News Release

Questions for John Ashcroft on Race, American History and Justice


This afternoon, the Institute for Public Accuracy released the following list of suggested questions for attorney general nominee John Ashcroft, who faces Senate confirmation hearings later this month:

1) Will you furnish the text or a tape recording of your 1999 commencement address to Bob Jones University?

2) You have said that you were unaware in 1999 of Bob Jones University’s racial and religious positions. Are you now willing to renounce your honorary degree from that university?

3) Please explain what you meant in your 1998 interview with Southern Partisan magazine when you said that the magazine “helps set the record straight.”

4) The New Republic reported in its Jan. 31, 2000 edition that Southern Partisan “serves as the leading journal of the neo-Confederacy movement” and for 20 years has been publishing “a gumbo of racist apologias.” Do you agree or disagree with that characterization of Southern Partisan?

5) In your interview with Southern Partisan, you spoke of the need for “defending Southern patriots like [Robert E.] Lee, [Stonewall] Jackson and [Jefferson] Davis,” adding: “Traditionalists must do more. I’ve got to do more. We’ve all got to stand up and speak in this respect, or else we’ll be taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda.” Do you question that preservation of slavery was a “perverted agenda”? How would you describe the agenda of the Confederacy?

6) Do you agree with Southern Partisan that the Civil War was in some sense the “War of Northern Aggression”? Were you aware when you praised Southern Partisan that it has sold t-shirts celebrating the assassination of Abraham Lincoln?

7) What is it in Judge Ronnie White’s record that justifies your characterization of him as having been “pro-criminal”?

For further information, contact:

Burghart is the director of the Building Democracy Initiative at the Center for New Community, a faith-based project that works to counter the white nationalist movement in a 10-state region across the Midwest.
More Information

Hickey, executive director of the Missouri Citizen Education Fund, has extensively researched John Ashcroft’s record over a period of years.

At the Institute for Public Accuracy: Norman Solomon, (415) 552-5378; Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020

“A Confederate in the Cabinet,” an article by IPA executive director Norman Solomon about John Ashcroft, appeared in the January 7, 2001 edition of the Baltimore Sun.