to Separatists Embarrass Both Parties
Tom Teepen, National Correspondent, Cox Newspapers
Atlanta Constitution, Tuesday,
January 26, 1999, page A15
© Copyright 1999 The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
-- The chairmen of the Democratic and Republican national committees
have now dutifully denounced this noxious Council of Conservative
Citizens. The declarations of anathema are somehow a bit pallid,
but I suppose their decorum is preferable to having the chairmen
throw up on camera, although that would get the matter just about
council is that icky bunch that surfaced when it was learned Rep.
Bob Barr, R-Ga., the impeachment whiz, had addressed its members.
It is, in effect, the successor to the White Citizens Councils,
coat-and-tie cousins of the declasse Ku Klux Klan in the days
of massive Southern resistance to racial desegregation.
council blusters against immigration and integration -- the shopworn
old parlay of nativism and racism. One of the featured columnists
of the council's publication sees America becoming "a slimy
brown mass of glop." There's a lot more of the same.
swears he didn't know what the council was up to when he spoke
to it, which is doubtful. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, another
speaker, says the same, which isn't believable at all. If there's
anything a lifelong Mississippi politician knows, it's who these
characters are. One CCC activist has chaired county election committees
members say Lott himself belongs, but the senator's spokesman
says Lott "does not consider himself a member.")
parties are embarrassed in this matter. Most of the council's
notable politician members are southern Republicans, but the head
of the CCC says most of the 34 Mississippi state legislators who
belong are Democrats.
CEO of the outfit, Gordon Lee Baum, is especially distressed to
have been read out of the GOP. He says the "Wallace-Reagan
Democrats" the CCC appeals to have given the Republican Party
its victory margins in the South in recent years.
construction, that -- "Wallace-Reagan Democrats." Odd
not because it's amiss but because it's peculiarly honest. You
usually hear "Reagan Democrats," meaning blue-collar
Democrats Reagan won over. Fair enough elsewhere, but in the South
"Wallace Democrats" is more like it, and has been ever
since Richard Nixon co-opted all but the vilest parts of George
Wallace's segregation-forever politics to get the GOP rolling
in the region.
click on Barr's congressional Web site, it will pipe "Stars
and Stripes" for you, if you wish, or it will play "Dixie,"
if you prefer. "Dixie," which became the anthem of the
Confederacy, was written in dialect to be performed by white minstrels
corked up in blackface.
"I wish I was in de land ob cotton/ Old times dar am not
column also appeared under the title "Lott and Barr Join
the Minstrel Show" in the Minneapolis Star Tribune
[January 27, 1999].)