Sunday, March 09, 2003

Alabama Legislator Supports League of the South

The League of the South is an organization which advocates southern secession. Via David Neiwert I see they have a friend in the Alabama Legislature.

The League of the South also has a good friend at the Moonie Times, Robert Stacy McCain. Now's as good a time as any to re-run this from a couple months back:

Robert Stacy McCain is an Assistant National Editor of the Washington Times, the conservative newspaper on which its owner, the Reverend Moon(through the Washington Times Foundation), has spent over $1 billion since its debut.

Mr. McCain frequently writes about racial issues for the newspaper in articles which aren't very subtle in their attempt to blame racial tensions, and a host of other problems, on African-Americans.

His articles have been reposted at the site of the American Renaissance magazine, described here by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Mr. McCain has no actual affiliation American Renaissnace that I am aware of, though his 1997 letter to the editor shows he is at least an occasional reader. In addition he has reported on studies by the New Century Foundation, another project of American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor, and cited him rather uncritically as an expert on race relations. It may be that McCain's attention to the group is simply a result of receiving an assignment from his editors, as Jared Taylor is rumored to have received money from the Reverend Moon as well.

Mr. McCain is, however, a member of the League of the South, a modern secessionist organization. His contributions can be found here and here. While we can't necessarily attribute to him all of the views of the organization's founder and president, Michael Hill, whose views seem to be well-represented by this passage in a recent letter to LotS members:

"The day of Southern guilt is over -- THE SOUTH WAS RIGHT -- and let us not forget that salient fact. NO APOLOGIES FOR SLAVERY should be made. In both the Old and New Testaments slavery is sanctioned and regulated according to God's word. Thus, when practiced in accord with Holy Scripture, it is NOT A SIN. Our ancestors were not evil men because they held slaves. This issue is our Achilles Heel, and the only way to deal with it is to confront our accusers boldly and without guilt. After all, what we are really upholding is GOD'S WORD. Let us fear Him, and we'll fear no man."

one does have to question his involvement with such a group. His views do seem to be somewhat more moderate than the organization's leader, as this passage demonstrates:

We may never all agree that The South Was Right! -- as Louisiana authors James Ronald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy proclaimed in the title of their zealously partisan 1994 defense of the Confederate cause -- but the least we owe our ancestors is a fair hearing and a balanced portrayal to our readers.

though some of them are still a bit "interesting." A moderate secessionist he may be, as is evidenced by this debate with some fellow travelers, though in this context it isn't exactly clear what 'moderate' means. One can generously interpret the secessionist movement as simply a political rebellion against the increasing encroachment of the federal government into what should be local issues, one can't ignore that in the end the particular encroachments that are objected to are the Civil Rights and Voting Acts. In addition, Mr. McCain's views on, for example, miscegenation are hardly 'moderate':

[T]he media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse
to accepting the clerk as his sisterinlaw, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us.

Mr. McCain also appears to be a regular poster over at the Free Republic. Though publishing under the pseudonym, "BurkeCalhounDabney," he doesn't make much of an attempt to hide his identity, occasionally discussing his job as a journalist and more specifically linking back to pictures on his personal home page.

A large number of McCain's posts can be found here.

Here we can see his attitudes about the persecution of homosexuals (non-italics his):

Posted by BurkeCalhounDabney to thegreatbeast
On News/Activism 11/29/2002 11:35 PM PST #7 of 12

Harvard's president, Lawrence H. Summers, issued a statement calling the episode "extremely disturbing" and "part of a past that we have rightly left behind." "Whatever attitudes may have been prevalent then," Mr. Summers said, "persecuting individuals on the basis of sexual orientation is abhorrent and an affront to the values of the university."

Wimp! Speaking of someone who should be persecuted and run out of town ....

his embrace of the much debunked racist tract The Bell Curve can be found here:

Theories of black intellectual inferiority, too, have popped up from the 1781 publication of Thomas Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia" to "The
Bell Curve" in 1994 and beyond.

Theories? It is not a "theory" that the average IQ of U.S. blacks is about 85. Now, some have sought to develop theories as to the origins of this differential -- genetics, environment, culture, etc. -- but the reality of "intellectual inferiority" (as NYT phrases it) is not in dispute at all. The gap
between group averages is one of the most thoroughly demonstrated phenomena in psychometrics.

I hasten to add that differences in group averages are not predictive for any individual. If one compiles all the IQ tests, blacks average 15 points less than whites -- as a group. But there are many, many thousands of blacks of superior intellect, just as there are millions of below-average whites.

I would not hesitate to admit my "intellectually inferiority" to Thomas Sowell, an economist, columnist and author whom I greatly admire. To acknowledge the existence (and social significance) of group differences does not make one a racist.

his contempt for the Civil Rights movement and his linking of civil disobedience to "black criminality":

I am disturbed however, by Jackson's idea that "breaking white folks' rules" was somehow inherently just. Did not the white folks of DeKalb, Miss., also have laws against murder, rape, robbery? If rules were to be broken merely because they were work of white folks, then hasn't Jackson gone a long way toward explaining the explosion of black criminality that began in the 1960s?

This shows how the civil rights movement, to a great extent, represented a direct assault on tradition and law. It is all well and good for the liberal to say, "Well, some laws and traditions are unjust." But who is to say which laws are unjust? Was it not true that the civil rights revolution was an exercise in pure political power, and that every measure from Brown v. Board to the 1965 Voting Rights Act was merely a function of the national majority imposing its will? If a bare majority is sufficient to strike down the laws of 15 states, and this be called justice, why then should we complain when, in 1973, a 7-2 majority of the Supreme Court declared void the laws of 49 states restricting or prohibiting abortion?

The Southern Poverty Law Center has this to say about McCain:

A Reporter of Their Own

LOS has not done as well with the mainstream press. Enduring a number of editorial attacks by Southern newspapers, it has loudly complained of what it terms the "scalawag" press — Southern newspapers that, in its view, have sold out to "Yankee" ideologies. But the League has found a few staunch defenders in the major media, including syndicated columnist and LOSmember Charley Reese.

And then there is Robert Stacy McCain. During the workday, McCain is a national reporter at The Washington Times. At other hours, he is an active League member — and a highly visible one, with several political essays featured on the LOS web site. This high-profile partisanship did not prevent McCain’s editors from allowing him to write a story highly critical of the Southern Poverty Law Center last May, even though the Center had long criticized LOS. After hearing the Center’s initial complaint over this apparent conflict of interest, Washington Times national editor Ken Hanner did not return the Center’s calls.

"[A]s a working journalist with over 10 years experience," McCain writes without irony in one of his LOS essays, an attack on the press for painting Confederate flag backers as racists, "I am well aware of how reporters can subtly frame their stories to suggest which side in any controversy is right."

For those who equate criticism with censorship, let me add that Mr. McCain of course has a right to his views and a right to share them with the world. I would never say otherwise.

However, in a world where the hottest question in media circles is whether Howell Raines has "biased" coverage of the discriminatory policies of Augusta, it seems fair to focus some attention on the biases of other journalists. There are those who claim that the bigotry and racism of "paleoconservatives" is relegated to the fringe of the Right, in sharp contrast to the supposed anti-Semitic America-hating Left that runs our universities and newspapers. However, unlike many of his racist Freeper pals, Mr. McCain is not just another nut with a computer, he is employed by and writes for America's premiere conservative newspaper.

(Yes, that last reference is a bit dated. And, his Free Republic posts were all removed. If you have a very strong stomach you can read about Mr. McCain's views about the murder of Emmett Till here.)