to the Editor
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Friday, February 5, 1999, page C16
© Copyright 1999 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
attempt by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign to smear Sen. John
Ashcroft by falsely linking him to a racist group is reprehensible.
has never had any connection whatsoever to the racist Council
of Conservative Citizens, and cannot be held responsible for anything
that group says. As the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
has pointed out, Jewish leaders have condemned the Council of
Conservative Citizens for its racism - but for the Democratic
Senatorial Campaign Committee to imply that Jewish leaders have
condemned Ashcroft is false and ugly.
Americans for A Safe Israel (AFSI), a coalition of Jewish and
Christian friends of Israel, have worked closely with Ashcroft
and his staff for many years, and we know him to be one of the
Senate' s most sincere and devoted friends of American national
security and the strategically vital America-Israel alliance.
Chairman, Americans for a Safe Israel
A Jan. 31 article reported on positive comments that white supremacist
Gordon Baum made about Sen. John Ashcroft. Baum is the head of
the Council of Conservative Citizens, a racist, anti-Semitic group
headquartered here in St. Louis.
tone of the article implied that the Democrats are trying to overplay
this story, and that Ashcroft is not connected to extremist hate
groups like Baum's group.
Ashcroft has consciously courted white supremacist groups. For
example, in a fall 1998 interview in Southern Partisan magazine,
Ashcroft said he would do more to "defend Southern Patriots
like (Jefferson) Davis." Davis was the president of the Confederacy
who led the fight for human slavery and white supremacy.
same interview, when asked where Missouri was during the Civil
War, Ashcroft said: "Frankly, it was in Texas." He is
referring to the pro-Confederate government in exile set up by
white supremacists in Texas during the Civil War.
is cultivating extremist hate groups. His interview in the Southern
Partisan gives a clear message about his commitment to defend
white supremacist heroes. Ashcroft's spokesman Steve Hilton should
be ashamed of himself for calling upon the Democrats to "stop
inflaming race relations." Hilton should start by explaining
Ashcroft' s comments about Jefferson Davis. Isn't Ashcroft the
one who is inflaming race relations?
As an African-American, a Missourian and a friend of Sen. John
Ashcroft, I am appalled and offended by the Democratic Senatorial
Campaign Committee's attempt to characterize Ashcroft as a white
supremacist. This race-baiting campaign is another attempt by
the Missouri Democratic Party to pull off the healing scab from
the wound of racism.
vividly recall in April 1992, in the middle of the Democratic
gubernatorial primary, then Lt. Gov. Mel Carnahan was equally
appalled after being called the "Redneck from Rolla"
by his primary challenger, Mayor Vince Schoemehl. This was unacceptable
in 1992 and remains unaccep table in 1999.
must be concerned with every act of intimidation, harassment,
cross-burning, swastika painting and racist, religious or ideological
hate mongering that confronts us - for every such act challenges
the principles of individual rights and human dignity upon which
our society is founded." These words, uttered by Gov. Ashcroft
in 1984, are not the words of a white supremacist.
voice and spirit of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was heard
only by a few in the hollow halls of the Missouri Legislature.
The legislation to create the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday spent
years in debate and failure. In 1986, Gov. Ashcroft signed the
legislation that created this holiday in Missouri.
Ashcroft appointed the first woman to the Missouri Supreme Court
and the first African-American to the Missouri Court of Appeals-Western
District. Gov. Ashcroft rejected the Missouri Legislature' s suggestion
to incorporate Lincoln University into the University of Missouri
system. He wanted to preserve Lincoln University's heritage as
a historically African-American college. These are not the actions
of a white supremacist.
asking all Missourians to reject the cheap race-baiting campaigning
of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Michael Tucker
of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee should feel contrite
and apologize to the people of Missouri.