Trent Lott's Link to Racist Group Has
By Stanley Crouch
New York Daily News
From: News and Views | Opinion |
Wednesday, January 6, 1999
The Citizens Informer is the publication of the
Council of Conservative Citizens. Its banner reads, "The Voice
of the No Longer Silent Majority."
In the spring 1992 issue, the cover picture is
of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. He is shown giving a speech
to the CCC at "the exclusive Green Country Club" in Greenwood,
Miss. In the accompanying article, Lott is quoted as saying: "The
people in this room stand for the right principles and the right
philosophy. Let's take it in the right direction, and our children
will be the beneficiaries."
The Citizens Informer is an example of just how
bad certain things remain in this country.
What do I mean? In this publication, there is
a section called "Right Writings Reviews." The reviews praise
books that are "staunchly pro-white" and recommend works that
advocate not segregation but "geographical separation." The reviews
also support writers who believe that America's "anti-white" racial
policies are pushing the country toward civil war and promote
books that are opposed to interracial marriages.
Lott has published a column for years in this
publication. His allegiance has a pedigree. In speaking to the
Sons of Confederate Veterans in Biloxi, Miss., in 1984, Lott said:
"The spirit of Jefferson Davis lives in the 1984 Republican platform."
Jefferson Davis, as you should know, was the president of the
Confederacy during the Civil War. He is portrayed by Lott's people
as a hero of states' rights, which is a smoke screen for the defense
of slavery and the segregation that followed when the shooting
war was lost.
In an interview in the fall 1984 issue of Southern
Partisan, Lott referred to the Civil War as "the war of aggression."
Hmm. The sweet South was made bitter by the tramping of Yankee
boots during an invasion that destroyed a way of life. Good.
From the media, a bye
Most of the media have let Lott slip by on this.
Some stories have appeared, it's true. But his past is not treated
as the issue it should be. And we have not seen the buttonholing
of one Republican as reporters ask where he or she stands on Lott
and his connections to a racist organization.
Of course, through a press representative, Lott
now repudiates the CCC and its philosophy. But the fact that his
past escapes scrutiny so easily is an example of why so many people
— not least, educated blacks — are cynical about the media. I
know that this whole "conspiracy of silence," as one black writer
calls it, infuriates me.
One looks at show after show on which American
politics are discussed, and there is no mention made of Lott's
history with this organization. Steven Rendall, of the media-watch
group FAIR, has sent material on Lott and on Georgia Rep. Bob
Barr, who was the CCC's keynote speaker last June, to the major
networks. Not a bubble has popped so far.
What we have is an astonishing double standard,
one that was explained to me in this way by a white writer on
politics: Powerful white politicians are never looked at in terms
of their color, but black politicians always are. The media are
never particularly concerned about a white politician's attitudes
toward black people, but they are always concerned about a black
politician's attitudes toward white people.
I agree. As I have said before, if a powerful
black politician was chummy with Louis Farrakhan and said about
the Nation of Islam what Lott has said about the CCC, we would
never hear the end of it.
But maybe we are learning something very important.
When Austrian politician Kurt Waldheim was accused of having been
a Nazi collaborator, he denied it. When photographs of him in
uniform were found, it had no impact on his career at home. The
Austrians still loved him.
Perhaps what we are learning about many members
of the media and of the Republican Party is that they are, finally,
Austrians at heart.
© Copyright 1999 Daily News, L.P.