Counter-protesters Saturday outnumbered rallying League of the South members 2-to-1 at a demonstration the league said was meant to raise awareness about the displacement of Southern people.
Michael Cannon of the activist group Statewide Organizing for Community Empowerment said the more than 125 counter-protesters were a testament to the way most people in Rutherford County feel about the League of the South, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a racist neo-Confederate group.
David Jones, Tennessee chairman for League of the South, said the group was not a white organization, but a Southern organization.
“There’s a matter of racial pride,” said Jones, who lives an hour west of Nashville in Lobelville. “It’s not racism. You have to get inside someone’s head to determine what is and what is not racism. And it’s very hard to get inside each others’ heads unless we really know each other.”
The League of the South also had its rally to show public disagreement with Somalian refugees living in the Middle Tennessee area, according to Michael Hill, president of League of the South.
“We’ve been dumped with, by the government, a bunch of refugees,” said Hill, who lives in Killen, Ala. “There’s the controversy with the (Murfreesboro) mosque, and there’s the controversy with Tyson foods (in Bedford County) hiring a lot of illegals. And we’re here to protest that, to show the people who have been here for generations of families that there’s somebody here who supports them and opposes the demographic and cultural changes that will come when you dump a completely new population into an area.”
Michael Cushman, chairman for League of the South in South Carolina, organized the rally and said the group was not against “foreigners, Iraqis or Somalis.”
“Somalis have a country and that’s Somalia. That’s their homeland. We have ours, and that’s the South,” he said. “We’d like to see a free South.”
[Editor’s note: What follows is an account by Jack Ryan of the protests.]
I was part of two successful, patriotic immigration rallies in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville, Tennessee, on Saturday, October 12th. The League of the South (LOS) organized the protests under the theme, “It’s wrong to replace us.” League President Dr. Michael Hill did an outstanding job organizing the rallies.
We targeted Tyson Foods for bringing in very low wage, Somali Muslims to work in its Tennessee food processing plants. Tyson has been prosecuted in the past for employing illegal aliens, but these Somali Muslims were legal residents thanks to the actions of various Catholic and Lutheran refugee charities.
I paid for a large highway billboard advertisement showing Tyson Foods’ CEO Donnie Smith laughing with a Somalian and listing his 2012 compensation of $7.8 million. Despite his wealth he is too cheap to pay Middle Tennessee workers a living wage, preferring to bring in Muslim low-wage workers. I also noted that Tyson Foods has a terrible record of animal cruelty.
The League of the South had very strict codes for dress and conduct, and we had excellent security. Young trouble makers wanted to dress up in Second World War costumes and follow the Hollywood script as bad-guy “racists,” but we weren’t having any of this.
We did face Anti-fa protests—mostly college Leftists—but didn’t see any Somali Jihadists. We did not acknowledge or argue with the Anti-fa Communists. Instead, we met and greeted regular Middle Tennessee whites, who were very supportive.
Although I am a Midwesterner and not a son of the South, I was welcomed and accepted—so long as I didn’t mouth off or propose to too many beautiful Southern women. We had more than a few of these, as well as charming, well-behaved children, whose presence made it clear we were not in Chicago or some big Northern city.
I was proud to be an independent part of the League of the South’s successful protests in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville. We estimated we had 75 demonstrators, ranging in age from one to 70 years. That represented about a 50 percent increase from a similar demonstration in Georgia back in August.
One man can make a difference. I encourage American Renaissance readers to engage in strong activism and work with well-organized groups such as the League of the South to reach the hearts and minds of our people. Our proud Southern kinsmen were very appreciative of my efforts.