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  • GOP Rep. Bob Barr also addressed the group

  •   Lott Renounces White 'Racialist' Group He Praised in 1992

    Senate Majority Trent Lott. (AP file photo)
    By Thomas B. Edsall
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, December 16, 1998; Page A2

    Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who last week claimed "no firsthand knowledge" of the controversial Council of Conservative Citizens, six years ago told the group's members they "stand for the right principles and the right philosophy."

    This week, after being asked about a newly surfaced copy of the group's 1992 newsletter, in which he appears to endorse the group and ask for its support, Lott renounced the organization and said through a spokesman he has nothing to do with them.

    The CCC, which has strong ties to the old white Citizens Councils, is considered racist by conservatives and liberals. Many of the most prominent figures in the organization are proponents of preserving the white race and culture, which they see as under assault by immigration, intermarriage and growing numbers of Hispanic Americans.

    In the spring 1992 newsletter, provided by a Dallas man, Ed Sebasta, who has followed the organization's activities, Lott is pictured speaking to the group with its banner in the background.

    In his speech, Lott, according to the newsletter, called the Citizen Informer, warns against the forces supporting government spending: "We need more meetings like this across the nation" to offset these liberal pressures. "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."

    After the Informer article became available, Lott's spokesman disassociated Lott from the CCC and sharply criticized the organization: "This group harbors views which Senator Lott firmly rejects. He has absolutely no involvement with them either now or in the future," John Czwartacki said this week.

    He defended Lott's 1992 keynote speech to the CCC at a Greenwood, Miss., meeting, arguing: "This appears to have been a widely attended political gathering with the senator giving what sounds like generic stump speech remarks . . . With their votes, contributions or time, tens of thousands of people endorse Trent Lott's views. That endorsement does not necessarily go the other way around."

    Lott, with many other Mississippi politicians, Republican and Democratic, also appeared in 1991 and 1995 at the quadrennial Black Hawk political rally, co-sponsored by the CCC and the Black Hawk Bus Association, which provides transportation for the private Carroll Academy.

    The Citizens Council, many of whose members helped found the CCC, was a segregationist organization. The membership generally included local establishment figures in the South, small businessmen, mayors and other white community leaders.

    The leader of the Mississippi CCC, William Lord, who is pictured next to Lott in the 1992 newsletter, was a regional organizer for the Citizens Council. The national chief executive of the CCC, Gordon Lee Baum, was a Midwest director.

    The CCC has been barred from the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). David Keene, head of CPAC, said "we kicked [them] out of CPAC because they are racists."

    Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, an impeachment opponent, recently complained that impeachment advocate Rep. Robert L. Barr Jr. (R-Ga.) had spoken to a CCC meeting in Charleston, S.C., this year. The charge brought an angry response from Barr, who contended Dershowitz was trying to smear him.

    A number of the leaders of the CCC describe their views as "racialist," and adamantly reject portrayal as white supremacist.

    Jared Taylor, a Washington area leader of the CCC and publisher of the magazine American Renaissance, wrote in an essay currently appearing on the magazine's Web site:

    "It is certainly true that in some important traits -- intelligence, law-abidingness, sexual restraint, academic performance, resistance to disease -- whites can be considered 'superior' to blacks. At the same time, in exactly these same traits, North Asians appear to be 'superior' to whites. Is someone who believes that there are probably genetic reasons for this a 'yellow supremacist'? . . . AR expresses an unapologetic preference for the culture and way of life of whites. It also expresses the belief that only the biological heirs to the creators of European civilization will carry that civilization forward in a meaningful way."

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