Georgia is one of nine Southern states which has specialty license plates benefiting an organization called Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), and outfit in which white, racist males with bloodlines to Confederate soldiers can find fraternal comfort under the cover of a 'charitable' outfit.
This is an organization which recently honored Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio with a leadership award, and tried in 2011 to get Mississippi to design license plates honoring Lieutenant-General Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Klu Klux Klan's first Grand Master.
Since 2003, Georgia has offered license plates benefiting the organization, with that plate's design getting a makeover for 2014. Here is what the new plate looks like:
“What’s the big deal?” asks Jack Bridwell, the state commander of the Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the designer of the specialty plates that benefit his organization. “If I offend anyone, I don’t understand why because we had the emblem on there for years.”Yes, in Georgia, you don't have to officially belong to a racist organization to buy a racist specialty plate. Anyone can self-identify as someone who would like black Americans to return to their rightful place as servants. And in the last ten years, 10,000 Georgians have done so.
“The people that are up in arms about it again were up in arms the first time,” he says. “The design is just people trying to show who they are and trying to be proud of their heritage. And it’s not limited to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Anybody in Georgia who wants one can get one. There are probably more on the road than there are members."
As a Jewish American, I can imagine the response I would have if the State of Georgia created specialty plates displaying a Nazi swastika benefiting the Sons of the Third Reich, a charitable organization for those with bloodlines to Nazis who murdered Jews.
Actually, Bridwell is right. What's the big deal?
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, just out from Oneworld Publications.