George Graham

What I Did Not Know


I came across a line in a story this morning that sent shivers down my spine. It wasn’t about imminent nuclear war, although that’s scary enough. And it wasn’t about Trump. It was about a secret organization named League of the South.

The story was about  a left-wing group called Antifa (which in my view is doing more harm to their cause than good by embracing violent tactics). The part that shocked me was a casual aside, presented as if everyone already knew about it and so what.

It was the description of League of the South as “a neo-Confederate organization whose leaders have called for a ‘second secession’ and the return of slavery.”

Did you know such people existed? In America? I did not.

Even to talk jokingly about :a return to slavery” is unthinkable.

Yet I gather from this article League of the South is no joke. And it is more than a tiny splinter group. It has hundreds – perhaps thousands – of dues paying members.


Where did these people grow up? What kind of parents did they have? What schools did they attend? Do the friends who welcome them in their homes know what these people really think?

Of course – like you – I’ve read about far-right organizations, white supremacists who wear KKK robes and Nazi regalia. I know there’s festering racism in America, especially in the Deep South. And I know how dangerous these extremists can be.

But I have also met a lot of decent folks from the South. One of the most admirable was the late Luther Smith, a brigadier in the Salvation Army and in my opinion a genuine Christian. Sandra’s mother was born in Alabama. Her brother David, my brother Peter, and several other relatives – mine and hers – live in North Carolina.

Do any of them know people who belong to League of the South or a similar neo-Confederate group?

I’ve heard southerners joke about “damn Yankees” and say the South will rise again and so on. But this was light-hearted clowning, not a serious political statement.

I honestly never dreamed until now that there are Americans among us who seriously advocate “a return to slavery.”

It’s a stunning indictment of our society and a warning that what we hear and read about right-wing politics may just be the tip of a very deadly iceberg.

The scary article

What League of the South believes

More about neo-Confederates

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for