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Post Columnist Questions Lott's
"Fitness" To Be Majority Leader; Record Shows Lott's
Involvement With Racist Group Extensive
For Immediate Release:
December 22, 1998
UPDATE to December
15 News Advisory
On December 19, Washington Post
editorial board member Colbert I. King began a column by calling
on the Senate to reconsider Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's
"fitness" for the job. The reason, wrote King, was Lott's
involvement with the racist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC),
which serves as a forum for white supremacist and segregationist
On December 12, Senator Lott's press secretary
told several media outlets that Lott's involvement with the white-supremacist
CCC amounted to a single speech to the group when Lott was in
the House of Representatives more that a decade ago. Lott's spokesperson
also claimed the senator had no knowledge of the group's beliefs.
Because of research supplied to the Washington Post
by FAIR, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Texas researcher
Ed Sebestaand the dogged reporting of the Post's
Thomas B. Edsallwe now know that Senator Lott's office was,
to put it mildly, misinforming the press and the public.
As this update is being issued, the best information
on Lott's ties to the CCC shows:
- In 1997 Lott met held a private meeting with
CCC leaders in his Washington, D.C. office, a photo and account
of the meeting appeared in the CCC's publication, Citizens
Informer, later that year.
- In 1997 the CCC used an endorsement quote from
Lott for direct mail.
- In 1995 Lott addressed a Mississippi-based
- In 1992 Lott was the featured speaker and issued
strong praise of the CCC at its national conference.
- In 1991, according to Gordon Lee Baum, Lott
addressed another Mississippi gathering of the CCC.
- The Spring 1989 edition of Citizens
Informer, the CCC's newsletter, features a photo of
Lott with his uncle, who is identified as an executive of CCC,
and his cousin, who's identified as a CCC member.
- Lott's column has been a regular feature of
Citizens Informer for years.
Mikal Muharrar, of FAIR's Racism Watch Desk, asked
reporters to remember that Lott is one of many elected officials
involved with the CCC, adding , "The agreement between the
CCC's agenda and the agendas of too many mainstream politicians
should serve as a warning to journalists against drawing too fine
a distinction between old-school racism and the newer code-word
variety driving much of the current political debate."
For more information on this story, see FAIR's
December 11 media advisory on
the CCC and our December
15 Update on Trent Lott. You might also want to visit
Post to read reports by Thomas B. Edsall from December
12, December 16 and December 19, and the column by Post Editorial
Board Member Colbert I. King, which ran on December 19.
You can also visit the CCC
website. Some materials have been taken off their site
since media attention has been focused on the group.