Council of Conservative Citizens
The Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) is an American paleoconservative political organization that supports a large variety of localized grassroots causes and which opposes racial integration, multiculturalism and political correctness. Some members of the CofCC board of directors are former leaders of the Citizen Councils of America, founded by Robert B. Patterson. It is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, and its most active chapter is in Mississippi. Other states with active chapters include Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and New York. The group is estimated to have 15,000 members.
Activities and Issues
The CofCC publishes the Citizens Informer newspaper quarterly. Previously edited by the late Samuel Francis, Joel T. LeFevre took over, and the editorial board includes Baum, Virginia Abernethy, Sam G. Dickson, Wayne Lutten, and Jared Taylor. Recent contributors to the Citizen Informer have included Ilana Mercer, Lawrence Auster, and Robert Locke. It has also printed syndicated columns of Joseph Sobran, Patrick Buchanan and Congressional speeches of Ron Paul. The CofCC has a non-profit foundation, the Conservative Citizens Foundation, which is currently raising money for a Confederate monument project.
The CofCC considers itself a traditional conservative group opposing liberals and neoconservatives and they also seek to promote some of the ideals of the Confederate States of America. Its specific issues include states rights, race relations, and conservative Christianity. They have attacked Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Frankfurt School on their website. Consistent with paleoconservatism, they regard American culture as an offshoot of the European cultural tradition. The Council of Conservative Citizens is currently fighting against immigration by non-whites, affirmative action and racial quotas, interracial marriage, homosexuality, forced busing for school integration, and gun control. The CofCC also looks favorably towards European nationalist and anti-immigration groups.
The CofCC was founded in 1988 in Atlanta, Georgia, and is now headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Lester Maddox, the late former governor of Georgia, was a charter member. Gordon Lee Baum is the current CEO. Tom Dover, head of Dover Cylinder Repair is the president. Lenard Wilson, a former Alabama State Committeeman for both Republican and Democratic parties, sits on the CofCC Executive Board. Bill Lord Sr, Carrol County Coroner, former head of the Carrol Academy School Board, also sits of the Executive Board.
In 1997, several members of the CofCC attended an event hosted by Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National party. The delegation from the CofCC presented Le Pen a Confederate flag; which had been flown over the South Carolina state capitol building.
The CofCC became involved in national politics during the 1990s when journalists attacked the group and reported that many politicians, including Bob Barr, had belonged to or spoken at CofCC functions, had either attended the group's meetings, corresponded with its leaders, and/or spoken favorably of it. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott had also spoken at a CofCC meeting. In the ensuing controversy the CofCC was denounced by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Jim Nicholson, for holding "racist and nationalist views". Other national and state politicians who have given speeches or attended CofCC meetings include former Senator Jesse Helms, and former governors H. Guy Hunt of Alabama and Kirk Fordice of Mississippi. Former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt also attended event of the organization's St. Louis predecessor the "Metro-South Citizens Council" shortly before the name change in the mid-1980s an event he has repeatedly referred to as a mistake. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Miami Herald tallied a further 38 federal, state, and local politicians who appeared at CofCC events between 2000 and 2004. Senator Trent Lott, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Mississippi state senators Gary Jackson, and Dean Kirby, several Mississippi state representatives. Ex-Governors Guy Hunt of Alabama, and Kirk Fordice of Mississippi, also have spoke at CofCC meetings. U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker is said to have attended meetings of the group. In 2005, the Council of Conservative Citizens held their National Conference in Montgomery, Alabama. George Wallace Jr., an Alabama Public Service Commissioner and former State Treasurer who was then running for Lieutenant Governor, and Sonny Landham, an actor, spoke at the conference.
In 2005 the CofCC staged the largest protest ever held in front of the offices of the SPLC in Montgomery, Alabama. About 72 members demonstrated and received state-wide publicity. The CofCC has also protested speaking engagements by Morris Dees in Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Indiana, and South Carolina. An April 2005 photo essay on the CCC website shows gruesome pictures of decapitated, burnt and mangled bodies of white victims of violence in South Africa, while the caption states that whites may one day become a minority in the United States.
In Mississippi there are several chapters that are working closely with private “academies”. These academies (many of which were originally called “council schools”) in Mississippi are inexpensive private schools that provide whites with an alternative to sending their children to majority-black public schools.
Mississippi is the only state that has major politicians who are open CofCC members, including State Senators and Representatives. The CofCC once claimed 34 members in the Mississippi legislature.
Every four years, Mississippi State Chairman Bill Lord holds the Blackhawk Rally in Blackhawk, Mississippi. The rally raises money for the Carroll County Academy busing association that provides buses for private academies. The rally is co-sponsored by the CofCC and other county organizations.
Haley Barbour, a long-time Republican National Committee chairman and later the Governor of Mississippi, spoke at a Blackhawk Rally. A photograph of Barbour with CofCC members appeared on the CofCC webpage during Barbour's gubernatorial campaign, and a firestorm of media demanded that Barbour ask for his picture to be removed from the site. Barbour refused. He was later elected governor.
The South Carolina CofCC held a rally opposing amnesty for illegal aliens with over 1,000 in Greenville, SC on April 29, 2006, the largest such rally in the nation . After WYFF NBC Greenville falsely reported that only "dozens attended," the SC CofCC demonstrated in front of their station with about 125 people.
The Council of Conservative Citizens held mass demonstrations in South Carolina between 1993 and 2000 to keep the Confederate flag on the state house dome. Demonstrations were held in the upstate, down to the tourist coast in Myrtle Coast and Hilton Head Island. The rallies started as a response to NAACP rallies calling for the flag to come down. The CofCC fought a lone battle to keep the flag up for seven years. After a 1999 rally, when the CofCC drew 1,500 demonstrators to the capital, other groups asked to form a coalition. In 2000, a coalition march drew 8,000 people. However, several coalition members endorsed a compromise that led to the flag coming down and being placed in front of the statehouse on the Confederate Soldier statue.
The previous SC CofCC state director, Francis Bell passed away in 2005 after fighting a long battle with cancer. The South Carolina CofCC is now headed by a four member board of directors. and has active chapters in Charleston and Greenville.
- Council of Conservative Citizens
- A Statement of the Principles of the Council of Conservative Citizens
- Confronting Right-Wing Extremism and Terrorism in the USA, by George Michael, page 21