A screen shot of a video by Kyle Rogers during a Council of Conservative Citizens National Conference, posted on YouTube.
It may sound surprising, but apparently U.S. tax dollars support a white-nationalist hate group.
According to The Center for Public Integrity, the Council of Conservative Citizens Inc. is “listed by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit organization that promotes social welfare, also known as a 501(c)(4). Such groups pay no federal taxes, a form of government subsidy.”
Eric Holt is the president of the council based in St. Louis, Mo., which is considered a hate group as it istracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The council has had a tax-exempt status since 1985, but is nowin the spotlight. It is said to have beenanonline learning tool for mass murderer Dylann Roof, who confessed to killing nine Black members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on June 17.
A website registered in Roof’s name included photos of him along with a warped written manifesto, which precisely cited the discovery of research the councilhad done on “black-on-white crime,” having found its websitethrough a Google search.The author of the manifesto wrote, “I have never been the same since.”
On its website, the council reported, “Every year, there are some 20,000 rapes or sexual assaults (including threats) of white women by blacks.”
Roof apparently told the Emanuel AME Church congregants he was killing them because they were Black, saying, “You rape our women, and you’re taking over our country.” He intended to start a race war.
The council posted in an article it is “deeply saddened by Charleston spree killing.” And they also mentioned that Roof had “80 Facebook friends and 25 percent of them are Black.” Perhaps that was included to distance them from the murderer.
Kyle Rogers, who heads the council’s website told BBC News he doesn’t believe media accounts about Roof, “Nor does he believe what the Southern Poverty Law Center says about his work, or its influence on the manifesto, saying their researchers have been ‘hyping this.'”
The IRS website provides a description of Social Welfare Organizations that fall under the criteria of 501(c)(4): “To be operated exclusively to promote social welfare, an organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community (such as by bringing about civic betterment and social improvements).”
This seems to not coincide with information found on the council’s “Statement of Principles” webpage, which states “American people and government should remain European in their composition and character … oppose the massive immigration of non-European and non-Western peoples” and “oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American.”
According to the Center for Public Integrity, Marcus Owens was in charge of the IRS’s exempt organizations division in the 1990s. He told the centerit is possible for groups that condone hate to be stripped of its tax-exempt status.
However, Owens said Republicans have created a hurdle:
Owens says Republicans in Congress have made it virtually impossible for the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt status of political groups after the recent, so-called tea party scandal. Republicans criticized the IRS for what they said was inexcusable targeting of conservative 501(c)(4)s. And the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said the agency had employed “inappropriate criteria” in scrutinizing some groups’ tax-exemption applications.
Three Republican 2016 presidential candidates, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, said last weekend they will offer the funds Holt donated to their campaigns to the victims of the Charleston massacre.
Earl Holt has given $65,000 to Republican campaign funds in recent years while inflammatory remarks including that Black people were “the laziest, stupidest and most criminally-inclined race in the history of the world” were posted online in his name.