Rep. Marsha Blackburn Brought a White Supremacist Supporter to Give the Opening Prayer in Congress in 2004

Nashville, Tenn. (August 14, 2017) – The League of the South is a known white supremacist organization with roots in Tennessee that participated in the violent events in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. League of the South advertised on their website they would be there.

League of the South gets funding through the Mary Noel Kershaw Foundation, named for the wife of a League founding board member, Jack Kershaw. Kershaw was once quoted as saying, “Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery. Where in the world are the Negroes better off today than in America?”

The Mary Noel Kershaw foundation provides grants to the League of the South for firearms training, self defense classes and food storage prepping, according to their federal 990 form. They also provide grants to Heritage Covenant Schools for a class called “A History of the Southern People.”

Rev. David O. Jones of Lobelville, TN is the president of The Mary Noel Kershaw Foundation and the founder of Heritage Covenant Schools.

On September 9, 2004, Rev. Jones gave the opening prayer at the United States House of Representatives. He was invited there by Representative Marsha Blackburn. At the time of his appearance in congress, Jones was serving as chairman of Tennessee League of the South. Currently, the Tennessee League of the South facebook page features an image of march with torches.

“This is how we got to this point. Elected leaders like Rep. Marsha Blackburn have been enabling these racist organizations for years. Her statements do not change that.” said Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party.