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Senator Strom Thurmond, Twice the Man

By Mr. Penguin in Op-Ed
Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 02:46:40 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

On Thursday, June 26, 2003, Senator J. Strom Thurmond of Edgefield, South Carolina, passed away. He was 100 years old.

Senator Turmond was known for many things, most prominently was that he was the oldest person ever to serve office in the Senate, that he was re-elected for eight consecutive terms, and that he once had strong views as a segregationist. However, there are many things that are lesser-known about the man, and therefore lead him to be misunderstood.

Thurmond first became known to the nation when he ran for President in 1948 under the Dixiecrat party. At that time, he was a staunch supporter of states' rights, particularly in the aspect of segregation. Thurmond, like many of the people of his state, believed that segregation was a question not to be decided on the national level, but in the several state congresses. Thurmond carried only a few Southern states in the electoral college, but he had made a name for himself.

In 1954, Mr. Thurmond went to Washington as the first (and to this date, only) national Senator ever elected as a write-in candidate. Over the next several years, his views of segregationism changed, as did his attitude towards the people of his state.

Few people know that Strom Thurmond was the first Southern Senator to appoint a black male to a position in his office, and the first to appoint a black federal judge. As the times changed, so did his voting record. Though he originally voted against the Voting Rights Act, he did support its renewal in the eighties. He was also one of few Southerners in support of the bill to create a national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

The reversal of his views was not completely spawned by a reversal of the views of South Carolinians. Rather, it was the other way around. Because Strom voiced his opinions and admitted his mistakes, many people began to come around to his way of thinking. It is because of Thurmond that racism receded in the South. Though most Southerners remain quite conservative, they have come far from the views that they collectively held in years past.

It is quite unfortunate that Senator Trent Lott's statements regarding Strom Thurmond accelerated the negative aspects of the man's life. Instead, it should be realized that for a man to realize his errors, change his views, and then work to the converse, is a greater and more notable feat. Popular opinion of Thurmond resulted in few people realizing what a dedicated public servant he really was.

If there is one thing that Thurmond knew how to do, it was to listen to the voices of South Carolina. Regardless what the problem was, he was eager to step in on behalf of a constituent and offer them aide. I was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of such aid once.

In my senior year of high school, I applied to only one school, Clemson University. I could think of going nowhere else. I was accepted and made my preparations for financial aid and scholarships, eager to enter the Unversity in the autumn.

Unfortunately, a nefarious student worker in the admissions office, whom I barely knew but did not care for me, destroyed all records the University had for me. My transcripts, admissions application and acceptance offer, even my financial aid information, were gone. This became known to me when I had not received word of my financial aid months after I had submitted my application. The VP of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University told me that the information was lost, that it was past the deadline, and that there was nothing that he would do about it.

Frustrated and distraught, I called Senator Thurmond's office in Columbia, South Carolina on Monday morning. The aide that I spoke with asked me to send a letter to the Senator's address in Washington, D.C. That I did the same afternoon. Only three days later, the University administrator who had destroyed my hopes called me back and apologized profusely. Senator Thurmond had left Washington upon receipt of my letter and flew to Clemson to meet with the administration and rectify the situation. Moreover, Thurmond had enlisted the support of other senators and representatives in South Carolina to assist me.

Had it not been for Thurmond's willingness to help, I would not have been able to attend college that fall, and probably would not have attended at all. He did me no more of a favor than he would have done for any of his constituents, though. Only in passing had I met the man, and held no personal connection to him. I was merely one more voter calling for help. It is widely known in South Carolina that Strom would help anyone out, whenever you needed him. All you had to do was ask.

That is Strom Thurmond as I and most South Carolinians knew him. He was a man of the people, he was dedicated to his state, and he was a true public servant. He helped us when we were down, he fought for us, and he showed us when we were wrong. And we trusted him, because he could tell us that he was wrong, too. Most people only know Strom Thurmond as half the man that he was. I like to think of him as being twice the man.


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Senator Strom Thurmond, Twice the Man | 265 comments (190 topical, 75 editorial, 0 hidden)
The lies begin... (3.54 / 24) (#3)
by aziegler on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 03:59:02 PM EST

I suspect that when Jesse Helms -- Strom's North Carolina "equivalent" in racist, reactionary, ignorance, and otherwise backwards attitudes -- dies, we'll see similar lies to this.

As a former resident of South Carolina, I can say that yes, Strom was viewed as if he walked on water ... but mostly by the racist bumpkins who thought that having the Confederate battle flag on top of the statehouse was appropriate.

I, for one, do not mourn the passing of this man whose time passed before he was born. Maybe now South Carolina can begin to join the 21st century instead of being held back in the 19th century by racists like him.


What lies? (4.18 / 11) (#6)
by Mr. Penguin on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 04:08:25 PM EST

Please explain. What part of my story contained lies? Did I lie about Strom's past? About his changing views? Or did I lie about the way that he actually helped the people of his state?

I'll agree that many people held Strom on a higher pedestal than he deserved, but I also feel many people deride him even further. Popular belief is not that he was ever benficial or that he ever did anything anti-racist, which is far from the truth.

[ Parent ]
Tammany Hall (4.54 / 11) (#14)
by aziegler on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 04:51:20 PM EST

Strom helped South Carolina in much the way that Tammany Hall helped New York. I remember the controversy some years ago about how the Thurmond family owned a narrow stretch of land -- which was going to be purchased as part of a highway/interstate development.

Similarly, the appointment of his son as a US attorney without the requisite experience is, well, scandalous.

I, for one, don't believe that Strom ever renounced his racism -- but I believe he was a consummate politician.

I will admit that the use of the term "lies" may have been a bit strong -- I should have said "the whitewashing begins". Strom is not worthy of veneration. His eight terms of service is impressive ... if it weren't for the fact that the last two of them, possibly three, were spent as a senile doddering old fool.


[ Parent ]

Ted Kennedy... (4.00 / 1) (#163)
by kymermosst on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 10:57:16 AM EST

Strom is not worthy of veneration. His eight terms of service is impressive ... if it weren't for the fact that the last two of them, possibly three, were spent as a senile doddering old fool.

I will be saying the same thing about Ted Kennedy after he dies, you know...

[ Parent ]

Your point is... (1.00 / 1) (#164)
by aziegler on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 11:10:40 AM EST

what, exactly?

Kennedy is to the Democrats what Strom and half a dozen others are to the Republicans.


[ Parent ]

interesting (4.16 / 12) (#46)
by Delirium on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 10:17:08 PM EST

So, given that Strom was re-elected by very large majorities, I suppose the vast majority of North Carolinans can be assumed to be racist bumpkins?

[ Parent ]
not to mention the black vote (4.50 / 10) (#64)
by Delirium on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 03:30:08 AM EST

While he wasn't popular by any stretch amongst blacks, he did receive 22% of the black vote in his 1996 re-election. So unless 22% of voting North Carolina blacks are white supremacists...

[ Parent ]
SOUTH (4.50 / 8) (#78)
by aziegler on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:15:26 AM EST

Strom was South Carolina. Helms was North Carolina.

They were both racist bumpkins throughout their lives, and anything that they appeared to do to "pro-race-integration" was political shrewdness.

I also think that your analysis of the situation is simplistic. Just because Strom was a racist, does that necessarily mean that all of his voters were racist? No. Much more extensive research would need to be done as to why/how Strom won the Republican senatorial nomination every time he came along.

Look at the Strom Thurmond Timeline (warning: bad formatting, 3+ cookies). He was first elected in 1933, and the job immediately preceding that was a highly political job (education superintendent). Were most of his constituents at the time of his first election as state senator and later governor of South Carolina racist? Highly likely. Later elections were likely decreasing in proportion of racist voters, but until probably the '72 election were probably mostly racist still.

At this point, his service to his state -- including events like happened to Mr. Penguin -- started to take over in voters mind. There is also an amazing strength for the incumbent in South Carolina (I would have said the Republican incumbent, but Fritz Hollings lasted an amazingly long time, too, since 1966; his strength appears to have been his fight against South Carolina's crushing poverty through most of the 20th century, and parts of South Carolina are still this way).

So by the 1996 election, Strom -- whom I believe was barely conscious for the race -- was being elected in part because he had been there so long and his office was superb at serving constituents, favouring the incumbent mightily. (Of course, in 1996, South Carolina was much more of a "yellow dog Republican" state because of the hate-on for Clinton.)


[ Parent ]

Jesse isn't Strom (4.00 / 1) (#148)
by Lode Runner on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 03:07:16 AM EST

and North Carolina isn't South Carolina.

Jesse Helms and I share the same hometown: Monroe, NC. (I suppose that makes me a bumpkin too. . . anyway, here's a little local color.) I never voted for Helms because I disagree strongly with his blinding intolerance of homosexuality and his race-baiting, but you do him--and yourself--a great disservice by equating him with a petty opportunist like Strom Thurmond.

Whether or not they disagree with Helms's politics, those with experience on Capitol Hill will tell you that he is both highly intelligent and very well informed. Despite his savage (and articulate and eerily prescient) attacks on the UN, Helms gained the trust and friendship of a very formidable lady named Madeline Albright.

Was Strom ever a mover and shaker in the realm of American foreign policy or anything else? No, he was a lifelong joiner. He merely hitched his flag to the anti-civil rights movement and then changed tack when that movement was overwhelmed; Helms, on the other hand, actually has the brains to mold the national discourse, not just tap into it. Helms also has backbone. This means, among other things, that Helms won't (disingenuously) say he's changed his mind like Thurmond, guvna' Wallace, and Robert Byrd did.

Lastly, don't take my word for it. Compare Helms's voting record to that of Thurmond. You'll see that one of these men is a political chameleon while the other's a bastion of ideals, some of which resonate with the American mainstream and some of which do not.

[ Parent ]

2nd story today mounring this man's passing (1.86 / 30) (#4)
by circletimessquare on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 04:05:16 PM EST

news flash:

he was an old racist

now he's dead

the earth shakes?

not in heart of anyone who has kept of with relevant news after 1950

move on, nothing to see here folks except stale, minor, pre-korean war history

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Reason for the second story (4.50 / 8) (#8)
by Mr. Penguin on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 04:12:02 PM EST

The first story was very short, only MLP, yet it was generating a good bit of discussion. Someone suggested that I post a story myself, with a bit more insight, and that's just what I did. No, this is not an earth-shattering event, and I never said that it was. Yet, I feel that it is worthy of discussion, and that was the justification for this story.

[ Parent ]
hey, you're entitled to your opinion (3.14 / 7) (#10)
by circletimessquare on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 04:22:12 PM EST

just don't be surprised if not many others feel it

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
+1FP (3.16 / 12) (#12)
by kphrak on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 04:24:51 PM EST

US-centric? Why yes. Some people did like, some didn't like Ol' Strom? Yup. He was a racist? Well...maybe...all I know is, he was supported by SC, who happened to fly the Confederate flag longer than any other state (IIRC). He changed his views as the general opinion in the state changed.

Is this article a cultural article, "from the trenches", written decently by a primary source? Absolutely. +1FP (and incidentally, -1 for the other MLP article; if I want a brief soundbite with little interesting content, I'd watch Fox News).

Describe yourself in your sig!
American computer programmer, living in Portland, OR.

Thank you (4.50 / 4) (#25)
by Mr. Penguin on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 05:47:27 PM EST

That's exactly the idea that I was going for, specifically because it can be very discussion-oriented. Obviously, the passing of Strom Thurmond struck close to my heart, and whether or not people agree with me, I consider it a matter worth discussing.

[ Parent ]
civil war (2.66 / 3) (#59)
by dipierro on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 01:31:03 AM EST

He was a racist? Well...maybe...all I know is, he was supported by SC, who happened to fly the Confederate flag longer than any other state (IIRC).

The civil war was at least partially, if not primarily, not about slavery. Even to the extent that it was about slavery it was in the context of states' rights.

It seems that Bush learned well from Lincoln. It's not about usurping rights from a sovereign entity. It's about freeing the oppressed.

[ Parent ]
Bullshit (3.22 / 9) (#104)
by Perpetual Newbie on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 04:32:05 PM EST

The civil war was entirely, if not totally, about slavery. "States' Rights" is a lie.

United States law comes in a strict hierarchy agreed upon by everybody at the enactment of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. From the top:

  1. The Constitution and International Treaty
  2. Basic Human Rights (including but not limited to those enumerated in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence)
  3. Federal Law (acts of Congress, as permitted by the Constitution)
  4. State Law
  5. Local/Municipal Law
  6. Common Law (unwritten law)

The "States' Rights" movement was about ignoring state governments' responsibility to respect federal law, the Constitution, and basic human rights, in order to enjoy the benefits of federal governance without paying the costs. It had nothing to do with the actual rights of states.

Slavery was the single largest point of contention between the United States and the "States' Rights" movement, as it was the most glaring violation of the established legal hierarchy and the one the "States' Rights" activists were least willing to give up. The secessions happened because a candidate was elected President from a party that had an anti-slavery platform, even though he himself was neutral on the issue. There were other issues under the "States' Rights" banner (such as tariffs), but slavery is the one that singlehandedly caused the civil war.

Modern self-styled "conservatives" continue to turn the hierarchy on its head, putting human rights and the Constitution on the bottom and replacing common law with their own extremist, bigoted moral structures. As for where Bush stands, note his lack of response when Texas Governor Rick Perry's spokesman said that "there is no authority for the Federal government or this World Court to prohibit Texas from exercising the laws passed by our legislature", the same old anti-American slavery supporter's tune.

[ Parent ]
Point of View (5.00 / 1) (#130)
by aziegler on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 10:19:48 PM EST

As someone who spent entirely too much of my life in the south (in particular, in South Carolina), I agree with you that the American Civil War was mostly about slavery. However, it is important to note that that is not what the South claimed at the time of the war. In this way, the victors have (rightly) written the histories.

The ACW was very much about the proper role of the federal government and the governments of the states; the catalytic -- and passionate -- issue was slavery.


[ Parent ]

Uh... (none / 0) (#208)
by goodwine on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 08:22:06 AM EST

If you are talking specifically about the civil war, then I agree. If you are talking about states' rights in general (including today), then did you ever hear of that pesky part of the Bill of Rights called the tenth amendment? Last I checked, it's part of the Constitution, which you correctly listed as #1 in your list of hierarchy.

[ Parent ]
Which Constitution were you reading? (5.00 / 1) (#219)
by BCoates on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 12:51:08 PM EST

  1. The Constitution and International Treaty
  2. Basic Human Rights (including but not limited to those enumerated in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence)
  3. Federal Law (acts of Congress, as permitted by the Constitution)
  4. State Law
  5. Local/Municipal Law
  6. Common Law (unwritten law)
This is wrong in a few important ways.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land[...]
This does *not* make treaties co-equal with the constution; to read it that way would make federal legislation co-equal with the constitution as well. It establishes that both the legislation and treaties of the federal government are supreme (over, for example, conflicting state law)--But even that is restricted by other parts of the Constitution, which enumerate what sorts of laws may be passed by congress and leaves the rest to the states alone. (it also lists a subset of those rights which may not be infringed by government at any level).

The relationship between states and their political subdivisions is completely up to each state to decide individually. States could have anything from a power-sharing agreement like the federal Constitution, or a completely centralized system where everything is run at the state capital and individual cities or counties have no or effectively powerless local governments, or anything inbetween.

Common law isn't so much the lowest level of law as a sort of default law that exists unless explictly overridden by the legislature (massive oversimplification).

Note that it required an amendment to the Constitution to outlaw slavery nationwide (as opposed to one state at a time, by the state legislatures or constitution--although the 14th amendment would have changed that)

Benjamin Coates

[ Parent ]

Excellent points... (none / 0) (#234)
by dipierro on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 09:07:39 PM EST

Note that it required an amendment to the Constitution to outlaw slavery nationwide

Well... One could claim that this isn't exactly the case, and that the 13th Amendment merely spelled out a right which all people already had. The 9th Amendment makes it clear that the people have rights which are not spelled out in the Constition. The problem is that if Congress disagrees about these rights it might take a civil war to recognize them.

[ Parent ]
I shouldnt even reply to this,but I typed it up so (none / 0) (#235)
by dipierro on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 10:00:56 PM EST

United States law comes in a strict hierarchy agreed upon by everybody at the enactment of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

That is complete and utter bullshit. Not everyone agreed to the hierarchy presented by the Constitution, and the only parts of the hierarchy which the constitution makes clear is that the Constitution, treaties, and laws which follow the constitution are above state law (including state constitutions). Local/Municipal law is nonexistent. Municipalities are a construct of the state. They do not exist as entities unto themselves. Common law is part of state law.

As for the role of basic human rights, that either goes at the top of the list or the bottom depending on your perspective. Basic human rights are inalienable. Regardless of what the Constitution says, regardless of what any law or treaty says, the people have their basic rights. The government, including the Constitution, derives its power from the people, not the other way around. Now that said, you could just as rightfully say that basic human rights go at the bottom of the list, because there is no legal protection for it. The 10th Amendment says that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

The "States' Rights" movement was about ignoring state governments' responsibility to respect federal law, the Constitution, and basic human rights, in order to enjoy the benefits of federal governance without paying the costs. It had nothing to do with the actual rights of states.

What do you mean by "actual rights of the states?" There was a war. The North won. That's what determined what we regard as "the actual rights of the states."

There were other issues under the "States' Rights" banner (such as tariffs), but slavery is the one that singlehandedly caused the civil war.

What does that mean that it singlehandedly caused the civil war? Are you saying if there was no slavery the southern states wouldn't have seceded, or that the northern states would have let them?

Modern self-styled "conservatives" continue to turn the hierarchy on its head, putting human rights and the Constitution on the bottom and replacing common law with their own extremist, bigoted moral structures.

Conservatives put the Constitution on the bottom? Do you care to explain that one?

[ Parent ]
I call your bluff. (none / 0) (#245)
by DavidTC on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 02:11:21 PM EST

Despiute you inexplicable putting treaties equal to the constitution, and listing 'Local/Municipal Law', which doesn't even exist in meaningful sense (It's just a way for the State government to shrug off control to a small subset of people.), you are basically correct.

Now...show me where in the Constitution it disallows states leaving the USA? Or, alternatively, where it allows the US government to pass laws disallowing such behavior?

Are you grasping 'State's rights' yet?

Note this post isn't intended to condone the various things done under the banner of states rights, or get into the various reasons for the Civil War. I'm just saying...they do exist, and they continually get stepped on ignored.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

I voted +1 FP. (3.72 / 18) (#28)
by gr3y on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 06:24:45 PM EST

Because this submission will generate a lot of interesting comments from people in the U.S., and maybe some from overseas.

I think Thurmond was very astute and knew when the political winds were shifting. That explains the reversals in his career, and marks him as a political whore. I also think the man was racist, bigoted, and homophobic, and wanted to cling to the idea of southern hegemony (often confused with "states' rights") long after that war was fought and lost.

As such, his career should be remembered with a little more balance. He did accomplish some good things, which the poster is evidently aware of. I won't argue that. And the people of his home state elected him as their representative eight times. I won't argue that, but I do feel this is more a reflection on southern culture than it is of Thurmond's character...

I'm glad I was never asked to vote for him - I wouldn't have. I'm also glad I don't live in a state whose elected representative was a man whose career I find morally repugnant.

I am a disruptive technology.

People always do this... (3.66 / 3) (#84)
by Russell Dovey on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 12:36:07 PM EST

Aren't representatives supposed to be representative? If the people change their minds about something, the ethical thing for their elected representative to do is express that changed viewpoint in their own actions and words.
By the sound of it, Strom Thurmond represented racists quite effectively. Why can't he represent the non-racist when that becomes the dominant type?

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Thurmond modified his views (none / 0) (#137)
by gr3y on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:33:50 PM EST

to maintain his position of power. He truly was a whore, in the company of Helms and Byrd.

I agree with you, basically. The vote only works if everyone agrees to put up with whatever candidate gets more of them. I say "put up with" because politics is about consensus, and no candidate will ever please every voter. Even Kennedy, whose presidency is more often described by the word "Camelot" than any other word, was opposed by voters who thought his Catholicism would give the Pope access to the White House.

However, the vote only works if whatever candidate is most in tune with the electorate at a given time is elected, and those are the people I want in positions of elected authority - they represent the people.

When a candidate "changes his mind" and the electorate doesn't recognize it for the transparent attempt to manipulate them that it is, the candidate is revealing their true nature - that they're willing to tell you whatever you want to hear, that they love power most of all. Those people must never be elected, but they are, all too frequently.

I do believe in people. They can change their minds, come to greater understanding, and eventually surpass themselves. However, I do not think that was the case with Strom Thurmond. I think he played the people of South Carolina like a fiddle.

Personally, I hate being manipulated - more so by someone who thinks he or she is a "fixer", and that they're so clever that I'll never notice. That's an insult to my intelligence and ability to reason critically. That type of person is not a representive of the country I want to live in. I don't need someone to do my thinking for me.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

A little less biased, please. (3.25 / 24) (#29)
by Pink Shirt and Leather Pants Radar on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 06:32:44 PM EST

Ok, we can see why you like the guy. He muscled some college administrators into changing their mind about your application. But we're all not white, middle-class Americans. Tell us what he did that actually had some meaning in this world.

Well let's see (4.37 / 16) (#36)
by stodd on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 07:22:06 PM EST

He nominated the first black doctor to the South Carolina medical board during one of his terms as governor. He was the only member of the Senate to apologize for his segregationist views. (Democrats Fritz Hollings and Grand Kliegel Robert Byrd never did. Of course neither did Jesse Helms, but he was just an ass, even if he did become a Republican.)

He was also a war veteran, and parachuted into France right before the Battle of Normandy. He was also the oldest enlisted paratrooper in World War II, having gotten an age exemption when he was 40.

[ Parent ]
very well said (2.50 / 2) (#176)
by dh003i on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 05:45:04 PM EST

Way to tear into his politically correct bullshit.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Meaning? (3.88 / 9) (#57)
by dipierro on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 01:23:22 AM EST

It seems to me that that has more meaning than most of the crap that politicians spend their time on all day.

[ Parent ]
In honor of the great senator (3.91 / 48) (#39)
by Tex Bigballs on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 07:49:34 PM EST

we should have two separate comment areas, one for white posters and one for the darkies.

...the darkies... (4.40 / 10) (#45)
by thelizman on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 10:04:27 PM EST

...only get to post if they've passed their literacy test and paid the poll tax, just like the white man.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Hmm (3.00 / 2) (#112)
by TheModerate on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 05:37:50 PM EST

We should implement the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather clause.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Honkey... (4.25 / 8) (#63)
by tkatchev on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 02:23:03 AM EST

You are severely misguided if you think that there are any "darkie" posters on this site.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

You applied to one college? (2.20 / 20) (#49)
by j harper on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 12:04:35 AM EST

So you applied to only one school, without any backups, and got really upset when things didn't work out? Then you called in a Senator to save the day? Boohoo for you.

I really liked this until you launched into the "Strom got me into school; all hail Strom" bit.

"I have to say, the virgin Mary is pretty fucking hot." - Myriad

Are you trolling, or what? (4.75 / 4) (#141)
by drc500free on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 01:02:47 AM EST

So you applied to only one school, without any backups, and got really upset when things didn't work out? Then you called in a Senator to save the day? Boohoo for you.

He said that he applied to the school and got in, and was in the process of dealing with financial aid when someone destroyed his records. You're insulting him for not spending the money on application fees on more schools after he had already gotten in to one?

I guess you like to pat yourself on the back for being better than other people on the internet, but please make sure your negativity isn't misplaced before making a pathetic attempt to make yourself feel better by dragging other people down.

[ Parent ]

ahem.. (none / 0) (#181)
by AlfaWolph on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 06:49:47 PM EST

same goes for you buddy. let him say his piece, but point out the illogical reasoning behind it. there's no need to go ad hominem on the poor fella. trolls have feelings too ya know.

[ Parent ]
Application fees. (none / 0) (#232)
by j harper on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 08:17:44 PM EST

College is expensive. Don't place your hopes on one lone school and be upset when things don't work out, regardless of the reason. If you're intending on going to college, apply to several places in case something goes wrong. Guidance counselors and admissions officials everywhere will tell you this, cost be damned.

I'm not trying to hurt his feelings, I meant that praising a Senator for spending the money to personally fly out and "resolve" an issue he set himself up for is overboard. Yes, it's nice that Senator Thurmond helped out a constituent and I'm glad the author got into his school, but claiming that everyone should love the Senator for that is silly.

So: no, I am not trolling. I'm pointing out that the author goofed when he applied to college, got screwed, called up a Senator for help, and that these events have truly skewed his perception of Senator Thurmond.

"I have to say, the virgin Mary is pretty fucking hot." - Myriad
[ Parent ]

Maybe you're right (none / 0) (#252)
by Mr. Penguin on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 04:25:55 PM EST

Maybe I screwed up by not applying to more than one school. However, I, as well as every guidance counselor I knew, assumed that since I was accepted to the school that I wanted to attend, there was no need to push through applications to schools that I did not want to attend. Yes, there are stipulations to acceptance letters, but if I had not met those stipulations, I wouldn't have been able to go to any worthwhile school anyway.

Yeah, maybe I should have taken into account that there could be a bureaucratic screw up that would keep me out of school -- or that I could be hit by the Mir falling out of the sky. However, when the screw up did happen, it was past the deadline of application to most universities, and I did not want to attend a junior college or technical school.

Then again, maybe you should just realize that I was sixteen at the time I applied, and foolish, as all teenagers tend to be :)

[ Parent ]
I voted against him (4.07 / 14) (#52)
by muchagecko on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 01:02:16 AM EST

and have always hated Strom. But I appreciate a different and personal view of him. He was around for so long, somebody had to like him.

Thanks for the different view.

"Do you think Mr. Fantastic can stretch his dinky also? And do you think The Thing is hard all over? I mean really all over."

Versus other senators (4.25 / 12) (#53)
by SiMac on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 01:06:56 AM EST

Thurmond seems like he put a lot more time into your problem than most senators would have. My brother is currently interning for the Ted Kennedy campaign, and he says that none of the letters actually go to Kennedy. I'm surprised that Thurmond was dedicated enough to your problem to get it solved.

However, I still can't say I agree with the man's politics. Segregation is not, was not, and never will be right. It violates the fourteenth amendment. Just look at the big scandal over Trent Lott saying that the world would have been a better place if he had been elected. Even before his death, it was generally accepted by the media and the people that he would not have made a good president.

he hasn't really been segregationalist for a while (4.09 / 11) (#60)
by Delirium on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 02:03:00 AM EST

It's true that he was once an ardent segregationalist, but then again, so was more than half the United States (which is why it was segregated, after all; segregation wasn't imposed by a dictator or something). He's since, along with the majority of the United States, renounced those views.

[ Parent ]
I know that, but (3.10 / 10) (#61)
by SiMac on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 02:19:40 AM EST

Personally, I don't have much respect for people who change views they once held very strongly. It means that they grasp onto ideas too quickly and hold then too tightly, that they were misinformed, or it means that they changed their ideas for political purposes. Strom Thurmond was not misinformed, although the majority of the American people may have been.

[ Parent ]
Wow (4.86 / 15) (#65)
by Spendocrat on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 03:34:51 AM EST

Personally, I don't have much respect for people who change views they once held very strongly.

That attitude is one of the things most wrong with politics and voters today.

[ Parent ]

No, it's not (3.33 / 3) (#126)
by SiMac on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 09:17:55 PM EST

I'd say that many of the people in office today either hold their views too strongly or are incompetent. That everyone is holding their views very strongly is the problem, not that people won't change their very strongly held beliefs. Keeping an open mind is important. The problem is when you change what you believe after having bashed the opposing viewpoint.

[ Parent ]
So, what's the purpose of our discussing ... (4.50 / 6) (#77)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:01:01 AM EST

... anything on K5?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I believed in my imaginary friend..... (4.37 / 8) (#81)
by Elkor on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:50:37 AM EST

when I was 5. I have since realized that he isn't real.

I wasn't misinformed, nobody told me he existed. I didn't come up with the idea off the top of my head. And I didn't change my mind to suit some political purpose, nobody else knew I believed in him.

Guess you don't respect me for a belief I held when I was 5.

Or, maybe you will realize that sometimes people believe strange things when they are younger and can eventually grow out of them.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
If you believed in your imaginary friend... (3.80 / 5) (#94)
by dipierro on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 02:26:48 PM EST

...when you were old enough to be a Senator, then I would never vote for you, regardless of whether or not you changed your mind later.

I don't have a problem with someone as a person for their mistakes in their past, but some things give them the political death penalty. Why bother dealing with the uncertainty of their new convictions when you can just vote for someone else who didn't screw up. There are plenty of politicians in the sea.

[ Parent ]
rated your comment a '2' (4.00 / 3) (#89)
by momocrome on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 02:06:58 PM EST

it looks like you may have grasped this idea of 'disrespect for people who change their strongly held views' too quickly, and probably hold onto it a little too tightly. LOL.

"Give a wide berth to all that foam and spray." - - Lucian, The Way to Write History
[ Parent ]
One more thing (3.50 / 2) (#90)
by artsygeek on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 02:18:19 PM EST

When they don't change their minds in the face of voters they "Don't listen to their constituents", when they do, they're played as wishy-washy.  Politicians don't like looking wishy-washy, they'd rather look strong and resolute.

[ Parent ]
How do you know that he was not misinformed? (3.40 / 5) (#93)
by leviramsey on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 02:26:19 PM EST

Furthermore, I think that it's a bad thing to have a representative in office who has fixed views, of any variety. If the views of the electorate change, the views of the representative should change to match.

One other note. You say you have little respect for people who change strongly-held views. Then I presume, since everyone's views change over time, that you have little respect for yourself, in which case all I can say is, "Welcome to the club for people who have little respect for SiMac".

[ Parent ]
Strongly held views vs. plain old views (3.00 / 1) (#124)
by SiMac on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 09:12:27 PM EST

The views I strongly hold are the ones I don't change. For example, I'm a liberal. That's not going to change, ever. I do change some of my views, but I don't run for office based on them. If I become a conservative later in life, then I'd have little respect for myself.

[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#206)
by synaesthesia on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 05:37:51 AM EST

If the views of the electorate change, the views of the representative should change to match.

The electorate is not an individual whose views change whimsically. Changes in the views of the electorate occur gradually, as people are born and die or move into and out of the area.

If the views of the electorate change, it's time to get a new representative. I want to elect someone who's not going to change his spots, regardless of whether or not he'll be re-elected or any other outside influence (e.g., campaign contributions).

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Over what time period? (4.33 / 3) (#99)
by ghjm on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 03:06:03 PM EST

I can understand your concern if you're talking about ideas from a year ago, five years ago, or maybe even ten years ago. But we're talking a time span of fifty years. If someone was strongly segregationist in 1948, how much time must elapse before they are allowed to admit they were wrong?


[ Parent ]

Admission... (5.00 / 3) (#129)
by aziegler on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 10:16:48 PM EST

I think that's the point. I don't know -- and none of the obituaries have actually pointed to anything suggesting such -- whether Strom actually publically renounced those views or admitted that they were wrong. He did take some actions which suggested, but mere suggestion is not the same as coming right out and admitting.


[ Parent ]

Google for it... (none / 0) (#189)
by ghjm on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 09:53:02 PM EST

The story goes that in the 1970 governor's election in South Carolina, Strom Thurmond backed his close associate Albert Watson. This was the last actively segregationist gubernatorial campaign in the South. When Watson lost to John Watson, Thurmond changed his approach and began hiring black staffers, courting black voters, and enlisting the support of black politicians. By the 1974 election in the Senate, Thurmond was supported by 10 black mayors and was actively funneling federal pork spending to black districts (which is pretty much what senators do).

I don't know if he ever made a full-on public retraction, but if you want to research it you should look for his major speeches between 1970 and 1974.


[ Parent ]

Homework (none / 0) (#196)
by aziegler on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 12:37:29 AM EST

You're making a positive claim -- that he did retract his position.

I'm saying I have seen no evidence.

Convince me with evidence; I don't do your homework for you.

-austin, who has too many other things to do than to try to read the dead senator's bluster

[ Parent ]

Asshole (none / 0) (#213)
by ghjm on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 10:16:33 AM EST

I made no such claim. You asked for additional information; I went to the trouble of providing it for you. I am not trying to sell you anything. You want homework done, do it your damn self.

I mean, seriously. You're simultaneously participating in a conversation about the dead senator, while at the same time asserting that you don't have time to concern yourself with the dead senator. So what the hell are you here for?


[ Parent ]

Not much of a scientific spirit?? (3.00 / 1) (#168)
by univgeek on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 11:23:44 AM EST

Anything can change... and frequently does. Would you have been one to question Relativity because it went against Newtonian physics? Or question Galileo, because he went against a line in the Bible?

Arguing with an Electrical Engineer is liking wrestling with a pig in mud, after a while you realise the pig is enjoying it!
[ Parent ]
Perhaps he never thought segregation was right (3.62 / 8) (#91)
by leviramsey on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 02:21:33 PM EST

...and was merely saying the proper things and voting the proper way to keep himself in office?

Consider. The only people who were voting in South Carolina prior to the mid-60s were whites (basically), many, if not most, of whom were somewhat segregationist. Once blacks started voting, Thurmond realized that their votes would be nice to have.

[ Parent ]
If he was twice the man (2.07 / 14) (#62)
by mami on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 02:21:28 AM EST

then may be because the US has just half the law.

to the person who voted 1 to this comment - (3.14 / 7) (#70)
by mami on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 08:41:19 AM EST

in case I expressed myself unclear, here I try again - I think that the law that allows senators to serve for eight terms in a row as senator is a bad law. I think that statement is not derogatory or lacks of respect to the person of the Senator. It's not a statement against the Senator, but against the laws in place.

If the American public thinks it's such a funny legislation to have, so be it. To me it's an insult to what I consider a functional representative democracy to have people serve over fifty years in the Senate.

Not only should there be an age limit after which Senators should be forced to retire, IMHO, but a term limit about how many years out of their professional life they are allowed to serve.

If it were to me I would opt for a minimum age a Senator must have passed to be electable at all and a maximum age after which he isn't allowed to serve anymore. 35 to 75 would be acceptable to me. That's stilll five terms in a row. More than enough.

And I would prefer to have them be professionals in something else and beyond "Senatoring".

[ Parent ]

Well that's fine (2.50 / 4) (#76)
by gibichung on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 10:52:18 AM EST

I wouldn't have rated that comment "1," so why not make it in the first place?

"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Well, what were you upset about in my first (4.00 / 2) (#97)
by mami on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 02:42:35 PM EST

comment then? I thought it was a comment short and to the point, just enough to put the article's theme in the context as to why this man could become "twice the man".

Well, I am going to think about all the men who might be considered "half the man" now, I think that will do me some good. Just for my mental exercise to be able to stand in the cross examination of K5's righteous judgements.  

[ Parent ]

BFD (3.76 / 13) (#74)
by nairobiny on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 09:46:01 AM EST

I don't suppose I'm the only reader to be underwhelmed by this parable of Thurmond's largesse. It's somewhat reminiscent of that Chris Rock sketch...
Thurmond: I take care of my constituents!
Everyone else: You're SUPPOSED to take care of your constituents!!!!

Compare/Contrast... (4.33 / 6) (#82)
by Elkor on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:54:11 AM EST

Most other Senators don't.

It's nice to have anecdotal evidence to support the premise that there are still a few Good Ones out there.

It makes those of us that are dyed in the wool pessimists occasionally rethink things.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Not necessarily true... (4.33 / 3) (#128)
by aziegler on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 10:12:57 PM EST

Most other Senators definitely do intercede on behalf of their constituents. Whether you want to believe it or not. (Some of these interventions are somewhat obligatory, such as endorsing applicants to the military academies, but not all of them.) I think that if you did a mere modicum of research, you'd find that your statement isn't true -- and that Thurmond's intercession is something that many/most Senators (and Representatives) would do if approached politely and specifically.


[ Parent ]

Depends on the scope of effort... (5.00 / 2) (#166)
by Elkor on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 11:18:59 AM EST

Endorsing a candidate for military academy involves writing a letter. Other situations involve making a phone call.

I have heard of few people getting on a plane to meet face to face with people to solve the problem. Unless the problem involved huge amounts of money for their campaign fund, that is.

As I said, I'm a dyed in the wool cynic. Now maybe Strom thought the author was the son of a rich contributor, which is why he made the effort.

Or maybe he just felt that some things needed to be dealt with a certain way.

Either way, it made me reconsider my pessimism. Maybe I'll do that research you suggest.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
I suspect ... (5.00 / 1) (#183)
by aziegler on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 08:02:07 PM EST

especially because of the close relationship that Clemson had with Thurmond, that it was simply a letter to resolve the issue.


[ Parent ]

You're right, it could have been just a lettter (none / 0) (#250)
by Mr. Penguin on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 04:10:32 PM EST

I have no actual proof that Thurmond visited on my behalf. It's only what I was told by the Vice President of Admissions. I can't quote him specifically, as my memory is not perfect, but he said that Strom personally flew to Clemson and they met in his office. Strom might have had other business in Clemson that day, but it was not the impression that I received. It was more on the order of "I can't believe he'd do that for you. Who are you?" And I am a nobody to Thurmond, was not even of voting age at the time, and nobody in my traceable lineage had ever made a contribution of more than a vote to either Thurmond or the Republican party. I have donated time since then, but reserve my monetary contributions for deserving charities.

[ Parent ]
huh ? (2.33 / 9) (#87)
by omegadan on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 01:44:38 PM EST

Wasn't Strom Thurmond also responsible for 100's of ignorat statements like (in reference to abortion) saying women couldn't get pregnant when raped because because "the juices wouldn't be flowing" ? I wanted to write a comment about how much I hate Strom Thurmond but sadly I dont have the ammo to back it up. Does anyone else remember this statement ? Or am I on the bad crack again :)

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley

Over a long enough period of time... (none / 0) (#167)
by bilyji on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 11:21:11 AM EST

Everyone says stupid things.

Only difference is that Senators tend to have lots of people around to record those stupid things and play them back later.

Normal People just have their memories.


[ Parent ]
So let me get this straight (1.80 / 20) (#88)
by bankind on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 01:47:32 PM EST

So for those 2 hours that Strom was awake, he was "twice the man?" So one per hour?

Maybe in SC you people like to pay people that sleep 22 hours a day, but to me it is the purest sign of a shithole country to have a nothing more than a fucking paper weight for political representation.

Also, how did he die anyway? While I would like to retain my dream that one of his negras pissed in his oxygen tube, I would be equally pleased to hear that he died in a pile of scat or something similar.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman

Happy though I am. . . (3.50 / 12) (#100)
by IHCOYC on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 03:31:31 PM EST

Though I am content now that the Devil is now wringing the gizzards of Strom Thurmond and Lester Maddox, for an interesting perspective on the kind of people who voted for these statesmen I'd recommend that everyone take a look at the Presidential Portraits by Graem Yates that are now hanging at the "Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs" at Clemson University.

I'd call everyone's attention especially to the portraits of Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. The text for Clinton's "presidential portrait" reads:

William Jefferson Clinton was elected to the presidency. Twice.

His naughty boy lifestyle cast deep shadows on the presidency, on our nation in the eyes of the world and bent our laws in challenge to a wavering judicial system.

Fodder for a less than straightforward media. Platform for self-indulgent congress men and congress women. He moved the nation away from the strong morality of accountability to "let's just forget all this stuff, everyone's tired of it, anyway" cover-up.

His acceptance of major political funds from agents of hostile foreign governments can hardly be equated to John Foster Dulles' diplomacy. In the portrait the lipstick-soiled Kleenex symbolizes infidelity, the Red Star is self-evident and the spider web suggests hidden entanglements of domestic and foreign commitments. The smile?? Look where it has already taken him. And he's still smiling!

Here's the treatment given to Jimmy Carter:
Many Georgia politicians have had their undoing with three K's -- the Ku Klux Klan. Carter, however had problems with two K's -- Ted Kennedy and the Ayatollah Khomeini. He mentions in his memoirs that these two men managed to seal his fate by keeping him from being reelected. I feel that the actions of these two men, more than any others, "branded" Carter for the rest of his life. Thus, I show Carter looking off at the two K's rather nervously. As for why Carter's face has a greenish tint. I feel that Carter never really looked "comfortable" in the presidency. Since he always looked as if he would rather be somewhere in jeans and a tee-shirt, I painted his suit to look quite stiff -- almost metallic.
This is how former Presidents -- indeed, southern former Presidents -- are honoured at the Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs. We should have kicked these people out of the country back in 1861 when we had the chance.
Quod sequitur, sicut serica lucis albissima tingere rogant;
Quod sequitur, totum devorabit.

disgusting... (1.00 / 3) (#139)
by rmg on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 12:04:11 AM EST

Though I am content now that the Devil is now wringing the gizzards of Strom Thurmond

i didn't like thurmond either, but in the future, please leave your christianity at the door.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

You're probably better off not asking for that... (4.00 / 2) (#144)
by kcbrown on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 01:29:20 AM EST

i didn't like thurmond either, but in the future, please leave your christianity at the door.
Why should he? What's with people not having enough backbone to deal with listening to things they dislike or disagree?

If you disagree with his Christianity then state your disagreement and, if you're inclined, debate with him over it. Both of you might learn something in the process.

You might find it's more beneficial to avoid asking people to not say certain things, because you cannot learn from something that someone keeps to themselves.

So many people seem to demand the right to free speech while at the same time insisting that others withhold their own speech. You can't have it both ways. If you insist that someone shut up, you have nowhere to go when they insist that you do the same. If you insist on being able to speak your mind, you have no cause to object when someone else does the same.

To insist on one thing while demanding for yourself the opposite is hypocrisy. You can be a hypocrite if you want, but I and others will call you on it whether you like it or not.

[And if you insist on knowing, I'm an atheist, or whatever the hell you want to call someone who doesn't have a positive belief in a deity and recognizes that based on evidence and history to date, said deity may as well not exist for the purposes of predicting earthly consequences, but who also recognizes that disproof of said deity is likely impossible as well. But I, for one, very strongly believe in the value of freedom of speech and of rights in general, and can back that belief up with logic going all the way back to first principles that very few here will find themselves able to disagree with, if necessary].

[ Parent ]

there is nothing to debate (1.00 / 4) (#145)
by rmg on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 01:35:59 AM EST

the poster in question delights at the idea of strom thurmond being tortured rather horribly for the rest of eternity. i stated my objection clearly in my post. it's not a question of free speech. it's a question of taste. of course, as a troll, i post some fairly off-color and offensive things sometimes, but i never say that i want someone to be burnt or tortured or whatever and actually enjoy the thought of it...

by the way, this old free speech/hypocrisy trope is getting tired. plz find more interesting ways to argue, k thx.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

I guess clarity is in the eye of the beholder... (4.00 / 1) (#149)
by kcbrown on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 03:09:47 AM EST

the poster in question delights at the idea of strom thurmond being tortured rather horribly for the rest of eternity. i stated my objection clearly in my post.
You stated your objection to his Christianity quite clearly in your post. You didn't say anything about what specifically you objected to. "Christianity" covers quite a lot of ground, so please forgive me if I didn't intuit your more specific objection.
by the way, this old free speech/hypocrisy trope is getting tired. plz find more interesting ways to argue, k thx.
The age and repetitiveness of an argument has little to do with its validity or correctness. But I'll try to keep in mind that you apparently assign greater importance to the entertainment value of an argument than the validity or correctness of it the next time I respond to you. :-)

[ Parent ]
definitely. (none / 0) (#169)
by rmg on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 11:23:57 AM EST

entertainment value is more important than correctness. validity and correctness are both nice, but they are only the icing on the cake. this is particularly true of arguments everyone already knows and has even taken into consideration in posting.

 i don't like to be bored when i'm reading and especially not when i'm writing. boring arguments are neither fun to read nor usually fun to respond to. do your part. for the community. don't make boring arguments.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

You're stupid. (4.33 / 3) (#162)
by drunkchimpanzee on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 10:33:41 AM EST

It's plainly obvious to anyone that the original poster was merely making use of the colorful mythology of Christianity, and not making an actual religious statement. The United States and Europe both have deep Christian roots. It's no more religious than, say, Socrates (who didn't really believe much in the Greek gods) saying "By Jove!"

[ Parent ]
MLP (3.71 / 7) (#101)
by igny ignoble on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 04:11:04 PM EST

For a different view on Strom's life, I thought the New York Times/AP obituary was pretty accurate.

what I don't get (2.44 / 9) (#102)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 04:25:09 PM EST

is why people don't believe that he did not reform as the other fogies in the senate say tehy have...like Robert Bird.

hell, Straum at least fought the KKK when he was govener of S. Caroline...Bird was IN the KKK even when he was in teh senate.

party politics. that is all it is.

I am not a rep, or a Dem, but I bet that if you asked the average black person what party Lincoln was in they would say he was a Dem. just because the Dems have don such a good job of hiding thier slave-owning history.

Wrong in name... (4.50 / 2) (#113)
by divinus on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 05:40:24 PM EST

While they would have been wrong in name, they would be correct in concept. The Republicans of the 1860s were to todays democrats as the Whig party were to todays Republicans...

[ Parent ]
and what of the disparity (1.00 / 1) (#134)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:20:42 PM EST

between the 2 parties in the perception that southern democrats who were for segrigation and even extermination (in the case of Sen. Bird and his Klan) are now as socialy progressive as Dr. King?

it seems as if as long as you stay in the Democratic party and SAY you were wrong int he past, everyone forgives you...even though a smart person knows people never realy change, they just learn to shut up and look good.
If you move to the oposit side of the room, you were and are an evil bastard...even though you renounced your past and were infact pretty darn progressive socialy for your time. (strom was, while gov. of SC, for ending the poll tax, and fought very hard against the KKK....he was a spertate but equal fella which when compaired to the Klan, well, I know who I would preffer to eat with if I was forced into a room and had to choose.)

[ Parent ]

Admission of wrong... (4.50 / 2) (#155)
by aziegler on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 07:01:58 AM EST

Admission that one's position was wrong and renunciation of those positions is important. Strom, to the best of my knowledge, never did renounce his positions -- which allowed Trent Lott to embarrass the Republican Party by exposing its predilection toward accepting bigots and racists of all stripes.


[ Parent ]

that's not the facts news orgs were using (3.00 / 1) (#165)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 11:13:36 AM EST

they seem to be using facts that say strom was a reformed politico.

[ Parent ]
Facts? (none / 0) (#182)
by aziegler on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 07:59:18 PM EST

I would need substantiation.

It seems, though, that the news organisations are participating in the whitewashing of Strom's life that they do of every long-serving US politician.

I suspect that a modern obituary for McCarthy would be a luv-fest.


[ Parent ]

Re: what I don't get (1.50 / 4) (#122)
by blakdogg on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 08:54:56 PM EST

The average AMERICAN would assume that Lincoln is a Democrat because they are both associated with civil rights and tolerance/support for minorities.  This is mainly because they are closely tied with the Civil Rights movement of the '60s while Republicans are known for their opposition.

When u consider that emancipation was over 350 years ago, and that it is "buried" in american history such a conclusion is understandable.

Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]

what emacipation are you refering to? (none / 0) (#131)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:11:10 PM EST


[ Parent ]
the English emacipation? (none / 0) (#132)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:11:41 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Can't be that one ... (4.00 / 1) (#154)
by aziegler on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 06:57:56 AM EST

That wasn't until about 1800 in any case.


[ Parent ]

You have a slight error in your times (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by scheme on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:23:10 PM EST

When u consider that emancipation was over 350 years ago, and that it is "buried" in american history such a conclusion is understandable.

The emancipation was about 150 years ago give or take 5 years. I think it was in 1864 but I'm not sure. I do know that America was barely colonized 350 years ago.

"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." --Albert Einstein

[ Parent ]
My Mistake (none / 0) (#195)
by blakdogg on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 12:36:18 AM EST

I confused 1865 with some other year
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
Re: what I don't get (5.00 / 1) (#151)
by Wateshay on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 04:23:48 AM EST

Well, that's what the "average american" thinks is the case, but it's not true. The facts of the matter are that the Republicans were largely in support of civil rights. Most of the Republicans known for their anti-civil rights stance were originally Democrats who switched parties (by way of the States Rights party). Of course, that doesn't excuse the Republican party for selling its soul by welcoming those loathsome Dixiecrats into the party in order to gain the southern vote.

"If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for everyone else."

[ Parent ]
Congratulations, (3.77 / 9) (#103)
by Kasreyn on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 04:28:53 PM EST

you've proven yourself wrong. ;-)

The fact that this has hit the front page and the other, more derogatory, story on Thurmond died in queue, seems to me to indicate that k5ers aren't as biased against him as you thought they were.

In any case, he's dead so it's kind of a moot point now. Perhaps was a better man than I thought all these years. His helping you get into college is certainly something my former Senator, Lugar, wouldn't have done. I still don't condone what I see as Thurmond's racism. But, since I've had bigots in my own family, I can understand that even they have their good sides. I'm also not fond of Thurmond's voting record on issues of corporate power and non-race-related civil liberties, but if he was voting the way South Carolinians told him to, then he was just doing his job.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
And I'm glad! (none / 0) (#249)
by Mr. Penguin on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 04:02:15 PM EST

I would rather prove myself wrong than not :)

However, since this story made it to the front page, and it still seems that the majority of comments posted here are neagive, I don't think that's the case. This story seems to have been voted for because people agreed it was worthy of discussion, not because people loved Thurmond.

[ Parent ]
For our non-USian guests: (3.30 / 10) (#106)
by ti dave on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 04:45:40 PM EST

"Dixiecrat" is not an actual political party.
It is a faction within the Democrat party.

That was bothering me and I missed this story in the edit queue.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm

That's *Democratic* Party (3.33 / 6) (#111)
by baron samedi on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 05:35:07 PM EST

Stop watching Fox News. Stop using the word Democrat as a perjorative.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
As. If. (2.75 / 4) (#114)
by ti dave on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 05:41:32 PM EST

Never watched "Fox News" a day in my life.

Why isn't their web site "democratics.org"?

I must have them confused with these guys.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Wrong (4.44 / 9) (#117)
by yet another coward on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 07:22:14 PM EST

Dixiecrats were a separate party. They held their own convention and nominated their own candidates. They broke from the Democratic Party. Most returned to it, and the party dissolved.

[ Parent ]
Er, no. (5.00 / 5) (#143)
by gbd on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 01:25:09 AM EST

"Dixiecrat" is not an actual political party.

You're correct insofar as they actually appeared on the ballot as the "States' Rights" party, not the "Dixiecrat" party. But as Yet Another Coward correctly stated, they had their own organization, their own convention, and their own separate candidates. In 1948, Thurmond was the candidate for the States' Rights party and ran against Harry Truman (the Democrat) and Thomas Dewey (the Republican.) Here is a scan of a circa-1948 student worksheet regarding the results of that election.

Incidently, it's interesting that you are (apparently) trying to implicitly connect segregationist policies with the Democratic party, particularly since it was the Democratic candidate in that election (Truman) that ordered the integration of the United States armed services, an order that caused much uproar throughout the country.

Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

Senator Strom Thurmond, Dead at 100 (3.09 / 31) (#109)
by RobotSlave on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 05:08:00 PM EST

Senator Strom Thurmond, Senator Strom Strom Thurmond, Dead at 100, at 100, at 100. Thurmond, Strom Strom Thurmond, Strom Strom Senator Strom, Thurmond dead.

Thurmond Strom Senator, Senator Strom Thurmond Senator, 100 Strom Strom 100.


Thurmond Thurmond Thurmond Thurmond Strom, Thurmond Strom Senator Strom.

Strom Senator Thurmond, Thurmond Senator Strom, Strom Strom Thurmond, Senator Thurmond Senator Strom. Strom Senator Strom, Thurmond dead Strom, Strom Senator Strom Thurmond. At 100:

  • Thurmond
  • Senator
  • Strom
  • dead
Dead dead Thurmond, Thurmond dead, Strom Senator dead Thurmond. Thurmond Strom dead Senator 100 Strom Thurmond. Thurmond Senator. Thurmond Strom. Strom Senator dead Senator Strom Thurmond, 100.

100, 100, Senator dead, Strom Thurmond. Dead Senator, dead Strom, dead Thurmond. Dead, dead, dead.

Well... (4.00 / 4) (#116)
by Rocky on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 06:11:09 PM EST

> Dead Senator, dead Strom, dead Thurmond. Dead, dead, dead.

This is the single most erudite obituary I think I've ever seen...

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]

HAHAHAHA perfect! (nt) (2.20 / 5) (#118)
by circletimessquare on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 07:24:04 PM EST

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Good job! (3.66 / 6) (#120)
by valeko on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 08:06:24 PM EST

I'd like that to be my eulogy when I croak. Seriously.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

I find it odd... (3.77 / 18) (#110)
by amike on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 05:29:58 PM EST

...that nobody mentioned he has the record for longest filibuster. In 1951, he filibustered for 24 hours straight against a civil rights bill.

I do not mourn the man's passing. He was the living proof of the adage, "The good die young, but the evil live forever." Good riddance to him.

In a mad world, only the mad are sane. -Akira Kurosawa
so, he talked himself into exhausting for 24 hours (2.50 / 2) (#173)
by dh003i on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 01:36:28 PM EST

to support something that he thought was wrong?

The man obviously believed in what he was doing at the time. In case you don't know, he wasn't doing it because he hated African Americans. He was doing it because he believed in States' Rights, like many at that time.

Furthermore, he changed his opinions on the issues later on. We all err -- it is only human. To admit one's errors and rectify them is what is exceptional. He was one of the first Southern politicians to support making the M.L. King Jr. Holiday.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

If you rearrange the letters (5.00 / 2) (#204)
by Relinquished on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 01:41:54 AM EST

In "Strom Thurmond, a filibuster" you get "burials rid moments of truth".

If you rearrange the letters in "anagram for signature" you get "famous at rearranging".

[ Parent ]
Sodomy Killed Strom! (1.89 / 19) (#121)
by The Turd Report on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 08:33:36 PM EST

This only goes to highlight why sodomy should still be illegal. Since it was legal, old Strom decided to give it a try; it's illegality was the only thing keepig him from doing it decades ago. But, now that it was legal, it was a-ok. Sadly, the excitement of good man-to-man loving was too much for his old ticker and it gave out. Strom's body was found at a rest stop on I-95. Tragic.

Sort of like (4.20 / 5) (#123)
by ad hoc on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 08:57:23 PM EST



[ Parent ]
NIce (3.00 / 1) (#125)
by The Turd Report on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 09:16:29 PM EST

I had forgotten that. Thanks for bringing it up. :) Still funny.

[ Parent ]
You, sir... (none / 0) (#187)
by skyknight on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 08:47:36 PM EST

be an archivist.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Makes me wonder (3.20 / 5) (#127)
by adiffer on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 10:07:03 PM EST

From the reactions of many, I'm beginning to wonder what it will by like for those of us from this generation when we reach our 100th birthday.  How many of the currently acceptable behaviors will be seen as abominable then?  How will the kids react when they learn we used to believe in such-and-such and actually do this-and-that?

I'm glad the racists lost the battle over civil rights.  The faster that chapter in our history becomes Wrong in the hearts and minds of everyone alive, the happier I'll be.  However, States Rights had better not go the way of the dodo or I may have to become politically active.  I wonder if I shall have future generations accuse me of evil for my stance on that...
--BE The Alien!

State Rights (none / 0) (#159)
by rasafrasit on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 09:49:46 AM EST

States rights dies a loooooong time ago my friend; Lincoln put them in a coma, Wilson pulled the plug and Roosevelt cut the head off. http://www.lewrockwell.com/ http://www.mises.org/ http://www.antistate.com/ http://www.lysanderspooner.org/ http://www.libertyhaven.com/index.html

[ Parent ]
yah (none / 0) (#217)
by adiffer on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 12:43:13 PM EST

I know.  That's why I pick on it like I do.  Yet you will find that the majority (95%) of law that has an impact on your day-to-day life is still at the State level.  Most of the rules that tell you what you should or shouldn't do are local, so States are still retaining the responsibility to manage their citizens.

It's not all dead though.  If the Florida voting fiasco had occured here in California, you can bet big money that the Supreme Court decision would have caused rioting.  Our ballot would be flooded with citizen initiatives on issues ranging from useless to rabid.  There are things States can do that severly impact federal agencies, hence the executive branch and operational aspects of government, that we do not do.  Nevada has demonstrated a few of them, though, regarding cooperation with the IRS.

I don't think we should return to the early version of States Rights we had before the Civil War.  There are reasons why things are the way they are today.  However, it think there is definite value in maintaining the distinction as much as we can.  Local lives governed by local law gives us a flexible system with the greatest chance of allowing a bunch of immigrants and their offspring to get along well enough to live and prosper.
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

State sovereignty and the War on Civil Liberties (5.00 / 1) (#238)
by Ray Chason on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 12:35:36 AM EST

First, there is no such thing as states' rights.  People have rights; governments have powers.

That said, let me point out the efforts that California and other states are making to back off on the War on Drugs, or as I call it, the War on Civil Liberties.  And let me point out the efforts that our so-called elected officials in Washington are making to stop them.

What the hell good will the Fourteenth Amendment do us when Washington has finished gutting the first ten?
The War on Terra is not meant to be won.
Delendae sunt RIAA, MPAA et Windoze
[ Parent ]

State's 'rights' is correct. (none / 0) (#244)
by DavidTC on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 01:51:40 PM EST

No one's talking about what States have the power to do, we're talking about what rights they have under the US Constitution, rights the United States government is not supposed to be able to infringe.

So in that context, 'rights' is correct. The State of Georgia does not have the 'right' to tax me, it has the 'power' to tax me...but it has the 'right' to decide its own governor, or its own capital, because the US government does not have the power to decide that, and explictly grants the right to do everything it doesn't have the power to do to the States. (I'm deliberately picking two State rights no one disputes here.)

Basically, the US Constitution not only grants rights to people under it, but to States under it, and it is entirely correct to call them 'rights' no matter who has them.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

In all likelihood, animal rights (5.00 / 1) (#184)
by zenboy on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 08:13:48 PM EST

This will be the next big one to fall, if the world stays civilized.  There simply aren't good enough arguments to justify using sentient creatures for meals when non-sentient ones work as well if not better.  Modern technology gives us vitamin supplements and, if not systematically impeded, plenty of jobs for people in the meat industry.

Lots of the arguments against racial rights look like the arguments against animal rights.  If people only realized how much good we could do with so little sacrifice.

[ Parent ]

There is one key difference... (5.00 / 2) (#194)
by Neolith on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 12:16:32 AM EST

... black people are just that.  People.  Racists tried to forget that, but the self evident truth eventually won out.

Animals are not people, and no amount of enlightenment is going to make that so.  That's neither here nor there in regards to your comment about using 'sentient' creatures for food, but comparing animal rights to the civil rights struggle is so wrong headed it makes me queasy.

[ Parent ]

Amen to that (none / 0) (#202)
by blakdogg on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 01:24:34 AM EST

Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
Self-evident truths (none / 0) (#211)
by zenboy on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 09:27:43 AM EST

It is true, of course, that black people are people.  Thus, we should not subject them to the treatment to which we subject non-people.

But what is it about being-a-person that causes us to make special allowances?  In days of yore, it would have been our special soul.  Perhaps a modern day equivalent is the use of language, or reciprocity in moral attitudes.  This assumes an awful view of human nature: that we should exploit whatever we can to get ahead, as long we don't exploit things that fall in our same category.

Is there good reason to look for reasons to treat animals ethically?  If we abide by the aforementioned view of human nature, then we will look for differences between ourselves and animals.  But there is a fundamental similarity, which I suggest underwrites the race rights argument as well -- animals, like us, are capable of making goals and having them frustrated, and are also capable of pain and suffering, in some cases profound.  This is long hand for what we mean when we say "X is a person".  These features, it is commonly thought, give rise to natural rights, which should be respected in civil societies as civil rights.  (Note that this does not mean animals should be given the right to vote, education, etc.  While they are capable of goal-making, they are not capable of this kind of goal-making.  They do, however, have a deep and abiding interest in avoiding pain, suffering, and death.)

[ Parent ]

self evident (none / 0) (#218)
by adiffer on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 12:50:25 PM EST

I think the first thing that will come to bite us before another 100 years goes by is what was and is done to American Indian tribes.  How many of us tolerate a form of segregation that continues today?

I'll bet we come face-to-face with that before the animal rights people make much headway.
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

expansion (none / 0) (#216)
by adiffer on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 12:28:13 PM EST

I know a few vegitarians who would take your statement a step further and suggest we shouldn't be eating any of them.  The people I know aren't the rabid types, though, so they won't appear on the evening news protesting their cause.  8)

I see your point, though.  We keep expanding our definition of 'us' or 'human'.  As it includes more and more people, we are forced to apply our ethics to a more inclusive group.  Some people do this for people from different cultures or with different skin colors.  Others go further and include animals with apparent intelligence and, on occasion, their pets too.

I don't see the inclusion of animals in the definition of 'us' as denigrating to anyone already in the circle.  Including  chimpanzees or apes should not reflect badly on any human subgroup.  The fact that some of us already do makes your point since civil rights movements start with the will of a small group to defend the rights of a large group.

I think you may be right on this one.
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

Good riddance to bad rubbish... (3.56 / 16) (#133)
by SvnLyrBrto on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:16:44 PM EST

It's a damn shame that bigoted trash like him were EVER allowed to serve in public office in the first place. If society were, in any way, just; shit like this would have him instantly expelled WITHOUT any pension or benefits, and barred for life from EVER serving in ANY kind of public office:

"I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there's not enough troops in the army to force the southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theatres into our swimming pools into our homes and into our churches."
-- (ex-(WooHoo!!!)) Seantor Strom Thurmond


Imagine all the people...

Do you even know what a "bigot" is? (3.00 / 2) (#161)
by Pyrion on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 09:55:24 AM EST

Look it up. I'm finding half of K5's population to be "bigoted" in their commentary, yourself included.
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
Congratulations... (5.00 / 3) (#171)
by SvnLyrBrto on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 12:22:26 PM EST

You win the pedant of the day award, for tracking down a definition of "bigot" that doesn't include racial hatred.

For bonus points, would you also like to explain how the proper definition of "hacker" does not include criminals like Kevin Mitnick; and how "semite" actually includes the same arabs who are so determined to exterminate the Jewish people, thus making the useage of "anti-semetic" to describe them and their symphethisers a non-sequitur?

Perhaps, when you're done patting yourself on the back, you'll join the real world; where modern useage trumps etymology.


Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

People don't change, eh? (none / 0) (#215)
by mmsmatt on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 12:27:00 PM EST

That quote is from 1948. I guess people don't change at all. Next time someone shoves a belief you held n years ago in your face, I hope I'm celebrating your death as well. It's the same courtesy you are showing Mr Thurmond.

[ Parent ]
You left out a bit (enough for two men). (3.14 / 7) (#136)
by wumpus on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:28:20 PM EST

The dixiecrat platform wasn't only just for segregation. It also insisted on a white man's solemn right to hang, burn, and stuff the testicles in his mouth any black man he felt 'had it commin'.


My grandfathers (4.40 / 32) (#146)
by gbd on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 02:25:49 AM EST

A couple of weeks or so ago, we had a family gathering at my parents' house. I've lost both of my grandmothers, but we're lucky enough to still have both of the grandfathers with us. After dinner, we were all sitting in the den, and my dad was flipping through the channels on the TV. He paused momentarily on one of the NBA finals games between the Spurs and the Nets. This prompted the following (paraphrased) exchange between my grandfathers:

Paternal Grandpa: There sure are a lot of niggers out on that court.

Maternal Grandpa: Yep, basketball is pretty much all-nigger.

Now, the rest of us sitting in the room quietly cringed at these comments, as you would expect. But at the heart of the matter, the fact is that these are two of the kindest, sweetest, and most giving men that you could ever hope to meet. My maternal grandfather is a 77 year-old World War II veteran who volunteers time at his church and flies the flag on V-J Day. He nurses injured birds back to health and worries about what they do during tornadoes. My paternal grandfather is a 95 year-old retired farmer who spent the bulk of his life toiling in his fields that were previously owned by his father and his grandfather before that. He enjoys reading Louis L'Amour books and he cries whenever he hears "The Old Rugged Cross", a hymn that was played at my grandmother's funeral.

They were raised, educated, and matured in a social environment that was profoundly different than the one that we live in today. They come from a period of time where racism was the norm. If there is anything that we can point fingers of blame at, it is the prevailing societal attitudes of the first half of the 20th century. I find it very difficult to point them at a 95 year-old crossword puzzle enthusiast or at a 77 year-old golfer who spends much of his winters playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour on his computer. And yet there are apparently lots of us who are willing to point them at a 100 year-old Senator who once espoused views that were (unfortunately) mainstream in many parts of the United States.

My personal politics lean heavily to the left, and there aren't a lot of political opinions that I would have shared with Senator Thurmond, but I find it profoundly unfair to excoriate a dead man on the basis of political opinions that he held more than 50 years ago. When I hear or read statements to the effect of "I'm glad that Strom Thurmond is dead because he was a racist", I cringe every bit as much as I cringed upon witnessing the above-quoted exchange between my grandfathers. It's not fair, and it's not right.

The greatest casualty of American politics in recent years has been the death of civility. There was a time (and it wasn't all that long ago) when lawmakers from both sides of the aisle would get together after a marathon legislative session and socialize over a cigar and a brandy. All of that has changed. Today, things are downright ugly, and mocking a dead man is (IMHO) the epitome of ugliness.

Gunter glieben glauchen globen.

Really ?? (3.25 / 4) (#203)
by blakdogg on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 01:41:34 AM EST

You mean to say your grandfathers could not find a more suitable word to use than 'Nigger' ? In their 172 years of life they have not come up with a synonym. I prefer "Black", but Negro or coloured would do. Coloured is kinda anachronistic, but Nigger is very offensive.

With respect to Strom, As a man sow, so shall he reap.

If you want people to say nice things about you when  you die, you should conduct yourself in the appropriate manner.
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]

In my experience, (none / 0) (#230)
by baron samedi on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 06:21:08 PM EST

"colored" and "Negro" are not really acceptable, either. My grandmother calls them "coloreds", and it makes me cringe. I also know that she *is* a racist. Failing to acquire the necessary sensitivity to not use words like that may not be racist, but it does illustrate ignorance and resistance.

"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

True (none / 0) (#236)
by blakdogg on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 10:29:25 PM EST

Coloured brings to mind "White Only" and Coloured signs, and I would have a problem with someone calling me coloured. But it is possible to ask/tell the person to say black, with nigger that option does not exist. This is to some extent a personal choice, the NAACP includes the word in their name. Negro is the same, I personally think they  both carry excessive baggage due to there usage in the pass but neither is an insult
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
The n-word (none / 0) (#222)
by splitpeasoup on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 02:37:52 PM EST

Using the n-word, of itself, is not a sign of racism. So I don't see how the whole grandpa story is relevant.


"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi
[ Parent ]

"n-word not racist" (none / 0) (#241)
by mcherm on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 07:07:27 AM EST

With an attitude like that, it's obvious that you're a racist.

-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]
a question for you on racsim and a lecture (none / 0) (#223)
by omegadan on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 02:39:14 PM EST

Does using the word nigger make them racists? Does pointing out that basketball is "all nigger" (certainly true) make him a racist? Would it have been better if he had used a more palatable term and said "basketball is all black" ?

The thing is I don't see anything overtly racist here ... It was a poor choice of words, but, suppose for a moment in their old age they don't give a crap about calling people what they wanna be called? Suppose they've been using the word nigger for 50 years and they aren't about to change. I've used the word nigger, am I a racist for that alone ? If I am, are you to?

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

I respect that (5.00 / 1) (#231)
by proles on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 06:34:03 PM EST

And I agree that those who simply say "I'm glad Strom is dead because he was racist" aren't really accomplishing anything.

But at the same time we shouldn't sugarcoat his actions.  We shouldn't falsely glorify or exonerate him.

Yes, his views and opinions were sadly typical of the society that gave birth to him.  His political stance has almost always been very representative of his constituents (e.g. South Carolina).

But that doesn't make it right.  That doesn't make it excusable.

To write him off as a "product of his time" overlooks those who came from his time and who fought to change it, to eliminate segregation and to give us the country we have today, a much more equal (although still imperfect) nation.

And to excuse him as a politician who simply played to states rights and represented his constituents is to ignore the fact that the issue he was diehard about representing his constituents about just happened to be race-related.  I doubt he'd care so much about states rights when it comes to issues like us Oregonians having laws for physician assisted suicide.

So yes, I agree that Strom need not be villified.  I am not glad that he is dead: I am generally not made glad by the death of anybody.  But it is wrong to propagate overly rosy pictures of his political career.

He ran for president under the issue of segregation.  He was instrumental in the "Southern Manifesto".  He holds the record for filibustering, and the bill he was filibustering was housing legislation that he condemned as "race mixing".  In addition to being racist, he was homophobic and lecherous.

When times changed, he did make some efforts to mend his public face.  But to me, at least, it looks much more like a strategic retreat rather than an actual change of heart.  If you wish to disagree with me on that then so be it.  But that doesn't change the fact that he was a bigoted lecherous homophobe for at least a significant portion of his life.

And yes, those are ugly words.  I'm well aware that they are ugly.  But I'm not using them in spite.  I'm not using them to villify, I'm not using them because I'm "glad that he's dead": I'm just not sugarcoating.  I'm calling it as I see it.  They're ugly words, but they exist for a reason.
If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
[ Parent ]

I don't respect that (none / 0) (#247)
by elotiumq32 on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 03:43:29 PM EST

I suppose we should look upon Nazi Germany with fondness and forgiveness because, after all, it was over 50 years ago.

When my older relatives show their racist colors, I call them on it.  It's just not right.  Ethical relativity does not float with me.
______________ yeah whatever
[ Parent ]

Um, what's your point? (none / 0) (#255)
by epepke on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 06:58:16 PM EST

I suppose we should look upon Nazi Germany with fondness and forgiveness because, after all, it was over 50 years ago.

Isn't that basically what a lot of Europeans claim?

A few years ago, there were some high-profile arsonist burnings of a couple Black churches in the U.S.. Actually, it turned out to be a tempest in a teapot, because people in the insurance industry pointed out that church-burnings were down that year. But still, President Clinton toured the sites and made a lot of speeches about how bad racism was.

There have been some more recent burnings of synagogues in France. Has there been a similar reaction from the French government? Apart from a few ultraconservatives, has anybody actually even noticed? Nah, it's all "Europe is so perfect because we won't let Yahoo sell any Nazi memorabelia." Of course, the second part that doesn't get mentioned is "because it might cause people to remember and draw some parallels we wouldn't enjoy."

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
my point? what's your point? (none / 0) (#257)
by elotiumq32 on Wed Jul 02, 2003 at 12:41:14 PM EST

Um ... not sure why you're asking what my point is.  Point - there shouldn't be any acceptance of racism, not even coming from a couple of geriatric, armchair wannabe crossburners - much like there should be no forgiveness for any arthritic ex-SS hobbling around down in Argentina.  It was meant to be sarcastic.

______________ yeah whatever
[ Parent ]

What's the point? (none / 0) (#258)
by epepke on Wed Jul 02, 2003 at 01:02:38 PM EST

"And your point is?" is a colloquialism that has been used in American universities since about the time of the release of Buckaroo Banzai, which I presumed you were familiar with due to your signature. It means, roughly, "That's a good start, but you need to increase your cynicism to get a more accurate picture."

In this case, my point is that you will see the same kinds of apologia and whitewashing (ironic term, that) in many parts of Europe about Nazi Germany that you see here about old Dixiecrats, Boll Weevil Democrats, etc.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
so how'd he get re-elected? (3.71 / 7) (#147)
by alizard on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 02:50:11 AM EST

It is widely known in South Carolina that Strom would help anyone out, whenever you needed him.

I'd been wondering for years how even a place like South Carolina could re-elect a guy like Strom Thurmond.

Thanks for the answer.

A politician who delivers (jobs, government contracts, interventions with government bureaucracies) for his district or state and who in particular, has a reputation for delivering for individuals gets re-elected, often by constituents who do not agree with his politics.

A good staff operation in the home state makes all the difference between being a Senator or being an ex-Senator.

Any K5ers thinking about running for public office should remember this, because this is probably true in any democracy.

Yes, I'm among the majority of literate, thinking Americans who celebrated Thurmond's "pining for the fjords".
"The horse is dead. Fuck it or walk away, but stop beating it." Juan Rico

Re: so how'd he get re-elected? (1.00 / 1) (#174)
by pms101 on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 03:24:34 PM EST

I'd been wondering for years how even a place like South Carolina could re-elect a guy like Strom Thurmond. Thanks for the answer.

You should have put your own location. South Carolinia could use somewhere to feel superior to.

Is there something wrong with "delivering?" I certainly expect someone in a public position to help the people who put him there. Most of them are getting rich on us, they should at least throw us back a crumb.

Very, very few Senators seem to have any real politics beyond what sounds good at the moment and gets votes and / or money. Strom, Jesse Helms, et al. at least stood for something (good or bad) and didn't waffle evey time Barbra Streisand made a fool of herself at a press conference and the media played it up as "the voice of America."

[ Parent ]

I don't know much about ol' Strom... (4.27 / 11) (#150)
by J T MacLeod on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 03:14:11 AM EST

...but the 'he started out as a bigot' arguments just don't fly.  

You know what?  So did a whole heck of a lot of the nation.  That's changed now.  

I don't know where Strom Thurmond stood when he last served in public office, but if the rest of the nation is allowed to assume non-bigot status after seeing the light, why isn't someone else?  We can't start out perfect.  

Now, to me, racism is a very, very grave sin.  I grew up with people of several races, and I know what it's like to be in a situation where you are the minority in a group of prejudiced people.  

It's bad.  It's very bad.  But it doesn't mean that someone can't correct themselves.  

That said, even someone who knows better can still look like a bigot.  Take, for example, my grandfather, who doesn't have a racist bone in his body:  
"Yeah, ol' so-and-so was a n----r..."
Sounds pretty bad, until you hear him follow up with "...that fella was on of the finest men I knew."

Habits are habits, bad or not.  But judging people on their past action, their heritage, or their cultural habits is like saying that anyone with an accent from an Arabic country is a terrorist.  

But I don't know a thing about Strom.  Maybe he was an undercover agent for the KKK all along.  

A shame really (3.50 / 2) (#156)
by ootuyelu on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 07:22:46 AM EST

It is a shame, if the content of this article is correct, that south carolina resident did not come out and rectify the legacy of the Senator while the media dragged its history through the political thrash land in the name of racial tolerance in the Trent Lott debacle Olumide Otuyelu

At the time... (none / 0) (#248)
by Mr. Penguin on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 03:58:16 PM EST

Back in December, when Trent Lott made his infamous statement and was ostracized for it, the media did not focus on Strom Thurmond nearly as much as they did on Lott's statement. I happened to be in agreement with what most people were saying -- that the Strom Thurmond of the 40's would not have made a great president, and that Lott had not only put his foot in his mouth, but both feet, and had swallowed up to the knee.

I personally believe that Thurmond was wrong when he campaigned for Presidency. Segregation, though at that time legally equal, was wrong. But again, one reason that I know that now is because the views of the times changed, and we all learned how horrible it could be to treat people of different races differently.

Examining half of the life of a man does not show his true character. If I were to completely lose my mind at the age of 50 and live to be 100, should my obituary read "he was always nucking futz?" Or, if I were to rob a bank in my early teens, serve a lengthy jail sentence, and then spend my free life working with Habitat for Humanity or some other worthwhile charity, would you only focus on the fact that I had been a convicted felon?

Why do you think that Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Prize? Was it because of anything that he did when he was a Georgian politician, or when he was President? Did he actually do anything then? No. It's because of what he did after he left the Oval Office -- the aforementioned Habitat for Humanity, numerous peace conferences, and generally minding everyone else's business (that's a joke, go easy). We do not complain that Carter was worthless, but rather acknowledge what he did after he left office. I feel the same way about Thurmond -- I do not pretend to agree with his stances in the past, but rather the views he displayed later in life.

[ Parent ]
What is this, "The Usual Suspects"? (4.50 / 4) (#157)
by livus on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 08:27:14 AM EST

And you're Keyser Sose?

It seems to me that at the end of the article you admit that you were bullshitting all along.  You wrote this hymn to this Thurmond guy but then conclude it with:

" I like to think of him as being twice the man [that he was]".

Does this mean you have exaggerated, making him out to be exactly twice as good as he really was?

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

To Clarify... (4.00 / 1) (#185)
by Mr. Penguin on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 08:18:00 PM EST

My statement was meant to mean "I like to think of him as being twice the man [that others think of him to be]." I thought this was clear, but perhaps not.

[ Parent ]
oh, I see, sort of (none / 0) (#205)
by livus on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 01:56:13 AM EST

That makes more sense - still, it had me puzzled.

I wonder if others think him to be half the man they think him to be!

Can something that's always halving itself ever stop!?

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Revisionist Nonsense (3.50 / 8) (#158)
by rasafrasit on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 09:35:35 AM EST

That was very nice of Mr. Thurmond to go out of his way to rectify your problem so many years ago (assuming such a far-fetched story is even true) but it has no bearing on the truth of this backwards, bigoted, intolerant scumbag of a man.

Thurmond's record on voting on issues concerning the basic rights and freedoms of indivduals are both highly suspect and, where visible, anything but 'reformed' or even moderately sensible.

His small acts of concilation were politically motivated and in an effort to maintain his position in a time when the country was shifting underneath him (rather than him dragging the ignorant into the lght as you preposterously propose). To cast this man as a some kind of progressive is laughable, to say the least.

At the risk of being incendiary: I, for one, am glad the old fool is finally gone (and I second an earlier notion that cretins like this should never have made it to the wobbling halls of government in the first place) but the work of reforming government has only just begun.

Wow, you must be an expert... (3.00 / 6) (#160)
by Pyrion on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 09:52:08 AM EST

...in what makes someone a "backwards, bigoted, intolerant scumbag."
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
Truth... (none / 0) (#246)
by Mr. Penguin on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 03:05:36 PM EST

The story is completely true. What benefit would there be for me to make up such a story? Just to get something posted to K5? Please, I don't have that much time on my hands.

I merely felt that I owed the man something for what he did for me. Because he was dedicated to helping his constituents, I was able to go to college. As I've said before, it is just one of many such stories about Strom.

[ Parent ]
*sniffle* (5.00 / 7) (#170)
by MikeyLikesIt on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 11:51:04 AM EST

The good always die so young...

If that's true . . . (none / 0) (#264)
by 3ebnut on Fri Jul 04, 2003 at 04:11:13 AM EST

 Then I guess Madame Chiang Kai-Shek must have done something really vile to piss God off.

 Anyone want to dig up the dirt on her?

[ Parent ]

Don't agree with his former politics (2.83 / 6) (#172)
by dh003i on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 01:30:47 PM EST

but the man changed his ways. All of us err -- it is only human. The exceptional part is when we can admit that and change it.

I think we ought to stop letting this unbelievable political correctness cloud our thought. People in S. Carolina kept on re-electing this guy -- until a year before he died. That obviously means they thought he did a good job.

Thurmond happened to have a different view on segregation -- he viewed it as a state's rights issue. The same view was aired in the Roe v. Wade case. It was, however, rejected, as segregation was previously, by the USSC. That does not mean that Thurmond was a racist for holding that view; it just means he had a different interpretation of the US Constitution.

There are many people who have already decided how they feel on certain issues, and are going to warp the Constitution to support their position on those issues. There are only a few people who actually read the Constitution, and do not twist it to their own personal ends. If we disagree with something the Constitution and Amendments allow (e.g., the Fed government giving incentives for libraries to block out porn), then the legally proper course of action is to lobby for the ratification of a new amendment to alter that. Of course, it is often much easier, and more probable to succeed, if you go through the courts and try to get a law over-turned on the basis of unconstitutionality. But you have to remember that that cuts both ways, and the Constitution can be warped against supporting what is right, just as it can be warped to support what is right.

The real tragedy here is that Thurmond only got one year to enjoy his life outside of the back-stabbing and deal-wheeling of Washington.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.

Thurmond never apologized (4.66 / 3) (#188)
by jbuck on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 09:03:25 PM EST

Thurmond never apologized for his segregation-forever phase. He just changed the subject and learned how to speak in code, so that both the racists and the "respectable" conservatives would vote for him.

[ Parent ]
please (3.60 / 5) (#191)
by dh003i on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 11:08:50 PM EST

I get really sick of this politically correct crap.

So what, back 50 years ago, before most of us were born, he supported segregation? So did probably half of our grandparents. Should we burn them at the stake too?

He may not have formally admitted he was wrong; but he did change his views, which seems to be an obvious retraction of his previous beliefs to me. He foughts valiantly in World War II. He appointed one of the first Black Judges. He was the only Southern politician to support ML King Jr Holiday.

So, Mr. Perfect jbuck, who's obviously never done anything wrong, what exactly have <I>you</I> done to make this country a better place? What have <I>you</I> done for your country, other than bitching and whining because a guy born in 1900 conformed to views of his time, even though he eventually changed his own views?

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

You're taking it too far. (5.00 / 1) (#193)
by valeko on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 11:48:40 PM EST

There's no reason why anyone should have to "make their country a better place" within the parameters you described, nor had to have "fought valiantly in World War II" to have respectability.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

if your going to throw stones (none / 0) (#221)
by dh003i on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 02:16:04 PM EST

you shouldn't live in a glass house. This guy is attacking Sen Thurmond from a self-righteous pious stand, with moral self-righteousness.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Re: please (5.00 / 2) (#200)
by blakdogg on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 01:21:43 AM EST

>Should we burn them at the stake too?

> He foughts valiantly in World War II.
So did quite a few Black men, many of whom sufferred at the hands of Strom and his ilk.

>He appointed one of the first Black Judges.

> He was the only Southern politician to support ML King Jr Holiday.
Says more about the South than anything else.

> What have <I>you</i> done for your country
I'll go out on a limb and say he has not used his influence to terrorise 20% of his community. If that is the case he has probably done more than Strom.

>  even though he eventually changed his own views?
So what. Any idiot could've seen Jim Crow was wrong. If he wanted respect he should've taken the principled stand back in the '60s when his fellow Americans were dying for a righteous cause. Instead, he cravenly used resentment due to the Civil War to further his political career.
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]

Your posterity will do the same to you (5.00 / 1) (#214)
by mmsmatt on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 12:12:40 PM EST

For holding the beliefs of your time.

[ Parent ]
These were NOT the beliefs of their time (none / 0) (#220)
by blakdogg on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 01:08:13 PM EST

For reasons that I prefer not to mention, these people were in a position to subjugate weaker members of their society and they took full adavantage.

That sad excuse can barely fly in the 1860's, and definitely not in the 1960's. By then, even the US had come around to the fact that racial oppression was wrong.
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]

You lived in an entirely different 60s. (none / 0) (#243)
by DavidTC on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 01:39:50 PM EST

Apparently, you lived through the other sixties, the one that wasn't marked by the country being deeply divided in half by various issues, at lest one of which was racial equality.

At least that's the only reasonable explanation if you think by then 'the US had come around to the fact that racial oppression was wrong.'.

The US didn't come around to that until the start of the 70s, if that soon, which is, coincidently pretty much when Thurmond did.

And pretending large portions of the US thought racism was wrong in the 1860 is just a flat out lie. Enough people thought slavery was wrong to get rid of it, but society remained deeply deeply racist until the 1960s, and it really didn't become unacceptable until, like I said, the 1970s.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Sigh (none / 0) (#254)
by blakdogg on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 06:20:37 PM EST

Contrary to 'popular' belief the world does not end at the borders of the United States.
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
Oddly enough... (none / 0) (#259)
by DavidTC on Thu Jul 03, 2003 at 01:09:00 AM EST

...the borders of the US manage to end pretty much exactly at the borders of the US.

And that, of course, is exactly what everyone, including you, has been talking about. You said 'By [the 1960s], even the US had come around to the fact that racial oppression was wrong.', which I, of course, said wasn't true of the US in the 1960s.

I don't know how you think you can twist that into some American-centric answer, when we were, duh, talking about the US to start with. You made a comment about how things were in the US, and I responded they were not that way in the US, and it's fairly surreal for you to complain I'm just talking about the US.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Clarification (none / 0) (#260)
by blakdogg on Thu Jul 03, 2003 at 01:35:53 AM EST

I said even the US had come around to the fact that blacks and whites were equal. This is why Jim Crow was only practiced in the south. Now I do not care to delve into US history, but I am sure less than 50% of the US population lived in Jim Crow states. If this is the case, it stands to reason that my comment about the US coming around was correct.

Now, within the British colonies of the West Indies these issues were being addressed and solved during the late 50's through the mid '60s. In these former slave states blacks were by virtue of independence full citizens.

My point is that issues of supposed racial superiority were dealt with prior to Selma etc. Like the South Africans, the americans merely had to look beyond their borders.

I am merely pointing out that the american in the '60s was in the same position as the south african  in the '90s.
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]

Jim Crow isn't really important (none / 0) (#263)
by DavidTC on Thu Jul 03, 2003 at 02:24:50 PM EST

That was just a blatant sympton of the underlying racist, and were gone by the 1960s. If you're talking about the right to vote, Jim Crow laws against that were struck down in 1915 in Guinn v. United States.

And basically all Jim Crow laws were held unconstitutional in 1954 with Brown v. Board of Education, which said 'seperate but equal' did not work.

So by the 1960s there were no 'Jim Crow' states, at least legally, where the government could discriminate.

Note that private individuals could, and did, discriminate until 1964.

However, the fact the laws said they were equal doesn't mean they were considered equal, which is exactly what the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s was all about.

That's not to say there weren't changes in racism before the 1960s, but claiming it was basically decided by then is a bit silly. MLK and Malcolm X were both assassinated in the mid-sixties, due exactly to the fact the country didn't want a civil rights movement.

When the civil rights movement ended is an interesting question, but it certainly didn't happen before the end of the 1960s.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

I wasn't aware that he'd been burnt at the stake (none / 0) (#261)
by nebbish on Thu Jul 03, 2003 at 05:27:44 AM EST

I thought people were just disagreeing with, arguing with and disliking him, which is to be expected if you held strong views which discriminated against a significant proportion of the population. It didn't kill him.

Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Wasn't he the guy... (4.40 / 5) (#178)
by Deus Horribilus on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 06:17:58 PM EST

Who referred to people of Arabic descent as "sand-niggers"?

I am sure I read a comment on this very site that attached that quote to Strom Thurmond.

If that is true, then I hope he has his corpse dug up and defiled by a randy necrophiliac. The racist redneck scumbag can get what's coming to him.

"Beliefs are never concrete, they change direction like autumn leaves in a windstorm..."

I don't know... (5.00 / 2) (#186)
by horny smurf on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 08:46:46 PM EST

... but Robert Byrd, (D West Virginia) is a former KKK Grand Dragon, and 2-3 years ago casually used the phrase "white nigger" in a speech on the floor of the US Senate.

Oops, He's a "Distiguished Elder Statesman", not a "racist".

[ Parent ]

White niggers (4.66 / 3) (#190)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 10:08:55 PM EST

Apparently it was not a speech but a TV interview on Fox News. For some reason Drudge still has a report sitting around on his site...

(Interestingly enough, from personal experience I agree with the good senator...)

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

I find it interesting (5.00 / 2) (#198)
by blakdogg on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 12:43:56 AM EST

When there was the big stink about Trent Lott's comments mention was made of Byrd's past and his bigoted comments. What I found interesting is that quite a few conservatives asked why Democrats were not attacking Byrd. None of them thought it was their responsibility to uproot the bigot. I find that behaviour quite odd
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
Perhaps it's because (4.00 / 1) (#228)
by baron samedi on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 06:10:23 PM EST

Byrd's actions and intentions have done much to repudiate his former membership in the Klan, whereas the likes of Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond do much to reverse the progress of civil rights. That's the key difference, and that's why Byrd gets a pass, and Lott has to work hard to not look like a racist, because he sure votes like one, and plays the southern strategy like one.

It's also worth noting that at the time Byrd was in the Klan, a great deal of people were, too, as a matter of course. It was at a time when Klan membership was at a historic high. Byrd was no longer affiliated with the Klan when he took public office. I have no idea what 'rank' he obtained within the Klan, although I have heard that he was a Grand Dragon and, alternatively, that he was a Klegel, which are two different things. I don't know if either are true.

"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

ahmmm (none / 0) (#237)
by blakdogg on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 10:46:31 PM EST

I am not a big fan of the "regret prior acts" theory. While tolerable for citizens, it doesn't hold for leaders.

I do agree with your point about Lott though.
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]

Regret (none / 0) (#242)
by baron samedi on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 01:36:08 PM EST

Not sure what you mean by that. These are politicians we're talking about, so there's always something you can find about them that makes them look distasteful.

I can accept a reformed Klansman. Perhaps you can't, and that's fine, but Sen. Byrd has done more for civil rights that Strom Thurmond ever did, previous membership in the Klan notwithstanding.

"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

Shameful (3.66 / 6) (#192)
by shishio on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 11:21:15 PM EST

The man has been either a scourge or a joke to our political system for years, and I'm glad he's gone.

hes finally dead? (none / 0) (#199)
by instant on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 12:50:39 AM EST

weekend at bernie's anyone?

Thurmond never gave up segregationist goals (4.20 / 5) (#201)
by Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 01:22:02 AM EST

Despite a slight addition of race-tainted euphemisms in the last decades of his career, there is no evidence that Thurmond EVER changed his goals of a segregated South and of white supremacy.  Much like Trent Lott, Thurmond remained always a died in the wool racist.  

A good perspecitve can be found at:


John Lennon and Strom Thurmond (3.66 / 3) (#207)
by oliveo on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 07:24:16 AM EST

When he was applying for permanent residence in the US, John Lennon found that the processing of his INS application was abnormally prolonged. It was finally revealed that this was due to Strom Thurmond's influence; he was the one who was preventing Lennon from becoming a resident.

Just another facet of what this man stood for or, in this case, chose to stand against. He always represented reaction; the so-called change-of-heart on the race question was merely a political move, a strategic retreat, the abandoning of an untenable position.

Rest in Peace, Strom (2.16 / 6) (#209)
by KaizerWill on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 09:06:51 AM EST

Whatever your veiws on strom's life and works, it cannot be denied that the democratic party took it upon themselves in the past year to ruin a man's last birthday.

The appalling nature of the controversy by which trent lott was burned at the political stake for trying to complement mr. thurmond on his 100th birthday is unforgivable. it exposes everything that is sick and depraved in the minds of the liberal left.

You were there for that...

Get off the high horse. (1.33 / 3) (#210)
by duffbeer703 on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 09:09:12 AM EST

Many people here have characterized Strom Thurmond as a joke, a racist or a black mark on American politics. I disagree.

Whether you agreed with his views or not, Senator Thurmond certainly represented the voters of South Carolina well and everyone seemed to know where he stood. Contrast this with other popular politicians like the junior Senator from New York or someone like Lyndon Johnson.

If... (5.00 / 1) (#229)
by proles on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 06:12:34 PM EST

...calling a man who clearly and strongly supported segregation a bigot means that I'm on a "high horse" than I hate to think what it'd be like to "get off the high horse".
If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
[ Parent ]
Take your own advice, dick (2.50 / 2) (#240)
by debacle on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 05:38:54 AM EST

"like the junior Senator from New York"

We all know who the fuck you're talking about, and she's a bitch, alright? I LIVE in New York, and I've had dreams about that bitch killing puppies to get votes.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]

Please seek mental help. (none / 0) (#265)
by tthomas48 on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 02:30:43 PM EST

Most people don't even have dreams about Hitler killing puppies. I think this may be a sign of severe mental strain. You should seek help. I can certainly understand why you feel that Senator Clinton is a bitch. After all, she did what most conservative wifes do not - stand by their adulterous husbands. It must be hard when so many women have been unfaithful to you in life, and you have not gained all the material wealth that you would like to see someone as powerful and wealthy as the Clintons manage to keep a loving relationship going. I'd recommend seeking help for this. I'm sure that there's still time in your life to eschew conservative talk shows, find a loving wife, and get a good job where you're respected. But you're going to have to stop dreaming about people killing puppies. Nothing good can come of that.

[ Parent ]
Simos quote (1.66 / 3) (#212)
by Cackmobile on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 09:43:29 AM EST

"Now thanks to the magic of animatronics Senator Strum Thormond can live on anoterh 100 year" But seriously I am an Australian and front what I know about Strom, he was a rascist backward redneck. Good riddance I say. Only when the last of them are gone can we be finally rid of that terrible chapter in US history. At least that governor from Alambama (i think) who opposed the Bussing in of students, apologised for his past.

Courage of his Convictions (2.75 / 4) (#224)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 03:31:12 PM EST

It seems most politicians today are content to smile for the camera, say as little meaningfull as possible, bend any rule of personal or proffesional ethics to satisfy thier personal ambitions and have thier spinmasters correct it all to offer the public a highly glowing (and highly false) picture of thier records while they sit on thier butts and try to do as little as possible for thier constiuants while collecting donations for their presidential libraries.

Whether you detest or agree with Thurmonds politics, you must respect the man for having the courage of his convictions and actualy going out and doing the things he was elected to do regardless of the personal cost or risk.

One thing that the article failed to mention was that at the age of 41 (well past draft age) Thurmond actualy volunteered for active combat duty in WWII (his connections easly could have gotten him a safe staff job). Unlike LBJ (who was a staff officer who was awarded a silver star for being a passanger on 1 "combat" flight where the enemy was never encountered.), Thurmond actualy earned his millitary laurels. As a first leiutenant he landed with U.S. airborne forces in Normandy on D-Day. Among the 14 combat citations he was awarded the bronze star and the purple heart with oak leaf cluster (meaning he was wounded in action on more then one occasion).

As a Senator he actualy worked tirelessly for his constituants....even when there would be no political payback nor press coverage for doing so. He maintained his personal convictions even when it was vastly unpopular to do so. He maintained an active work ethic until the very end of his life.

I do, indeed, find him to be twice the man of the majority of his contemporaries or indeed the teeming wastes of O2 that seem to populate this board.

Convictions (5.00 / 2) (#225)
by czolgosz on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 05:02:47 PM EST

Whether you detest or agree with Thurmonds politics, you must respect the man for having the courage of his convictions and actualy going out and doing the things he was elected to do regardless of the personal cost or risk.
No you don't. Hitler had the "courage of his convictions" and, one could argue, even died for them in his bunker. And the world would have been a better place had he died for them several years sooner. The "courage of his convictions" just made him more fanatical.

Frankly, I don't care whether those who advocate idiotic, destructive policies are sincere or are opportunists. I don't care if Pat Robertson thinks of himself as a believing Christian anymore than I care if George W. Bush is a nice guy. I just want them to be kept as far as possible from the levers of power.

In politics, forget St. Paul. The evil lies in the act; the intentions are irrelevant. No matter what Thurmond did in later life to pull strings for his constituents and cry crocodile tears for being a committed racist, the stink from his Dixiecrat days doesn't wash off.

Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
Convictions don't require courage (none / 0) (#227)
by proles on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 05:43:16 PM EST

It's very easy to be blindly dogmatic and stubbornly hold on to beliefs, especially self-serving beliefs like smug arrogant supremacist bigotry.

You say that "He maintained his personal convictions even when it was vastly unpopular to do so".  And yes, you're quite right.  But there are some very good reasons why his personal convictions became "vastly unpopular".

One shouldn't be proud that one is consistent if their consistency is one of ignorance and bigotry.
If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
[ Parent ]

Strong Convictions, huh? (5.00 / 1) (#233)
by teece on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 08:23:46 PM EST

Interesting to praise him on his convictions.

I have heard many damn him for *not* having convictions. He was a racist. Google some of the things he has said about the 'nigger race' (sorry for the slur). And yet, when that opinion became unpopular, he just dropped the racial hatred. Never apologized, or renounced, just realized that all the black folks he thought of as belonging to a separate (and inferoir) race could vote for him. Suddenly his conviction to be a good racist evaporated, so he could stay elected.

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

Many racists realized their error (4.00 / 1) (#239)
by Eric Green on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 01:29:40 AM EST

My father, for example, was as racist as Strom during the 1950's and 1960's. Somewhere around 1973-1974, though, he realized that he had a lot more in common with the black folk down the street than with the rich folk down at City Hall. He never apologized for his racism or anything, but for the rest of his life never used the word "nigger" again, and treated black folk with the respect they were due.

This was a common epiphany in the South in that time frame. My father had sent me to a seg-academy (if you don't know what that is, look it up) after the schools were desegregated. By 1973-1974, the seg-academies had pretty much emptied out and everybody went back to the public schools again (except for those going to the Catholic schools of course).

In my opinion, race relations in the South today are better than in most parts of the country. I suspect that bigotry in Detroit is more of a problem than bigotry in Atlanta -- heck, Atlanta has even elected black mayors. All of this happened without a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth... just a lot of people realizing that they were wrong, and changing their ways. Strom wasn't unusual in that way. He was just a typical Southerner there.
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Besides his *ahem* dubious stance on race... (2.50 / 2) (#226)
by proles on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 05:40:32 PM EST

...Strom was a bit of a lecher.

But it was his colorful character that often made him the talk of Washington. He hugged women wherever he went and openly complimented their figures, long past the time when that was accepted behavior. He took pride in his reputation for appreciating the opposite sex. "I love all of you -- and especially your wives," he told senators in a farewell speech last fall.


If you want a more detailed summary of Strom's "steamy past", prepare yourself for an interesting read. As the site says, "His sexual escapades make Bill Clinton look like a piker."

PS - No, I'm not trying to "defame" the man and I think it's silly to act as if criticizing him is now somehow disrespectful because he's dead. His being alive or dead doesn't alter who he is, so I'll just continue trying to call it as I see it.

And I must admit that I find it ironic that this sort of behavior comes from a politician who has likely on many cases fought for "moral" legislation regarding sex and such. I doubt Strom was a big fan of homosexuals, for example.

If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
What kind of man was Strom Thurmond? (4.50 / 2) (#256)
by Fredrick Doulton on Wed Jul 02, 2003 at 02:32:24 AM EST

Maybe one of his more famous quotes will give you an idea.

"And I want to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there's not enough troops in the Army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theatres, into our swimming pools, into our homes and into our churches."

--Sen. Strom Thurmond, July 17, 1948

Note that the media later edited the quote so that Senator Thurmond would appear more re-election friendly. But this was the original.

Bush/Cheney 2004! - "Because we've still got more people to kill"

Senator Strom Thurmond, Twice the Man | 265 comments (190 topical, 75 editorial, 0 hidden)
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