Politics Blog

MoJo: Chris McDaniel Spoke at Confederate Ball; McDaniel Denies: I Was at an ALEC Event

Mother Jones, the liberal investigative-news magazine that broke the story of Mitt Romney's 47 percent remark during the presidential campaign, is now taking aim at Mississippi politics.

MoJo reports that in August, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who last week announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, addressed a "a neo-Confederate conference in Laurel, Miss., near his hometown of Ellisville."

Attendees were reportedly urged to dress in "Confederate uniforms and antebellum ball gowns or wee kilties."

McDaniel told the Clarion-Ledger political editor Geoff Pender, however, that he never attended the ball and was at a meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council at the time.

MoJo doesn't provide any videographic proof but quotes sources saying that McDaniel attended the ball (the invitation listing McDaniel can be found here), but reports:

McDaniel was joined at the Southern Heritage Conference by Al Benson, a historian from Louisiana, who talked about his book Red Republicans & Lincoln Marxists, which speculates that Lincoln's actions during the Civil War were influenced by the writings of Karl Marx. ("Was Abraham Lincoln influenced by communism when the Union condemned the rights of Southern states to express their independence? It’s shocking to think so.") Benson's Amazon bio describes him as "a true Copperhead," a reference to Northern Democrats who supported the Confederate cause. In the September issue of the Rosin Heels newsletter, Benson writes that the nation's public school system was a product of "spiritual apostasy" by Unitarians and socialists.

The third speaker at the event was Ryan Walters, a PhD student at the University of Southern Mississippi who occasionally guest-hosts "The Right Side," the radio program McDaniel hosted before he entered politics (and still regularly appears on). Walters worked for McDaniel's first political campaign and previously suggested that President Obama was preparing to send army tanks to Texas. "As you recall, there was great controversy over Obama's birth certificate, which hasn't really been solved, but that's another story," he wrote in a recent blog post.

McDaniel is the first, and may end up being the only, Republican to come out and challenge the veteran Sen. Thad Cochran. McDaniel is one of the Tea Party's favorite legislators; Cochran is one of the Tea Party's most hated.

Mother Jones points out that the Rosin Heels has put up billboard wishing Confederate president and former Mississippi resident Jefferson Davis a happy birthday/

Now, in fairness to the Rosin Heels and to McDaniel, the Mississippi Senate once adjourned in memory of southern General Robert E. Lee and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whom share a recognized birthday, at the suggestion of African American state Sen. Hillman Frazier of Jackson.

Updated to reflect a correction. A previous version misstated that MoJo did not quote sources saying McDaniel attended. The magazine did report that one of the organizers confirmed McDaniel's attendance.

Comments

donnaladd 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Pride in what!?! I have southern pride, but I sure as heck don't need to celebrate the Confederate cause to express it.

Why Mississippi seceded and joined the Confederacy:

http://www.civil-war.net/pages/mississippi_declaration.asp

How it starts:

In the momentous step, which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery - the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

Pride in this? Really???

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bill_jackson 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Just wondering, is every thing about the Civil War considered to be racist/shameful? This is a serious question.

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tsmith 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Slavery and racism are not the same thing

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justjess 10 months, 3 weeks ago

@bill_jackson

"Just wondering, is everything about the Civil War considered to be racist/shameful? This is a serious question."

No, if one accepts the hypothesis that Black people are not human beings and that they were just mere products for which the South was willing to fight and die for. No, if you subscribe to the myth that some god made whites superior to the black race and that we are sons and daughters of monkeys.

Whites who remain morally and ethically bankrupt will continue these arguments and take great pride in participating in events that allow them to pretend that the South is rising again.

The only thing about the Civil War that is not racist/shameful is the fact that the South lost.

@tsmith

"Slavery and racism are not the same thing"

Please give just one example to prove your point.

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donnaladd 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Bill, are you a fan of the Civil War? The Confederacy was formed to protect slavery for the very reason that is stated right at the top of MIssissippi's (and other state's Articles of Secession). Are you trying to argue that we should, somehow, be PROUD of this? That's astonishing if so, and telling. Some people do still live in the past.

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darryl 10 months, 3 weeks ago

justjess,

What about the practice of slavery that existed in Scandinavia from the marauding hordes of Viking norsemen? Whites enslaving whites. Or, more recently, in Africa prior to the westward expansion of slavery to North America. Blacks enslaving blacks. I would submit that slavery existed long before the concepts of racial inferiority/superiority sprung up.

Conversely, there are quite clearly racists amongst us (white, black and other) who do not enslave their fellow humans.

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donnaladd 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Drumroll: Now comes the part where an obnoxious white man tells an African American woman what she should think about slavery. News at 10.

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donnaladd 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Darryl, so black Americans (and even white ones) are not to be offended by the huge American slave trade that brutalized so many white people ... because you've found other examples of slavery in the world!?!?!?

WHAT KIND OF FREAKIN' RACIST-ASS LOGIC IS THAT???

Pardon my French.

Some of you boys are reaching a new low on this whole justify-slavery shtick. And confirming the worst about yourself. Congratulations.

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donnaladd 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Reminds me of the Northside Sun's whole "give thanks for slavery" flub.

Slavery and racism are not synonymous. A smarter way to think about racism and slavery is that the American slave trade doomed generations of racists (people who tried to keep or justify a system that benefitted the dominant culture) both trying to keep the advantages of it and to deny or justify it, or try to silence anyone who tries to discuss it.

In other words, it's a cause and effect thang, and it ain't pretty, as we witness so often in some of the comments here.

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donnaladd 10 months, 3 weeks ago

The saddest thing is to watch later generations twist themselves in logical and offensive pretzels to justify an absolute inhumane institution and choices their ancestors made in order to get richer. What's so horrifying to me about the Jim Crow laws and black codes and Klan uprisings and celebratory lynchings and lynching post cards and formations of the Citizens Council and APWR legal funds to get keep them out of jail (all, by the way, using the Confederate emblem still in our flag as their symbol against integration) is that so much of this racist tradition seemed to be to justify backward what was absolutely unjustifiable.

The shame has never been in facing these horrors, learning and teaching from them, and apologizing for them. The shame has always been in refusing to do those things and, thus, continuing the cycle.

Of course, justifying and rationalizing and downplaying the horrors of slavery as some try to do (see above) is just off-the-charts disgusting and racist. You can't argue in 2013 that you don't have the information to know better.

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bill_jackson 10 months, 3 weeks ago

No, I find the instutution of slavery as reprehensible as anyone else. However I am a history buff, and very much enjoy visiting the park at Vicksburg and other historical sites nearby. Also I have a child at an (out of state) college with a significant history r.e. the Civil War.

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bill_jackson 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Also, I have always been interested in WW2 history, so by your reasoning I guess that makes me a Nazi sympathizer. Jump to conclusions much, Donna?

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darryl 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Ms. Ladd,

I merely described that not all slavery was racial in origin. There was no need to insinuate otherwise. Your divebombing off the deep end to put words in my mouth was unnecessary.

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tsmith 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Lets not forget God's own chosen people, the jews, were enslaved by the Egyptians for years AND that slavery is still going strong today and race has nothing to do with it.

Not everyone who actually fought in the civil war was fighting for slavery, most were poorly educated and were fighting on emotion to prevent their family members from being killed and property being destroyed. You people make it sound as if every white man had a slave which is far from the truth. Holding every white man accountable for the sins of a few is ridiculous and I get sick of hearing it. The reasoning the state goverment used to secede was the will of it's people as much as what the state government ( and federal too for that matter) does today is the will of it's people. It's the rich and powerful that are in control, not the average guy.

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js1976 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Donna, you just recently complained about other putting words in your mouth, when you are a repeat offender. If your memory is foggy, just go back and take a look. http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/weblo...

Like Bill, I enjoy history, regardless if I agree with the events that took place. In fact, very few wars originated over circumstances that I agree with. Would I take my boys on a walk through Vicksburg military park, of course I would. History is taught so we don't repeat our same mistakes again, and the Civil War was an obvious mistake. Do I feel the need to "apologize" for these mistakes, heck no! There is no shame in refusing to apologize for something I played no part in.

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bill_jackson 10 months, 3 weeks ago

"Dive bombing off the deep end" is Donna's method of operation. I think we all know that by now.

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donnaladd 10 months, 3 weeks ago

No, Darryl, that's not actually what you did (whether you know it or not). You used a typical response that slavery apologists make: that other cultures do it, too. And you used it in response to a black woman who was stating the obvious point that slavery and racism are intricately wound in our state/nation. That's offensive, whether you know it or not. Call that "deep-diving all off the deep end" all you want. My response is that some of you have your heads so far down in the deep end of denying the existence/effects of racism that you will say anything regardless of how it makes you look.

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donnaladd 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't know if y'all remember when the goofball David Horowitz ran apologist ads for slavery in college newspaper around the nation. Much of the same uninformed rhetoric pops up in racist talking points about why slavery wasn't as bad as some of us make it out to be. Here's a great response to his talking points by students at UMass:

http://www.umass.edu/afroam/hor.html

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darryl 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I find it ludicrous for you to suggest anything beyond what I typed, whether you understand it or not. I made a simple refutation to justjess assertion. You went off intimating that I was somehow promoting or defending the institutions of slavery and racism. Therefore, "My response is that some of you have your heads so far down in the deep end of promulgating the existence/effects of racism that you will say anything regardless of how it makes you look."

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