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October 15, 2003

Haley Barbour's Racist Connections

By Byron LaMasters

Mississippi Republican nominee for governor, Haley Barbour is the latest high profile Republican to have connections with the racist Council of Conservative Citizens. He's pictured on their homepage from a CCC event in July.

Now for those of you that may have forgotten, the Council of Conservative Citizens is a neo-Confederate Organization that lashes out at "so-called neo-conservatives" that "have embraced the legacy of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement" (quote is from their website). The Anti-Defamation League gives a good background of CCC:

The St. Louis-based Council of Conservative Citizens traces its roots directly to the racist, anti-integrationist White Citizens' Councils of the 1950s and 1960s.

Its current leader, attorney Gordon Lee Baum, was an organizer for the WCC and built the Council of Conservative Citizens in part from the old group's mailing lists. The CCC drew national attention in 1998 when it was revealed that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott was a frequent speaker at its events; subsequent news accounts reported that several other elected officials in the South had appeared at the group's gatherings. Like its predecessor, the CCC inflames fears and resentments, particularly among Southern whites, with regard to black-on-white crime, nonwhite immigration, attacks on the Confederate flag and other issues related to "traditional" Southern culture. Although its leadership claims that the group is not racist, its publications, Web sites and actions all promote the purportedly innate superiority of white people and bias against nonwhites.

So, here we go again...

Haley Barbour is trying the same old GOP game of playing stupid. When confronted about attending a CCC event, Barbour played stupid. The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports:

Some of Republican gubernatorial candidate Haley Barbour's campaign material features the state flag and its Confederate battle emblem, a symbol many black voters find offensive.

Barbour wears a lapel pin with the U.S. and state flags and he is in a photograph on the Web site of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a neo-Confederate group accused of racist views. Barbour says he doesn't know anything about the council. The picture was taken at a council-sponsored barbecue in July used to raise money for private academy school buses.

But Barbour says he wants to be the state's most successful Republican vote-getter among African Americans and has held closed-door strategy meetings with minorities. If elected, he says he will create a "colorblind" state government.

Ok. How stupid does Haley Barbour think people are? First off, who attends a fundraiser for an organization that doesn't know what their views are? I don't care if it was for a legitimate cause (raising money for school buses), the organization is not. Second, it's particularly ironic that fellow Mississippi Republican leader, Sen. Trent Lott used the same defense when it came out that he had spoken at multiple CCC events where he had told the organization to "stand for the right principles and the right philosophy".

More GOP bigotry eruptions... My only question though, is does this help or hurt Barbour considering it's in Mississippi? Let's hope that New Mississippi wins out. Vote Ronnie Musgrove.

Update: I hadn't checked out kos today yet, but he has a good take on the story as well. My source for the story was also Political Wire.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at October 15, 2003 05:01 PM | TrackBack


Council of Conservative Citizens traces its roots directly to the racist, anti-integrationist White Citizens' Councils of the 1950s and 1960s.

Whereas MEChA only traces its racist roots back to the late 1960s. I could use every single argument made by the Left to defend Bustamecha last month and apply the same logic to contemporary Republicans and the CCC.

CCC = MEChA. Either they are both racist organizations, or they are both "heritage groups". You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: Mark Harden at October 15, 2003 06:11 PM

Some good news out of Mississippi. Haley Barbour's newphew, Jep Barbour, who is a state rep, lost his race after a revote.
1 down, 1 to go.

Posted by: Jacob M. at October 15, 2003 06:35 PM



Past irregardless, I do see differences between a group which continues to serve as the political arm of the Klan, and a group which now mostly advocates sending Latino kids to college.

Posted by: Jim D at October 15, 2003 07:21 PM

Agreed Jim, and even if you consider MECHA a racist organization, Bustamante's connections with the organization were from the early 1970s whereas Barbour went to a CCC fundraiser in JULY 2003. I think that makes a big difference.

Posted by: ByronUT at October 15, 2003 07:46 PM

'Racing' for the Governor's Mansion in Mississippi

Posted by: C.W. at October 26, 2003 03:50 PM

I think Haley Barbour is a racist.

Posted by: James at October 28, 2003 07:12 PM
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