December 08, 2002
Trent Lott Is A Racist

I don't toss words like "racist" around lightly. (Feel free to browse my archives if you don't believe me.) But even before Trent Lott's amazing statement about how things would be better if Strom Thurmond had been elected President in 1948, he had a long history of associating with racist groups such as the Council of Conservative Citizens. He has never truly distanced himself from them, despite the fact that he has been harshly criticized before for his ties to them.

I've written before that having ties to bad people and good people who have done bad things doesn't make you a bad person. Indeed, I find assassination-by-association to be a generally repulsive tactic. However, while we may not be our brothers' keepers, we are all responsible to distinguish ourselves by our words and deeds from those whose own words and deeds are shameful. At some point, if one does not differentiate oneself, it's fair to conclude that no differences exist.

In that spirit, I bring you some history of Trent Lott's association with the Council of Conservative Citizens and the CCC's views on race. You can judge for yourself if the shoe fits.

Here's an overview of the CCC and its leader, Gordon Baum. Baum, it should be noted, is one of the people defending Lott for his remarks on Thurmond. And here is a chronology of the last time Lott's association with the CCC was in the news, written by an old college classmate of mine and linked by Atrios. I think the conclusion is inevitable. The only real question is whether or not there will be sufficient pressure on Lott this time to make him take action. I for one will not hold my breath in anticipation.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 08, 2002 to Scandalized! | TrackBack

I've given Lott the benefit of the doubt until now. I don't know how I can be speechless and yet screaming at the top of my lungs at the same time...

Posted by: R. Alex on December 8, 2002 11:52 PM

In my blog I call for Lott and Byrd to both resign. I certainly don't want Lott in my party, and I suspect you don't want Byrd in yours. Good riddance to the both of them.

Posted by: B. K. Oxley (binkley) on December 9, 2002 10:26 AM

Gordon Baum actually hosts a weekly radio program here in St. Louis. I have links to the station, the CCC and the local St. Louis version in this following post:

The show just turns one's stomach.

Posted by: archpundit on December 9, 2002 1:34 PM

This is the 21st century---Thurmond is from another time. If Lott thinks Thurmond's backward, civil war era views are valid, he needs to either build a time machine or crawl down inside Thurmond's casket with him and be gone.

Posted by: Patti on December 13, 2002 11:35 AM

It saddens me to think RACISM, INTOLERANCE & BIGOTRY are so evident in this very INFLUENTIAL person... in 2002.... Have we learned nothing?

Posted by: MICH on December 13, 2002 9:14 PM

I am appalled. Whether Lott is a racist or not is really immaterial. It is not illegal to be racist in your heart, or in what you say. It is only illegal to discriminate based on race for things like employment and credit and such. Frankly, people in this country are too sensitive, and can read anything into anything. I personally think Lott should go only because he is apologizing forever for something he claims he didnít intend Ė NOT because he is racist or not. Regardless, there are those that are demanding his dismissal, and we had a President that LIED UNDER OATH that remained in office. Please. If we canít hold our own President to legal authority, get off the un-manned, wheel-less Lott wagon. If anything, at the very least you all are accusing Lott of speaking the truth Ė and he wasnít even under oath. You should all still be demanding that Clinton do jail time.

Posted by: Taz on December 17, 2002 1:37 PM