RNC Member Quits CCC Over Racism

The Associated Press
The Associated Press, Sunday February 28, 1999  7:21 EST
Copyright © Associated Press.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A member of the Republican National Committee told state Republicans he was severing his bond with the Council of Conservative Citizens, which has been accused of being racist.

Buddy Witherspoon, a state GOP activist and member of the national committee, told the state party's executive committee on Saturday he would no longer be part of the CCC.

``I am a Christian. I am a conservative. But one thing I am not is a racist,'' an emotional Witherspoon said.

In January, national GOP Chairman Jim Nicholson condemned the CCC, saying it held racist views, and asked Witherspoon to renounce any ties.

Witherspoon said then he wouldn't. The group was advocating conservative causes, like displaying the Confederate battle flag and playing ``Dixie'' at public events, he said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which studies hate groups, said the CCC is ``the reincarnation of the racist white Citizens Council,'' that battled Southern integration in the 1950s.

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