In contrast to other states of the Union, Nevada provided few soldiers to the American Civil War; most of the residents of the silver and gold producing areas were busy with Paiute “depredations” and were clamoring for Federal assistance with troops to contain the violence, and screeching the mining towns needed Henry Rifles to defend themselves. That hasn’t prevented the establishment of two chapters of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in this state.
The “Silver State Grays” are located in Las Vegas, NV and the “Lt. Dixon-CSS Hunley” group is located in Sparks, NV. [SCV] As the Hunley chapter prepares to ‘celebrate’ the sesquicentennial of the South’s fight for independence (and the pleasure of owning other human beings) they’ll be meeting in a Sparks truck stop on September 20th. Their web page lists officers: Lee Cross, Mike Tocci, Gerry Dunlap, and ‘historian’ Ernie Zebal.
A scan of their newsletter contents shows some interesting bits of ‘history’ indeed. For example, there’s a notation that the SCV (Sparks) made a $450 donation on or about June 30, 2014 to the Southern Legal Resource Center, “which is the only law firm in the United States dedicated to preserving Southern Rights and Southern Heritage.”
And at this point we come to the South Carolina connection. The SLRC was founded by four lawyers in 1995 (Carl A. Barrington (deceased), Kirk David Lyons, Larry Norman, and Lourie A. Salley, III). The organization is a South Carolina corporation, based in Black Mountain, North Carolina. One of their first claims to fame concerned a Confederate flag dispute:
“The SLRC scored early victories in the late 1990’s when in 1996 it successfully defended the “Blacksburg (SC) 7” and in 1999 sued a Greenville, South Carolina, private academy on behalf of Dr. Winston McCuen, a teacher at the school who had been fired for refusing to remove a Confederate flag that was part of a classroom historical display, and for refusing to salute the US in protest.” [SourceWatch]
One of their novel approaches in litigation is the claim that Confederate Southern Americans are due 1st Amendment protections under the interpretation of ‘national origin’ as set forth in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They aren’t having much luck with this.
“The problem with successful advocacy of this group, as noted by Chief Trial Counsel Lyons is that “Republican judges are adamantly opposed to any extension of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Democratic Judges are hostile to almost all things Confederate.” Lyons believes that Confederate Southern Americans are a viable National Origin group that can break through the legal barrier once they break through the political barrier that belittles and divides them.” [SourceWatch]
There’s no avoiding the irony that the legal group is seeking “special status” which is usually decried in conservative circles. However, this does provide evidence of the sense of victimhood among members who see federal, state, and local authorities infringing on their ‘rights,’ such as the right to wear a prom dress created from CSA flag patterned fabric, or wearing CSA symbols in schools, public and private. That preservation of “Southern Rights and Southern Heritage” seems to devolve into protecting the flag of rebellion and those who like displaying it in public. The Supreme Court decision in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the controversy surrounding the battle flag in South Carolina, combined with their failure to induce NASCAR into agreeing to ‘fly the flag,’ appears to show the SCV is not standing on much firm ground.
The SCV cut some of the ground from beneath its own feet during an internal power dispute in the last decade. The result so far is an organization more racially extremist in its perspective than in previous iterations. [SPLC] Much of the SCV rhetoric is alarming:
From Alistar Anderson (SCV) we find out that the Pledge of Allegiance is to be denounced as enabling a socialist mentality, and being supportive of a centralized Federal government, including a revision of the “atheist words of the radical French Revolution.” [Sebesta]
According to Frank Conner, a contributor to SVC publications, the modern civil rights movement is “steadily shredding the traditional white society, first in the South and then the rest of the nation. But the liberals are in a big hurry to replace Christianity with secular humanism and limited government with socialism.” [Sebesta]
There’s a bit of the old Cold Warrior in the adherents to SVC ideology:
“Using the wedge of anti-racism, cultural Marxists orchestrated judicial and legislative changes to society over the course of decades – e.g. Brown v. Board of Education in 1955, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Immigration Reform Act of 1965. … The cultural Marxists relentlessly hammered away at Western cultural norms using the sledge of anti-racism as a battering ram to bring down the walls of traditional Western culture” …
“…And just as the Bolsheviks inflamed the masses to violence against the Russian aristocracy, today’s cultural Marxists harness the massed numbers of a new proletariat – composed of people of color, feminists, homosexuals and other disaffected groups – to secure social acceptance and the numbers sufficient to convey political power.” [Sebesta]
And, then there’s the notion of representative democracy which SCV promoted authors W.D. and J.R. Kennedy find definitely unappealing:
“The liberal concept of one man-one vote, or universal franchise, is so deeply entrenched in the liberal dogma of the Yankee government that very few are willing to challenge its legitimacy. This is especially true in the South. Here we are faced with the danger of being labeled as a society attempting to deny the franchise permanently on the basis of race. Where will anyone find a popular politician who is willing to confront charges of racism and bigotry just to promote an improvement of the quality of the electorate.” [Sebesta]
The current buzz word for this idea is “election integrity?”
The connection between organizations like the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the gun-lobby were made clear in the interview given by state Representative Bill Chumley recently [NYDN] the notion being inferred that perhaps the 87 year old lady who was shot should have been packing heat during Bible Study? As if the victims were to blame for their own murders? [Grio] Representative Chumley is a member of the SCV.
“We are focusing on the wrong thing,” Chumley told the reporter. “These people sat in there and waited their turn to be shot. That’s sad, when somebody in there with the means of self-defense could have stopped this, and would have less funerals than we’re having.” [digitalt]
Or perhaps we could say, if a rabid racist hadn’t had easy access to firearms we’d be having fewer funerals?
And so the good old boys of the Dixon/Hunley chapter will meet on a Saturday in a Sparks, NV truck stop – likely in a rather small room – and lament the good old days when being a white man meant you could have perfect ‘freedom,’ to:
- Refuse the pledge of allegiance to the liberal Yankee government?
- Practice the discrimination which made white men the arbiters of social mores before Truman issued that blasted order integrating the Armed Forces?
- Slather your motor vehicle with CSA decals and decorations without the neighbors looking at you as if you were a freak?
- Pronounce that anyone supporting equal rights for everyone is a Commie Socialist Marxist Atheist minion of the Yankee government?
- Lament the decision in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education as an “orchestrated judicial and legislative change” to society?
- Loudly protest that slavery really really wasn’t the cause of the American Civil War in spite of all evidence to the contrary, and all the twisted logic which makes it seem the whole thing was a grand fight over tariffs and railroad construction?
- Argue they really should be a “protected minority” in this country?
Have a few drinks fellows, the insanity and inanity will seem far more logical and rational after you reach the appropriate level of intoxication?