Conservative Group Accused of Ties to
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
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
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."