George Graham

Evil in the Shadows



You will have to forgive me for going on and on about the white supremacist terror threat. I suppose it’s not as appealing a topic as – say – female beauty. When I write about Serena Williams’ physical appearance, I get a flurry of comments; when I write about racism, I only hear from one or two readers.

But I have to keep sounding the alarm.

This is a serious matter. It’s not about a few crazies in white robes burning crosses or the display of a revolting flag. It’s about life and death.

America needs to wake up to the fact that evil forces are at work, stirring up hatred, fueling rage, spreading toxic ideas.

I read in the Daily Kos today about a man named Earl Holt III (photo above), for example, “a Texan who regularly describes himself as a ‘slumlord’ when he donates to political candidates.”

According to the story I read, this evil creature is the leader of a group that goes by the innocuous name of “the Council of Conservative Citizens.” 

This group played a critical part in triggering Dylann Roof’s racist rage. The Daily Kos article, by writer and lawyer David Nir,  quotes Roof’s manifesto as saying he visited the group’s web site after Trayvon Martin’s shooting and:

There were pages upon pages of … brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?

Tracing the origin of the “council,” Nir calls it “the direct offspring of the notoriously segregationist White Citizens Council that sprung up in response to the Supreme Court order to integrate schools.” And Nir says, “You’ll frequently see the CCC referred to as the “uptown Klan.” Nir provides this excerpt from the council’s expressed views:

We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races

Apparently, these ideas are not restricted to the fringes of American political thought. Increasingly, they appear to be embedded in the base of today’s Republican Party. According to Nir’s article, this Earl Holt character is a frequent and welcome donor to “48 different Republicans in 34 states. The article includes a list of the candidates who got Nir’s money. Contributions range from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars – more than $65,000 in all. Beneficiaries included Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

In the wake of the furor over Roof’s slaughter of black churchgoers, some of the candidates have said they will return Holt’s donations. But there’s more to the story than candidates accepting donations from a shady character.

The true horror is that racist terror groups have found a home in a major American political party.

When Richard Nixon and his crew came up with their Southern Strategy  I suppose they thought they could simply exploit adverse reaction to the passage of civil rights legislation during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. But, intentionally or not,  they opened the door for the “white supremacists.”

Now the swallows have come home to roost. Increasingly, Republican candidates are pandering to the foul notions of these extremists in order to win primaries. Increasingly, the extremists are gaining mainstream political power.

And, in the meantime, their racist doctrine is infecting loonies like Dylann Roof, with tragic consequences.

Click for the Daily Kos article.

Click for more on the Southern Strategy.

Click for more on Earl Holt.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for