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“National” neo-Confederate conference to be held in Wetumpka

The SCC, labeled a hate group by the SPLC, states its goal is to re-establish an “independant (sic) Southern republic.”

The Southern Cultural Center, a Neo-Confederate organization based in Wetumpka, will host its second annual conference, which it bills as a “national” conference.

This year’s goal, as stated on the group’s Facebook page: 100+ attendees. It’s unclear how that number compares to the inaugural event last year, as founder Mike Whorton denied APR’s request to cover the event.

The SCC, labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, states its goal is to re-establish a “free and independant (sic) Southern republic.”

The center once served as the site of the national conference for the League of the South, another Neo-Confederate group and a participant in the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that led to the death of one woman protesting the event and the injuring of 35 others.

Mike Whorton, president of the Southern Cultural Center, split with the League of the South in 2018, leaving his post as chair of the Alabama chapter of the League and denying the LOS use of the building for its annual conference.

An SPLC report pointed to Facebook posts that show Whorton split with LOS due to discomfort with its growing militarism.

The lineup of events looks very similar to the inaugural event, bringing back many of the same speakers and the same Neo-Confederate rock band Shades of Grey.

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One new face will be white nationalist radio darling James Edwards, host of “The Political Cesspool” radio podcast. 

A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center on Edwards said his show “has become the nexus for radio-based hate in the United States.”

Here are just a few of the principles listed by the program itself:

  • Since family is the foundation of any strong society, we are against feminism, abortion, and primitivism.
  • We wish to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races.
  • Secession is a right of all people and individuals. It was successful in 1776 and this show honors those who tried to make it successful in 1865.
  • We are against homosexuality, vulgarity, loveless sex, and masochism.

Edwards won’t be the only SPLC-labeled extremist at the conference, as Pastor John Weaver returns to bring a message of “preparing for difficult times.”

“For years, Weaver was a leading member of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a hate group that opposes interracial marriage and has described black people as a ‘retrograde species of humanity,’” the SPLC profile states. “He also long served as chaplain to the Southern heritage group Sons of Confederate Veterans at a time when its leadership was largely controlled by racist extremists.”

Also returning is Clif McGhar. In a 2021 LinkedIn post, McGhar laments the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee and criticizes neoconservatives for being unable to fully embrace Lee.

“The whole of western civilization is now subjugated to a Marxist, globalist worldview that neoconservatives can only defend against to an extent partly due to their own Marxism and globalism and partly due to their looking through the same leftist lens to call the Southern cause in the War for Southern Independence unjust, reprehensible, or an act of white supremacy,” McGhar wrote in the post. “You know those same people who believe that the statue of Robert E. Lee and other Confederates should only stay up for the sake of history. It seems often many in the left and so called ‘right’ cannot see the awesome example of General Lee for all people.”

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Between hearing from Weaver and McGhar, attendees will enjoy a nice hamburger steak dinner provided by Champs Barbecue of Wetumpka.

Also on the agenda is Todd Kiscaden, a Tennessee native that sometimes comes to Selma to protect its Confederate cemetery, and Patricia Godwin of the Selma Daughters of the Confederacy to raffle off a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate general and first-ever grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Another new addition, Jared Taylor will be coming to speak to the group. Taylor is known for American Renaissance, his website and magazine that the SPLC says “regularly feature proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black racists.”

“Blacks and whites are different,” Taylor said in a. 2005 edition of American Renaissance. “When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.”

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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