What follows is a chronology of events and reporting of a peculiar scandal surrounding Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Georgia Congressman Robert "Bob" Barr over the nature and extent of connections they may have had with a racist group known as the Council of Conservative Citizens. This group, sporting about 15,000 members, mostly in the South, is essentially a descendant of the white CitizensĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ Councils that formerly opposed integration in the South. Headed by Gordon Lee Baum, a St. Louis lawyer, its issues involve the protection of "European-American" heritage against the hordes of minorities.
To someone who follows the extreme right, as I do, what happened in the winter of 1998-99 was not really "news," for the Council had long trumpeted its association with politicians such as Trent Lott. Outside the circles of the extreme right, however, this was not widely known. When it was brought to the attention of the mainstream media, it became big news. The situation is reminiscent of the 1996 presidential primary season, when one of Patrick BuchananĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s campaign chairmen was forced to resign after his ties with white supremacist and other extremist groups became known to the mainstream media. Watchdog groups, of course, had long known Larry PrattĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s extensive involvement with the extreme right.
Nevertheless, it is indeed an important issue that major leaders in the United States have been accused of connections with racist groups. We should be pleased that the media has given it the attention that it has.
To allow someone to follow the scandal and its history, I have provided this chronology, based on public source information. The dates in the chronology are actually the dates in which the articles on which the chronology is based were printed, not the date that Person X said Quote Y. This was done to allow people to find the articles more easily. One exception is that Associated Press reports are usually released on the same day, not the day after. This is also true of television shows.
that our civil rights have no dependence on religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics and geometry.Ă˘â‚¬Âť