In my speech on “Southern Nationalism and the Media” at the 2014 League of the South national conference, I mentioned how most of the publicity the League had received between the 2012 and 2013 national conferences was due to the mainstream media “playing the associations game” with Michael Peroutka, a former League board member and Maryland attorney who was the Constitution Party’s candidate for president in 2004.
By the time of the 2014 national conference on June 27-28, Peroutka had won a close race for the Republican nomination for a seat on the Anne Arundel County Council, and the Maryland media was starting to publicize his “links” to the League of the South. In July, the national leftwing media picked up the story and the League received an enormous amount of publicity from it.
Just the other day, Michael Peroutka responded to the “controversy” by holding a press conference in which he refused to denounce the League of the South:
”Supporters of the League of the South can debate all they want whether their organization is truly a neo-Confederate hate group, as the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified them, but it would be much harder to argue that it isn’t an oddball extremist group with some hair-raising ideas. That they support Southern secession and rally behind all things Confederate pretty much defines the Alabama-based league.
These are not just some folks who spend their free hours dressing up in Civil War garb, whistling “Dixie” and recalling the good old days. No, they genuinely want to make the South independent and by their own admission “seek to protect the Anglo-Celtic core population and culture of the historic South.” The rest of the nation they see as mostly corrupt and insufficiently Christian. …”
So far, so good … we genuinely do want to make the South independent, and we genuinely do want to “protect the Anglo-Celtic core population and culture of the historic South,” and so much the better that The Baltimore Sun and The Capital Gazette are shouting it from every rooftop in Maryland. We want to attract the attention of people who sympathize with our views.
Flanked by two of his black supporters, Michael Peroutka fell into the trap of trying to “prove” he is not a “racist” to the media:
“At a press conference, flanked by two African-American supporters, Peroutka denied claims he’s racist.
“But I am an anti-racist. I have spoken publicly against racism. I’ve gone out of my way to repudiate racism, and If there are any racists in the League of the South, I repudiate them and I pray for them.” …
Adam Weinstein of Gawker had the most insightful comment on this whole controversy:
“Well, Peroutka’s kind of a missing link between Hill’s Dixie-loving sesesh and the Tea Party’s most insecure theocratic wing – the folks who, in lieu of expensive pearls, clutch pocket Constitutions every time they see someone to the left of Pat Buchanan on FOX News.”
Yes, it’s true that Michael Peroutka is a member of the League of the South, but he has been doing his own thing for years now. Last year, Warren Throckmorton drew attention to the fact that Peroutka’s Institute on the Constitution had made a video about Martin Luther King, Jr. and contrasted it with positions on the Civil Rights Movement taken in articles by Dr. Michael Hill on the League’s website.
Warren Throckmorton has drawn attention to all kinds of things that Michael Peroutka has done that have nothing to do with the League:
- He donated a dinosaur to Ken Ham’s infamous creation museum in Kentucky.
- He claimed that promoting evolution is an act of “disloyalty” to America.
Peroutka also said in a recent press release:
“In both private and public policy, we must remember that God created only one race — the human race,” the campaign said in statement Friday. “Therefore, all elevation or denigration of individuals or groups based on skin color is immoral and shameful because it violates the Law of Nature and Nature’s God.”
The language Peroutka uses here is consistent with Ken Ham’s “Answers in Genesis” group, not the League of the South. Peroutka is clearly a Young Earth Creationist who denies that humans evolved from earlier species. He’s right when he says that he is not a “racist” because like Ken Ham he believes that all races were created of “one blood.”
Not that any of this matters … denying the charge of “racism,” although completely accurate, hasn’t done Michael Peroutka a bit of good. It didn’t work with Paula Deen, Donald Sterling, or Cliven Bundy. In a world of “trigger warnings” and “structural racism” and “white privilege” and “implicit bias” and “microaggressions,” there’s no escaping the charge of “racism” or its inquisitors.
“Racism” is a meaningless term that was popularized by the Left in the mid-1930s. Michael Peroutka would be wise to laugh it off in the future.