Sunday, December 05, 2004

Your GOP


The appointment to the state Board of Education of a high-ranking member of a Confederate heritage group who once sold anti-Semitic books is causing an uproar with civil rights groups and education officials.

Ron Wilson, a former commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, was selected by a 4-3 vote of the Anderson County delegation to the General Assembly.

“This should send chills down the spine of all South Carolinians,” said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, which tracks racist groups.

Wilson, who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate this year, declined comment when reached at his home in Easley.

Wilson once sold textbooks to parents who home-school their children. The books included “Barbarians Inside the Gates,” which touted a discredited theory that Jews are working toward world domination.

He praised the book — which the SPLC called “a viciously anti-Semitic tome” — on his personal Web site.

What a shitty reporter, that was almost comical -- "a discredited theory that Jews are working toward world domination."

From the SPLC:

Hijacking Heritage
Ron G. Wilson, 56 | EASELY, S.C.

When Ronnie Wilson was elected commander in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) in August 2002, his politics were largely unknown both inside and outside the 32,000-member heritage group.

Within months, however, it was clear that Wilson was an extremist. Working closely with white supremacist ally (and failed SCV leadership candidate) Kirk Lyons, Wilson has appointed racists and anti-Semites to key posts, purged some 300 SCV members and leaders who opposed racism, and worked to turn the SCV into an actively neo-Confederate organization.

But it turns out there is more to Wilson's history than the last year has revealed. He is the author of five essays about the evils of communism (one praising the legacy of disgraced Sen. Joseph McCarthy) published in the tabloid of the racist Council of Conservative Citizens* (CCC). He spoke at a 1997 CCC meeting that also featured long-time white nationalist Sam Francis (see 'The Stupid Party').

He hosted a late 1990s right-wing talk show, "Hour of Courage," on WWCR, a shortwave station. In the same period, he led the South Carolina Heritage Coalition, a group whose vice chairman was Jerry Creech, state director for the CCC (an outfit that has more recently called blacks "a retrograde species of humanity").

At the same time, Wilson runs a business called Atlantic Bullion and Coin Inc. But that's not all. Until he pulled down its Web site last year, he also operated from his Easley home a firm he called International Commerce Corp., "specializing in books & videos for the family & home schoolers."

One book his company sold, Barbarians Inside the Gates by 1960s Defense Department official Donn de Grand Pré, is a viciously anti-Semitic tome that approvingly quotes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the infamous Czarist forgery that purports to reveal a Jewish plot to take over the world.

The squib advertising the book on Wilson's Web site included these words: "The author reveals concealed codes and goals that might be extracted from the Protocols of Zion. Once again our publisher asks 'can you handle the truth??' ... I thought long and hard about handling this book. [But] I will not back away from the truth in this book. You MUST READ THIS BOOK for yourself."

With a political lineage like that, it's no surprise that Wilson grew close to Lyons, a long-time racist attorney, in the late 1990s. Today, Wilson is on the board of Lyons' non-profit law firm, the Southern Legal Resource Center, while his daughter, Alison Shaum, works there.

Among many similar actions inside the SCV, Wilson recently named Allen Sullivant, who created the racist Web site, the group's "chief of heritage defense." Now, although he was temporarily stymied in votes taken at the SCV's national conference in late July (see Unfinished Business), Wilson is working hard to solidify the extremist takeover of the SCV.