The Second Vermont Republic has always had a nice ring to it, especially in a state that celebrates its independent streak and maverick political heritage. SVR touts the idea that Vermont ought to sucede from the US of A and its entangling military and economic commitments and strike out on its own. Sounds sort of cool, right?
Trouble is, the group has been revealed to have ties to a white supremacist Southern group that's been designated a "hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Now comes a detailed article in The Intelligence Report, a newsletter the center publishes, that examines the connection in depth.
According to the piece, SVR leader Thomas Naylor and others associated with the organization have established a partnership with the League of the South, a connection cemented last fall during a conference in Tennessee where the two signed off on the Chattanooga Declaration," which proclaimed the demise of the split between the left and right in the nation.
This is truly an odd union. The SVR hails from a state that was first in the nation to abolish slavery. The League of the South opposes interracial marriage, thinks slavery was "God ordained" and promotes the delusion that the Confederacy never really surrendered at Appomattax.
Get this: According to the Intelligence Report article league members purportedly offered housing to "whites only" refugees from New Orleans after the Katrina disaster. For a full read of the article, click HERE
SVR and Naylor have been afforded some credibility in these parts. Naylor has been interviewed about SVR's plans on mainstream TV and UVM political science Prof. Frank Bryan has been an unofficial advisor to the group.
Bryan, asked in The Intelligence Report what he makes of the liaisaon with the League of the South, remarked "If (Naylor) was very flattering toward the League of the South, and they're racist, that was probably a bad idea."
Naylor was defiant about the relationship in a quote attributed to him in the article. "If someone tells me that I shouldn't associate with the League of the South, it guarantees that I will associate with the League of the South."
-- Sam Hemingway