Contra Costa Times, Daniel Borenstein, “GOP’s state vice chairman in hot water”

A leading candidate in the upcoming race for chairman of the California Republican Party distributed an article suggesting the nation would have been better off if the South had won the Civil War.

The article was included in a 1999 e-mail newsletter that state GOP Vice Chairman Bill Back sent to party members. It was written by Bill Lind, director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism, an arm of the right-wing Free Congress Foundation.

“Given how bad things have gotten in the old U.S.A., it’s not hard to believe that history might have taken a better turn,” Lind wrote. “… The real damage to race relations in the South came not from slavery, but from Reconstruction, which would not have occurred if the South had won.” […]

[…] Shannon Reeves of Oakland, state party secretary and the only African-American member of the state GOP executive committee, was outraged.

“There’s no room for bigotry in the Republican Party and I don’t think there’s a lot of room in the Republican Party for people who distribute bigoted information,” Reeves said. “What’s appalling is to have the vice chair of the Republican Party distribute this and act like I just sent it around to kick up discussion. I absolutely reject that notion.”

Reeves said he was not supporting either of the two candidates for party chairman. But he added that Back has resisted his efforts to bring party activities to Oakland and reach out to African-Americans.

“I wonder, does the African-American community have any value to the leadership of the party when leaders send out something like this, not considering at all this would be offensive?” Reeves asked.

“On the outside, when I go home, I’m called the Uncle Tom sellout black Republican. But when you get people like this, it just sets me back from the work I’m trying to do.”[…]

Also useful: California Republican Party profiles on Back and Reeves.

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