John Aravosis at AMERICAblog notes that the Council of Conservative Citizens — a group the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a “brazenly racist group” — has put up a doctored photo of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In the picture, Sotomayor is wearing a KKK-type hood. On her robe is a raised fist and the words “La Raza”:
The right wing has been outraged over the fact that Sotomayor is a member of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization. Last week, former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo made a similar smear against Sotomayor and the group, calling it a “a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses“:
If you belong to an organization called La Raza, in this case, which is, from my point of view anyway, nothing more than a Latino — it’s a counterpart — a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses. If you belong to something like that in a way that’s going to convince me and a lot of other people that it’s got nothing to do with race. Even though the logo of La Raza is “All for the race. Nothing for the rest.” What does that tell you?
“La Raza,” in fact, translates as “the people,” not “the race.” ThinkProgress also spoke to an NCLR spokesperson who confirmed that the logo in the CCC photo is not affiliated with the organization in any way.
CCC has been courted by prominent conservatives such as former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, who has since renounced the organization. As Tom Edsall wrote in the Washington Post on Dec. 16, 1998:
The CCC, which has strong ties to the old white Citizens Councils, is considered racist by conservatives and liberals. Many of the most prominent figures in the organization are proponents of preserving the white race and culture, which they see as under assault by immigration, intermarriage and growing numbers of Hispanic Americans.
In the spring 1992 newsletter, provided by a Dallas man, Ed Sebasta, who has followed the organization’s activities, Lott is pictured speaking to the group with its banner in the background.
In his speech, Lott, according to the newsletter, called the Citizen Informer, warns against the forces supporting government spending: “We need more meetings like this across the nation” to offset these liberal pressures. “The people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy. Let’s take it in the right direction and our children will be the beneficiaries.”
Last week, former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke also embraced the position that Sotomayor is racist, while claiming that he, on the other hand, has “consistently supported true equal rights.”