Since Bob Barr Is No Racist, Let Him Go After Lott

By Stanley Crouch
New York Daily News, Sunday, January 31, 1999

It was good to hear from Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), who thinks I have wrongly accused him of racism because of his association with the Council of Conservative Citizens.

In a piece on this page last Thursday, the congressman asserted that as soon as it became clear to him exactly what the CCC is, he separated himself from it and decried its ideas, which are considered not only pro-white, but white supremacist.

How did he get into this mess? Brother Barr was the keynote speaker at a CCC conference in South Carolina last June. But he wrote a letter to the organization six months later, when the essences of its philosophy began to make their way into the media.

When I called his Washington office some weeks ago to try to interview him about the CCC, I was faxed a copy of the letter. "I find your views on racial issues repugnant," wrote Brother Barr. "If I had been aware white supremacist views occupied any place in the council's philosophy, I would never have agreed to speak." He went on to accuse the CCC of duping him.

Still, six months is a long time, even it we consider the fact that the Georgia congressman was busy with Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) and the gang turning a sexual scandal into a political scandal and trying to remove Bill Clinton from office.

Further, on a Pacifica Radio broadcast that focused on the CCC last December, one of the guests was a man who was at the meeting where Brother Barr gave his address. He taped the speech and said there was white supremacist literature on sale in full view of all comers. I assume that if this man is telling the truth, the good congressman was brought in blindfolded.

Brother Barr also wrote in his Thursday column that I despise him, which would be very hard to do, at least on sight, since his face reminds me of so many Negroes I have known over the years. In fact, if you took 50 pounds off Rep. Major Owens (D-Brooklyn), he and Barr could be brothers, one dark, one light.

As things are going now, however, this may all add up to the best for the country. Brother Barr wrote proudly of how, when he was a U.S. attorney, he prosecuted white supremacists and punished cops for actions exhibiting racial prejudice. There were risks to this. His office received threats. He is, then, a standup guy. Brother Barr can be counted on.

Barr has often expressed his contempt for liars and was one of the first to call for Mr. Bill's resignation. He likes his politicians pure. He doesn't want somebody to lie about what he has done and with whom he has done it.

I assume, then, that when the impeachment smoke clears, he will be the Republican who asks hard questions of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Lott has been associated with the CCC for at least 10 years as speaker, columnist, endorser.

The CCC has held fund-raisers for Lott. He has lied about knowing what the organization's principles were even though his favorite uncle, Arnie Watson, told The New York Times that his nephew was an honorary member.

Bervil Watson, Uncle Arnie's wife, told the Los Angeles Times last week, "He [Lott] is bound to have known the principles: being against black people. If nothing else, he got it from my husband."

Lott's lies and alliances call into serious question whether such a man should be Senate majority leader and represent the Republican Party. I know, therefore, that when the time comes, we can count on Brother Barr to ask Trent Lott to step down.