Playlist: The White Supremacy Movement and the Republican Party
The head of a white supremacist group, cited by the suspected gunman who killed nine African Americans at a black South Carolina church last week, has given thousands of dollars to several 2016 Republican presidential candidates. According to the Guardian, Earl Holt III of Texas, leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens, has donated a total of $65,000 to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. He has also donated to former Minnesota congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
In this playlist of videos, the authors and video makers explore the relationships between the modern Republican Party and the white supremacist movement. In the modern era, the legal wing of that movement has found a home in the Republican Party. We have seen parts of this development play out in reaction to the election of Barak Obama as President of the United States of America. Further, two very visible manifestations of this tendency have been evident in the Republican strategy to roll back the voting rights of African Americans and in the across the board efforts by Republicans to defeat comprehensive immigration reform. We should recall that the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party grew out of the white backlash to the 2008 election of Barak Obama.
The Tea Party and the White Supremacist Movement
If you think that the Tea Partiers are just a bunch of misinformed republicans who hate paying taxes, think again. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center which monitors the activities of extremist hate groups, the Tea Party is actually helping to strengthen the white supremacist movement in America, and has helped to re-energize some specific hate groups that were on the verge of extinction. In one of our White Supremacy and the republican Party Playlist videos, Mike Papantonio talks about this history with Mark Potok, editor of the SPLCs monthly Intelligence Report.
In December 2014, an aide to House GOP majority whip Steve Scalise admitted that the Republican House Leader Scalise likely spoke at a 2002 conference hosted by former KKK leader “David Duke” before the Neo-Nazi/White Supremacist group.
Another of our playlist videos documents that, on February 10th, 2012 during CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, two white supremacists were permitted to speak at the annual conservative convention. The Conservative Political Action Conference is an annual political conference attended by conservative activists and elected officials from across the United States. CPAC is hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU). The two white supremacists who were allowed to speak are Peter Brimelow, the founder of VDARE.com, a website that truthdig says is “an anti-immigration website that has long been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate site. Robert “Bob” Vandervoort is executive director of the racist, anti-immigration organization called ProEnglish.
In February of 2015, MSNBC reported that Republicans in Oklahoma were seeking to shine a more ‘positive light’ on America’s white supremacist past.
Despite the obvious and self-proclaimed racist intentions and views of the white supremacist who massacred 9 African Americans at a Bible Study class at the historic AME Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston (including his prominent display of the Confederate Battle Flag), most of the Republican Party’s leading 2016 presidential contenders had been silent on flying the Stars and Bars. In past election cycles, Republican presidential candidates had tripped over themselves to declare their support for the racist symbol. However, this week, the week of June 22, 2015, that silence has been broken. Republican candidates and public officials who, up until a few days ago were claiming, “states rights”, the historically acceptable language for sanctioning the subjugation of African Americans in the South, were forced to alter their positions. The massive outpouring of public sentiment against the murder of the Charleston 9, forced a retreat on the public display of that racist symbol on the state grounds of publicly funded Capitol of the State of South Carolina. However, not all of the prominent Republican candidates and officials have reversed course. And it still is unclear whether the Republican Party controlled South Carolina legislature will muster the political will to banish the flag from the state grounds. Also unclear is the extent of the backlash we will see from the right-wing, racist element within the Republican Party in the South. Paradoxically, a generation ago, this racist, white supremacist element that now finds a home within the Republican Party in the South, were registered Democrats. Back then, they were known as, “Dixiecrats”. The region was a “Solid South” voting heavily for Democratic candidates for president, and for state and local offices, from the 1870s to the 1960s.
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