This week David A. Love and Peter Gamble
are Mark's guests
report was originally published on Sunday, April 20, 2008.
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Note: In a year of political absurdities, where one
candidate--Senator Obama--is being held accountable for
his friends and acquaintances and everything that they have
said and done during their life times, we have stumbled
across a problem. Had Senator Clinton not been as self-righteous
in her attacks on Senator Obama concerning his associates,
including Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Chicago activist Bill
Ayers, the following would probably be a footnote and blemish--albeit
significant--on the Presidency of one William Jefferson
Clinton. Yet, insofar as Senator Clinton has decided to
hold her opponent responsible for the words and actions
of others, we pose this question: should Senator Clinton
be careful where she throws bricks?
Senator Hillary Clinton (D, NY) has some explaining to do.
has learned that Bill Clinton, while president, repeatedly
praised the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC).
This is an organization that many, including some whites and
a former U.S. senator from Illinois, have called racist.
to the Southern
Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, the UDC
is a neo-Confederate organization which is affiliated with
such white supremacist groups as the Council of Conservative
Citizens and the League of the South. Formed in 1894, the
UDC limits its membership to women who are related to Confederate
veterans of the “War Between the States.”
In 2000, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that "[a]lthough
the UDC promotes an image of genteel Southern ladies…its
publications” tell a different story, adding that recently
the “UDC’s president, Mrs. William Wells, shared
the podium with…white supremacist lawyer Kirk Lyons.”
In a 1989 UDC Magazine article, Walter W. Lee argued that
“purchasers of the slaves” were actually victims
of slavery, while “the worst suffering group among those
engaged in the trade” were “the crews of slave
ships.” Lee also made light of the horrific and deadly
Middle Passage, claiming that "the sixteen inches of
deck space allotted each slave is not all that much smaller
that (sic) the eighteen inches that the Royal Navy allowed
for each sailor's hammock and the slaves rapidly had more
room due to the much higher death rate."
In her quest for the presidency, the U.S. Senator from New
York has presented herself as a qualified expert on civil
rights and a participant in the civil rights movement.
Senator Clinton has also put forth her belief that all candidates
for the office should be thoroughly scrutinized, that no one
should be immune, and all of the presidential candidates should
be required to justify their stance on the issues before the
voters and explain any contradictions that might arise.
Senator Clinton frequently speaks of her eight years experience
“in the White House”. During that time Bill Clinton
lavished praise on the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
BlackCommentator.com has seen the following documents and
presents copies of them here.
21, 1994 Letter from President Bill Clinton to the United
Daughters of the Confederacy printed in the United
Daughters of the Confederacy Magazine, September 1994,
Vol. 57 No. 8, page 9. This was a special centennial
anniversary edition of the magazine and has an outer cover
and a standard magazine cover.
the letter to the UDC President Clinton wrote:
am delighted to honor the United Daughters of the Confederacy
as you celebrate your 100th anniversary.
of the most rewarding of human experiences is the coming
together of people to share common experiences and interests.
For 100 years, the United Daughters of the Confederacy
has maintained and built upon the wonderful legacy of
your founders. The strength of your organization today
is a testament of the vision of your founders and to your
commitment to your shared goals.
congratulate you on your achievement, and I extend best
wishes for many years of continuing success.
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21_1994 President Clinton UDC Praise Letter
9 1995 President Clinton UDC Praise Letter
anyone think this organization is nothing more than a group
of women in fancy dress who gather for tea and cookies the facts
than one year after this event, Bill Clinton wrote his first
letter of praise to the UDC.
recently as Nov. 2007, the UDC Magazine printed an article
titled, “Confederate Classics,” as part of a
regular column, “Confederate Notes,” by Retta
D. Tindal which made the following reading recommendations:
books are classics that never go out of style. As we approach
the gift-giving season, there are four books that I treasure
and use over and over, whether for research or reference
or just to refresh my memory of the special heritage I
recommended the white supremacist racist text, “Southern
By the Grace of God,” by Michael Andrew Grissom, a
Ku Klux Klan praising book, not just the Klan of Reconstruction
but the Klan of the 1920s, which in turn recommends “The
Clansman” by Thomas Dixon, which later was made into
the notorious movie “Birth of a Nation”.
Magazine Column of Nov 2007
United Daughters of the Confederacy have consistently defended
the Ku Klux Klan. For example a postcard showing a Grand
Cyclops of the KKK could at least at one time be found in
the UDC Chapter Room at Florence, Alabama.
Cyclops of the KKK Postcard
Magazine, Bill Clinton sent a wreath to the Confederate
Monument in Arlington Cemetery while president each year.
Senator Hillary Clinton is going to be viewed as ready on "day
one" partially because of her eight years at 16-hundred
Pennsylvania Avenue it would be reasonable to find out if elected
President will she continue the tradition of support and praise
of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
here to comment on this story and contact BlackCommentator.com,
David Love and Peter Gamble.
Board member David A. Love, JD is a lawyer and journalist
based in Philadelphia, and a contributor
to the Progressive Media Project, McClatchy-Tribune News Service,
These Times and Philadelphia Independent Media
Center. He contributed to the book, States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and Prisons
(St. Martin's Press, 2000). Love is a former Amnesty International UK
spokesperson, organized the first national police brutality
conference as a staff member with the Center for Constitutional
Rights, and served as a law clerk to two Black federal judges.
His blog is davidalove.com.
Publisher Peter Gamble is the recipient of a national
Sigma Delta Chi award for public service in journalism and
numerous other honors for excellence in reporting and investigative
reporting. The "beats" he covered as a broadcast
journalist ranged from activism in the streets to the State
Department and White House.
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