Conservative Group Accused of Ties to White Supremacists

By Thomas B. Edsall
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 19, 1998; Page A08

The Southern Poverty Law Center yesterday charged that the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which has sponsored speeches by a number of prominent elected officials, is the "reincarnation of the infamous White Citizens Councils."

In a report called "Sharks in the Mainstream," the center contended that "many members" of the CCC have ties to the Ku Klux Klan and the National Association for the Advancement of White People, both "openly white supremacist organizations." The White Citizens Councils and the KKK were the two major Southern organizations opposed to desegregation. The councils attracted members from local businesses, Chambers of Commerce and country governments.

The CCC has hosted speeches by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Mississippi Gov. Kirk Fordice (R) and Rep. Robert L. Barr Jr. (R-Ga.).

"The CCC has tried for years to pass itself off as a respectable, mainstream organization," said Joe Roy, director of the center's Intelligence Project. "But the fact is that this group is shot through with white supremacist views, members and political positions."

The center provided material from the CCC's Web site that included a column by H. Millard, titled "Genocide and the Tan Everyman." Millard writes:

"Those elites pushing for this neo-melting pot should leave their fou fou dining rooms and talk to their chef who will probably tell them that you can't throw every ingredient into the pot or the recipe will be ruined and what will emerge will just be a slimy brown mass of glop. . . . The problem for white people is that since they're only 10 percent of the humans on Earth, they are going to have to struggle mightily to survive the Neo-Melting Pot and avoid being part of the brown glop."

Gordon Lee Baum, chief executive of the CCC and a former official of the Citizens Councils, said in an interview that many of the specific allegations in the center's report are wrong, including charges that he used the word "nigger" and that he attempted to recruit to the CCC's national board a leader of the fascist Aryan Nations.

"I did not use the N word," Baum declared. He said he did meet briefly with Vince Reed, head of security for the Aryan Nations, but he disputed the center's claim that he invited Reed onto the CCC board.

Baum said Reed, a "tattooed, hulking brute of a fellow," arrived at Baum's door in 1995 and asked to talk with him. Baum said he was very suspicious. "I told him what we were about" and, he said, stressed that any drive to achieve social change must be conducted "legally." Baum said the thought that he would invite Reed onto the CCC board is "laughable."