Gordon Lee Baum

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Gordon Lee Baum is Chief Executive Officer of Council of Conservative Citizens.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center's 40 to Watch profile of Baum, "Councilor of Hate," 62, of Bridgeton, MO:

"After the underlying white supremacy of Gordon Baum's Council of Conservative Citizens was exposed in late 1998 and early 1999, the group that had once boasted 34 members in the Mississippi legislature essentially abandoned its longstanding attempts to portray itself as a mainstream conservative organization.
"Baum, who as late as 2001 was telling reporters that the council was 'not anti-black' or 'anti-anything,' now presides over an organization that does not hesitate to call blacks 'a retrograde species of humanity' or to post pictures on its Web site of alleged black terrorists over a headline reading, 'Is the face of DEATH black after all?'
"Initially, after the Intelligence Report detailed the racism of the council in late 1998, Baum seemed to react calmly, defending himself and the council as best he could. But as politicians and the press turned against him, he showed an angry and petulant side, and did not help his cause when he went on national media outlets and talked about black men raping white women and similar racially charged matters.
"He also became visibly angry when then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who had long been close to the group, first claimed virtually no knowledge of it and then, albeit in weak terms, distanced himself from it. While he did not attack Lott directly, Baum made snide remarks suggesting that he thought the senator had developed a memory problem.
"A personal injury lawyer specializing in auto accidents and workmen's compensation claims in St. Louis, Baum formed the organization in 1985 based on the mailing lists of the segregationist White Citizens Councils for whom he had been the Midwest field organizer. It grew to include some 15,000 members, mostly in the deep South, and to have genuine political power — power that could be glimpsed when the group's links to Lott and then-U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) were exposed.
"That power was strongest in the South, especially Mississippi, where then-Gov. Kirk Fordice defended the council even as the Republican National Committee asked all Republicans associated with the racist group to resign their memberships.
"Today, the council has taken on new life as it turns its attention from traditional issues like busing and affirmative action to strident attacks on non-white immigration — a shift that is reflected clearly in its tabloid newspaper, Citizens Informer. The Informer is now edited by former Washington Times columnist Samuel Francis ... and, despite its racism, has drawn to its editorial advisory board such people as Virginia Abernethy, a professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University."

External links