The northern Virginia chapter of The League of the South says it has created and is distributing an image of a tearing eye to draw attention to the destruction of Southern culture.
Jason Koehne, chairman of the Grey Ghost Chapter of the league, told WND that a recent campaign to post images of the tearing eye all over Chantilly, Va., said members “wish to make known to the world the inequities and suffering wrought upon the Southern people.”
The image, Koehne said, was developed based on a quote attributed to Union Gen. Phillip Sheridan who claimed, during the latter stages of the Civil War, “They [people of the South] must be left nothing but their eyes to weep with. …”
“Over 130 years later, we are still made to cry,” Koehne said. “As Southerners, we are forced to endure ridicule and scorn on a daily basis,” he said, adding that he believes there is “an aversion to any feelings positive toward the South.”
Such aversions, he said, usually manifest themselves in charges of racism.
“We are discriminated against in every educational, recreational and occupational endeavor,” he said. “Our people are verbally attacked in all aspects of American life.”
About 250 “tearing eye” pictures were distributed in Chantilly last month, he said. “It was a peaceful attempt to bring light to these barbarous acts.”
“Our requests are simple,” Koehne said. “We implore our fellow Americans to make a conscious effort to thwart any efforts that would fan the flames of ethnic cleansing sweeping across the South. We urge people to bring an unequivocal halt to behavior that encourages cultural genocide targeted at Dixie.”
Groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), for example, have attacked Southern cultural symbols such as the Confederate flag, calling for boycotts against states like Mississippi and South Carolina because the flag flew from official buildings or was incorporated into the state flag.
And other groups, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, have listed the League and its chapters as subversive and racist.
Mark Potok, editor of the “Intelligence Report” published by the law center, told the Chantilly Times newspaper last week that the league was created in 1994 and was initially sincere in its concern for the culture of the South.
Since then, however, Potok claims the group has taken on a racist tone.
The league, he said, is “much more political now; it’s about reconstituting the South as a Celtic enclave,” according to the paper.
Koehne disagreed, saying that southern heritage is what it is but added that today, the group has members of differing ethnic groups.
“We don’t see ourselves as one particular group from Europe,” he said. ” We have black members who support Southern culture.”
And, he added, he doesn’t mind that others have different opinions about the League of the South, but instead wishes his group’s point of view would be heard and, most importantly, seriously considered before people make snap judgments.
“Our history is being rewritten and/or obliterated,” he said. “Why is it that they [the law center] want you to have a knee-jerk reaction and not listen to anything we have to say?”