Lott steps down as Senator Leader

  1. washington, dec. 20-_ two weeks after his endorsement of strom thurmond's 1948 segregationist presidential bid touched off a national uproar, sen. trent lott announced friday that he is stepping down as incoming senate majority leader. lott's decision not to take the position came as sen. bill frist gained support from peers who felt lott's statements had undermined his ability to lead the party in the senate. lott said he would stay on as a senator

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  3. by   renerian
    Good. Lets get some younger person in there. Not meant to offend anyone I just want to move on from this never-ending story.

  4. by   Glad2behere
    Poor witto Trenty, hell just retire with his $200k pension and live like the rest of us peons. $200k is just a guess...
  5. by   Sleepyeyes
    good. kinda renews my faith that America is a democracy ruled by the majority--and the majority is not racist.
    Last edit by Sleepyeyes on Dec 21, '02
  6. by   Brownms46
    Least anyone think He didn't mean it, or that anyone who replaces him will think any differently.

    Brother Lott's real record

    By Derrick Z. Jackson, 12/18/2002

    T IS IMPOSSIBLE to tell which sound is louder, the laughter of millions of black folks or the millions of mint julep glasses dropped to the ground by shocked conservatives who are screaming, ''Uncle Trent! Shut up!''

    Black folks are in stitches because Lott cannot unstitch his record. The Republican Party wants to stitch up Lott's mouth. A stitch in time nine years ago, when Lott was cavorting with offshoots of white citizens councils, might have save the Republicans from this moment. Finally, with Lott's wistful praise of Strom Thurmond's segregationist presidential campaign of 1948 threatening to put a white sheet over the entire party, Republicans are making moves to drop Lott as majority leader of the Senate.

    They are not moving fast enough to stop the painful from becoming preposterous. In an interview on Black Entertainment Television, Lott was asked by interviewer Ed Gordon, ''What about affirmative action?''

    Lott said, ''I'm for it. I think you should reach out to people ... ''

    Gordon interrupted, ''Across the board?''

    Lott said, ''Absolutely, across the board. That's why I'm so proud of my alma mater now, University of Mississippi, that obviously had a difficult time in the '60s and '70s, now led by an outstanding chancellor, Robert Khayat, that has gotten rid of the Confederate flag. ... I am for affirmative action. And I practice it. ... I have actually tried very hard to be an affirmative action participant.''

    Lott has tried hard all right - to kill affirmative action and black participation in just about anything that would have benefited black folks from his college days to today. Just in case you actually began to feel sorry for Lott as he wriggled to be a brother, here is a list of Lott's votes and actions over the last four decades:

    Early 1960s: Fought to keep his Sigma Nu fraternity all white not only at the University of Mississippi but across the nation.

    1975: Voted against extension of the Voting Rights Act.

    1976: Voted to ban judges from awarding money to cover the costs of attorneys to victorious plaintiffs in civil rights suits.

    1979: Voted for a constitutional amendment to ban school busing.

    1980: Praised Thurmond at a rally for presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, saying that if Thurmond had been elected in 1948, ''we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today.''

    1980: Voted against federal administrative penalties for people or firms that are guilty of discriminatory housing practices.

    1981: Instrumental in President Reagan's attempt to give Bob Jones University, which then banned interracial dating, tax exemptions.

    1982: Voted again against extending the Voting Rights Act.

    1983: Opposed Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, citing its cost and ''the fact that we have not done it for a lot of other people that were more deserving.'' In 1998, Lott said, ''Sometimes, I feel closer to Jefferson Davis than any other man in America.''

    1983: Supported an amendment proposed by Senator Jesse Helms to preserve tax-exempt status for Bob Jones University, which then banned interracial dating.

    1984: Said ''The spirit of Jefferson Davis lives in the 1984 Republican platform.''

    1988: Voted again against administrative penalties in housing discrimination.

    1989: Voted against $300,000 for the King federal holiday commission to promote racial harmony.

    1990: One of only four senators to vote against requiring the Justice Department to categorize hate crimes by race.

    1990: Voted against the restoration of affirmative action programs struck down by the Supreme Court.

    1992: Told the Council of Conservative Citizens, which has ties back to the white citizens councils of segregation (known by African-Americans as the ''downtown Klan''): ''The people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy. Let's take it in the right direction and our children will be the beneficiaries.''

    1993: Voted to extend to the Daughters of the Confederacy the design patent for the Confederate flag.

    1994: Voted to support an amendment by Helms to strip federal funding from the King holiday.

    1994: Voted against the use of racial statistics in death penalty appeals.

    1995: Voted to end affirmative action in federal contracting.

    1997: Voted against affirmative action in funding businesses for people of color and women.

    1998: Voted again to end affirmative action in federal contracting.

    2000: Voted against expansion of hate crimes laws to include gay and lesbian people.

    2001: Was the only senator in a 93-1 vote to oppose the appointment of Roger Gregory, a black judge, to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va.

    This record is important not just to pile on Lott. He is done for as majority leader. The importance is in measuring it against who will take his place. It is ironic that the first Republican senator who said Lott should be replaced, Don Nickles of Oklahoma, has displayed nearly the same reflexive opposition to civil rights, down to voting against the King holiday, supporting Bob Jones, and voting to kill affirmative action.

    Nickles said, ''I am concerned that Trent has been weakened to the point that it may jeopardize his ability to enact our agenda.'' Lott may be going, but his politics are hardly going with him. Lott may now have reduced himself to a fool, but the conservatives, once they mop up the puddle of mint juleps, will not be fooling around.

    Derrick Z. Jackson's e-mail address is jackson@globe.com.

    This story ran on page A23 of the Boston Globe on 12/18/2002.
    Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.