There’s a reason I’ve been writing about Confederate racist wannabee and VA senator George Allen so much. He’s not an outlier in the Republican Party, but part and parcel of it. Now, there are new revelations about his ties to the white supremacist group, the Council of Conservative Citizens, the successor organization to the segregationist White Citizens Council:
In 1996, when Governor Allen entered the Washington Hilton Hotel to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of conservative movement organizations, he strode to a booth at the entrance of the exhibition hall festooned with two large Confederate flags–a booth operated by the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), at the time a co-sponsor of CPAC. After speaking with CCC founder and former White Citizens Council organizer Gordon Lee Baum and two of his cohorts, Allen suggested that they pose for a photograph with then-National Rifle Association spokesman and actor Charlton Heston. The photo appeared in the Summer 1996 issue of the CCC’s newsletter, the Citizens Informer.
According to Baum, Allen had not naively stumbled into a chance meeting with unfamiliar people. He knew exactly who and what the CCC was about and, from Baum’s point of view, was engaged in a straightforward political transaction. “It helped us as much as it helped him,” Baum told me. “We got our bona fides.” And so did Allen…
In posing for a picture that he knew the CCC would use to promote itself and him, and would be circulated to true believers, Allen joined a tradition of conservative Southern politicians seeking to burnish their neo-Confederate credentials. In 2003, former Republican National Committee Chairman and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour took a photograph with revelers at the CCC’s “Blackhawk Rally,” a fundraising event for white “private academies.” In the subsequent hailstorm of media criticism, after reporters discovered that the CCC had posted photos of Barbour on its website, Barbour pointedly refused to demand that the group remove them. Though Barbour came from an old and influential Mississippi family in Yazoo, he had spent a long time as a lobbyist in Washington. “In Mississippi, one of the biggest problems he had was they thought he [Barbour] was a scalawag. So it didn’t hurt him in Mississippi,” Baum said of the photos. “Nobody said, ‘Oh my golly!'” Despite the CCC photos becoming a campaign issue, or partly perhaps because of it, Barbour handily won re-election in 2003.
But George Allen’s relationship with the CCC is different; it went beyond poses and portraits. In 1995, he appointed a CCC sympathizer, Virginia lawyer R. Jackson Garnett, to head the Virginia Council on Day Care and serve on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Self-Determination and Federalism. According to the CCC’s Citizens Informer, Garnett delivered a speech before a CCC gathering saying that the Federalism Commission was “created to study abuses by the Federal government of constitutional powers that rightfully belong to the states.”
And what does the CCC stand for? From their “Statement of Principles” (italics mine):
(2) We believe the United States is a European country and that Americans are part of the European people.
We believe that the United States derives from and is an integral part of European civilization and the European people and that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character
We therefore oppose the massive immigration of non-European and non-Western peoples into the United States that threatens to transform our nation into a non-European majority in our lifetime.
We believe that illegal immigration must be stopped, if necessary by military force and placing troops on our national borders; that illegal aliens must be returned to their own countries; and that legal immigration must be severely restricted or halted through appropriate changes in our laws and policies.
We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.
I bring this up, not because I think most Republicans or conservatives are racists, but because, as I’ve argued before, the Republican Party can not win elections in the South without appeals to racial bigotry. This is a brutal form of electoral calculus that digusted even uber-conservative Peggy Noonan (of course, embracing the legacy of Jim Crow and the scourge of racism wasn’t enough for her to renounce the Republican Party…). This is what Sen. Allen represents.