ELM SPRINGS, Tenn. — The Sons of Confederate Veterans, one of the oldest veterans organizations in the United States, have publicly challenged NBC’s “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno over comments he recently made on the program.

In his monologue to open the April 10, 2007 ‘Tonight Show,” Leno stated in reference to Don Imus, the talk radio host recently fired because of racist comments made on his program: “They say [Imus] is still working on raising funds for his favorite charity, the sons of the Confederacy (sic).”

“Sadly, this is a predictable statement made by someone who obviously doesn’t know better,” Sons of Confederate Veteran’s Commander in Chief Christopher Sullivan said in reaction to Leno’s comment. “Even though he is in front of millions of Americans every night, Jay Leno is a product of the same media system that has systematically attempted to equate the Confederate soldier with racism.”

“I challenge Mr. Leno to provide any kind of substantive evidence to support his assertion that the Sons of Confederate Veterans supports racist causes or motivations, as he has inferred with the joke made on his program,” Sullivan added.

“Unfortunately, racism is a part of any culture, and America is not immune to it in any region, be it north, south, east, or west,” Sullivan said. “While it is regrettable that Mr. Imus made his racially charged and derogatory comments about the Rutgers ladies basketball team, it is equally offensive that Mr. Leno would attack Southerners the way he did. Mr. Leno ought to apologize for his offensive remarks.”

“The SCV is all about protecting the honor of the Confederate soldier: no more, no less,” Sullivan concluded. “Skin color has nothing to do with the task of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, as those soldiers were of many different races, ethnicities, and national origins. Obviously, Jay Leno doesn’t know his American history very well, or he would have known that before he made such an ignorant and uninformed statement.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a fraternal, non-political, and non-partisan military and heritage organization founded in 1896 to perpetuate the honor of the fighting soldier of the Confederacy. It has over 30,000 members spread through the 50 states.

[tags]military and heritage organization, Sons of Confederate Veterans[/tags]