Citizens Council Flyer
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Robert Patterson organized the Citizens’ Councils of America, at first called the "White Citizens’ Councils", in Indianola, Mississippi, in 1954. The organization spread rapidly and soon set up national headquarters in Jackson, the state capital. In many towns, all white business and civic leaders were expected to join, and did.
Mississippi law required publishing the names of citizens who applied to register to vote. Citizens’ Councils encourage members to fire African Americans who dare to register, call in any bank loans, and refuse to sell them fuel or supplies. They claimed to eschew violence but often published names and home addresses of parents of the few black children who dared to try to integrate white public schools. They published a magazine, first called "The Citizens’ Council,", later, "The Citizen". Today, the Council of Conservative Citizens is their descendant organization.
The White Citizens’ Council (WCC) was an American white supremacist organization formed on July 11, 1954. After 1956, it was known as the Citizens’ Councils of America. With about 60,000 members, mostly in the South, the group was well known for its opposition to racial integration during the 1950s and 1960s, when it retaliated with economic boycotts and other strong intimidation against black activists, including depriving them of jobs.
By the 1970s, following passage of federal civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s and stronger enforcement of rights by the federal government, the influence of the WCC had waned considerably. The successor organization to the White Citizens’ Council is the Council of Conservative Citizens, founded in 1985.
Unlike the Ku Klux Klan, the WCC met openly and was seen as "pursuing the agenda of the Klan with the demeanor of the Rotary Club." The group eschewed the use of violence, instead using economic and political tactics against activists. But, the historian Charles Payne notes, "Despite the official disclaimers, violence often followed in the wake of Council intimidation campaigns." Occasionally some Councils directly incited violence. For instance, in Montgomery, Alabama, during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a mimeographed flyer containing the following was distributed at a large Council meeting in the Garrett Coliseum: When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to abolish the Negro race, proper methods should be used. Among these are guns, bows and arrows, sling shots and knives. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all whites are created equal with certain rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of dead niggers.
Many state and local politicians were members of the Councils, which at least in some states, gave the organization immense influence over state legislatures. In Mississippi, the State Sovereignty Commission funded the Citizens’ Councils, in some years providing as much as ,000. This state agency also shared information it had collected through investigation and surveillance of integration activists with the Councils
Council of Conservative Citizens website
Statement of Principles
(1) We believe that the United States of America is a Christian country, that its people are a Christian people, and that its government and public leaders at all levels must reflect Christian beliefs and values.
(2) We believe the United States is a European country and that Americans are part of the European people. We believe that the United States derives from and is an integral part of European civilization and the European people and that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character. We therefore oppose the massive immigration of non-European and non-Western peoples into the United States that threatens to transform our nation into a non-European majority in our lifetime. We believe that illegal immigration must be stopped, if necessary by military force and placing troops on our national borders; that illegal aliens must be returned to their own countries; and that legal immigration must be severely restricted or halted through appropriate changes in our laws and policies.
We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.
Council of Conservative Citizens
Ideology: White Nationalist
The Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) is the modern reincarnation of the old White Citizens Councils, which were formed in the 1950s and 1960s to battle school desegregation in the South. Created in 1985 from the mailing lists of its predecessor organization, the CCC, which initially tried to project a "mainstream" image, has evolved into a crudely white supremacist group whose website has run pictures comparing pop singer Michael Jackson to an ape and referred to blacks as "a retrograde species of humanity." The group’s newspaper, Citizens Informer, regularly publishes articles condemning "race mixing," decrying the evils of illegal immigration, and lamenting the decline of white, European civilization.
In Its Own Words: "God is the author of racism. God is the One who divided mankind into different types. … Mixing the races is rebelliousness against God."
— Council of Conservative Citizens website, 2001
Most Americans learned of the CCC in late 1998, when a scandal erupted over prominent Southern politicians’ ties to the brazenly racist group. After it was revealed that former Congressman Bob Barr (R-Ga.) gave the keynote speech at the CCC’s 1998 national convention and that then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) had spoken to the group five times, both claimed they knew nothing about the CCC. However, an Intelligence Report investigation, publicized by national television and newspaper reports, made clear what the CCC really was: a hate group that routinely denigrated blacks as "genetically inferior," complained about "Jewish power brokers," called LGBT people "perverted sodomites," accused immigrants of turning America into a "slimy brown mass of glop," and named Lester Maddox, the now-deceased, ax handle-wielding, arch-segregationist former governor of Georgia, "Patriot of the Century."
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