The Oath Keepers group, or at least some members thereof, have been causing Southerners some trouble lately. I recall hearing about this group almost a decade ago, when I was still deep in the whole Constitution/patriot/restore America mindset. Their first national conference was in 2009. The Oath Keepers will not stand with any groups that are “racist” or identitarian in any way. The “About” section of their website clearly states that “Oath Keepers come in all colors, shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds with one common bond –the oath to defend the Constitution”. Of course, it goes without saying that the Oath Keepers will not touch the JQ.
At a June 2017 rally in Texas, “patriot” militia types –some of them openly armed and possibly connected to the Oath Keeper group- opposed the presence of a young Alt-Right man being there with some homemade signs. The totally peaceful and apparently unarmed Alt-Right white guy was attacked from behind by a Mexican and placed in a choke hold, before being escorted out. This was covered on several sites, including by Hunter Wallace over at Occidental Dissent in the June 11 piece This Is Texas: Patriots Unite With Illegal Aliens To Attack Alt-Right In Houston TX and even in the mainstream Washington Post with their June 16 article ‘Boomer anitfa’: White supremacists rip into paramilitary Oath Keepers for not being racist enough by Derek Hawkins. It is very clear that Oath Keepers and their ideological fellow travelers are not a friend to the Alt-South.
Basically, the Oath Keepers was started by Stewart Rhodes. It is a group allegedly dedicated to supporting the oath that Federal soldiers and police take to defend the U.S. Constitution. Membership is open to active duty and former American soldiers and police.
Are you a Constitutional patriot that never wore a uniform? You need not apply. Oath Keepers is looking out for ‘Merica and is about you, not for you. (And they refuse to associate with racially conscious Southern whites for not being egalitarian! That is okay, because I would not taint myself by associating with them). Only those who wore the uniform of those employed to do violence on the government’s behalf have the privilege to join the Oath Keepers. (Note: I have several friends who are veterans, are not in Oath Keepers, and are glad to no longer wear the state’s uniform).
Well, there is a lowly “associate member” status for those who have not worn a uniform for the state. For a citizen to pledge allegiance to the Constitution and voluntarily take the same oath and then apply for full membership does not matter; the Oath Keepers game is only for those who wore the uniform of the state.
Stewart Rhodes is the founder and president of Oath Keepers. Rhodes joined the army of Imperial America, where he was injured in a parachute jump. After the army, he went to college, including Yale law school. At one point he worked with Ron Paul’s D.C. staff. Rhodes used to write a liberty type column for S.W.A.T. magazine, a periodical which I used to read.
But on to the core divide. Stewart Rhodes is proud that he is of partial Mexican and Apache descent. Stewart Rhodes, in his January 11, 2008 blog post titled I Am a Mexican American, I worked for Ron Paul in the 1990s, and I know that Ron Paul is No Racist!, goes so far as to claim that one of his great grandfathers rode with Pancho Villa! (Yes, Pancho Villa, the Mexican revolutionary that physically invaded and attacked the United States, to who’s trail a young Lt. George Patton was set onto). Such a perfect choice to lead muh color blind patriot movement to restore the Constitution! (Someone at Oath Keepers apparently did not get the memo that the Constitution they swore an oath to defend was written by white male slave owners). In the above referenced WaPo article, Hawkins quoted Stewart Rhodes as proclaiming that: “the white nationalists want to destroy all my family fought to preserve, and are as deadly to this Republic as any communist”. I do not know or care what Rhodes’ family fought to preserve, but it was obviously not the Republic of the Founding Fathers. But that republic, while still alive in name, has really been dead for over a century.
Of particular interest is that the Oath Keepers have a list of ten orders which they view as unconstitutional and which they refuse to obey. Number five on the list is a refusal to invade or subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty. Cool. So they should be fine with Dixie, or any individual state, leaving. (Somehow, I do not think that is what they meant).
Even before the recent unpleasantness between the Oath Keepers and Southern Nationalists, who are not ashamed to be white, Oath Keepers was little more than a joke. Let us lay aside the membership requirements, and look at the two primary reasons that Oath Keepers is flawed and totally without value.
The first point is that the Oath Keepers ignore the history of the U.S. and it’s Constitution –the Constitution that they swore to uphold and that they allegedly love. The Constitution was not egalitarian, as is the modern day U.S.A. The U.S. Constitution was not designed to, and did not, make all men free and politically equal. The Constitution was written by white males, no females or ethnic minorities involved. The Constitution made specific provision for the continuance of holding Negroes in slavery, or even the importation of new ones (Article 1 Section 9, Clause 1). George Washington -who led the Continental Army, chaired the Constitutional Convention, and then served as the first President- was a slave holder. Gasp! He also, as a young man serving with British forces in the French and Indian War, waged war upon the Indians. And of course, the Declaration of Independence which patriots love to quote in regard to all men being equal, referred to those “noble” native American Indian tribes as “merciless Indian savages”.
Now the Oath Keepers have a problem. The foundation of their organization (the Constitution), and the man who is one of their heroes and arguably the greatest American ever (George Washington), openly supported not just white separatism -but white supremacy. The Oath Keepers absolutely would not stand with George Washington if he were alive today. To claim that one’s founding documents and original heroes are terribly flawed is to call into question not only the Oath Keepers, but the very existence of the United States of America. To reject and then “fix” (by fundamentally altering) their legacy that one has dedicated themselves to and thinks is worth literally fighting to uphold, is logically ridiculous. At some point, each individual member of the Oath Keepers who wishes to not be foolish must either reject the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution, that they swore an oath to, or reject civic nationalism and the Oath Keeper organization. There is no other logical alternative.
The second point is that, even ignoring the race issue, the Oath Keepers really are not keeping their oath. The U.S. Constitution specifies that any war requires a Congressional Declaration of War. The last Congressional Declaration of War was in 1941. Any Oath Keeper who served in the post-9/11 interventions in the Middle East and Southwest Asia was carrying out an illegal military action on behalf of the U.S. President. Yes, those American soldiers were just following orders, as were the Redcoats at the Cowpens and the Yankees who marched with Sherman to the sea. I do not hold it against veterans who blindly served in America’s armed forces after 9/11 in the (((war on terror))), but they do need to realize the Constitutional aspect of what they did.
In extension of point two, part of the oath that all soldiers take is to defend the U.S. Constitution from “all enemies foreign and domestic”. Whoa, even domestic enemies. When have they ever done that? Any politician that openly violates the Constitution is clearly a domestic enemy of the Constitution. The Bill of Rights is part of the Constitution, and has been massively violated by Presidents, Congressman, police officers, and government regulatory agencies. The Constitution is violated in every war without declaration, every time the NSA looks at internet data of citizens, every time the ATF runs a background check before a person buys a firearm from a licensed dealer, every time the federal government spends money on welfare programs, every time the EPA regulates private property, every time the Federal Reserve is contracted to print more fiat money. When have the Oath Keepers ever intervened to stop any of this? (Crickets in the background).
The Oath Keepers are not really about preserving and defending the U.S. Constitution. The Oath Keepers are about looking cool, pseudo-manly posturing, and upholding the civic nationalist ideal and “me first liberty” that is the foundation of liberalism, libertarianism, and modern conservatism. But that ideal is not the foundation of the Founders, the Confederates, the Alt-Right, or present day Southern Nationalists. I think I have wasted enough time deconstructing the Oath Keepers.