Monday, December 09, 2002
More on Lott-I don't think Lott's an out-and-out bigot, as some people (such as Sullivan here) have suggested, but that he's insensative to the issue. As a white southerner, he can empathise with the attitude of many that the anti-discrimination push has gone too far and that the modern quota-type system is counter-productive. People with that mind-set can range from honestly color-blind folks who would have stood with the civil rights folks in the 50s and 60s were they old enough to do so to the old-school bigots. I think Lott's closer to the first catagory than the second. However, the bigots in that block need to be faced down and the stereotypes that their attitudes are typically based on addressed. Many white politicians, especially conservatives, don't feel comfortable being seen as a freind of political correctness. However, there's a difference between castigating someone who said indian when he was supposed to have said native-American to backing a cause that favored the exclusion of blacks from the voting booth and the better parts of our culture and economy. Lott might of been in a joking mood when he talked about the '48 vote, but it's not something to joke about. I don't like being on Jesse Jackson's side on this on either, Dr. Reynolds, but he happens to be right this time. This is more than just using a bad word; had Lott had dropped an N-bomb, we'd not be in this position. We don't have any significant political movement that deserves the oppobrium that we give Nazis, but the Jim Crow backers come about the closest. Entertaining the idea that it was a good thing isn't funny. If Lott is retained as majority leader, the GOP will have someone who talked appovingly about a racist party heading up it's Senate contingent. Any attack ads stemming from that would be partly justified.
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