What a Nut!
There are times when Tom Tancredo simply lobs a pitch right at you. In November he appeared at a conservative gathering in West Palm Beach that featured Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. While there, Tancredo proceeded to call Miami a third world country. In an attempt to smooth things over, he then decided to proclaim Miami the Murder Capitol of the World! Naturally the outgoing Governor had to defend his state. After another zinger fired by Tancredo, Jeb Bush commented, “What a nut.” This was just one of Tancredo’s little ‘breakouts’ from reality.
BBQed in SC
On September 9, while barn-storming South Carolina he appeared at a barbecue sponsored by the immigration reform group, Americans Have Had Enough. Listed as their honorary chairman, Tancredo appeared at the function, held at the South Carolina State Museum. The event was co-sponsored by the SC chapter of the League of the South, a one time ‘respectable’ organization that supported some very good historical research about the South. Unfortunately the League of the South has been hijacked by individuals who might be more comfortable in white robes and little pointy hats than three-piece suits. By the time Tancredo arrived at the State Museum, the meeting room was bedecked in Confederate flags.
As a former resident of South Carolina I understand the Southerner’s need to fly the old stars and bars once in awhile and to sing "Dixie". Unfortunately the whole issue has been politicized by both sides to the point where it just isn’t worth it. What was once a matter of just plain stubbornness, and a determination not to let ‘liberals come down from the North and tell us how to do things’ has now been co-opted by the most unsavory kind of racists and white supremacists. They have become such an embarrassment no self-respecting Southerner now associates with the trappings of ‘The Old South’. As an historian, I find this reeks of censorship. As a decent person who understands both sides of the story, I know of no other alternative.
Unfortunately, these unsavory characters were some of the sponsors of the meeting where Tancredo appeared. If he had just acknowledged his politically incorrect mistake, it would have ended there. Instead of owning up to the incident, an elaborate series of explanations began to appear, none of which resembled the actual truth of the meeting. The problem was the fact that the room was rented by Richard T. Hines, who, in 2003 gave a radio address, featuring the ‘N’ word, as in how the Dixiecrat ticket of 1948 would have kept the state ‘white’. To compound the problem, Hines is a member of the highly racist Council of Conservative Citizens, who have very close ties to Stormfront, the ever-growing online white supremacist community. If you scroll down this page you will locate that nasty little symbol that has heralded hate and the extermination of six million Jews in Germany. The website, Tancredo Watch, provides what is perhaps the best history of this fascinating little occurrence.