|Purpose||Creation of a neo-confederate Southern nation, based on Christianity.|
|Southern United States|
|Thomas Fleming, Michael Peroutka, Hunter Wallace, Clyde N. Wilson, Thomas Woods|
|Subsidiaries||Southern Patriot (magazine)|
The League of the South is a white nationalist, Neo-Confederate, white supremacist organization, headquartered in Killen, Alabama, which states that its ultimate goal is "a free and independent Southern republic". The group defines the Southern United States as the states that made up the former Confederacy. It claims to be also a religious and social movement, advocating a return to a more traditionally conservative, Christian-oriented Southern culture.
The organization was formed in 1994 by Michael Hill and others, including attorney Jack Kershaw. The League of the South was named in reference to the League of United Southerners, a group organized in 1858 to shape Southern public opinion and the Lega Nord (Northern League), a very successful populist movement in Northern Italy.
The LOS' first meeting was represented with a group of 40 men, 28 of whom formed an organization then known as The Southern League. The name was changed to The League of the South in 1996 in order to avoid confusion with the minor league baseball organization also known as The Southern League. There were Southern professors among them. Michael Hill was the leader and still is. He was a British history professor and specialist in Celtic history at Stillman College, which is considered to be a historically black school in Tuscaloosa, Ala. However, Hill has since left his teaching position.
Since 2007, The League's main publication has been The Free Magnolia, a quarterly tabloid.
The group believes that the Southern United States should be an independent country ruled by white men.
In 2001 they asked US congress to pay $5 billion in reparations for "property" (which at the time included human beings) which was taken or destroyed by Union forces during the Civil War. The group's legal counsel Jack Kershaw said their proposal included paying reparations to African-Americans due to the supposed negative effect the end of slavery had on their ancestors: "Blacks were better off in antebellum times in the South than they were anywhere else. [...] They lost a lot too when that lifestyle was destroyed."
The League defines Southern culture "in opposition to the corrupt mainstream American culture."League Core Beliefs Statement It sees Southern culture as profoundly Christian and pro-life. Furthermore, the League believes that Southern culture places a greater emphasis on immediate relationships than on abstract ideas (the nation, the environment, the global community, etc.) and that Southern geography "defines character and worldview." The League describes Southern Culture as being inherently Anglo-Celtic in nature (originating in the British Isles), and they believe the South's core Anglo-Celtic culture should be preserved.
According to the League, Southern society differs greatly from what it sees as the Marxist and egalitarian society lacking "any grace or charm" that its "alien [American] occupier" seeks to "impress upon it." Southern culture, for the League, is based strictly on the Bible. The League's Core Beliefs Statement also notes that Southern culture "stigmatizes perversity", such as homosexuality and promiscuity. In the words of Michael Hill "the League of the South is not a "neo-Confederate" or "Southern heritage" organization, although we certainly do honor our ancestors and our largely Christian historic inheritance as Southerners. The League is a present- and future-oriented Southern Nationalist organization that seeks the survival, well being, and independence of the Southern people. We stand for our Faith, Family, and Folk living in freedom and prosperity on the lands of our forefathers."
The League of the South's economic views are market-oriented. It is opposed to fiat currency, personal income taxation, central banking, property taxes and most state regulation of business. The League supports sales taxes and user fees. The League supports protectionism (i.e economic nationalism) when it is necessary to shield domestic production from competition which they interpret as being unfair.
Seeking support in the United States Declaration of Independence, the League believes that what it calls "the Southern people" have the right to secede from the United States, and that they "must throw off the yoke of imperial [federal, or central government] oppression". The League promotes a Southern Confederation of sovereign, independent States that "work together... to conduct foreign affairs". It believes that the South's foreign policy should favor neutrality and trade with all states. Furthermore, the League favors strictly limited immigration, opposes standing armies and any regulation whatsoever of firearms. Though the ultimate goal of the League is to create an independent Southern nation, it sees this aim as the final step in an ongoing process:
Once we have planted the seeds of cultural, economic, and social renewal, then (and only then), should we begin to look to the South's political renewal. Political independence will come only when we have convinced the Southern people that they are indeed a nation in the historical, organic, and Biblical sense of the word, namely, that they are a distinct people with language, mores, and folkways that separate them from the rest of the world.
The League's current official activities focus on recruiting and encouraging "cultural secession" and "withholding our support from all institutions and objects of popular culture that are antithetical to our beliefs and heritage." In November 2006 its representatives attended the First North American Secessionist Convention which brought together secessionists from a broad political spectrum. In October 2007 it co-hosted the Second North American Secessionist Convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
In 2015, the group announced it would be holding an event celebrating the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, while honoring John Wilkes Booth as a hero. On April 11, 2015, it was organized by the vice chairman of the Maryland-Virginia chapter of the League, Shane Long. The LOS's main Facebook page put it bluntly: "Join us in April to celebrate the great accomplishment of John Wilkes Booth. He knew a man who needed killing when he saw him!"
The League has attempted to form paramilitary groups on more than one occasion.
In the summer of 2000, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labeled the League of the South a "racist hate group" and issued a report filled with allegations of racist statements, especially by the League's President Michael Hill. Hill responded by dismissing the label as being politically motivated, claiming that he welcomed the designation as a "badge of honor" and expressing his belief that the designation was designed to discredit the League of the South.
During the 2006 First North American Secessionist Convention, when the issue of the League of the South and racism was raised, Don Kennedy, identified as "a leader of the League of the South", stated: "How can you believe in liberty and discriminate against your neighbor? Equality before the law is something we want, and we're on the record for that." News stories about the Second North American Secessionist Convention also mentioned the SPLC's allegations, as well as skeptical responses from convention attendees. Convention organizer Kirkpatrick Sale responded: "They call everybody racists. There are, no doubt, racists in the League of the South, and there are, no doubt, racists everywhere."
In response to the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting Hill wrote on the League's website that "In a free & independent South, Islam would be banned, Muslims deported, and all mosques closed down. The ownership of firearms, including military grade, would be encouraged for all Southern citizens in order to protect the public from such incidents as occurred overnight in Orlando, Florida".
In a 2017 decision, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that a blog post describing a family as white supremacist, based on a photo showing a League of the South bumper sticker on the family car, was not defamatory because it was an opinion based on disclosed facts.
The League's Board of Directors is composed of Michael Hill, Mark Thomey, Mike Crane, Sam Nelson, and John Cook. Among the founding members were Thomas Fleming, Thomas Woods,Grady McWhiney, Clyde Wilson, and Forrest McDonald.
Patrick J. Buchanan's presidential bid has turned the once- centrist Reform Party into a magnet attracting leaders and activists of such extreme right organizations as the National Alliance, the Liberty Lobby, the Council of Conservative Citizens and the League of the South. [...] * Alabama League of the South, a pro-secession organization, recently published an article in its newsletter declaring that "conservatives do have a place to go. The Reform Party is America First on nation-defining issues. . . . It is essential that Buchananism lives on after the 2000 election."
...Mr. Woods, one of the founding members of the League of the South.