Story at a glance:
- Sons of Confederate Veterans wrote a document regarding the removal of monuments and symbols of Confederate leaders.
- The group falsely claims that NAACP spreads “hate and dissension,” doing the work of “Marxists.”
- The group advises securing permits to have the authorities protect themselves from the media or counter protesters and says that SCV’s “opponents” will organize with “larger crowds.”
A neo-Confederate organization has a detailed strategy in preventing monuments and symbols of Confederate leaders from being taken down, outlined in a 2016 internal document obtained by The Guardian.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) detail its goal to preserve Confederate statues and war memorials and promote their ideologies, writing a guide on how to handle lawsuits, rallies, media management and political campaigns, The Guardian reported.
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In the 18-paged manual, the SCV claims the civil rights group NAACP is spreading “hate and dissension” at the discretion of “Marxists.”
The document, written by the highest SCV leadership during that time, denies the role that slavery played in the Civil War and the south’s fight to preserve it, according to The Guardian.
Most Confederate monuments were built in periods of racial conflict years after the Civil War, with many put up during the Jim Crow era of the 19th and 20th centuries and during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
While the debate over Confederate statues has raged for decades, the issue was reignited in 2015 when white supremacist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people in a predominantly Black church in Charleston, S.C. The mass shooting committed by Roof renewed attention to Confederate symbols after photographs emerged of Roof posing with the Confederate flag. That underscored a fight within South Carolina to take down Confederate symbols, and eventually spurred other recent debates across the country.
In 2017, several members of SCV were present at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., which was organized to protest the removal of Confederate monuments, according to The Guardian. A man who was photographed holding a shield with the Vanguard America emblem, one of the hate groups at the rally, plowed his car into a group of people and killed Heather Heyer.
P. Charles Lunsford, who was SCV’s deputy chief of heritage in 2016, wrote in an email: “We have been here for 125 years. Now all a sudden, we have groups tearing down our monuments and attacking us as individuals. The real questions are for them, not us.”
The neo-Confederate group has disavowed the Unite the Right rally. They have taken legal action to preserve Confederate symbols throughout the south, according to The Guardian.
The year before the rally in Charlottesville, SCV wrote the 2016 internal document on how to proceed at rallies and demonstrations against removing Confederate statues.
SCV says in the document under the “rallies and public events” section that these demonstrations serve as “a way of showing public support to the public at large” when “a person or group takes oppressive action against … hallowed locations,” The Guardian reports.
The group writes in the document that attempts to remove Confederate symbols are “heritage attacks.”
They advise acquiring permits for their protests so that authorities can protect them and remove anyone who is disrupting the event. The SCV also says that “those who oppress us will have a following rally with even larger crowds,” and the “the media will frequently try to show that public sentiment is on the side of the oppressors,” The Guardian reports.
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