Neo-Nazi group Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) has members who are currently military officers, elected officials, public employees and at least one is a national security expert with “Department of Defense Secret Security Clearance.”
A hacktivist leaked the membership list of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to The Guardian, which showed some high-profile members have overlapping membership in more explicitly racist or violent groups.
Members are reportedly associated with participants of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and some members overlap with other violent neo-Confederate groups such as the League of the South (LOS).
An anonymous hacktivist took advantage of a security exploit in the SCV website and found that of the 59,000 former and current members, 74 registered with emails associated with various branches of the armed forces, and 91 used emails associated with government agencies.
The group, organized as a federation of state chapters, has recently made news for increasingly aggressive campaigns against the removal of Confederate monuments.
This has included legal action against states and cities, the flying of giant Confederate battle flags near public roadways, and Confederate flag flyovers at Nascar races.
The SCV filed a lawsuit to have a Confederate statue restored in the predominantly Black city of Decatur,Ga.
The Georgia division of SCV commenced legal action against the city of Decatur with the aim of restoring a Confederate memorial obelisk which was removed in June 2020, and later replaced with a statue of the late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis.
Last year, in a widely criticized move, the University of North Carolina’s board of governors proposed creating a $2.5m charitable trust which would pay the state’s SCV organization to maintain a Confederate “Silent Sam” statue which had been removed from the campus.
One member said he joined the SCV within the last decade after learning about his family tree and gaining a newfound appreciation for his Confederate ancestors. But he described an increasingly “scary” presence within the group in the time since.
“I do not like Nazis,” he said. “My uncle and my great grandpa went over there to kill Nazis. I don’t like none of that crap, and some of these guys, for some reason, that draws them to something.”
"One thing that has become incredibly apparent in recent years is that a certain portion of the population seems to be sincerely shocked to find out that white supremacists have decent paying jobs," said Joe Jurado. "Considering that we just had a white nationalist president only two seconds ago, it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock that the online database for a neo-Confederate group revealed that its members included elected officials, professors, and service members."