Tuesday, 10 December 2002

Maybe he was just speaking his mind... (updated)

Glenn Reynolds has dug up this gem of an article on Our Man Lott; Doug Thompson saves the best for last:

And some who know Trent Lott say his praise of Thurmond may not have been a slip of the tongue. The Mississippi Republican, they say, may still share some of Thurmond's racist bias.

Shirley Wharburton, a former Senate staffer, says Lott is well known among Republican insiders as a man who enjoys racial slurs.

“I've heard him make disparaging remarks about black athletes and talk about how they are taking over professional sports,” she said. “Strom Thurmond is not the only Senator who uses the ‘n-word’ when he's talking to other white Senators.”

Certainly back in 1994, when I spent a few months in the Hart Senate Office Building opening Connie Mack's mail (among other tasks as a young, impressionable intern), there were more than a few staffers with, shall we say, unreconstructed racial attitudes; however, I can't speak on the behavior of their bosses.

Ari Fleischer's comments today hardly read as a ringing endorsement from the President; however, if Lott wants to make a real apology, he might start from here:

I just think, from the President's point of view, all Americans should take great pride in the fact that we are changed society since 1948; tremendous strides and changes and improvements have been made in the way we treat fellow Americans in the terms of race and equality. And the President looks at the history of our nation as one that — we were a nation that needed to change. The changes that were brought by the civil rights community were healthy, constructive changes that have made us a stronger and a richer and a better society. And I speak for the President.