority rights. Furthermore, this homogeneous population at the time of the founding never existed other than in Hill’s demented. You had vast religious differences. I know the modern tendency, particularly among the neo-Confederates, is to simply sweep everything into a vague Christian (or, for the more broad-minded, Judeo-Christian) nation catchall. However, many Christians of the 1780s and even into modern times, were totally convinced that if one didn’t belong to one’s particular denomination or branch of a denomination, one wasn’t a true Christian. When my paternal grandmother (who died at the age of 91 in 1976) was informed that my oldest sister’s fiancee was (and still is) Jewish, her response, to my dad’s mortification, was “Well, at least she isn’t marrying a Catholic.” (Which my no. 2 sister did two years later). One of the major supporters of disestablishment of the Church of England/Episcopal Church in Virginia were the non-Conformist Protestant denominations which were persecuted under an Established church. Massachusetts, as a colony, hung Quakers. Ethnically, aside from the English, Scots, Irish, French, Germans, Blacks (African and American-born, free, freed, and enslaved), and various Indigenous tribes (which did not see themselves as a single entity) many other nationalities fled to the US.

        Ironically, though, Hill actually is truer to the views of the Fire-Eaters/Calhounites than the more delusional Confederate Heritage types are. John Calhoun LOATHED Thomas Jefferson’s natural rights philosophy which he attacked in his speech on the Oregon Bill in 1848 http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=944
        :

        >>Instead, then, of all men having the same right to liberty and equality, as is claimed by those who hold that they are all born free and equal, liberty is the noble and highest reward bestowed on mental and moral development, combined with favorable circumstances. Instead, then, of liberty and equality being born with man; instead of all men and all classes and descriptions being equally entitled to them, they are prizes to be won, and are in their most perfect state, not only the highest reward that can be bestowed on our race, but the most difficult to be won–and when won, the most difficult to be preserved.

        They have been made vastly more so by the dangerous error I have attempted to expose, that all men are born free and equal, as if those high qualities belonged to man without effort to acquire them, and to all equally alike, regardless of their intellectual and moral condition. The attempt to carry into practice this, the most dangerous of all political error, and to bestow on all, without regard to their fitness either to acquire or maintain liberty, that unbounded and individual liberty supposed to belong to man in the hypothetical and misnamed state of nature, has done more to retard the cause of liberty and civilization, and is doing more at present, than all other causes combined. While it is powerful to pull down governments, it is still more powerful to prevent their construction on proper principles. It is the leading cause among those…which have been overthrown, threatening thereby the quarter of the globe most advanced in progress and civilization with hopeless anarchy, to be followed by military despotism. Nor are we exempt from its disorganizing effects. We now begin to experience the danger of admitting so great an error to have a place in the declaration of our independence. For a long time it lay dormant; but in the process of time it began to germinate, and produce its poisonous fruits. It had strong hold on the mind of Mr. Jefferson, the author of that document, which caused him to take an utterly false view of the subordinate relation of the black to the white race in the South; and to hold, in consequence, that the former, though utterly unqualified to possess liberty, were as fully entitled to both liberty and equality as the latter; and that to deprive them of it was unjust and immoral. To this error, his proposition to exclude slavery from the territory northwest of the Ohio may be traced, and to that of the ordinance of ’87, and through it the deep and dangerous agitation which now threatens to ingulf, and will certainly ingulf, if not speedily settled, our political institutions, and involve the country in countless woes.<<

        • corkingiron said, on May 2, 2012 at 10:56 am

          Thanks for this. I had never read it. IIRC, Lincoln based his personal opposition to slavery – despite his avowedly racist views re: African Americans – on the Declaration of Independence. It’s ironic to this foreign laddie that two of your nation’s founding documents could be so quickly seen as at odds with each other.

  4. Pat Young said, on May 1, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Love the anti-immigrant ideology. He ignores the fact that New York is the most immigrant-rich city in the world and has been for 150 years. We are hardly a Third World country and have a vibrant and evolving culture constantly revived by new arrivals. Hill seems to think the the only viable cul

    • Andy Hall said, on May 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      Anti-immigrant rants are a dime a dozen in today’s political climate; I was more intrigued by Hill’s straight-up endorsement of the idea that to him, the South of which he speaks is composed of “white men and women of European Christian stock.” Don’t tell Dick Poplar, okay?

  5. Christopher Shelley said, on April 16, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    “Hill’s core concern is, explicitly, about maintaining and preserving white power — political, cultural and social.”

    It has ever been thus.

    • Andy Hall said, on April 17, 2014 at 8:09 am

      The LoS used to make a more concerted effort to conceal it. For a long time they had a formal statement denouncing racism on their website; they formally and explicitly abandoned that in 2012.


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