The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Another Racist Leader Revealed in South Carolina GOP

By Hatewatch Staff on June 24, 2013 - 4:47 pm, Posted in Anti-Black, White Nationalism

For the second time in a month, the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens’ (CCC) entanglement with elements of the South Carolina GOP has come to light in a deeply embarrassing moment for the Republican Party.

In a video recorded during the annual CCC national conference held June 7-8 in Winston-Salem, N.C., CCC webmaster Kyle Rogers boasted (around 2:45 minutes into the video) that he was a member of the Dorchester County GOP’s Executive Committee. A call to Executive Committee Chairman Jordan Bryngelson confirmed Rogers’ membership. “Yes,” Bryngelson told Hatewatch, “embarrassingly, Rogers is a member of the Executive Committee.” Bryngelson asked Rogers to resign, but according to the party’s bylaws, there is no way to force Rogers out unless he breaks certain party rules.

The request to Rogers to resign followed by a month the resignation of Roan Garcia-Quintana from S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s 2014 re-election campaign steering committee (of which Bryngelson is also a member). Garcia-Quintana quit the committee after Hatewatch revealed that he was a former board director and lifetime member of the CCC, a racist group directly descended from the old White Citizens Councils that angrily battled school desegregation in the 1950s and 1960s.

Bryngelson said he had looked up Rogers’ history and contacted him about it. Rogers replied that he was being “unfairly judged,” according to Bryngelson, who added that he returned Rogers’ $25 membership fee and asked him to resign. He said that Rogers had not attended any committee meetings since the party elected new leaders, including Rogers, in April. Bryngelson called the election “unfortunate” but said it was hard to vet all candidates. Still, he added, “I need to get in front of this. … If the GOP wants the minority vote, it has to weed out these types of people.”

The Republican Party has rejected the CCC explicitly since 1999, when Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott was accused of being a member of the group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” That year, the Republican National Committee chair, Jim Nicholson, called on GOP members and officials to shun the CCC as a racist group. “A member of the party of Lincoln should not belong to such an organization,” Nicholson said at the time. Although some Republicans continued to interact with the group, that ended within a few years as politicians who did so increasingly were exposed by journalists.

This is not the first time Rogers has infiltrated the Republican Party. Last June, as reported by the Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier, Rogers said in an online autobiography that he served as a delegate at the Charleston County Republican convention in 2007. That county’s GOP Chair, Lin Bennett, said she “couldn’t recall much about him.” But state NAACP President Lonnie Randolph said that he had heard of Rogers, but had never encountered him at any function or protest. “We don’t run in the same circles,” Randolph told the newspaper. “I like to keep my sheets on the bed.”

At the April 13 convention where Rogers was elected, the Dorchester County committee passed what Rogers later happily described as “seven really radical resolutions, each one almost unanimously passed.” “The most radical one,” he added, “was to ‘Nullify all federal gun laws, arrest all federal agents who try to enforce federal gun laws in South Carolina, and re-arm the state militia to protect the rights of South Carolina Citizens against the Federal Government.’”

Bryngelson, however, saw the matter differently. He said the convention ran longer than expected and many people left before certain votes were taken. As a result, he said, resolutions were passed that he hopes to have rescinded as soon as possible.

  • matt carmody

    Racist and GOP are synonymous with each other. Throw in South Carolina and it’s almost a dictionary definition of racist.

  • Michael Parker

    South Carolina is known to be a racist state, so it’s no surprise to find these types of people there.

  • hunglikejesus

    “Rogers replied that he was being “unfairly judged,” according to Bryngelson”

    Do these people even believe some of the sh*t that comes out of their mouths?

  • Underwriter

    Funny how much “CCC” looks like “KKK.”

  • Reynardine

    Gregory: What list?

  • Gregory

    Wouldn’t it be easier to simply list the members of the SC GOP who aren’t racist?

  • CM

    The Post and Courier outed Rogers as “chairman of the South Carolina chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens” as long ago as April 2006. They ran a photo of him with a cutline identifying him as “of [the] Council of Conservative Citizens” (and showing him angrily opposing immigration reform) in October 2007. And yes, a year ago they published a profile of him, which was headlined “Suburban Supremacist.” So anyone in the Charleston metro area – which includes Dorchester County – who makes any effort to be well-informed should have known about his CCC connection. Apparently that doesn’t include the inner circles of the regional GOP.

  • Erika

    the relevation that there are racists in the South Carolina Republican Party is about the “least surprising stories of 2013.” oh sure, they try to hide it – saying that the type of open promotion of white supremacy and racism that Strom Thurmond was so noted for is no longer acceptable – but deep down in their hearts they long for the days when they could openly say what they really believe (which in Strom Thurmond’s case was apparently that the only place that he wants desegegated is his bed).

    Yes, usually they can get away with this – they have become smart realizing that calling yourself the Tea Party flying a yellow flag with a rattlesnake and wearing a tricorner hat is much more subtle than calling yourself the Ku Klux Klan wearing a pointed hood and robe and flying the Confederate flag – and there is obviously a lot more code words now – but deep down in their hearts it is the same old racism. But sometimes the carefully crafted facade falls away and the same old racism is there.

    But let’s get real – they remove this guy because he’s in the CCC – or some guy because he’s a Klan leader. And then they bring someone else who believes the exact same thing but it smart enough to only use approved weasel words – at least while on camera.

  • Sam Molloy

    Once again, kudos to SPLC for finding this guy out. And thanks for the fair treatment of Republicans that obviously don’t want to be around this guy.