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Upholding the Bigot Tradition in North Carolina

Wizbang writer Lorie Byrd offers up a defense of fellow North Carolinian Senator Jesse Helms, who recently passed away at the age of 86. In her post Byrd finds the words to not only praise the hateful bigot Helms, but finds time to suggest to liberals that there is something we can learn from Helm's life and legacy.

For a completely different (and more accurate) view of Helms and his legacy I recommend Paul Hooson's post here on Wizbang Blue titled "Stupid Bigot, Jesse Helms Dead At 86," but reading Byrd's post and the comments made by conservative readers offers an interesting insight into the conservative, bigoted mind.

Byrd, a North Carolinian, stands up to praise Helms, speaking against liberals who've denigrated Helms in his passing:

It might be easier for those who hated Helms to hold on to their caricature of him as a hate-filled bigot who was only in office because voters in NC are backward hicks, but that is not the reality.

Her self-esteem seemingly wounded by the many disparaging remarks made about Helms on the occasion of his passing, Byrd rises up to speak forcefully in defense of racial and social bigotry, suggesting we Americans should ignore the underlying hatred and un-American ideology practiced by Helms, and focus instead on the force and determination with which he practiced his hatred against his fellow Americans.

The way Helms always said what he believed, without apology, and stood by those words with actions is the thing that so many are yearning for in a politician today -- whether they be on the left or right.

Byrd seems to suggest that it's okay to practice bigotry and hatred, as long as you (1) publicly proclaim your bigotry forcefully, and (2) not back down or apologize when challenged.

Byrd quotes... herself, linking back to a post she wrote on the ultra-conservative "Townhall" website which she titled "A Lesson Even Liberals Can Learn from Jesse Helms." Byrd moderated her extremism when writing her subsequent posting on Wizbang, using the more diplomatic title "Something those on the left and right can learn from Jesse Helms" instead. Byrd herself backs off of the "something liberals can learn" position in her post on Wizbang. Yes, she has something to learn from the loud-mouthed Helms all right. He wouldn't have moderated his headline.

Thanks for the lesson, Lorie, that bigotry can be spread by praising those who practice it and by denigrating those liberals who speak up against it, but please -- spare us your pedantic preachings. We liberals have already learned well from the likes of Helms, and we'll speak forcefully and without apology against bigotry in America.

Paul Hooson spoke for me and I'm sure for many other liberals as well when he outlined Helms history and legacy of hatred.

I'd like to be able to say at least one good thing about Helms at this time. But I just can't think of anything good to say about him. He was the absolute worst. The voters of North Carolina were complete fools to ever elect him to any public office. In most U.S. states a guy like this wouldn't be elected dog catcher. Helms was ever so lucky to live in a state where his very limited intellectual and reasoning skills were deemed good enough to help him get elected U.S. senator in the first place.

As long as pockets of hatred and bigotry exist in corners of the United States, and Byrd demonstrates that the tradition of bigotry is alive and well in North Carolina, our "imperfect union" will still need mending.

By idolizing a bigot like Helms, Byrd does her best to carry on and defend that tradition of hateful bigotry, and we liberals should do our best to speak forcefully and without apology against it.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (1)

Jesse Helms was a dinosaur relic of those oldtime "Dixiecrats", a former Southern segregationist Democrat that only became a Republican when Strom Thurmond helped to lead many Whites who supported segregationist policies into becoming the backbone of the modern Republican Party. The Republican Party shed off the progressive and justice seeking policies of Abraham Lincoln during the Strom Thurmond rebellion years and became the new voice of the politics of division and racism.

Amazingly, while many Whites supported this movement in the South, it was also many Whites who were also victims of the same sort of segregationist policies that also prevented many of them from voting including literacy tests and poll taxes. In the 1936 elections, voter turnout only averaged between 10-16% in many Southern states because so many Whites were also eliminated from voting by the poll taxes and other means meant to keep an oligarchy of wealthy interests in power and prevent truly free elections in the South.

There was also further attempts to suppress truly free elections in the South by the police, Ku Klux Klan and secret state surveillance units who worked together to prevent both the old time Republican Party as well as the Populist Party from gaining any real share in Southern politics. The South was largely a one party oligarchy of wealthy business interests involved in tobacco, major landholders and business who worked together to keep both the poor Whites and Blacks both down and oppressed, while they ripped them off and kept both groups in poverty. Helms was always an unapologetic part of this old system, and this dinosaur never evolved enough to ever repent of his segregationist ways like a Strom Thurmond or a George Wallace ever did.

I can't possiby see why anyone would ever want to defend this old system of one party political control by some wealthy landowners in North Carolina which kept so many Whites and Blacks both in poverty and made much of the South a Third World nation while the Northern part of the U.S. progressed both socially and economically.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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