Garcia-Quintana (left) and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (right)
— by Aaron Keyak
The new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, indicating that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has chosen a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens to serve as a campaign co-chair, is deeply disturbing for all Americans. But as an American Jew, this is particularly unsettling given the CCC’s links to anti-Semitism. It is unacceptable for any politician to accept support from someone affiliated with an SPLC-designated white nationalist hate group, let alone select one as a co-chair of her re-election campaign’s grassroots steering committee. Haley must drop the support or have her campaign defined by her co-chair’s hateful affiliation.
More after the jump.
In anticipation of her 2014 re-election campaign, the Tea Party darling has put together a 164-member steering committee comprising folks from all 46 of her state’s counties. And on that list is one “Republican leader” and Tea Party activist named Roan Garcia-Quintana of Greenville.
The name won’t ring many bells outside of the South Carolina political world. But he’s better known in white nationalist, anti-immigrant and neo-Confederate circles.
Garcia-Quintana is a lifetime member and current board member of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which is listed as a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The CCC is the linear descendant of the old White Citizens Councils, which were formed in the 1950s and 1960s to battle school desegregation in the South, and has evolved into a crudely racist organization. Its website, for example, has published pictures comparing pop singer Michael Jackson to an ape and referred to blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity.”
Garcia-Quintana is also a rabid nativist, even though he’s a naturalized citizen who was born in Havana. He’s executive director of the anti-immigrant group Americans Have Had Enough, based in Mauldin, S.C., where he lives. At the 2008 CCC conference held in Sheffield, Ala., Garcia-Quintana referred to Latino immigration as an “illegal alien invasion.”