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Trent Lott's Thurmond Comment

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Kenny Meek

Trent Lott's Thurmond Comment

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I sent the Washington Post a letter this morning which reads as follows- The Post likes them short and sweet so I hope they print it.Mr. Lott has gotten away with making this comment twice over a twenty year period and it has apparently failed to effect him politically among his Mississippian constituency. The fact that our President and Congress have failed to make an example of this atrocity says something very sad about the mindset of our current government. We trust these men with the lives of other ethnic groups globally when they grossly fail to come into the current century with simple domestic racial affairs. Does the Capital building have a cloakroom for white hoods and gowns too?
AvatarofPower

Re: Trent Lott's Thurmond Comment

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Can you link to something about Lott's comment? I missed exactly what it was. --Avatar"The computer is the most extraordinary part of Man's technological clothing: it is an extension of our central nervous system. Beside it the wheel is a mere hula-hoop." -- Marshall McLuhan
Kenny Meek

Re: Trent Lott's Thurmond Comment

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www.washingtonpost.comIt's on the front page. As you'll see, Dubya did a little better job of condemning Mr. Lott's actions than I had seen as of the time I composed the letter. As of yesterday's news Bush had barely even scolded the ignorant motherfucker. On the good side of things-crap like this is going to send the credibility of the "Good Old Party" into the crapper by the 2004 elections.Interestingly when I was growing up in the '70s My best buddy's uncle was none other than Senator Thurmond. I got to meet and shoot the shit with the old fart a couple of times in the early '80s at the weddings when my buddy and his sisters got married. At that time I didn't even know what state rights meant so I sort of thought it was cool at the time. Live and learn.
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Re: Trent Lott's Thurmond Comment

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"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." - Lott speaking of the segregationist candidateLott has weathered similar storms in the past, but he may be in big trouble this time. When Rush Limbaugh, Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, and G. W. Bush SLAM him it makes you wonder. Lott's problem is this is not a mere slip of the tongue as this article shows.www.gomemphis.com/mca/pol...95,00.htmlHe said it the same thing in 1980."You know, if we had elected this man 30 years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess we are today." I doubt he is on the way out, but wish he was - I clearly remember seeing Lott on a talk show agreeing with a religious leader that "homosexuality is a disease". : -->:">
Timothy Schoonover

Southern Politics

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I just did a research paper on Strom Thurmond a.k.a. the Thurmond-ator. The research brought me into contact with this very issue and there are some alternative viewpoints that should be mentioned.First and foremost, you have to understand the context in which the statement was made. It was made at the 100th Birthday party of Strom Thurmond, a fellow southern politician (SC). People were making all kinds of extravagent statements and with good reason. The old coot was 100 fricken years old. He's been in public office nearly a quarter of the age of our country! He could be Bob Dole's father! People were merely accolading the career of a friend. While this should not deter us from the thoughtful examination of Lott's political agenda, we should not "proof text" out of context statements to justify an alternative political agenda.In politics, nothing is simple and nothing is black and white. When things seem this way, discretion is in order. Civil Rights and Southern politics is SOOOO much more than mere racism. You have to go all the way back to the late 1800's to truly understand what is happening. When we think of the Civil War, we think of our southern states fighting with the yankees over the abolition of slavery. This could not be more misleading. The Southern states did not just fight the northern yankees, they SECEDED from the Union. They declared themselves to be an independent sovereign state. They established their own government structure and their own currency. In their eyes, they ceased to exist as part of the United States. And if you believe the war was won and lost over slavery, you are dead wrong. Not to be mistaken, slavery was a critical aspect, but it is innacurate to view it as more than such an aspect. The Southern economy was dependent upon its plantations. As the North became increasingly industrialized, the South become more and more dependent upon their existing economic structure. By demanding an abolision of slavery, the north was effectively destroying the very foundation of the entire southern economy. While one should NEVER tolerate the subjugation of a human minority in any form, we must understand how destructive this ultimatum was for the South. It was a dictum of widespread impoverishment, suffering, and the erosion of economic leverage.Once you understand this, it is no surprise that the South reacted in the way that they did. The North, had in fact violated the very rights the Union was founded upon. Yes, they did it in the name of humanitarianism, but in truth, the war was waged out of economic interests.Fast forward to 1865 and the South is defeated. But it is more than that. They saw themselves as an independent and self-determining sovereign state. They were invaded, their towns burned, their populations destroyed, and their economy plunged into utter poverty. 1/5 of the white males of South Carolina died in the war, thousands starved. They were in every regard a conquered and subjugated people. In fact South Carolina was not free of Federal occupation until 1877.Is it any surprise that this region harbored a deep seeded resentment for the suffering they were forced to endure? Certainly, the dependency upon slavery in the economic structure was condemnable, but equally condemnable was the way in which they were radically forced to alter their society. Edmund Burke, the father of true Conservative thinking, calls for REFORM rather than revolutionary change because implicit in revolution is bloodshed and suffering.One you understand the mindset of the Southern States, and the way in which they viewed government, you understand how difficult the issue of desegregation is. It was difficult for the Southerners to come to terms with the African American population. They symbolized all that the South had lost. The resentment was not just racial, but prideful. The US government, which had conquered them in the past, was now decreeing that they should ignore the seething discontent and resentment lingering from the era they had just managed to climb out of economically, and embrace civil rights. It was again, the right thing to do for the wrong reason. The democratic party, around the time of Harry S. Truman, decided to become progressive and to champion civil rights. The South was not yet socially ready for Civil Rights, which is unspeakably lamentable, but nonetheless a reality. It percieved the very premise of the Civil War to be a direct breach of its rights as a state, and the Supreme Court ruling on Civil Rights was more of the same. The South valued its state sovereignty more than anything because it was the loss of state sovereignty in the past which had plunged it into such terrible times of trouble. They believed in it, they fought for it, and they elected leaders who represented their beliefs. Stom Thurman and Trent Lott are examples of such elected individuals. It is just innacurate to label these individuals beyond the context of their environment and culture. It does us no good to decry them as racists and fundamentals. They are merely reflections of a deeper and more heinious issue inherent in the very fabric of our country. By denouncing these individuals in this way, you are promoting the very cause of the problems: ideological change.Ideological change ignores the REALITY of the way in which society is currently structured and seeks to radically modify that structure. In doing so you cause more damage than you prevent. There is no denying that problems exist in our society, but we MUST understand GRADUAL REFORM is preferable to radical change. No man is an island, and our study of Howard Bloom only exponentiates this fact. Ideological changes destroy the structure society is based on and replaces it with well-intentioned theories. In meaning well, we do more harm than had we done nothing at all.PS - Please do not think I am attacking any of the poster who have sagaciously pointed out shortcomings of some of our country's politicians.
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LanDroid

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Re: Southern Politics

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I think you're missing the point that in general they were celebrating Thurmond's longevity in the Senate, but Lott specifically gave a thumb's up to Strom's segregationist positions. Since he has given up those opinions, it is possible to celebrate Thurmond's career without supporting racism. Unless you do it the way Lott did, by specifically referring to Strom's (and Trent's) opinions of 1948. You explained very well the background of the culture of that time, but we are talking in 2002 about the incoming Senate leader wishing we had elected a segregationist as President in 1948. Edited by: LanDroid at: 12/14/02 12:16:52 am
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Re: Southern Politics

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I don't know how many of you caught SNL tonight, but Al Gore's portrayal of Trent Lott was comedic gold. Priceless.
SeanDom57

Re: Southern Politics

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Forgive me, but good grief, and grief is what most people want to give the Distinguished Gentleman, From Magnolia country, he was at a birthday party for a legend. If you believe that he was trying to do anything that was condoning the racism of the past, you also married each person to whom you said, "I love you", to, in the heat of, or the passion of, the moment. "I wish you were dead", sound familiar? "I hate you". "This day will never end". Get my point? Let the man be judged on his works, thank you, very much.Regretfully, there are two terrible examples, here in the state where I live. Bill Clinton, nuf' said. But, this year, we lost a very good politician, an outstanding Senator, and a great person, Tim Hutchinson. He got a divorce. Then he got married, again. While it seems to be justifiable to get a divorce, the people in Arkansas rejected the notion that he might find happiness, elsewhere. Hypocrisy, bigotry, minds welded shut, are excuses for damaging good people, without consequences. Let mister Lott to show himself as a racist, by a blatant action, not a birthday bash comment. Edited by: SeanDom57 at: 12/17/02 2:34:55 pm
Kenny Meek

Re: Southern Politics

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Distinguished Gentleman? Heat of the moment? This is a repeat offense from a redneck with the most anti civil rights voting record in the senate. He may be able to talk like that among his Mississippi constituency and get away with it, but I'm glad he not only layed his cards on the table for everybody to see, he's also dragging his redneck republican party with him to a degree...and if Dubya doesn't make an example of the little prick, well then Dubya goes down too...wouldn't that be sad?
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ZachSylvanus
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Re: Southern Politics

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I guess the fact that he said the comment, knowing full well what Sen. Thurmond's history was, and then proceeded to apologize for it to everyone and their dog, is sufficient for me. Politicians are scum. At least they should have the common decency to be scum equally to everyone.
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