Trent and Strom, Rude Awakening

  1. I felt kicked in the gut yesterday.

    I was sitting at the dinner table watching the news when I heard the NAACP and various politicians were calling for Trent Lott's resignation. I thought, oh good grief, what NOW??

    I will admit, I did not know Strom Thurmond's history until yesterday. I didn't know why he was actually a historical figure - other than living over a century. I didn't care to ask my parents why, everytime Strom was mentioned, they would get a scowl on their face.

    Now I know why.

    In 1948, Strom Thurmond ran for President. His platform was based on segregation. Strom believed "seperate but equal" was needed and that Jim Crow laws should be enforced.

    At Strom's recent birthday celebration: Lott said Mississippians were proud to have voted for Thurmond, the Dixiecrat presidential candidate in 1948, "and if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."

    My mouth fell open and yes, I did feel kicked in the gut. My God, did he say what I think I just heard??

    Had Strom Thurmond, the "Dixiecrat" won, think of the implications.
    - There would still be "White's Only" businesses
    - There would still be "White's Only" hospitals and medical centers
    - I would have to drink from seperate drinking fountains, use a seperate restroom
    (The above examples were all "Jim Crow" based laws)

    So, WAS Trent saying that by keeping these things in place that Strom based his platform on, we wouldn't have the problems of today?

    I'd like to think that Trent got caught up in the moment of trying to honor someone who has been in congress for a lifetime, but somehow, I don't think so.

    Edited to say: This is distressing, because it's possible that Trent is expressing what a lot of people in America might be feeling. That they would have been better off if minorities were never allowed to vote, still had to be seperated from whites, and never allowed ANY civil rights.

    Strom Thurmond is also known for the longest filibuster in history: 24 hours AGAINST the civil rights bill.

    Some may say we are overreacting, but, today I feel... sad.

    Trent Lott's Remarks
    Last edit by LasVegasRN on Dec 11, '02
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  2. 184 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    In fairness to TL, it most certainly is NOT clear that he was talking about segregation in his comments, and he probably was not (he's far too politically astute to have voiced racism intentionally), but was simply lending his cheers to a MOST senile outgoing senator, who appeared to be too far gone to even understand what the event was about. Much like RR's last public events.

    ST is a hero in much of the South simply because he, on numerous occasions, "stood up to the Yankees," on many issues, which they always cheer. Not to mention the questionable achievement of living to be 100. TL was probably referring to this general issue. IMHO, anyway.

    I'd hate to think what it would sound like if ANY of us were recorded 24 hours a day and phrases taken out of context were played back on national TV.

    [And no, I didn't vote for either one of these dingbats.]
    Last edit by sjoe on Dec 11, '02
  4. by   LasVegasRN
  5. by   semstr
    Deneen, I read about his comments in the newspaper today.
    I am shocked by it!!
  6. by   NurseDennie
    LVRN - It's weird, isn't it? I had heard about the CONTROVERSY about what Lott said, but I hadn't seen/heard what it actually was until now.

    SHHHHEEEEEEEEEESH!!!

    I am gobsmacked by his stupidity. Strom Thurmond was one of those horrible rabid segregationists that people still sometimes think of when they think of southern Democratic politicians. There were a lot of them at the time.

    I'm old enough to remember those guys. Of course, I wasn't southern at the time, but still.

    Was this Lott guy saying that 'separate but equal' would have been okay???? (like separate but equal would EVER even happen!) Was he saying that Thurmond would have been a good president in spite of his racism?

    I'm going to have to read about this. I feel pretty stupid and uninformed. Why does everybody act like they like Strom Thurmond now (just because he's 100 years old?) when he really WAS the stereotypical racist/segregationist? How could he still be in the Senate? Bad enough he's 100 years old!

    To me, I didn't feel so bad when I was in the North, but it's a bit of an embarassment to even be a southern Democrat. I'm drawing a blank on this name - George something - who was governor and stood in the doorway of the STATE university and declared that no black person would ever attend there. The original Senator Gore (Senior - Al Gore Jr's dad) was senator from Tennessee and he fillibustered against the civil rights act as well. I know there were a lot more examples, but THOSE people sank into well-deserved political oblivion.

    For heaven's sake, Thurmon said he loved all his coworkers in the Senate "and especially your wives." Senile old codger.

    I have lived in the south now since 1975 and I can't say that I've *never* met anybody who thinks that segregationism is right. You know, you meet the odd idiot now and again, but certainly there is NOT a strong or wide-spread attitude that things would be better if Jim Crow had prevailed. What a mess that would have been.

    Okay, I'm done ranting now. On to the point: The guy needs to resign. Or get fired. One of the two. Maybe both.

    Love

    Dennie

    PS - I might have to come back and edit this later. I have been pretty angry as I write it, so it might not make much sense.
  7. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by NurseDennie
    ...I'm drawing a blank on this name - George something - who was governor and stood in the doorway of the STATE university and declared that no black person would ever attend there...
    George Wallace
  8. by   eltrip
    ST is from South Carolina. TL is from Mississippi. Both raised in the "Old South." 'Nuf said.
  9. by   SharonH, RN
    This doesn't surprise me one bit. First of all, Trent Lott made almost the exact same comments 20 years ago about how much better we would all have been if a racist segregationist had been the president. Also , don't you remember a few years back when he was caught hanging out with the Council of Conservative Citizens? He spoke at one of their "rallies". When he was called on it, he claimed that he didn't know what they were all about. Yeah, right.
  10. by   Stargazer
    I was considering posting this topic yesterday, but ws afraid it would degenerate into a brawl and end up with a lot of hurt feelings. And my feeling at the time was pretty much the same as sjoe's--that Lott tripped over his own hyperbole in an attempt to laud Thurmond at his farewell party.

    But the more I think about it, the more I'm starting to wonder. Lott had to realize Thurmond's celebration would be a newsworthy event--why would he be so careless if that's not what he meant to say? I dunno.

    RE: Sharon's post, I had to go look up the Council of Conservative Citizens, because I'd never heard of them before. Wow, that is some racist crap. And they sure do love them some Trent Lott. There are articles praising him all over the website, and his picture is displayed prominently on their homepage.
  11. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    I was considering posting this topic yesterday, but was afraid it would degenerate into a brawl and end up with a lot of hurt feelings....
    I had the same reservations before I posted this. But I feel the active posters on this board have achieved a level of mutual respect where we can discuss these types of issues without descending into insults or purposely hurting feelings.

    At least.. that's my thinking...
  12. by   Stargazer
    So far so good, Vegas. I hope you don't think I was criticizing your decision to post it. You're just braver than I am.
  13. by   l.rae
    Originally posted by sjoe
    In fairness to TL, it most certainly is NOT clear that he was talking about segregation in his comments, and he probably was not (he's far too politically astute to have voiced racism intentionally), but was simply lending his cheers to a MOST senile outgoing senator, who appeared to be too far gone to even understand what the event was about. Much like RR's last public events.

    ST is a hero in much of the South simply because he, on numerous occasions, "stood up to the Yankees," on many issues, which they always cheer. Not to mention the questionable achievement of living to be 100. TL was probably referring to this general issue. IMHO, anyway.

    I'd hate to think what it would sound like if ANY of us were recorded 24 hours a day and phrases taken out of context were played back on national TV.

    [And no, I didn't vote for either one of these dingbats.]

    well said and my sentiments also......however, TL's opponents will not pass up this opportunity to play it up to the hilt regardless of intentions.....must be a slow news day....................LR
  14. by   LasVegasRN
    Stargazer,
    No, no, didn't get the impression you were criticizing at all!

    Actually, I was afraid NO ONE would respond. I'm glad some people did, and hope more will!

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