"Heritage, not hate." Like most slogans, the mantra of modern Confederacy boosters puts a simple spin on complicated circumstances. It's tricky, after all, to honor a part of Southern heritage often associated with slavery, the embodiment of racial hatred.
The 39 members of the Siler City-based chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, aka Col. John Randolph Lane Camp 1570, want there to be no misunderstandings. Recently, they voted unanimously to condemn white supremacy and pledged they would not rub shoulders with those who countenance racism.
The camp's resolution declares that "philosophies, attitudes and activities advanced by white supremacist organizations and other groups designed to subordinate the lives, intrinsic value and contributions of people because of their race are both morally repugnant and inconsistent with the purpose of the Sons of Confederate Veterans."
Therefore, the Lane Camp "will not provide individuals or groups associated with the white supremacy movement or 'hate groups' with money, labor or other forms of support, even when they claim to support goals of the Sons of Confederate Veterans or the more general cause of Southern heritage."
Chip Pate, the chapter's public information officer, says that "this has been the opinion of the camp all along, so it really was not a change for us." Particularly after recent, highly publicized debates over flying the Confederate battle flag, "We thought it was a good time to reiterate what we are and what we are not."
The SCV's main mission, according to its literature, is "to preserve the history and legacy of Southern heroes, so future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern cause."
"We serve all Confederate veterans and those who assisted the Confederate cause--regardless of race," Pate says.