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November 06, 2003

Zell Praises Segregationist

Well, Zell Miller just had his Trent Lott moment, proving that his disdain of Northern liberals is still just a cover for defending the legacy of southern segregation.

See this story on the death of Lester Maddox, the former Georgia governor who resisted desegregation to the end:

While Alabama's George Wallace and other prominent segregationists of the era eventually said they were wrong and sought to make amends, Maddox went to his death without ever backing down.

"I think forced segregation was wrong. I think it was just as wrong to force integration." And if he had it to do all over, "I'd fight even harder," he told The Associated Press in 1996.

And Zell Miller's view on Maddox:
"The Maddox administration was a good one, marked by historic and progressive achievements," said U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, Maddox's former chief of staff. "History will judge his administration well."
But as southern political scientist Merle Black says: "His agenda really was reacting to social changes imposed on the South from the outside, and trying to organize political resistance for that."

You still see the argument that the Confederate Flag, only resurrected officially in the South int he 1950s as a symbol of resistance to desegration, means something other than racism. People may associate other values with it-- rebellion, anti-government feelings etc. -- but with a universe of symbols that could stand-in for those other values, choosing the Confederate Flag associated with racists like Maddox is a racist decision, even if all those who fly the flag do not necessarily harbor ill will to blacks. It's definitely worthwhile to appeal to those who cling to the flag politically with alternative economic messages, but defending the flag or the racists who resisting desegregation flying it is completely wrong.

Posted by Nathan at November 6, 2003 10:23 AM