Alabama Pol Buddies Up to Racist Group

Hate in the Mainstream

Since being denounced in 1998 by Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson for its "racist views", the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) has had an increasingly difficult time attracting politicians and other mainstream figures. After all, it's pretty hard to publicly justify working with a group that has described black people as a "retrograde species of humanity" who are "genetically inferior," accused dark-skinned immigrants of turning America into a "slimy brown mass of glop," and named Lester Maddox, the now deceased baseball bat-wielding, arch-segregationist former governor of Georgia, "Patriot of the Century."

But there are apparently some who still want to play.

This June 21, Alabama State Sen. Charles Bishop gave the keynote speech to a CCC "leadership conference" in Alabama, where he denounced any apology for slavery and drew a standing ovation. Bishop, who rose to national infamy last year when he punched state Sen. Lowell Barron (D-Fyffe) in the face during the last day of the legislative session, also told his audience that he regretted attacking Barron on the Senate floor: "I should have taken him outside and kicked the hell out of him."

Meanwhile, also in June, the CCC advertised in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that it was "co-hosting" a strategy session with Americans4America, the Las Vegas chapter of Jim Gilchrist's Minuteman Project — an anti-immigration group that expressly claims that it will not countenance or work with racists (Gilchrist also recently denounced violence in nativist groups). The meeting took place June 24, providing some of the strongest evidence yet of racism in the nativist movement.

"There's a lot of overlapping between our two groups," Nevada CCC leader Don Wassall told the Intelligence Report. Americans4America founder Kricket Telfer, who Wassall calls "an acquaintance," could not be reached.

Wassall is also executive director of the American Nationalist Union, formerly the Populist Party (which once ran neo-Nazi David Duke for president). That group was started in 1983 by veteran anti-Semite Willis Carto. Wassall edits the group's publication, The Nationalist Times, which regularly runs racist articles.