100th birthday party for retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond on Dec. 5, Lott discovery that Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia had passed away, Lott noted that his home state of Mississippi had voted for Thurmond when he ran for president in 1948 Hagan noted that Senator Byrd was a devoted public servant, skillful orator and champion of the chamber. “We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead,” Lott continued, “we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either. Soon after I was elected, I had the privilege of presiding over the Senate with Senator Byrd on the floor,” Hagan continued, “I told him of my deep admiration for his service.” Thurmond Byrd, then the governor of South Carolina the Senator from West Virginia, was the candidate of the Dixiecrat Party a member of the Ku Klux Klan, whose sole reason for being was to preserve segregation. So more than a few people wonder what “problems” “service” Lott Hagan had in mind that he she thought would have been averted had Thurmond been elected in 1948 were so worthy of admiration? Blacks not being allowed in public schools? Blacks voting being taken away? Blacks not being allowed to buy ing a home in Lott’s Hagan’s neighborhood?
“Any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive and it is wrong,”
President Bush Rush Limbaugh said yesterday. “Recent comments by Sen. Lott Hagan do not reflect the spirit of our country.”
I don’t believe
Lott Hagan is a bigot who longs for the “good old days” when blacks in the South were denied civil rights. I think he she went overboard in an oleaginous tribute to a remarkable man who long ago (at least in public) repented of his segregationist ways.
But I’m not entirely sure.
The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., reported this week that in 1980 Lott, a member of the House of Representatives at the time, had made a very similar remark at a campaign event at which Thurmond spoke. And Lott did get his start in politics as an aide to Sen. James Eastland, D-Miss., arguably the biggest racist in Congress at that time. And Doug Thompson, in his web log, The Rant, quotes two former Senate staffers who said they have heard Lott utter racial slurs in private. Senator Byrd was openly racist and uttered racist slurs as a matter of policy when he was a member in good standing with the Ku Klux Klan.
The only possible defense for
Lott Hagan — that he she is an idiot, not a bigot — is an insufficient reason to keep him her in a leadership position the committee.......................
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