A common refrain among neo-Confederates is "heritage, not hate"--an attempt to divorce the pro-slavery underpinnings of the American Civil War from the perceived nobility of the soldiers engaged in it. Permeable boundaries exist between these groups and the dangerous far right organizations that have re-emerged under President Donald Trump, which benefit from the neo-Confederates' thin veneer of civility.
Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County, a neo-Confederate organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, holds a "Confederate Memorial Day" celebration at the Graham, North Carolina, historic courthouse steps on May 20, 2017. Marine Michael Chesny was arrested at the event for dropping a racist banner from the roof of a local building, and was later identified as a coordinator behind the deadly August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
On August 20, 2018, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students protested the so-called Silent Sam statue on campus--a large, bronze effigy of a Confederate soldier funded in part by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It was torn off its pedestal just hours later.
Casey Becknell, a Civil War re-enactor, gazes at the pedestal on which Silent Sam stood at the Chapel Hill campus before activists pulled it down on August 20, 2018 (above left). A year earlier, he was an armed participant in the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia (above right).
Armed with tear gas and batons, Virginia state police escort Loyal White Knight...