FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 18, 2014
IREHR Condemns White Nationalist Scheduled to Speak at South Carolina Tea Party Convention
(Kansas City) The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR) today 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.
As IREHR documented in a new report released today, “White Nationalist Scheduled to Speak at South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention,” Roan Garcia-Quintana, a national board member of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens, is presently listed as a featured speaker at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention to be held on January 17-19 in Myrtle Beach.
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. 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,” said Leonard Zeskind, president of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights.
“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,” noted IREHR vice president, Devin Burghart.
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.
“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,” added Zeskind.
“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.
IREHR calls upon all people of good will to denounce such an affront to good common sense.
Vice President, IREHR
The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR) is a national organization with an international outlook examining racist, anti-Semitic, white nationalist, and far-right social movements, analyzing their intersection with civil society and social policy, educating the public, and assisting in the protection and extension of human rights through organization and informed mobilization.