Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction

By Euan Hague; Edward H. Sebesta et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Neo-Confederacy and the
Understanding of Race

EUAN HAGUE AND EDWARD H. SEBESTA

The previous chapters have demonstrated that neo-Confederacy comprises a comprehensive worldview and consistent ideological belief system. Having examined neo-Confederate understandings of religion, gender, and Southern ethnicity, our contributors have established that proponents of neoConfederacy envision a white, Anglo-Celtic ethnicity, a belief in patriarchy, so-called "orthodox" Christianity, and social arrangements that are hierarchical and perceived through the lens of social Darwinism. In this chapter we turn to explore how understandings of race are central to neo-Confederacy.

In his analysis of racist discourses, Teun van Dijk argues that in the United States, "specifc buzz words, such as busing and quota, are used to prevent the civil rights of minorities from 'going too far.'"1 Many neo-Confederate publications, including Southern Partisan, Southern Patriot, and Chronicles, regularly use such language in their frequent discussions of race, immigration, and associated legislation. Neo-Confederates also propose that cultures and ethno-racial characteristics are inherited, that behaviors are innate and immutable, and that it is unnatural and thus impossible for two or more ethnoracial groups to co-exist in the same space on equal terms. Racial integration is rejected, and programs such as affirmative action are dismissed as unnatural strategies of social engineering, doomed to failure and vindictively imposed on white Southerners to increase the power of central government by gaining the sanction of nonwhite groups. Furthermore, neo-Confederates systematically attack civil rights and challenge egalitarianism, democracy, and social equality. The alternative, for advocates of neo-Confederacy, is to pursue the formation of small, mono-ethnic states with localized legislative powers in which, given the analyses presented thus far, inequality and hierarchy would exist as results of supposedly natural processes.

In sum, the neo-Confederate perspective is that equal rights for all racial

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