The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

League of the South Chapter in S.C. Gets New Boss – a Former Member of Neo-Nazi Group

By Keegan Hankes on September 18, 2013 - 2:32 pm, Posted in Neo-Confederate, Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist

The South Carolina chapter of the League of the South has a new chairman, Michael Cushman, who comes complete with neo-Nazi ties for the neo-Confederate hate group.

This past weekend, the chapter’s board of directors voted to replace former Chairman Lourie A. Salley with Cushman, 36, of Aiken, S.C.

Cushman, who has been heavily involved in a new wave of LOS demonstrations against what the group calls “Southern demographic displacement,” hopes to buff up the group’s image.

Under his guidance, the LOS has begun a campaign to appear more mainstream by no longer publicly displaying symbols like the long-fetishized Confederate battle flag. The group now flies a new “Southern nationalist” flag and uses only pre-approved slogans during its demonstrations. This rebranding, which includes shirts, business cards and lawn signs, has been funded almost exclusively by Cushman and those who donate to him.

So far, the group’s mission itself hasn’t changed. The LOS advocates for a second secession by the South in order to establish a Christian, theocratic state dominated by “European Americans.” The “godly” nation sought by the group would be run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (or white) elite.

Despite his attempts to remove the stigma from the LOS, Cushman cannot escape his own extremist past as a dues-paying member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. After first contacting the group in 1997, he became a full-fledged member and contributor in 1999. This fact, however, is nowhere to be found on his current website, Southern Nationalist Network, or any LOS site.

The associations with white supremacy don’t stop there. Cushman, under the name “hammeroftours,” has posted more than 1,000 times on Stormfront, the leading racist web forum. Despite objecting to being called a neo-Nazi, he advocates in one post for Jews to be singled out “for the negative influence and schemeing [sic].”

Cushman will be in good company with the LOS. The Florida chapter’s chairman, Michael Tubbs, spent four years in prison after pleading guilty to theft of government property and conspiracy to transport guns and explosives across state lines. Prosecutors said that while serving in the Army, the former Green Beret demolitions expert and another Green Beret stole weapons from fellow soldiers. Authorities found a cache that included machine guns, 25 pounds of TNT, land mines, an anti-aircraft machine gun, grenades, booby traps, and 45 pounds of C-4 plastic explosives, among other items – all believed stolen from two Army bases in the late 1980s. He hoped to use the weapons to arm a violent, racist group called the Knights of the New Order he was starting.

Although Cushman says he is simply advocating for “the survival, well-being and independence of the Southern people,” his rhetoric is similar to that used by figures such as Tubbs, who once wrote: “I dedicate my heart to oppos[ing] the enemies of my race, my nation and the New Order … I dedicate my life from this moment forward to fostering the welfare of the white Aryan race.”

“Our state is ripe for our message,” Cushman wrote in a statement about becoming chairman of the LOS’ chapter in South Carolina.

However, the method of delivering that message seems to be in dispute by traditional LOS supporters who refuse to disavow Confederate heritage.

“This man has sold out our ancestors to promote himself, his new flag, and sell his merchandise,” wrote Nathan Schroedder on the Confederacy page on Facebook. “Do not fall for his scam people. He is a con man.”

Whatever his motives, Cushman has changed the public face of the LOS. He has moved the LOS toward the mainstream in appearance, but its leadership and their associations tell a different story.

  • Michael Cushman

    Kiwiwriter, the ‘quack on the FB page’ demonstrates his own quackery by suggesting that I work for the SPLC while at the same time the SPLC calls me a Neo-Nazi and writes articles attacking me. That’s pretty far-fetched. Also, the SPLC itself notes that I pay for much of the cost of the signs, flags, stickers, etc. out of my own pocket but the ‘quack on the FB page’ suggests that I’m somehow making money off of people by conning them. So I think that’s easily dispensed with as well.

    As far as being anti-Jewish, I do deny being so. I have written articles about the role of Sephardic Jews in establishing the plantation societies of the Atlantic islands and New World. And you can find comments on SNN where I defend my position against those who would like to blame all of our trouble on Jews. It’s likely that most Jews in the South today are transplants and are not of that background mentioned above which has a connection to our old culture and support for the traditional South. But I’m unwilling to lump all Jews into the same category as the likes of Mark Potok, Heidi Beirich, Chales Krauthammer, Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Debbie Wassermann Schultz, etc. I am in contact with some Jews who reject the awful politics of Potok and Beirich and support our cause of defending the Southern people.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Mr. Cushman, can you prove those allegations, such as when SPLC has quoted a “quack on FB page,” and that their articles are written by an “agent provacateur?”

    And do you deny your anti-Semitic views?

    What do you think about Jews?

  • Gregory

    Michael Cushman,
    Do you deny being a member of the National Alliance? A simple yes or no will suffice.

  • Michael Cushman

    Hey, if the SPLC says that someone is a ‘Neo-Nazi’ then it must be true even if they deny it and advocate views that do not match those of actual national socialists. And if the SPLC quotes a quack on FB page saying that someone is a con man then that must be true too. And if the SPLC says that someone hates Jews, that’s of course, the truth. And if an article is written for the SPLC by an agent provocateur who use racial slurs and then blamed it on others… well, we must take whatever he claims as the gospel truth, right?

  • Kiwiwriter

    “Francis Marion said,

    on September 19th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I would be interested in seeing evidence supporting the above claims.”

    Well, “Francis Marion,” given that you’re a Texas secessionist, fondly nostalgic for several nations that no longer exist and a world that never did, I expect that your would probably ignore, twist, or discard any evidence handed to you…it would be sort of like that “court” the Institute for Historical Review set up in the late 1970s, to assess the evidence that the Holocaust actually happened.

    Come to think of it, given your views, I expect that you would have have a great deal of sympathy, if not common policies, beliefs, and agendas as the IHR “volk.”

    But good luck with the secession campaign, “Francis.” That’s very patriotic of you.

    One question on the secession campaign…let’s suppose that Texas secedes from the Union, but some blocs of people, fearing domination by your neo-Confederates, choose to secede from Texas, or rejoin the Union.

    What will you do about that?

  • aadila

    Hey! Why does Dan Z get to say “Anglo-Saxons” but I do not?

    On second thought, don’t answer that.

  • Francis Marion

    I would be interested in seeing evidence supporting the above claims.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Cushman! He just showed up a few threads ago on this very site!

    Guess we’ll soon be hearing from him. The tumbrels await!

    Doesn’t like Jews much, I see. Interesting that he mirrors the very behaviors and tactics that anti-Semites accuse Jews of committing. Well, radicals always become what they behold, and blame their enemies for doing so, shifting blame and responsibility.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    Do these people really use the phrase “anglo-celtic”?

    I ask because that is a nonsensical grouping.

    There were Celtic people (inhabitants of most of north west Europe prior to Roman invasion). There were Romano-Celtic people (Gauls and British who were extensively romanized by about 400 AD). There were also Anglo-Saxons (a mixed Germanic culture that eventually became to be known as English).

    The Anglo-Saxons invaded what is now England and destroyed, exterminated and/or displaced the culture known as Romano-British. They also pushed back the Celtic cultures of Wales and Scotland.

    There never was an Anglo-Celtic culture and that is in fact a nonsense. If these people are truly concerned about social and ethnic displacement, they need to move back to their original ethnic homeland. That would be the Baltic regions from southern Scandinavia to northwestern Russia.

    Otherwise perhaps they could shut up.