The Punic Wars and the Council of Conservative Citizens Six Months After Obama Enters the White House
by Leonard Zeskind
The Zeskind Fortnight No. 17
Sam Dickson’s soliloquy on how “Aryan Europe” was saved from the “Semites” when Rome crushed Carthage has to be the high point of the Council of Conservative Citizen’s meeting in Jackson, Mississippi on Friday and Saturday June 26 and 27. Winning the Punic Wars was part of Dickson’s two millennia-long list of victories for white people. An Atlanta attorney who speaks regularly at Council and related events, Dickson usually spends his time at these affairs making his crowd feel good about themselves. But alas, he had no recent victories to speak of at this conference, and so he also spent time berating white liberals–and I must confess that my own name was mentioned several times along with the names of others who Dickson decided to deride.
Of the Barack Obama victory in the last election, Dickson argued that, “it is a good thing that Obama is in the White House…so that we can see that the people that hate us are running this country.” Such an assessment was part of his rationale for the statement that “we are no longer conservatives, we are revolutionaries.”
Emphasizing the good effect that Obama’s election was having on the Council was also the task of the organization’s executive director, Gordon Baum, also an attorney (he practices in the St. Louis metro area). The “last four months have been the best for us in many a year,” Baum averred. But he also conceded that the next four years would be a “rough ride.” According to the Council, Obama’s election has ushered in a period of “black rule,” a dubious proposition at best. His election did, however, break the white monopoly on the presidency and does by extension challenge at least some of the perquisites of white majority-only power that the Council seeks.
For the last five months, spokesmen for the Council of Conservative Citizens have been claiming that their organization is growing like Topsy. Last February, the webmaster wrote a note claiming that their internet traffic “has averaged 75% higher per day since Obama was elected,” and that “the rate of new members coming in has been double or triple,” what it normally was.
While there were new members, young people, at the organization’s semi-annual board meeting and conference in Jackson, the Council may not be growing fast enough to replace its aging and less mobile members. The Council’s after the event write-up claimed
that 200 people had attended. But pictures of this meeting show that no more than one hundred were in the room at any one time. By contrast, a news clip about their 2007 conference in Greenville, South Carolina claimed 250 attended that event–so with all this supposedly new growth in members, conference attendance dropped precipitously.
Part of its troubles may include the fact that the Council of Conservative Citizens has not yet developed a new strategy to overcome the “rough ride” they are sure is to come. They continually hearken to the fate of the Afrikaners in post-apartheid South Africa, as if that will provide some type of guidance.
This organization long ago gave up on the Republican Party as an avenue on which to pursue their goals, although they still court local Republican politicians–particularly in the South. Without an assuredly safe electoral vehicle, the Council decided in the mid-1990s to focus on the defense of the Confederate flag, opposition to immigration and support for gun rights. And for the next several years, the Council grew from its activist base in those battles over culture and “heritage;” and I describe this process in some detail in my book, Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream.
The flag crowd, it turns out, is not sufficiently racist, at for least Sam Dickson’s taste. As he cogently argued in a set of articles for the Occidental Quarterly, the Civil War was fought over race and slavery, and Confederate traditionalists who usually defend the Battle flag try hard to pretend that it was not–a mistaken course by Dickson’s count.
The Council, along with its cohorts around the American Renaissance newsletter and the Social Contract periodical, may have cut the turf on the immigration issue–particularly after the passage in California of Prop. 187 in 1994. But the immigration issue has become all crowded up with Minuteman killers, while the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which currently dominates the nativist scene, spends half its time claiming its not a racist organization.
What is the Council of Conservative Citizens left with as its own strategy. Well, not much. Whether or not it attracts hundreds (or thousands) of new members in the Obama years, until the leadership comes up with a viable strategy for the next period, this particular set of white nationalists will be forced to spend its time feathering its existing nest, and hope to survive the “rough ride” to come.