Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
130 W. 25th Street New York, NY 10001
News Advisory: National Media Should Cover
Racist Links of Prominent Elected Officials Like Rep. Bob Barr
and Sen. Trent Lott
For Immediate Release:
December 11, 1998
During the Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings
on Dec. 1, Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) clashed with Prof. Alan Dershowitz
after Dershowitz accused the lawmaker of using rhetoric laced
with "bigotry" and "racism."
Barr had stated: "There really are, I think,
two Americas. And there is a real America out there. And I think
our military witnesses understand that.
And now some on
this panel may argue that the president is not in a position of
And here again, the American public, the real
America out there understands that there ought to be a very high
standard for our public officials."
Dershowitz said: "Whenever I hear the word
'real Americans' that sounds to me like a code word for bigotry,
a code word for racism, and a code word for anti-Semitism."
Barr responded by saying: "That's absurd,
you ought to be ashamed. That is the silliest thing I have ever
"A Call to White Americans"
While a few news outlets noted the clash, it's
remarkable how little follow-up has been done on the charges of
racism made against Barr. A little research would have discovered
that not only Rep. Barr, but Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott
and other prominent elected officials have been closely linked
with the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a "Southern
traditionalist" organization which is the successor to the
notorious White Citizens' Councilsreferred to during the
civil rights era as the "uptown Klan."
One exception among media outlets was the Jay
Diamond Show, aired on New York City's WEVD-AM. Diamond's December
7 radio talk show featured a discussion including Alan Dershowitz
and Mark Potok, an expert on racist and militia groups from the
Southern Poverty Law Center, on which Potok confirmed Rep. Barr's
and Sen. Lott's support for the Council. Potok pointed to the
group's influence with other elected officialsincluding
Governors Kirk Fordice (R-Miss.) and Guy Hunt (R-Ala.).
Barr was the keynote speaker at the Council's
national conference last June, and was pictured in the group's
newsletter, Citizens Informer, addressing the Council's board
and posing with several CCC leaders. The Washington Times and
Village Voice have both reported that Sen. Lott is a longtime
member and supporter of the organization.
What does the Council of Conservative Citizens
The Council's website (http://www.cofcc.org)
features an essay titled "A Call to White Americans,"
which urges "fellow white Americans" to "look at
the faces around you: Find the faces like yours, and see them
as your brothers and sisters. Find the fair-skinned babies, and
see them as your children." The website also features a tract
called "Our War!" with a section titled "The Values
of the Traditional White South That Have Been Targeted for Destruction."
The edition of Citizen's Informer featuring Rep.
Barr's appearance before the CCC also includes a column written
by Robert Patterson, founder of the Mississippi's White Citizens
Council, describing how interracial marriage degrades white civilization.
An article by Sen. Lott also appears in the issue.
The CCC's web site boasts of a trip by its leaders
to France for a meeting with Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of
the neo-fascist National Front . The article expresses hope the
groups will work together in the future. CCC's web site is now
linked to Le Pen's.
According to the New Orleans Times Picayune, David
Duke addressed a CCC fundraiser at Clemson University in South
Carolina. The Greensboro News & Record reports that CCC has
ties to the Ku Klux Klan and that its local leader supported Duke
for president in 1988. The Austin American Statesman claims that
William Carter was booted from the South Carolina Buchanan for
President steering committee in 1996 when the press began inquiring
into Carter's role as Duke's 1988 South Carolina campaign chair.
Carter chairs the South Carolina chapter of the CCC.
According to the Village Voice, Kirk Lyons, a
well-known white supremacist attorney and member of the White
Patriot Party, was a featured guest at a 1994 Winston-Salem event
sponsored by the CCC.
One prominent spokesperson for the CCC is Jared
Taylor, the founder and director of American Renaissance, a white-separatist
group that organizes conferences featuring "scholars"
espousing the doctrine of black intellectual inferiority. Taylor
represented the CCC on a recent Fox News Channel broadcast.
A 1997 column in the Greensboro News & Record
pointed out that the CCC named the late governor of Georgia and
unreconstructed racist Lester Maddox its "Patriot of the
Century," and that the Council is critical of the Promise
Keepers "because PK kisses up to Catholics and grovels to
Like Rep. Barr's language, the Council's rhetoric
deploys terms like "real Americans." The Citizens Informer,
for example, recently declared: "The Confederate Flag signifies
the real American way of life...as it was and will be again."
News Media Should Apply Single Standard on
Associations With Bigots
Given the above information, journalists should
be exploring the connections between leading Republican politicians
and this racist organization. National media have repeatedly questioned
black politicians deemed too close, to or insufficiently critical
of, groups like the Nation of Islam. Shouldn't national journalists
be questioning Sen. Lott, Rep. Barr and other politicians who
associate with old-fashioned white racist groups?