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Review of Hillbilly Nationalists
If I told you that a rag-tag crew of working class migrant Appalachians in Chicago sporting Confederate flags were comrades with Bobby Lee and Fred Hampton, you probably wouldn't believe me.  But, according to authors, Amy Sonnie and James Tracy, that's exactly the story of the Young Patriots, a short-lived white organization that joined in a coalition with the Puerto Rican Young Lords and the Black Nationalists.

The influence of the Black Panthers on the Young Patriots is unmistakable.  The Young Patriots had their own ten point plan that argued for independence of the white working class.  The Young Patriots grew out of JOIN, a white, radical community-based organization that served Chicago's poor Appalachian neighborhoods.  These migrants, like black and Puerto Rican neighborhoods, but to a lesser extent, saw institutional neglect, unethical landlords, and police brutality, and, also like the people in black and Puerto Rican neighborhoods, organized their own community-based organization to fight back.  Peggy Terry, the point-person for JOIN, ultimately ran for vice president on a ticket with Eldredge Cleaver with the intent on countering George Wallace's rhetoric.

It is in this context, Peggy Terry's son Jack Boykin, Bobby Joe Mcginnis, Preacherman Fesperman, Hy Thurman and others organized the Young Patriots, which joined with the Young Lords and the Black Panthers to create the Rainbow Coalition.  Eventually the Young Patriots tried to go national, but the murder of Fred Hampton and increasing pressure from COINTELPRO caused the Young Patriots into a position of permanent defense of the Black Panthers.  This ultimately led to the dissolution of the Young Patriots, with their controversial Confederate flag.

The lesson to be learned here is that in contrast to the affluent white liberal help of the Civil Rights Movement, which led to, at best, preferential treatment for white organizers in the South, the Young Patriots were poor and working class and operated on the basis of self-interest and solidarity.  While the example was short-lived, I believe that it is the model for interracial organizing that could actually work (without the Confederate flags).