New Documents Reveal Charles Koch's Ties to Anti-Civil Rights Movement Organization

A billboard funded by the John Birch Society.The shadowy ties that bind right-wing politicians (and policy) with the increasingly infamous Koch Brothers have been coming to light with grand vigor in recent years. However, a new story by Progressive Inc. and the Center for Media and Democracy is casting light on the ties between Charles Koch and a shadowy right wing organization that fought hard against the civil rights movement.

New documents reveal that Charles Koch followed in his father's footsteps as an important member of the John Birch Society. A look at the "Bircher's" tent-poles confirm a striking resemblence to the causes nearest and dearest the Koch Brothers' shriveled hearts: anti-socialism, anti-communism, anti-worker, pro-free enterprise, and limited government. Perhaps most appalling, however, is the work that the John Birch Society did to stop the civil rights movement. From an advertisement in 1965 titled, "The John Birch Society Asks: What's Wrong with Civil Rights?"

According to the JBS, [the Civil Rights Movement] constituted a communist plot to build a “Negro Soviet Republic” in the United States.  The “average American Negro,” according to the JBS in 1965, “has complete freedom of religion, freedom of movement, and freedom to run his own life as he pleases.”  Moreover, “The pursuit of happiness enjoyed by the average American Negro has been far superior to that of any race or any people among at least ninety percent of the earth’s population.”

Charles Koch severed his ties with the John Birch Society in 1968 — note that he was an active member when that advertisement ran — but on the grounds of its support for the Vietnam War. No mention of its staunch stance against the Civil Rights Movement is included in his decision to leave an organization that his father helped build.

Perhaps it isn't such a coincidence that the tea party — which has long been rumored an extension of the Koch Brothers' grassroots campaign to take the lid off of regulations — attracts so many of the angry, disgruntled and blatantly racist citizens of America.

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Brandon Perkins
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