We are releasing a nationwide membership database for the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), an organization for male descendants of Confederate veterans, which peddles “Lost Cause” narratives and fights to preserve racist monuments. Unsurprisingly, the organization provides fertile ground for more explicit white nationalists. It also has political influence. The SCV membership database we are releasing includes one current member of Georgia’s State Senate and several in the Georgia House of Representatives.
The SCV member database here was initially leaked by other parties, appearing online in early 2020. The original web link with this member database is no longer active. As first leaked on the web, the member database included “Nov2019” as part of its file name. However, a careful analysis of the member records shows that the list dates from late 2016 to early 2018, with 2017 being most likely. One email address appears to reference the year 2017; high-profile members who left SCV in March 2018 are still listed with the email addresses for their official roles. Apart from the date originally on the file name, the member records are consistent with everything we know about SCV.
Several Republican politicians in Georgia are listed in the SCV member database. Current Georgia House of Representatives members Tommy Benton (District 31), Terry England (District 116), Alan Powell (District 32) and Rick Williams (District 145) were listed as “active” SCV members circa 2017. Benton is particularly notorious, having publicly argued in 2016 that the Ku Klux Klan “made a lot of people straighten up.” Georgia House of Representatives member James A. Collins (District 68) also appears in the database but was not listed as an active member. Jeff Mullis, Georgia State Senator for District 53, appears as an “active” member. Mullis was the driving force behind SB 77, a Georgia bill designed to protect Confederate/white supremacist monuments, signed into law in 2019.
The presence of politicians in the SCV has no moderating influence and obvious white nationalists are active in the organization. In Georgia, accountant John C. Hall, Jr. of Dublin is the commander of SCV Capt. Hardy B. Smith camp #104. Hall is an associate of white power leader Sam Dickson and, in 2018, appeared in a closed social media group for the white supremacist/Southern secessionist League of the South. Another major white nationalist in Georgia SCV ranks is Marietta attorney Martin K. O’Toole. According to its most recent (2018) IRS filings, O’Toole is the President and Director of the Charles Martel Society (CMS), a secretive but influential white nationalist organization that helped to birth the Alt-Right. O’Toole is also an old friend of UK Holocaust-denier David Irving. O’Toole has been the Georgia SCV’s official spokesman since 2018. Media outlets such as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution regularly quote O’Toole without noting his white nationalist history and commitments.
By organizing in the SCV – which disguises its racism behind rhetoric of “heritage” – clear white nationalists can make political connections and gain influence. Nowhere is this clearer than in Georgia, where the state SCV spokesman is a white nationalist, but the organization also counts Republican legislators in its ranks.
We hope that this database is also useful to anti-racist researchers in other states.
As always, please get in touch if you have information on racist organizing in Georgia.