January 7, 2003
That the extremists had taken over the SCV became clear in the months that followed [Ron G.] Wilson’s victory. Wilson appointed half a dozen hate group members to key posts on the SCV’s national staff. A gag order was imposed on internal critics in a bid to silence dissenters like Gilbert Jones. Efforts to purge some of those who opposed Wilson’s faction got under way. Violently racist jokes and commentary circulated on a popular SCV e-mail list run by a key Wilson ally. Ties between the SCV and [Kirk] Lyons’ radical law group, the Southern Legal Resource Center (SLRC), were cemented. Sensing a sea change, SCV moderates either hunkered down, joined a new, dissenting organization to try to fight the extremists, or simply quit.The “Council of Conservative Citizens,” of course, is that organization that both Trent Lott and John Ashcroft have palled around with. It’s the successor organization to the old White Citizens Council. Trent Lott is the incoming chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. John Ashcroft is Attorney General of the United States.
William Chip” Pate, a North Carolina moderate, put it like this when he left in September: “The organization is now being led at the national level by angry, misguided bigots and what has charitably been called ‘the lunatic fringe.’”
The takeover of the SCV did not come out of the blue. Lyons had laid out a strategy for radicalizing the organization two years earlier in a speech to the neo-fascist American Friends of the British National Party in Arlington, Va. Speaking from the same podium as former Klan leader David Duke, Lyons told the audience of racist activists that the needed to get rid of its “grannies” and “bed-wetters” and get serious about the political struggle.
“The civil rights movement I am trying to form seeks a revolution,” Lyons told his colleagues on that April 2000 day. “We seek nothing more than a return to a godly, stable, tradition-based society with no ‘Northernisms’ attached, a hierarchical society, a majority European-derived country.” Four months later in August, Lyons, a man who was married by a neo-Nazi “reverend” on the grounds of the nation’s most infamous hate group compound, was elected to his first national SCV office.
Lyons already had helped steer the SCV into working alliances with white supremacist groups like the League of the South and the Council of Conservative Citizens in an effort to defend the Confederate battle flag.
One would prefer to see this stuff as the last thrashings of an old dragon in its death throes. But who’s in power, and who isn’t? [08:47 AM]