A South Carolina white nationalist leader is scheduled to appear alongside Tea Party leaders, members of Congress, and prospective presidential candidates at a Tea Party convention in January, according to new research by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR).
Roan Garcia-Quintana, a national board member of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens, is scheduled to speak at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention on January 17-19 in Myrtle Beach. In fact, Garcia-Quintana is listed first on the convention’s “Speaker Bios” page, above many more well-known presenters.
Tea Party leaders, including Bill Norton of Tea Party Patriots, Deneen Borelli of FreedomWorks, and Mark Meckler of Citizens for Self-Government are also scheduled to speak, according to the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition’s website. So is anti-immigrant activist Mike Cutler. US Representatives scheduled to share the stage with Garcia-Quintana at the convention include Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC), Rep. Tom Rice (SC), Rep. Mick Mulvaney (SC), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (OK), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX). Likely GOP presidential candidates Ben Carson and Rick Santorum are also scheduled to address the convention
Roan Garcia-Quintana and White Nationalism
Controversy sounding the participation of Garcia-Quintana should not be a surprise to the organizers of this Tea Party convention. His sustained involvement with the racist Council of Conservative Citizens has flared up multiple times in the state.
IREHR first exposed the activities of Garcia-Quintana in 2010 with the release of Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope, and Focus of its National Factions.
Garcia-Quintana’s involvement with the CofCC goes back to at least 2008. That year, he spoke at the CofCC’s national conference.
Roan Garcia-Quintana Speaking at the 2008 CofCC National Convention
In 2009 Garcia-Quintana joined the National Board of Directors of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC). He also became a lifetime member of the CofCC. According to the most recent IRS documents available for the Council, Garcia-Quintana is still listed as a national board member of the racist group.
The Council of Conservative Citizens is the direct lineal descendant of the white Citizens Councils that fought to defend 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.
Racism is baked into the group’s "Statement of Principles":
As a CofCC national board member, it should be expected that Garcia-Quintana helps set the policy and direction for the organization.
This photo (above) shows Garcia-Quintana at the 2009 CofCC board meeting in Nashville. In July 2011, Garcia-Quintana was a featured speaker at a CofCC regional event in Greenville, South Carolina, alongside CofCC President Tom Dover and Virginia activist Louis T. March.
In May 2013, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was forced to remove Garcia-Quintana from his position as a co-chair of her re-election campaign after Garcia-Quintana’s relationship with the CofCC came to light.
Responding to the controversy surrounding his involvement with the Council of Conservative Citizens, Garcia-Quintana dismissed the group’s racism, telling The State newspaper that the CofCC merely “supports Caucasian heritage.” He went on to add, “Is it racist to be proud of your own heritage? Is it racist to want to keep your own heritage pure? Racist is when you hate somebody so much that you want to destroy them.”
When asked by the Charleston City Paper about his stance on interracial marriage, Garcia-Quintana responded, “I don’t condone it.” He added, "I personally don’t [condone it] because I have seen the damage that it does to the offspring where the two families don’t like it. Let’s just talk black-white. As you very well know — and you should know if you don’t know this — black people don’t like their kids to marry white folks, right?"
In addition to his involvement with white nationalists, the Cuba-born activist is involved in several local Tea Party groups. He is registered as member on the Patriot Action Network (ResistNet) Tea Party faction website. He also runs a group called the Americans Have Had Enough Coalition, and served as "advisor and media spokesman" for the 2010 Tax Day Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.
The self-described “Confederate Cuban” is also engaged in the anti-immigrant movement in South Carolina. In April 2013, he attended the annual "Hold their Feet to the Fire" event in Washington DC held by the nativist group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Further, anti-immigrant firebrand former Congressman Tom Tancredo is listed as an honorary chairman of Garcia-Quintana’s Americans Have Had Enough Coalition.
No stranger to South Carolina politics, Garcia-Quintana claims to have worked as a pollster for “Southern Strategy” consultant Lee Atwater on 22 Congressional and Senate races. He claimed to have worked on Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign and was later appointed by Reagan as deputy director of the National Institute of Education, before moving back to Maudlin, South Carolina.