U.S. President Donald Trump’s commitment to cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government has put him in bad company. Days after he rhetorically prostrated himself before Putin after a one-on-one summit meeting in Finland, a white nationalist group based in Alabama announced plans for a Russian-language webpage meant to attract Russian support.
The Russian outreach is based in values and background that the head of the organization claims the people of the southern United States and Russians to share.
League of the South leader Michael Hill commented:
‘A firm and resolute understanding and commitment to cooperation between the Russian people and the people of the South could indeed be the foundation for a better world in which our peoples thrive and prosper far into the future.’
To that end, the group plans to inaugurate a Russian language section of its website.
Saturday afternoon, what appears to have until recently been the internet home of the organization was no longer up. Visiting “leagueofthesouth.com” left a web user with a message from the internet host GoDaddy saying that the domain had expired on July 16 and was awaiting renewal or deletion despite the fact that Google itself had marked the website as the group’s own.
What that could indicate about the future of the hate group’s web presence remains to be seen. In the recent past, white nationalist websites like Richard Spencer’s “altright.com” have been kicked off the web by domain hosts including GoDaddy. Last year, after the infamous white nationalist fueled violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one dead and numerous injured, websites including the Daily Stormer neo-Nazi internet rallying point were kicked off mainstream hosts.
If the League of the South no longer has a website, that will certainly stunt any efforts to reach out to Russian interests. They cast their efforts as borne from the fact that Russians and “people of the South” share the supposedly same genetic background, cultural background, and religion.
In reality, of course, numerous genetic backgrounds, cultures, and religions are present among people of the South and Russians. Groups like the League of the South simply exclude such individuals, dehumanizing them into irrelevance in their twisted universe.
The group is among those formally marked as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which notes that the group wants “a second Southern secession and a society dominated by ‘European Americans,'” adding that the league holds that “the “godly” nation it wants to form should be run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (read: white) elite.”
The Trump administration has repeatedly failed to adequately confront such interests. Just recently, while speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said, speaking of the broad American security landscape in the wake of the aforementioned Charlottesville violence:
‘It’s not that one side is right and one side is wrong.’
That comment echoes a line of reasoning shared by President Trump himself in the initial aftermath of the Charlottesville violence, but there remains no equivalency between white nationalism as a whole and counterprotest, and millions of Americans remain strongly opposed to the Trump administration — and the League of the South’s — ideas.
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