Rudy’s White Powder/White Power Problem
It’s been a bad couple of weeks for Rudy Giuliani’s campaign in South Carolina. Last week, his SC campaign chair, former state treasurer Thomas Ravenel, was forced to resign after being indicted for cocaine distribution (check out a copy of the the indictment here). Soon after, Giuliani’s camp installed Ravenal’s father, ex-state Senator Arthur Ravenel, as its SC campaign co-chair. Who is this Ravenel?
I immediately recognized Papa Ravenel from my Nation profile of neo-Confederate weapons industry lobbyist Richard T. Hines. Ravenel was a speaker at a rally Hines and white supremacists from the Council of Conservative Citizens and the Sons of Confederate Veterans planned in Columbia, South Carolina in 2000 to protest the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. During his speech, Ravenel referred to the NAACP as, “The National Association of Retarded People.”
According to the Politicker’s Jason Horowitz, Ravenel’s remarks fit into an established pattern:
On October 18, 2006 The Post and Courier of Charleston, SC wrote ” Arthur Ravenel Jr., who is running for an East Cooper seat on the board, caught flack 16 years ago when he was in Congress and made a comment about white committee chairmen who operated on ‘black time,’ which he said meant fashionably late.”
So what will Giuliani do about his latest Ravenel problem? Perhaps it’s not a problem at all. In April, Rudy began honing his southern strategy, declaring his belief during an appearance in Alabama that displays of the Confederate flag on public property are “a local issue.” That was music to the ears of the neo-Confederates who hold sway over South Carolina’s GOP. With one of them on his payroll, they have even more reason to rejoice over Rudy.