The Racist Links Around Trent Lott 

By Derrock Z. Jackson, Globe Columnist
Boston Globe, Wednesday, February 10, 1999, page A23
Copyright 1999 The Globe Company

The Council of Conservative Citizens quotes Trent Lott as telling its members in 1992: ''The people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy. Let's take it in the right direction and our children will be the beneficiaries.''

That statement is loaded: Lott, now the Senate majority leader and a key shaper of the nation's agenda, spoke at other council events in the 1990s, including two fund-raisers for an all-white school that was founded to avoid school desgregation.

It remains loaded because Lott condemned the council only after his links to it were exposed. He has not explained his comfort with men who used mailing lists from the old racist Citizens Councils to build membership. Lott's uncle, Arnie Watson, a member of the council's executive board, says ''Trent is an honorary member.''

It is loaded because of the list of ominous Internet sites that agree with the Mississippi Republican that the council stands for the ''right principles and the right philosophy.''

There is the Nationalist Observer, a site ''for activists in the struggle to secure the White Race's survival and advancement.'' The site says: ''We believe the Aryan Struggle to be an elite one.... We support the Unity of our movement and the revolutionizing of our spirit into a combined force to take back control of our Race's destiny, by any means necessary.''

The Observer has what it describes as the ''world's largest racist link list.'' Under ''white racial links,'' along with links for the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nation, and skinheads, the Observer lists the Council of Conservative Citizens. The council is called a ''semi-racist political pressure group.''

There is the Web page for Politically Incorrect. This site calls itself ''Grand Central Station for white nationalists.''

An editorial titled ''Whites fighting back'' says: ''You will find the prowhite activities of the Council of Conservative Citizens and the Nationalist Movement encouraging.''

It is enlightening to have an editorial praise the council and the Nationalist Movement in the same breath. The Nationalist Movement says, ''All efforts to make us a bilingual, bi-sexual or biracial society must be defeated.'' The Movement is the Web home for skinheads. Skinheads have beaten and killed several people of color in their effort to ''take America back.''

The same editorial listed as sources for ''positive action'' former Klansman-turned-politician David Duke, sites that question the existence of the Jewish Holocaust, and William Pierce, who fantasizes about angry white men bombing US government buildings and lynching people of color and white women who cohabit with black men. Pierce's ''Turner Diaries'' was a favorite of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

The council has an Internet link to American Renaissance, which pushes the intellectual superiority of white people. American Renaissance's link back to the council says the C of CC is ''the foremost conservative organization in America.''

The council and a Web page called Southern Independence have Internet links to each other. Southern Independence lists the council under ''Freedom Fighters'' with the Southern Legal Resource Center, which screams, ''Stop the ethnic cleansing of Dixie!''

Southern Independence prominently posts a declaration made by white heritage groups in New Albany, Miss., in 1996. It says multiculturalism is ''genocide against Western peoples.... We believe equality is the sworn enemy of liberty.... The assertion of equality among races, sexes, and moral belief systems is contradicted by every shred of natural evidence.''

The group quotes the Charleston Mercury of 1865 saying the Civil War reduced white men ''to the level of a nigger, and a nigger is raised to his level.... Gracious God! Is this what our brave soldierery are fighting for? To reduce themselves to the level and companionship of niggers? No, no, never, not in South Carolina.''

The N-word may offend some readers, but I feel it is necessary to communicate the mentality of the Web page.

It may be of mere coincidence that the New Albany Declaration was made the same year Lott became Senate majority leader. But it is impossible to think that Lott was ignorant of such bigotry. American Renaissance has a link to a site called The Last Ditch. A passage in The Last Ditch says, ''Just as a hothead can learn to control his temper and an alcoholic his alcoholism (typically by total abstinence,) so also can a typical Negro male ... moderate his sexual aggressiveness through a continuing act of focus or by diverting his energies into work or sports.''

This is strikingly similar in tone to a statement Lott made last year condemning homosexuality. Lott said, ''You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem. Just like alcohol ... or sex addiction ... or kleptomaniacs ... you should try to work with that person to learn to control that problem.''

This should make America ask what Lott means by ''the right principles and the right philosophy.'' He condemned the council, but he has offered no apology about his speeches to its members. This leaves his words so loaded it is an open question whether the leader of the Senate is bigotry's walking bomb.

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