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SC Governor Names White Nationalist to Reelection Committee

By Hatewatch Staff on May 22, 2013 - 2:52 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Neo-Confederate, White Nationalism

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants and just the third person of color to be elected governor of a Southern state.

So, one might think she would want nothing to do with racists and anti-immigrant extremists. Not so, apparently.

In anticipation of her 2014 re-election campaign, the Tea Party darling has put together a 164-member steering committee comprising folks from all 46 of her state’s counties. And on that list is one “Republican leader” and Tea Party activist named Roan Garcia-Quintana of Greenville.

The name won’t ring many bells outside of the South Carolina political world. But he’s better known in white nationalist, anti-immigrant and neo-Confederate circles.

Garcia-Quintana is a lifetime member and current board member of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which is listed as a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The CCC is the linear descendant of the old White Citizens Councils, which were formed in the 1950s and 1960s to battle school desegregation in the South, and has evolved into a crudely racist organization. Its website, for example, has published pictures comparing pop singer Michael Jackson to an ape and referred to blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity.”

Garcia-Quintana is also a rabid nativist, even though he’s a naturalized citizen who was born in Havana. He’s executive director of the anti-immigrant group Americans Have Had Enough, based in Mauldin, S.C., where he lives. At the 2008 CCC conference held in Sheffield, Ala., Garcia-Quintana referred to Latino immigration as an “illegal alien invasion.”

In September 2006, Garcia-Quintana’s nativist organization received proceeds from a barbecue fundraiser featuring former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado. Tancredo, who was one of the most virulently anti-immigrant members of Congress, was listed as honorary chairman of Americans Have Had Enough and is currently listed on the group’s website as the “Past Honorary Chairman.” Lourie Salley, a League of the South (LOS) member, was named as the contact person for the barbecue on the League’s website. The League of the South, a neo-Confederate group that advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by “European Americans,” is listed as a neo-Confederate hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

On the day of the barbecue, Tancredo spoke to men clad in Confederate battle dress from a podium draped in a Confederate flag. The food was catered by Maurice Bessinger, a well-known LOS supporter who has catered many LOS events and has been widely criticized for selling books defending slavery. At the close of his speech, Tancredo joined the audience in a rousing rendition of “Dixie.”

Although Cuban by birth, Garcia-Quintana does not consider himself Latino. His ancestors, he says, were Spaniards and this makes him white. He refers to himself as “Havana born, Savannah raised” and as a “Confederate Cuban.”

If Garcia-Quintana had his way, immigrants would be arrested if they were caught driving without a license and would languish in jail until they could be deported. Their cars would be impounded if they were caught driving without insurance. Garcia-Quintana would also work to make English the official language of South Carolina. According to his “Quintana for SC Senate” website in 2008, “What we want to accomplish is to STOP the enticements for illegal aliens. To do that we must remove the license to operate a business from anyone who continually hires illegal aliens and make it unpleasant for illegals to live here in South Carolina.”

  • Erika

    aadila, according to the most readily available reference that i had laying around (my Torts casebook from law school) the defense of self defense is a very old doctrine which predates the formation of England by centuries – it was present in Roman law and may well have been present in earlier law codes such as the Ancient Hebrew law code recorded in the Bible or the Hammarabi’s Code which the Ancient Hebrew legal code was largely based upon. It would have been present in Colonial Law having been recorded in treatises such as Blackstone’s on law – and in a Common Law (as opposed to Civil Law system) likely was never formerly recorded).

    Once Common Law developed (and remember that there are recorded English cases going back to at least 1100- 1200 C.E.), self defense would have been a defense to the charge raised before the court. i’m no expert on the English legal system history, so i’m not sure exactly when commoners in England received the right to a trial (may have been the English Bill of Rights) so these early cases may have only involved cases where a noble was a defendant. Thus the defendant would have to plead to self defense and the judge (or later jury) would rule whether the defendant was guilty or whether the provokation was adequate to justify the violence. As time went on and the notion of “lesser punishments” arose (remember that intitially any felony would be punished by death) the legal doctrine of imperfect self defense arose – in imperfect self defense the defendant would be justified to use force in self defense, but used too much force. In those cases, the murder charge would be reduced to manslaughter.

    The self defense doctrine to my knowledge has remained pretty constant for centuries – it has always been a “risky” move in that whether there was “perfect self defense,” “imperfect self defense,” or “no self defense” was always a matter for the fact finder (the judge and/or jury) to find. Needless to say that historically self defense claims were not likely to be found when raised by members of certain disfavored groups especially when the victim was a member of the favored group.

  • aadila

    Erika, forgive the quibble but I seek to be informed. My readings suggest that throughout much of English history killing was always a crime, but could be pardoned in the case of self defense.

    This goes back to the precursors of constituted English society, the Anglo Saxons (Peace, Hays Council!) who required payment of bloodwealth to the families of those slain, generally in between various clans. These Anglo Saxon terms for restitution made it into English code after the Norman Conquest of 1066, suggesting that killing was always a capital offense but pardonable under common law. My understanding is when self defense was inscribed in written laws, it was intended to protect the Normans from Saxon vigilantes, and did not apply generally to everyone.

    So, I would suggest that while self defense appears to be a natural right intiutively, killing was the right of kings, not of ordinary subjects. Military service was an extension of the power of sovereigns through divine right (natural law), so the bearing of arms was not an a priori affirmation of the right of self defense, but rather the right to behave above the common law in the name of the sovereign.

    Thus, my lay interpretation of legal history in this complicated issue is that self defense was a universtally accepted positive defense against charges of murder, but not in and of itself a right, since killing was always a criminal act even in self defense until pardoned (either through restitution or through clemency). At least that is how I understand it, and I welcome informed critiques to the contrary.

  • Erika

    Sam, self defense or defense of others as a defense to criminal or tort liability was recognized for centuries before the Bill of Rights – it was a right so established at Common Law that it would not merit inclusion in the Bill of Rights because it would be a matter of state law. The Second Amendment is the only clause in the Bill of Rights which makes its purpose explicit. It is not to promote self defense

    (ironically considering that many people who push it are right wingers who pretend to support state rights saying that the Second Amendment protects it kind of tramples upon state’s abilities to set their own criminal laws – not that a bill to abolish the defense of self defense would likely pass a state legislature, but the thought that the Founding Fathers would put Constitutional dimensions on the federal level to a well established Common Law defense for matters normally within the reserved powers of the States (setting criminal law and civil (tort) law is a reserved power of the state unless specifically involving one of the enumerated powers) is rather incredible and downright silly)

  • Gregory

    IMHO, the purpose of the Second Amendment is explained in its first thirteen words, the clause skipped by folks like Sam who focus on the last fourteen words.

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State… not to fight crime, not to protect individually enumerated rights. To protect the security of the State. And be well regulated.

    As I’ve said before, I am a veteran and I own guns but I do not believe that the framers would have shared the same interpretation of this Amendment as currently espoused by the NRA.

    My $0.02.

  • aadila


    You might want to read about the English bill of rights in 1688 which was a reaction to the standing armies of previous reigns and the desire by free thinkers and protestants to be collectively free from persecution in England (which was very much tied in to the colonization of North America by religious dissidents who had bitter memories of persecution).

    I don’t think the right to bear arms can be divorced from self defense, but it was not the primary motive for establishing the 2nd Amendment. The Constitution was concerned with an institutional framework whereby the nation could defend itself at the same time as the life and liberty of citizens could be protected from the armies established to defend its soil.

    Therefore it appears to be an incredibly obtuse distortion when looking at the historical context to suggest that only self defense was the issue. Furthermore, the free wheeling trade in arms without restrictions was certainly not the intent of the 2nd Amendment. It was intended to provide ample liberty for owning weapons but not anarchy or complete laissez faire.

    In other words it was a compromise between public safety and the right of personal self defense. To go to one extreme or another — either banning weapons outright or removing all restrictions on their ownership and use — is equally a distortion of American founding principles. Reasonable limits on the right to bear arms are perfectly in line with founding principles.

  • Erika

    *eyes roll* because the NRA is such a creditible source.

    The Second Amendment has absolutely zero to do with crime (unless you want to somehow claim that the state militia slave patrols had that purpose and even less to do with an individual right. To try to pretend that it does mangles both language and history.

  • Sam Molloy

    Aadilia, it is concievable that both of these purposes were why that is worded that way. The concept of blue suited Police departments were still several decades away. It has been said by many historians that during America’s “wild west” period, New York City was actually more wild and dangerous than the worst mining towns like Leadville and the always moving “Hell on Wheels” settlement that followed the building of the Transcontinental railroad.

  • aadila


    I don’t agree on militias and crime. The issue in the 18th Century was one of several centuries: standing armies were expensive and dangerous to have around in peacetime because they didn’t produce anything and ended up being a menace.

    Militia armies were a concept (which if I am not mistaken, came from England though I’ll have to owe you the exact source) much ridiculed by traditionalists but a useful innovation because they could produce and work normally in times of peace, but be called up on reasonably short notice. Firearms of the day didn’t require much training and any farmer could be bullied into a firing line. A well regulated militia was a step up from a mob or conscript army because they had some discipline, training and order, but a step down from a professional army in so far as they were not full time soldiers. But as they were cheaper and less of a menace to civilians still bitter in their memories of British soldiers, it was a smart compromise.

    So when we talk about a militia in the Constitution it is important to consider what that really was — a way to avoid having standing armies on U.S. soil, which were known to be problematic in times of peace. So, that is why we have the concept of a well regulated militia, not to fight crime.

  • Sam Molloy

    Erika, the Militia aspect of the Second Amendment had the intention of good people stopping crime. This does actually happen today, but nearly all cases escape the media’s attention. This is less a vast antigun conspiracy than a responsible discouragement of rampant vigilantism. Some of the cases can be found on the NRA website every month under the heading “Armed Citizen”. It can be assumed that many cases go unreported.

  • Sam Molloy

    Erika, Adbusters is a magazine from Vancouver BC that had a tradition of anti Consumerism ( pointing out that we are subjected to over 3,500 commercial messages every day) and the aforementioned Accurate Paradigms of economic theory regarding loss and gain as opposed to the economics fantasies taught in our Universities. The wisdom of the planned urban environment surrounded by farms instead of suburban sprawl, as described in the misunderstood Agenda 21 suggestions. That the actual cost of the useless crap that we are compelled to buy like some kind of narcotic is much higher than the barcode would indicate due to environmental impacts and psychological damage. So far, fine…
    Then they got deeply involved in the totally ineffective and self stroking Occupy movement, the proactive destruction of the entire Capitalist system – and became rabidly anti Israel to boot. So I let my subscription expire.
    It can be found in fine book stores for about nine bucks per issue, ( they do not accept advertising).

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Sam, the God of the bible never gives humans free will. Hell he KILLS Onan for pulling out. He kills his entire creation because they were “wicked,” yet the flood happens long before God even tells humans what to do(the commandments and the law of the Torah).

  • Erika

    the life of the Christian Libertarian must be very difficult – how does one’s brain not explode from the cognative dissodence when devoted to two mutually contradictory ideologies??? :)

    Christianity is based upon sacrifise and giving to others. Libertarianism is an ideology of selfishness, self interest, and greed (or what Christians should recognize as the root of all evil).

  • Erika

    And you do realize that Charles Dickens lived several decades after the American Revolution, right? And that London was much larger and more industrialized than any contemporary American city?

    The Second Amendment is really there to protect slave owners – people try to deny it, but the history doesn’t lie – the “militias” that were protected were the slave patrols in the South.

  • Erika

    Sam, have you actually bothered to you know actually read The Bible??? Because according to Genesis the ability of humans to know right from wrong was far from being given by God was instead “The Origiinal Sin” when Eve ate the apple from the Tree of Life that was given to her by that evil snake who was known to his friends as Lou Siffer. That is to say that according to the Bible people have the “free will” solely due to rebelling against God and with this free will they can either follow God’s will and have your name listed in the Book or Life or be cast into the Lake of Fire? ;)

    Yes, i’ve read Chick Tracts too, HAW HAW HAW :P