Earl Holt, president of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) has donated over $11,000 to the Republican campaign funds including of Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul. This same group is who Dylann Roof allegedly credits with helping to radicalize him against African Americans previous to the Charleston shooting of nine church members.
CofCC is an extreme right-winged xenophobic group in Missouri that supports white nationalism and white separatism. The racist message they send and followers they recruit have a large impact on the binary black and white community in Missouri, because they brainwash people into thinking white supremacy is honorable. This vile behavior promotes ignorant bigotry.
For a group that proudly holds up the confederate flag, its influence on Roof goes beyond violently shooting black church members. Hate organizations like this provide dull-witted people with an environment that fosters animosity towards a particular race or group of people, targeting them and belittling them for no real reason. These organizations should be eradicated because they are worth nothing and only advocate antipathy and hostility.
Now if you are pro-Republican and have been up to date with these 2016 presidential campaigns, you may already be set on who your vote might go towards. Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul accepted the donations from Holt at first, but were quick to refuse when they heard that Roof was associated with CofCC. Cruz has returned the $8,500 donated to his campaign, while Santorum and Paul have agreed to turn the money over to the Charleston shooting’s victims’ families.
In retrospect, the decisions made by the presidential candidates over funds provided by a racist bigot should be a large deciding factor for your vote. Cruz received the largest donation from Holt, and decided to take the easy route and return it to CofCc instead of donating it, while Santorum and Paul had the courtesy to hand it over to the victims’ families. It seems as if all three of these presidential candidates refused the money in order to appear more favorable. I mean, the popular vote in an election is one of the most important accumulation of votes to boost a candidate’s chances of winning. So if the candidates showed some sort of empathy towards the victims’ families, refusing funds is an excellent way to gain popularity. Whether or not the candidates refused the funds for popularity, or because they actually cared, the good news is that the money is going towards people who actually need it. Money is in no way equivalent to a lost life, but the donation was a way to pay condolences to those in grief.
Think twice about who you vote for. The actions (or lack of action) presidential candidates take during their campaigning period parallel the decisions they will make in the White House. As voters, we have the power in our hands and need to carefully examine the candidates’ responses to current issues, especially hate crimes, because our country cannot be led by someone who supports the backward notion of discrimination.