One night in November 2003, a man named Earl Holt reportedly typed his own name into an Internet search engine and got back a blog post calling him a white supremacist.
At the time, Holt was a high-ranking member in the Council of Conservative Citizens, deemed a “supremacist group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which claims it was the “reincarnation” of the White Citizens’ Councils that fought desegregation during the civil rights movement. Holt also wrote for the group’s racially charged tabloid, Citizens Informer, and co-hosted a radio talk show with the group’s founder, Gordon Baum.
Still, he reportedly disagreed with the blogger’s claim and, according to the blogger, sent an e-mail in response.
“Hey Commie,” the note started, “Being the shallow, n—– -loving dilettante that you are, you probably DO consider n—— to be your equal (who am I to question this?). Yet, unlike you and your allies, I have an I.Q. in excess of 130, which grants me the ability to objectively evaluate the Great American Nigro (Africanus Criminalis).”
The e-mail proceeded to cite statistics claiming that African Americans, despite the U.S. government’s best efforts, were still as “criminal, surly, lazy, violent and stupid as he/she ever was.”
“Some day, you sanctimonious n—— -lovers will either have to live amongst them (‘nothing cures an enthusiasm for integration like a good dose of n——‘) or else defend yourselves against them,” it stated.
The blogger, Larry Handlin, who went by Arch Pundit online, posted the e-mail. It was referenced in local news articles and by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, which tied Holt to the e-mail using his address and claimed to interview Holt’s radio station about it. Neither Holt nor his spokesman was immediately available for comment.
More than a decade later, Holt, who now heads the group, is again in the spotlight. Authorities said over the weekend that Charleston mass murder suspect Dylann Roof mentioned Holt’s group in his racist manifesto, saying he learned about “brutal black on white murders” from the group’s Web site. Holt said in a statement that was “not surprising”: “The CofCC is one of perhaps three websites in the world that accurately and honestly report black-on-white violent crime, and in particular, the seemingly endless incidents involving black-on-white murder,” he said.
“The CofCC is hardly responsible for the actions of this deranged individual merely because he gleaned accurate information from our website,” he added.
News came Monday that Holt had donated about $65,000 over the years to Republican campaign funds. He gave about $25,000 to Republican candidates in 2012 including former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Sens. Ted Cruz (Tex.) and Rand Paul (Ky.). Most immediately distanced themselves from Holt, saying they were unaware of his affiliation and would return the money.
But despite Holt’s many donations to Republicans, he seemed none too pleased with the party when the Republican National Committee announced plans in 2013 to increase its minority outreach. “Other than profoundly endanger many canvassers by sending potential victims into increasingly dangerous ‘hoods’ and barrios,” he wrote on the organization’s Web site, “this ridiculous program will achieve nothing beyond perpetuating the RNC’s established practice of squandering and misspending funds donated in good faith by its party faithful.”
He was also upset, he said, that “the current RNC leadership seem particularly susceptible to what are often opportunistic and mercenary blacks feigning allegiance to GOP principles in order to benefit themselves in some manner.” That’s why, he said, he and his wife, “refuse to contribute to the RNC.”
He preferred, he said, “to contribute directly to conservative Republican candidates, ONLY, because we do not trust the RNC to spend our money as wisely as we would. Moreover, if it occurs to us to mention it, we also indicate our preference for Tea Party-endorsed candidates, to whom we have been quite generous the last few election cycles.”
Holt was particularly upset with the nomination of John McCain as the party’s presidential candidate in 2008, calling him “clueless.”
“I never dreamed,” he wrote, “that even a nation of dolts, gamblers, borrowers and personal injury plaintiffs would elect a phony nigro with three Moslem names and a Marxist agenda, no matter how much nigro voter fraud occurred on Election Day.”
He didn’t think much of the news media either, which he described as “dominated by Zionists, nigroes, communists, homosexuals, feminists and idiots.”
Holt, 62, grew up in St. Louis, where he graduated from Washington University, Riverfront Times reported in 2003. He stepped into the public eye in 1989 when he ran for a seat on the St. Louis School Board, joining others who had ties to the Council of Conservative Citizens in the fight against court-ordered busing for school desegregation, according to St. Louis Public Radio.
Amid a losing battle, Holt stepped down in 1993.
A spokesman for the council confirmed to St. Louis Public Radio that Holt was on the school board but did not elaborate.
Aside from a few comments on desegregation, Holt seldom made controversial remarks during his time on the board, according to the radio station. For the next several years, he devoted his time to his late-night radio talk show, called “Right at Night.” He also spent time protesting immigration, among other issues, at small rallies. “Our open border with Mexico has become a conduit for drugs and unskilled workers who take jobs [for less pay] and force incomes to ratchet downward,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at an anti-immigration rally in St. Louis in 2003.
In 2003, the news came that Holt had spotted the Arch Pundit blog post calling him a white supremacist.
The e-mail to the writer included Holt’s full name and St. Louis address, which matches public records.
The next night, the blogger reportedly called radio station WGNU (920 AM) during Holt’s talk show and asked Holt about it, according to the 2003 article from Riverfront Times.
“Earl got kind of liquored up the other night,” he said, talking about himself, according to the Riverfront Times. “I wrote [Handlin] a really poignant e-mail and I probably used the n-word about maybe 20 times too many. … And I was stupid enough to put my home telephone number on there too. And I dared them to put the letter on the Web page, which they apparently have.
“I didn’t pull any punches, baby. I guess you could say I called a spade a spade.”
But over the past few years, other such rhetoric has been attributed to Holt online.
An Internet user with Holt’s full name — Earl P. Holt III — has posted racist remarks on the news site the Blaze. “The REAL ENEMY is ‘Africanus Criminalis,’ the laziest, stupidest and most criminally-inclined race in the history of the world,” the poster wrote in 2011. The user talked about getting his concealed-carry license so “[white skin privilege] doesn’t get me murdered by those without [white skin privilege]” and warned readers not to be the “kind of person who will be completely baffled when they kill you, rape your entire family, and burn your house to the ground.”
Jared Taylor, who has been acting as Holt’s media spokesman this week, told the Guardian in an interview: “If there’s a statement that is ‘Earl P Holt III,’ he probably made it.”
The Council of Conservative Citizens, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, has “evolved into a crudely white supremacist group whose website has run pictures comparing the late pop singer Michael Jackson to an ape and referred to black people as ‘a retrograde species of humanity.'” Its tabloid, the Citizens Informer, regularly runs articles condemning “race mixing.”
The group’s founder and longtime leader, Baum, died in March. Holt, who now lives in Longview, Tex., took over and now operates the Missouri-based Council of Conservative Citizens from there.