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December 08, 2002

Trent Lott- Racist

Racists then, racists now.

Take Majority Leader Trent Lott, please.

Speaking Thursday at a 100th birthday party and retirement celebration for Sen. Thurmond (R-S.C.) in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Lott said:

I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either.
As the Washington Post notes:
Thurmond, then governor of South Carolina, was the presidential nominee of the breakaway Dixiecrat Party in 1948. He carried Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and his home state. He declared during his campaign against Democrat Harry S. Truman, who supported civil rights legislation, and Republican Thomas Dewey: "All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches."
Atrios found this from the 1948 Dixiecrat Platform, regarding their opposition to the repeal of the poll tax:
The negro is a native of tropical climate where fruits and nuts are plentiful and where clothing is not required for protection against the weather ... The essentials of society in the jungle are few and do not include the production, transportation and marketing of goods. [Thus] his racial constitution has been fashioned to exclude any idea of voluntary cooperation on his part.
That Strom Thurmond himself is accepted as a legitimate political figure today shows the racism of the GOP. But that the Majority Leader of the Senate could endorse Thurmond, not with mealy-mouthed "my how he's grown" excuses, but with full-on endorsement of his racist platform from 1948-- well, that is a level of explicit racism that only the arrogance of power allows Lott to reveal.

Trent Lott should resign, period.

There is no excuse for endorsing this kind of racist history and remaining in office.

Thanks Kos and Atrios for references.

Update: Apparently Jesse Jackson on Meet the Press called for Trent Lott to resign. Go Jesse!

Posted by Nathan at December 8, 2002 10:52 AM

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Comments

Lott didn't make these statements as a slip of the tongue or in the excitement of the moment. They are calculated coded messages to the GOP racist constituency. They know they don't need black or liberal votes. They want to consolidate their hold on the South and this kind of statement sends the right message to their intended listeners. He should resign--but won't. Unless the embarassment gets bigger than the expediency.

Posted by: Ari Zighelboim at December 10, 2002 11:27 AM

I could'nt agree with you more. The speech was calculated and intensotional. The only way he'll resign is if the public stays on this matter

Posted by: jason at December 10, 2002 11:28 PM

I could'nt agree with you more. The speech was calculated and intensotional. The only way he'll resign is if the public stays on this matter

Posted by: jason at December 10, 2002 11:28 PM

It's highly unlikely that he's going to quit. The white house just said that he's apology was adequate enough and that Bush has given him full backing.

Posted by: eranga at December 10, 2002 11:31 PM

I cant believe that the "Christian Churchs" are not in outrage at this terrible sin that has been committed by Trent Lott. For an elected official to endorse the poplitical bigotry of the past is unbelievable. I remember when Bill Clinton committed the "sin" with Monica. Pat Roberson, Jerry Falwell and the likes were all over conservative talk shows and the christian networks talking about this terrible sin. So where are my "good" moral leaders today. Sure not on Fox tv Talking about it. By the way, where is Fox ?

Posted by: peter at December 12, 2002 11:21 AM

Why should he resign? We had a president commit an act that fell a lot more solidly into the sin category, and most of the Democratic party abstained from saying that Bill should quit. Lott's comments can be construed as a racist affirmation, but they also can be read as a gesture of farewell for a senator that has served his country for many years - and face it, unless you are a mind reader, you are assuming and convicting him on the worst possible case.

Unless his words become deeds, lay off the ethno-mccartyisn. I don't see any Senate bills to re-introduce segregation.

As for him resigning, moral outrage sours when it slides into political posturing. Lott should very well step down as majority leader if his party sees him losing the ability to lead, but to resign would allow a Democratic governor to appoint a Democrat as a replacement, shifting the balance of power in the Senate. The voters of Mississippi put Mr. Lott in that chamber, just as they put Mr. Thurmond there, and if they take offense to his statements, they can vote him out when he runs again. Unless you hail from Mississippi, its the voters' choice, not yours.

Posted by: Grant at December 12, 2002 11:41 AM

I couldn't disagree with you more. He said that as a farewell to this senator who has been in Washington for years. He didn't say that he hated blacks and wanted to resegerate(SP?). We all seem to forget that there is a Democratic senator that supports racism & Bill Clinton supported J. William Fulghbright (SP?) who is a known racist, and Jesse Jackson was still his friend. As soon as the GOP makes one statement that can be misconstrued as being racist, we immediately demand his resignation. Who the H*** are you to demand his resignation? How can you say this comment is racist and not see things such as the negro bowling league as racist? No whites can bowl in theis league. How about the NAACP? National Assosiation for the Advancement of Colored People, that sounds like only colored people to me, not whites. Before you jump on someone that may have possibly in an off-the-wall manner supported racism, first complain at those who we know endorse it. Let's call for the NAACP to disband, as it is racist against whites.

Posted by: Donald Brewer at December 12, 2002 11:58 AM

Thank you Grant for a definition of a conservative-- someone who thinks oral sex is a worst sin that three centuries of slavery and Jim Crow.

Ah "ethno-mccarthyism"-- another conservative trope. McCarthyism was the abuse of power against those without it in the name of conservatism. Now, attempts by those out of power to hold those with power accountable is deemed "McCarthyism."

Orwell had your number, Grant.

And Donald, join Grant in the Orwell club. The NAACP has white members and white people in its leadership. In fact, it was started by blacks and white working together.

But see my post on the Church of the Creator, who worry about the sins by Jews and blacks against white people. You could find a nice home.

Given the news that whites still get 50% more job offers just for being white, there's plenty of advancement needed for people of color. Until then, seeking equality is only racist for racists speaking Orwellian language.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at December 12, 2002 11:58 AM

Just for Grant and the rest of the Right Wing Zealots. The Dixiecrat, also known as States Right Movement, was organized by southern christians who were opposed to the "Civil Rights"of African American and other minorities in the south. As noted in the Washington Post, Thurmond the Governor of South Carolina, was quoted as saying," All the laws in Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools,our chuches." How can you defend these statements and the comments made by Lott. Tell Like it is, if you support these ideas you are in fact a racist. Not to mention that he made the same comments back in the early 1980's. How do you defend that. Trent Lott was guest speaker at a rally held by the Pro White Coucil of Conservative Citizens. Which is the educated branch of the Klan. I guess you can blame Jesse Jackson for that. By the way Jesse Jackson is not an elected government official. Trent Lott is !That is the difference.

Posted by: Shane at December 12, 2002 02:19 PM

I don't have to defend Senator Lott - only the voters of Mississippi do, just as the voters in South Carolina seem to stand up for Senator Thurmond (who has served for longer than Moses was in the desert with his Dixiecrat past). I think that he really doesn't need to resign from his elected position because you are offended. Heck, if people had to quit when they offended you, we'd probably have unemployment of 30-40%.

As for finding nice homes, you might want to come over to my significant other's second grade class - the students might help you structure your ideas better. But you'd have to lay off the mantra of trying to gain power in your argument by accusing everyone who disagrees with you as being a racist. The kids really wouldn't understand when you would take offense to the predominance of "white" writing paper in the room.

Posted by: Grant at December 12, 2002 03:49 PM

I am not in any way saying that racism is correct. I am not racist...I hate everyone equally. Trent Lott is not racist. thurmond is, and I am not defending him. I am standing up for Lott, who was only trying to make an old man happy on his 100th birthday. He didn't say that we would be a better place if we were segregated. He was saying that he would have done better than Truman. I think he is right. Look at Truman's second term. NATO - do you think that this helped us any? NATO is now about to accept 10+ former communist countries. How healthy do you think this is? Atomic Bomb - Do you really think that we should have killed all those innocent people? Even if you do, any president would have droped it knowing that the technology was complete. McCarthyism - his wouldn't have happened with Thurmond. Anyhow, mccartyism is not the abuse of power against those without it in the name of conservatism, it was the Democrats way of talking bad about, and trying to ruin every republicn candidate since.These people accused were cabinet level officals, and in very high power. All I am saying is noone is remembering all the leftists who have actually been guilty of racism. I do think that Lott should resign (not that it is my decision, or my right) because all he is going to be doing is appologizing and trying to make up for what he said even though it was not racist. People think he is racist, so he appologizes to keep the votes he needs. He should still be a senator, but not majority leader, we need a leader that can focus on getting done what needs to be done. You are still not addressing why there is no outrage at Clinton, Jackson, and Fulbright. Why do we have different standards for leftists, and the correctists (rightists)? The reason more whites get hired is b/c there are more whites in America. Not only that, 35% of businesses these days are small 1-5 employees, people tend to hire those of the same color. Most small businesses are owned by whites, is that their faults? Is it a white man's fault because he wants to open a business? There is still racism, but no where near as much. That is the Democrats fault. They are always bringing up the race issue to get the black vote. Republicans however try to treat everyone equally and not make a distinction betwix the races. That is the way the Constitution is set up. In case you haven't noticed, not everyone falls into these catagories(thurmond), but most do. Also, Republicans try to stay more in with the Constitution for what it says. Democrats however say (in Clinton's own words) "I like to think of the Constitution as a living, breathing document." I am a constitutionalists. I do not always siode with GOP, but more often than Democrats. If everyone actually had the true knowledge of the founding fathers' belief's we wouldn't have stupid disagreements such as this today. They believed in seperate but equal. That's still equal. I don't stand either way on this, as it is no longer relevant, it ain't gunna be changed.

Posted by: Donald Brewer at December 12, 2002 07:42 PM

Mr. Lott is much, much worse than a racist. He is an ignorant fool. The idea that he can prepare an "insensitive" statement for a known racist's (Yes, Thurmond is racist) birthday is unforgivable. The fact that he, nor anyone on his staff, could detect the statement as possibly being misinterpreted is dumbfounding. This is much worse than simple racism, as many people in the United States are racist. This means that Mr. Lott does not understand the racial dynamic in this country, and especilly the south, which he represents. Yes, he can claim he is not racist. Yes, I agree with Sen. Daschle (D), that his statement was a mistake. But, this simply illustrates the fact that Mr. Lott is not fit to lead the Senate. He does not have the basic understand of American society today and the strained race relations that do exist in isolated areas.

I would also like to remind some of you that the founding fathers lived in the era of slavery. With "All men are created equal," they were at least tolerant of the idea of slavery. I simple don't think the founding fathers are the answer to this question..

Posted by: Bill Grates at December 13, 2002 01:09 AM

You don't think the founding fathers are the answer to this question? This shows your ignorance. They are the ones who wrote the law that we now live by. To ignore the ones who wrote it, we have no understanding of what is meant by the law. Yes they were in an era of slavery, we are in an era of killing our innocent babies, in a hundred years, people are going to look back at us like we were savages as many now see our founding fathers. If they look at who wrote this stuff, and the mentality of this day, they will understand us more and understand why abortion is legal. You can't understand politics without history, nor history without politics.

Posted by: Donald Brewer at December 13, 2002 05:27 AM

Donald Brewer has an interesting view of history and the Constitution. The Founders didn't believe in separate but equal, but either believed in slavery or opposed it-- they didn't agree on the issue, remember-- so there is no single doctrine to get out of the original Constitution.

But then, that's not relevant, since issues of race under the Constitution are governed by the 14th Amendment passed after the Civil War. Those are the relevant "founding fathers" for race issues, and with the Freedmans Bureau and the Civil Rights Acts of 1867, 1870, 1871, and 1875, it is clear that their view was not "separate but equal" but radical federal involvement to assure equality in fact, not "separate but equal" as the 19th century Supreme Court interpreted the law in striking down the legislation passed by those "founding fathers" of the post-Civil War period.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at December 13, 2002 05:50 AM

Sen. Lott can apologize all he wants but he must have forgotten that his smiling face is prominently displayed on the CCC website. As far as I am concerned, his apologies are nothing but hot air.

Posted by: Debby Coley at December 13, 2002 10:22 AM

I read, and re-read all your comments....let's call it for what it is...special comments by special people. These are the people that run our government, these are the people "WE THE PEOPLE" put in power. It is beyond me why Thurmond served for 48 years as a racist. Did you know that you can say "I'm not a racist" and "racism is wrong", and still be a closet racist? Something like oil tycoons running our government....how come so much fuss is made about some stupid comment made by some "specially" elected official...and no one is talking about how this country is being taken "literally" to the cleaners by the new administration??? I'm going to guess that you all support the president and his oil deputies...Lott is not the problem here, Government being run by Lawyers, crooked and lyeing politicians, and oil ministers. And by the way...instead of hunting for witches...why don't you all try to ask why Cheney is "not" being investigated for screwing this country....who did he talk to at Enron ?? mmmhhh?....racism...it's a good excuse to keep people's minds away from what is really going on in this country...WE the People seem to be serving them the white house people. Come on people...get your country back...take you representatives to task, and if they're not honest, and you keep them in office...then you all deserve it cause you don't care about "AMERICA" as a whole, you only care wheather someone is a republican or democrat...sounds like a monarchy to me...and Bush is the cvhosen prince to take over his Dad's empire. Or is it me?

Posted by: Rocky at December 13, 2002 01:49 PM

Bring me the head of Trent Lott!

Senator Lott can try to spin his outrageous comments anyway he wants...but the bottom line is that he has now said on two occasions that the country would have been better off if the candidate who ran in 1948 under a segregationist platform had won...plain and simple...Lott is the epitome of what is wrong with the Republican Party...it has strayed from classical conservative ideology and has been overrun by rabid members of the christian coalition and racist southerners...JOHN EDWARDS FOR PRESIDENT!

Posted by: Shep at December 16, 2002 12:32 PM

trent lott saying what he said is like me saying 'if i was ceo of our company for the last 10 years, our stock price would be at $50 and we wouldnt have laid off all those people' It was a JOKE. he was making light of the guy's age and trying to put a smile on people's faces. Trent Lott may be a racist. I have no idea on earth. If he is, then screw him, but I dont think these comments should be taken by themselves in order to determine that he is a racist. Like I said, maybe he is...but I dont think these comments are more than a funny comment meant to make an old man smile. This whole episode is simply proof that politicians will jump down each other's throat as long as some idiots in the public are upset. give me a break.

Posted by: Warren Anderson at December 16, 2002 02:54 PM

Trent Lott should remain as Majority Leader. He is the perfect poster boy for what the Republican Party is really about, once you scratch a little below the surface: bigotry, and the constant attempt to push the clock back 50 years, or 500 years.

It's interesting, and predictable, that we see and hear the same old hypocrites with their so delicate "moral sense," so shockingly "offended" by Clinton's sexual indiscretions, but who see the expression of overt racism by a top political leader as no big deal.

I spit on their "morality."

Let Trent stay. The GOP deserves him.

Posted by: J Benante at December 16, 2002 09:45 PM

You people are delusional, especially mrs. Ari Zighelboim. no he is not a racist. You people are brain washed by the media. Trent lott is being taken advantage of and being made a target by the media, who has convinced a large part of the nation into believing that he was refferring to segregation in his comment to Strom thurman. Lott was only trying to pay a compliment to a 100 year old man. Its funny how you people only pay attention to whats going on in our nation when the media puts a smear add on the front page of a news paper.

Posted by: benno at December 17, 2002 12:16 AM

Conservative white Americans are real upset over Trent Lott's now infamous words. Why? During his 8 year presidency, Ronald Reagan managed to convince most white Americans that racism is no longer a major issue in America, that discrimination is a thing of the past and that affirmative action is no longer necessary. Then a national leader like Senator Lott puts his foot in his mouth, big-time, and makes a declaration that if segregation still existed, America would be a better place. Ahhhhh, it seems that racism is indeed still alive and well in America!
Thank God for Trent Lott! I'm glad that he made this statement. How did Malcolm X put it: The chickens have come home to roost.

Posted by: Pamela A. Hairston at December 17, 2002 02:09 PM

I am appalled. Whether Lott is a racist or not is really immaterial. It is not illegal to be racist in your heart, or in what you say. It is only illegal to discriminate based on race for things like employment and credit and such. Frankly, people in this company are too sensitive, and can read anything into anything. I personally think Lott should go only because he is apologizing forever for something he claims he didnít intend Ė NOT because he is racist or not. Regardless, there are those that are demanding his dismissal, and we had a President that LIED UNDER OATH that remained in office. Please. If we canít hold our own President to legal authority, get off the un-manned, wheel-less Lott wagon. If anything, at the very least you all are accusing Lott of speaking the truth Ė and he wasnít even under oath. You should all still be demanding that Clinton do jail time.

Posted by: Taz at December 17, 2002 02:33 PM

Oops. Company=country.

Posted by: Taz at December 17, 2002 02:35 PM

You leftists are ridiculous. Racism has become the new McCarthyism in America. According to you liberals, us Republicans meet in dark rooms in the middle of the night and secretly spout out all racist views.

Grow up! Republicans did more for Civil Rights than Democrats ever did in this country. And it's getting terribly old to hear the race card being pulled any time the Republicans don't support stances of the NAACP. Republicans can agree with Democrats on specific issues, like racial quotas, without being called Racists! Give it up! It's old! It's used up! And it's NOT TRUE!!

Posted by: Kirk at December 17, 2002 02:53 PM

Yep- Republicans once did great things for civil rights-- back in the 19th century when they worked in the tradition of Lincoln, rather than electing a majority leader who praises Jefferson Davis as embodying the Republican Party's values.

The Democrats once was the bastion of racists. Then Thurmond led the Dixiecrats out of the party and over to a Republican Party that, with Nixon's "southern strategy" welcomed them with open arms. And those racists increasingly hijacked the Republican Party, leaving moderates like Jeffords with no home and an increasing drift to the Democratic side of the aisle.

It's a fascinating reversal of positions by the parties over the last hundred plus years. But it's the reality-- the party of Lincoln is now run by Dixiecrats.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at December 17, 2002 03:05 PM

I suspect Mr. Lott is a White Supremacist, yet I cannot prove it. I understand that White Supremacy is about violence, deception, and sheer lust for POWER. The speech of Mr. Lott should not suprise any victim of White Supremacy as deception is the chief weapon of the Racist Man and Racist Woman, while words are the most important tool. Mr. Lott does understand this, however he made a mistake. Perhaps Mr. Lott is like many other white people who live long lives doing the things Racists might DO without ever revealing the truth about how they think, speak and act in parallel with White Supremacy. The difference is Mr. Lott made these statements in a very public way and nothing could be done to reverse the damage done. People who support White Supremacy have demonstrated how they are possibly the smartest people on earth. My suspicion is that Mr. Lott suprised those who thought he was smart enough to act on the world's stage as though he were NOT a White Supremacist while actually practicing White Supremacy. I am interested to find out how other White People will react to this phenomena. Will they see and expose other White People with the evidence they have knowledge of? Or, will they double their efforts to make sure all White People understand... we don't call them niggers any more, we call them Mr. Jones etc...

Posted by: John Bilal at December 19, 2002 12:11 AM

I'd just like to say this one thing:

"Osama bin Laden has been very, very effective {and} we've got to ask, why is this man so popular around the world? Why are people so supportive of him in many countries? He has been in many countries that are riddled with poverty... He's been out in these countries for decades building roads, building schools, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful..." (Sen Patty Murray (D, WA))

"Sen. Murray's crime, it seems, was to make an ill-worded and rather silly speech..." (Editorial in the Washington Post)

I wonder why the media said almost nothing (and everything they said was harmless) when a Democrat well-nigh praised Osama bin Laden, but they whipped up a storm when a Republican made a stupid comment that could be twisted into racism at an old fart's 100th birthday party? Hmm? Anyone got any ideas? I think it's 'cuz 'media bias' has turned into a redundancy.

Posted by: Ken Stein at April 27, 2003 03:57 PM

Oh, and yeah, I forgot to state the obvious: the media's bias is well toward the left.

Posted by: Ken Stein at April 27, 2003 04:02 PM

Hi. I just had a question on the NAACP. Like the history behind it. If any one would like to fill me in please email me at monster_baby_62305@hotmail.com

Thank you,
Kelsey

Posted by: Kelsey at November 12, 2003 01:17 PM

Hi. I just had a question on the NAACP. Like the history behind it. If any one would like to fill me in please email me at monster_baby_62305@hotmail.com

Thank you,
Kelsey

Posted by: Kelsey at November 12, 2003 01:18 PM

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