This week, Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, remarked had this to say: "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
For those of you who don't know what Strom Thurmond's platform was when he ran for President in 1948, let's refer to a Pro-Thurmond advertisement: "REMEMBER: A vote for Truman electors is a direct order to our Congressmen and Senators from Mississippi to vote for the passage of Truman's so-called civil-rights program in the next Congress. This means the vicious FEPC -- anti-poll tax -- anti-lynching and anti-segregation proposals will become the law of the land and our way of life in the South will be gone forever."
Or, to be more direct, how about this quote from Thurmond's official presidential platform: ""We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race."
Got it? Racial segregation was THE issue of Thurmond's campaign.
Do you need more? How about this gem spoken after following Strom Thurmond to the stage at a Republican rally in 1980: ""You know, if we had elected this man 30 years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess we are today."
Got it? Or do you need more?
How about Trent Lott's statement in the 1992 in a speech to the Council of Conservative Citizens (formed to succeed the White Citizens' Councils of the segregationist south): "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." Visit the CCC webpage and judge for yourself what "the right principles and the right philosophy" are.
Got it? Or do you need more?
Gordon Baum, leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens, reacted to last week's comments with a smile and the phrase "God bless Trent Lott." On its webpage, the CCC declares that "- WE Need to THANK Sen. Lott for his COURAGE and HONESTY!"
Now Lott is in trouble. Politicians and pundits are coming out of the woodwork to indicate how shocked - SHOCKED! they are to hear support for racial segregationism coming from the mouth of a Republican leader.
After five days, Republican Majority Leader Lott emerged to remark that "I apologize to anyone who was offended by my statement." Translation: I'm sorry if your feelings were hurt. Lott decidedly did not say that he thought he was wrong.
But hey, let's let apologies be apologies, right? In fact, we at Irregular Times would like to offer some apologies of our own on the subject:
We deeply regret that in the upcoming 108th Congress, absolutely none (zip, zero) of the Republican legislators voted into office by Republican voters are black.
We are sorry that of the 34 sponsors of a bill calling on George W. Bush to simply send a delegation to the UN World Conference Against Racism, absolutely none (zip, zero) were Republicans.
We apologize if anyone was offended that absolultely no (zip, zero) Republicans bothered this year to support a bill recognizing Paul Robeson for his struggle against racial injustice.
We are abashed that of the 51 members of the House who publicly supported a bill that would prohibit racial profiling by police, absolutely none (zip, zero) were Republicans.
We confess a lack of surprise that absolutely none (zip, zero) of the 44 sponsors of legislation ameliorating discrimination in welfare provision were Republicans.
We regret that it took the mainstream press so long to notice that the Republican party is a home for old-fashioned racism. It must've hurt reporters to have their heads so far up their own rectums that they couldn't see the obvious.