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It’s not easy being a white supremacist these days.
Already reeling from Obama’s win in November, believers in white superiority were dealt another blow last week when former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele became the first African-American to head the Republican Party.
Extremists view Steele’s election to the helm of the Republican National Committee as a betrayal by the party that many considered, in their words, “the lesser of two evils.” On blogs and online forums, they excoriated the Republican Party for supposedly pandering to minorities while abandoning what they see as its white base.
No one professed more outrage than David Duke, the ex-Klan boss and former Louisiana state legislator. “GOP traitors appoint Obama Junior as Chairman of the Republican Party,” proclaimed the sub-headline on his website.
Yet ever the optimist, Duke saw a silver lining in Steele’s election, just as he had in Obama’s win. “I am glad these traitorous leaders of the Republican Party appointed this Black racist, affirmative action advocate to the head of the Republican Party because this will lead to a huge revolt among the Republican base,” he wrote. “As a former Republican official, I can tell you that millions of rank-and-file Republicans are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore! We will either take the Republican Party back over the next four years or we will say, ‘To Hell with the Republican Party!’ And we will take 90 percent of Republicans with us into a New Party that will take its current place!”
Despite such rhetoric, white supremacists seem to be doing more whining than strategic planning. The Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white nationalist organization descended from the pro-segregationist White Citizens’ Councils, complained that Steele supports affirmative action, gun control and “more Federal handouts.”
Under the heading “GOP continues shooting bullets into it’s [sic] own corpse,” the CCC wrote: “Meet the new improved GOP. Steele’s supporters actually believe that having a black chairman will cause the media to be nice to them and blacks to leave the Democratic party [sic].”
Vdare.com, an anti-immigration hate website, called the election of Steele a “disaster” and weighed in with a blog post titled “RNC to White Men: — Off” that referred to Steele as a “professional Black” and called white Christians “the new Slave class.”
“Apparently Chairmanship of the Republican National Committee has become another of those positions, like being head of an Ivy League School or Governor of the Federal Reserve, to which white men of Christian heritage Need Not Apply,” fumed the writer of the post, Patrick Cleburne.
James Edwards, host of the white nationalist radio show The Political Cesspool, blogged that the Republicans were trying to “outpander” the Democrats — a strategy he said would fail as more white conservatives stopped going to the polls. “Now they’ve got a black man heading up their party, just like the Democrats do, and the GOP couldn’t be happier. It simply wouldn’t do to have a white chairman. Not with a black man in the White House heading up the Democrats.”
And the League of the South, a neo-confederate hate group, blasted Steele for reaching out to moderates in a blog post titled “New GOP chair to Southerners and conservatives: drop dead.” It concluded: “Remind me again why I should vote Republican?”