Not a 'White Supremacy Group'

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company
Saturday, January 2, 1999; Page A17

Three recent articles by Thomas Edsall about the Council of Conservative Citizens contain serious inaccuracies and damaging allegations about the organization and the beliefs and positions it supports.

In the first place, it is not accurate to describe the organization as a "white supremacy group," as the headline on your Dec. 11 story did, nor is it accurate to say, as your paper did on Dec. 12, that "some of its leaders support segregation." The council is opposed to government engineering of race relations through such measures as forced integration, busing, affirmative action and similar policies, but its opposition to them does not mean that either it or its leaders support white supremacy or compulsory segregation.

The Dec. 11 story also quoted Prof. Alan Dershowitz on the "organization's racist and antisemitic agenda." Dershowitz has made similar accusations elsewhere, but without providing any factually accurate support for them. The Council of Conservative Citizens is neither racist nor antisemitic.

The Dec. 12 story claims that "most issues" of the Citizens Informer, the council's newspaper, "have columns attacking interracial marriage, warning that the white race faces the danger of extinction." Only one recent issue contained a column arguing this position. Again, while these words may express the writer's individual views, they are not the views of the council.

Similarly, the views the Dec. 12 story ascribed to local leader Mark Cerr on non-white immigration are not those of the council, as the story implied. Cerr was speaking of his own views on this matter. As for the "youth panel" at which "the racial views of some of the members were made explicit," there was little or no discussion of race-related issues on that panel.

The council's meetings are open to the public and the press, and indeed C-SPAN covered the Charleston, S.C., meeting at which Rep. Bob Barr spoke. As I stated to Thomas Edsall and as he accurately reported, the council does indeed "speak out for white European Americans," their civilization, faith and form of government, but we do not advocate or support the oppression or exploitation of other races or ethnic groups.

Gordon Lee Baum

The writer is chief executive officer of the Council of Conservative Citizens.