Mr. Woods, who claims to be a champion of "Liberty" and "Free Speech", sent me the following e-mail:
Dear Caleb (if I may):
Someone pointed me to a video you recently posted to YouTube. I am in fact not a member of the League of the South, though I did attend a meeting in 1994 when a decentralist organization was said to be forming. I was 21 at that time.
Since then, I've been up to a lot of things. I know you listened to the speech I gave that you excerpt from in your video (without the audio, of course, so people can't have a chance to decide for themselves), so I know you know I condemn war and sanctions. Why would that be someone, of all the evildoers in the world, you'd single out for unfair attack? How many KKKers argue that the slaves had the natural right to rise up and kill their masters and confiscate their property? I'll wait here while you go look.
Actually, you might even enjoy one of my books, which I co-authored with Murray Polner, a leftist: We Who Dared to Say No to War: American Antiwar Writing from 1812 to Now. Among the contributors to that book are Howard Zinn, Helen Keller, and Eugene Debs.
Were you to review my credentials at my website, ThomasEWoods.com, I believe you would encounter someone who does not resemble your libelous caricature.
I know with 100% certainty that I will not persuade you of anything. I know that. But I figured I shouldn't assume you were a closed-minded, vicious person. I should assume you are a person of good will, who pursues the truth and strives for justice. I think it is always a good idea to assume the best about people. It's a good rule to live by.
I did not responde, as I loathe this man and his ideology. He then sent me the following e-mail:
If you do some astute Google searching, you'll come upon a few stories about a libel suit I won the last time someone tried to smear me the way you have. Obviously, no one could have acquired credentials like mine who had the slightest connection to the KKK or anything related to it. I have an article archive online that the whole world can see, and which makes your accusation look completely moronic.I know you know this, which makes your offense even worse. You will also discover the sum I won: over $211,000.
I have decided that people who are so grossly unfair should be made to pay. Heck, I'm sure having fun with the $211,000. So if your video is not taken down or edited to exclude me within the next seven days, legal proceedings will be initiated against you.
If you think I'm joking, look around the Internet.
Thomas E. Woods, Ph.D.
With much consideration, I did some research. It turns out that Mr. Woods is a FORMER member of the League of the South. Also, I did some research into the League of the South, and perhaps my statement of it as "KKK Revivalist" is a bit inapropraite.
The League of the South does not wear white sheets or burn crosses. However, they do advocate the south suceeding from the United States and forming a "Southern Republic" based on "Christian Fundamentalist" principles. The Southern Poverty Law Center Describes them as racist.
But Thomas E. Woods Jr. is clearly a racist. The review of his book "33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask" says the book says this about Martin Luther King: "Martin Luther King Jr. was a dangerous radical who sought an immediate, palpable improvement in blacks' material condition, a vision he thought could be achieved by racial quotas and socialism."
The review also points out that the book makes these points: "desegregating public schools hasn't really helped black children; racial discrimination is not the main cause of the gap between blacks' and whites' salaries;"
Mr. Woods is probably very popular at www.stormfront.org
Mr. Woods hatred of MLK, his belief that desegregation was a bad thing, and that racism has nothing to do with the income gap, as well as his membership in a group that advocates that the South Suceed, makes me think that the KKK revivalist label may not have been to inaccurate.
But he does not wear a sheet over his head, and does not burn crosses, so he is merely a fascist, without the traditional uniform.
Interestingly enough, Mr. Woods would like us to believe he is a "rebel." He's out "fighting the establishment" with the Ron Paul campaign. Like most of the old KKK/John Birch/American Nazi Party crowd, he is now a "Libertarian" and "Constitutionalist".
I have no intention of taking the video down, or removing Mr. Woods from it. I have added two bubbles to the video pointing out the two factual inaccuracies. I think the fact that Ron Paul hangs around with fascists like him is a totally legitimate arguement.
So, I sent Mr. Woods the following e-mail in response:
Dear Thomas (since we seem to be on a first name basis...)
I have done some research, and it has come to my knowledge that you are no longer PUBLICLY affiliated with the League of the South. My mistake. It has also come to my knowledge that though that organization is right-wing extremist and southern segregationist, it is not a NECCESARY as I described it, "KKK Revivalist".
I want those who view my videos to get accurate information. Therefore I will be correcting the video to read "Thomas E. Woods, former member of racist organization League of the South". You will not be removed from the video, because putting you in it is my first amendment right. You know, that document you're always raving about. Guess you don't feel it applies to me, huh?
If you still feel it neccesary to sue me, I will see you in court. However, you will have no case. You ADMIT you are a former member of the League of the South, and it is universally known. I am sure my many connections with left organizations would be happy to provide me with legal counsel, and all the money I need to fight your frivilous lawsuit (something else the right wing opposes, right?) You will not silence me, Mr. Woods, the way people with your ideology silenced so many others in the days of lynching, at Aushwitz, and in the streets of Chile under Pinochet.
I see that some of my information was inaccurate, so I am altering it, to make it accurate. NOTHING MORE.
And please don't patronize me with the name "Howard Zinn." If Howard Zinn is stupid enough to have his name published in the same book as you, he should be ashamed. I'm a communist, and I share nothing in common with you, a far-right capitalist. I oppose the war because it is imperialism, and capitalism. You oppose the war for confused, right-wing delusional reasons. I know very well that if Ron Paul came to power, you and the Minutemen, and Joe Arpao, and the National Alliance would come together to have me and all my fellow communists shot.
The only freedom you love is the freedom to make money. You are so in love with capitalism, you look at the hell it has created, and think the answer is EVEN MORE. "Restore the Republic", go back in time. Go to the "guilded age" Ron Paul dreams of, child labor, sweatshops and all.
You compared Truman's desire to nationalize the steel industry, to Bush's brutal invasion of countries and suppression of dissent.
The only reason your work is taken seriously is because you are right-wing. To most intellectuals your work is a joke. The world of academia is full of Marxists, who know the truth. Your work is published because the establishment ($$$) wants to hear it.
You should be ashamed of yourself. You demonize Martin Luther King for daring to advocate Socialism. You lecture black America about who they should follow. You deny the existance of racist oppression.
Someday a society will be built, where people won't be forced to inhale your crap. When the people democratically control the publishing houses, not the rich people who like what you have to say, you'll be probably be reduced to screaming on the street corner and handing out stapled pamphlets filled with your lunatic concepts of capitalism as heaven on earth.
If you wish to sue me for pointing out that you were at one time affiliated with the League of the South, and are currently associated with Ron Paul, BRING IT ON!
Caleb T. Maupin
I await a response. If he sues me, I'll fight it all the way.
Fascism is about intimidation. Fascists use all tactics they can to silence the left. Whether its open terrorism (minutemen, brownshirts, KKK) or legal assualts like Mr. Woods is using against me, the goal is the same. Kill those who advocate a better world, or at least cut their tongues out.
Mr. Woods, you will not silence me. Long Live All Who Fought the Evils of Fascism! Death to the Ku Klux Klan! Death to the Nazi Party! Power to the Working Class! Long Live Socialist Revolution!