League of South: ‘We don’t live in the past’Published 9:23am Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Michael Hill says there is a common misconception about the Southern Nationalist organization League of the South.
Hill said the organization is typically stereotyped as a Neo-Confederate group.
While the president of the League of the South and fellow members embrace their Southern heritage, Hill said they don’t live in the past.
“We revere our past, but we don’t live in the past,” Hill said.
Last week the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization headquartered in Montgomery, identified League of the South as one of 22 “hate groups” located in the state.
“You hear what comes out of Montgomery, calling us a hate group – that’s just garbage,” he said.
League of the South was founded in 1994 in Tuscaloosa when Hill and some of his friends met for three days to develop a “Southern-oriented organization.”
“We thought it would be nice to have an organization that worked every day year around on something and had an identifiable purpose,” Hill said.
One of the league’s purposes is to call for Southerners to secede.
In February a billboard located near the Florida state capitol in Tallahassee had one huge word on the billboard “SECEDE.”
That same billboard was located in Montgomery a few weeks ago, but it lasted just a few hours before being taken down.
On the league’s website it said secession is a fundamental American political ideal.
“It is also a means of promoting the survival, well being and independence of the Southern people,” according to the site.
The League of the South’s objective “is a free and independent South that will be a homeland for a distinct, historic people – Southerners,” according to its website.
So what are Southerners, according to Hill?
Hill says Southerners are white people who have been located in the South, which the league constitutes the 11 Confederate states, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Missouri, for a few generations to help create a civilization.
“When our ancestors came here in the 18th century, they brought with it a civilization,” Hill said. “They were frontiersmen and developed a western Christian civilization.”
But Hill doesn’t view black people who live in the South as being Southerners.
“They can call themselves what they wish, but I say that because, in my estimation, they don’t identify as such (Southerners). They haven’t flocked to the Southern national banner,” Hill said.
And that, Hill said, is another reason why “hate group” is associated with League of the South.
“Anytime a group of white Southerners get together the leftists will start throwing epitaphs that we’re a hate group,” Hill said. “By labeling us, they feel like they can marginalize us and call us extremists when in all actuality, they really are the extremists.”