Wednesday, August 30, 2006

racist George Allen's racist friends

Man, this guy's dirty. From The Nation (c/o Kos):
Only a decade ago, as governor of Virginia, Allen personally initiated an association with the Council of Conservative Citizens, the successor organization to the segregationist White Citizens Council and among the largest white supremacist groups.

In 1996, when Governor Allen entered the Washington Hilton Hotel to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of conservative movement organizations, he strode to a booth at the entrance of the exhibition hall festooned with two large Confederate flags--a booth operated by the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), at the time a co-sponsor of CPAC. After speaking with CCC founder and former White Citizens Council organizer Gordon Lee Baum and two of his cohorts, Allen suggested that they pose for a photograph with then-National Rifle Association spokesman and actor Charlton Heston. The photo appeared in the Summer 1996 issue of the CCC's newsletter, the Citizens Informer.

According to Baum, Allen had not naively stumbled into a chance meeting with unfamiliar people. He knew exactly who and what the CCC was about and, from Baum's point of view, was engaged in a straightforward political transaction. "It helped us as much as it helped him," Baum told me. "We got our bona fides." And so did Allen.

I can't believe people scoff at the idea that racism is alive and well and is a driving force in the Republican party. It ain't like the CCC is defunct or even diminished. The Southern Strategy was less than 40 years ago. And we still hear the "code," the terms and ideas that sound racially innocuous... unless you're a racist, and you know the buzzwords. Words like "welfare queens" that Reagan and others used that were tacitly understood as "black welfare queens." It was racistcodeapalooza during Katrina, what with "looters" (who were always black), the "lazy" residents who "were waiting on their welfare checks" and forming "street gangs." And far too many daft talk show hosts and TV magazine shows let conservatives spout that crap without questioning what they really meant.

Allen is the perpetuator of that system, and he's the product of it, having been taken in by the "coolness" of confederate conservatism growing up, despite having no ties whatsoever to the South.

Had enough, Virginia? Support Jim Webb.

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