- Views & Opinions
The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights this week expressed concern that a South Carolina white nationalist leader is scheduled to appear alongside members of Congress and prospective presidential candidates at an upcoming tea party convention.
IREHR documented in a new report that Roan Garcia-Quintana, a national board member of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens, is listed as a featured speaker at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention to be held Jan. 17-19 in Myrtle Beach.
U.S. representatives scheduled to share the stage with Garcia-Quintana at the convention include Reps. Jeff Duncan, Mick Mulvaney and Tom Rice of South Carolina, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma and Louie Gohmert of Texas. Likely GOP presidential candidates Ben Carson and Rick Santorum are also scheduled to address the convention.
“Responsible political leaders should speak out against the racism that Garcia-Quintana and the Council of Conservative Citizens peddle. That’s especially true of anyone elected to represent the American people. Congressmen Duncan, Rice, Mulvaney, Bridenstine and Gohmert need to make it resoundingly clear that they won’t be silent when they’re confronted with racism,” said Leonard Zeskind, president of IREHR.
According to IREHR, the Council of Conservative Citizens is the direct lineal descendant of the white Citizens Councils that defended Jim Crow segregation during the 1950s and 1960s. Today, the Council of Conservative Citizens is one of the largest unabashedly racist groups in the country. Garcia-Quintana has been involved with the racist group going back to at least 2008.
“It’s profoundly disturbing that the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition would provide a platform for a white nationalist like Garcia-Quintana,” Zeskind said.
“Mr. Quintana is a known figure, and well known for his white nationalist politics and leadership role in the Council of Conservative Citizens. Those racist politics led Gov. Haley to kick Garcia-Quintana off of her re-election committee last year,” said IREHR vice president Devin Burghart.
“To appear at the same podium at the same conference, even at different times, is to lend their credibility to Mr. Garcia-Quintana’s white nationalism, a cause that should not be considered credible,” added Burghart.