Skip to comments.Selective Moral Outrage - Looking beyond Trent Lott’s gaffe.
Posted on 12/10/2002 11:04:21 AM PST by wcdukenfield
On Tuesday, October 22, 2002, Bill Clinton traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas to honor the life of the late Arkansas senator, J. William Fulbright by dedicating a seven-foot-tall bronze statute of the man.
According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "The $100,000 sculpture is the final [expenditure] of an $850,000 fundraising campaign for a project to honor Fulbright. The $750,000 fountain was dedicated October 24, 1998."
Among other things, Clinton said, "If [Fulbright] were here today, I'm sure he would caution us not to be too utopian in our expectations, but rather utopian in our values and vision."
And back on May 5, 1993, in what the Washington Post characterized as a "... moving 88th birthday ceremony for former senator William Fulbright, President Clinton last night bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the man he described as a visionary humanitarian, a steadfast supporter of the values of education, and 'my mentor.'" Clinton added, "It doesn't take long to live a life. He made the best of his, and helped us to have a better chance to make the best of ours. The American political system produced this remarkable man, and my state did, and I'm real proud of it."
Of course, the man Clinton was praising, who he called his "mentor," who supposedly embraced utopian values and made the world a better place for everyone, was also a rabid segregationist.
In 1956, Fulbright was one of 19 senators who issued a statement entitled the "Southern Manifesto." This document condemned the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Its signers stated, among other things, that "We commend the motives of those States which have declared the intention to resist forced integration by any lawful means." They stated further, "We pledge ourselves to use all lawful means to bring about reversal of this decision which is contrary to the Constitution and to prevent the use of force in its implementation."
Of course, in 1957, the first serious challenge to Brown occurred in Fulbright's backyard. Fulbright's Democrat colleague, Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus (another early Clinton backer) ordered the National Guard to surround Central High School in Little Rock to prevent nine black students from attending the school. President Dwight Eisenhower dispatched the 101st Airborne Division to protect these teenagers and enforce the Supreme Court's decision.
Fulbright later voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He voted against the 1965 Voting Rights Act. And he did so because he believed in separating the races in schools and other public places. He was a segregationist, heart and soul.
Now, given the turmoil surrounding Trent Lott's foolish statement last week about Strom Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign, you'd think there would have been at least some outcry when Bill Clinton lionized Fulbright a mere six weeks ago, or when he awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993. But there was nothing in the Washington Post admonishing Clinton, which today published a scathing editorial against Lott. There was no criticism in the New York Times, which today is running a vicious column by Paul Krugman implying that Lott is an overt racist.
And while I'm on the subject, I don't remember some of the conservatives now voicing outrage at Lott holding Clinton to the same standard either in 1993 or October of this year.
But I'm not making excuses for Trent Lott. He should have apologized for his insensitive comments, and he did. Nor am I making excuses for Strom Thurmond's past. I'm questioning the hypocrisy of selective moral outrage by the Left.
Actually, I thought the author was making a completely different point. Clinton excused his behavior by accusing the right (often falsely) of acting the same way. The author is not excusing Lott's conduct and is quite explicit about that.
Rather the author is pointing out the hypocricy by the left and it's media organs. They go hysterical about Lott and ignore the N word by Byrd and ignore Fullbright's history when Clinton gives him an award.
The point was that the left's PC hysteria is not motivated by any real concern for PC. Rather, it is a weapon to be used selectively to silence opponents and to gain political power.
That said, Lott spoke inappropriately and we should not be hypocrits. When one of ours misbehaves, we usually take him to task, eg Richard Nixon and now Trent Lott.
Too many Freepers are willing to say "well, it's from the left, yada yada yada."
The best we can hope for is that this was just a moment's idiocy, one of many.
Good use of words. Maybe that'll be the title of Anne Coulter's next book: Liberal Fundamentalism
There is the issue of "Will this argument work?" But there is also the issue of truth. Lott didn't mean it the way Jesse Jackson and others are choosing to take and exploit it. I think that's the point in exposing Clinton. Not to get anyone off the hook or say "they do it too." Rather, the point is to say "Clinton was not endorsing segregation and neither was Lott."
Do you see what I am trying to say? I hope. (I can be articulation challenged sometimes, lol.)
What makes me want to vomit, however, are these high and mighty hypocrite RATS like Al Gore(whose father voted against the Civil Rights Act and whose family forced their black maid to sit in a hot car while they dined in "Whites Only" restaurants). The recent "enshrinement" of a man like segregationist Fulbright as recently as six weeks ago (without a peep from the NYT and WP leftists) is equally vomit-inducing.
The left wing GOP-bashing hate machine is full gear today, but you didn't hear a thing when Cruz Bustamente used the N-word or when the KKK recruiter had his "slips of the tongue."
Let all those hypocrite @ssholes foam at the mouth over this. Lott apologized. Even if he does resign, I guarantee you the race-baiters WILL NOT let the matter go. They won't be happy until Lott blows his brains out, or forks over all his worldly possessions for "Reparations" to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
Frankly, I wanted Lott out as majority leader for a while (for being a spineless), but then who will fill his shoes? It better be someone who's an improvement!!!
BTW, the reason that Little Tommy D@sshole actually excused Lott's comments is because he wants that spineless, ineffective wooss as majority leader.
Going on about how Thurmond's Dixiecrat segregationist presidential campaign should have succeeded was both unnecessary and assinine, unless, of course, Lott was sincere in wishing for the success of racial segregation, which is what primarily defined the difference between the "Dixiecrats" and the Democrats. In referring to that campaign specifically, Lott was, in no uncertain terms, waxing nostalgic about an openly segregationist endeavor.
I expect better from a man in his position of national trust, and I don't apologize for doing so.
Lott apologized, but I think he deserves every lash the press and his colleagues deal out to him.
According to William Doyle in An American Insurrection: The Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962 Faubus had promised Eisenhower that the Arkansas National Guard would protect the black students who were trying to attend Central High School, but then double-crossed Ike.
Please, tell me, where forced integration has prospered Americans in general and blacks in particular?
It anything, it has lead to urban blight and suburban expansion, i.e., natural segregation.
While Harry Truman had many admirable traits, his pushing of Federal intervention in Southern affairs, which triggered the split in his party, that brought about the Thurmond candidacy in 1948, was simply wrong--simply contrary to the whole spirit of the Founding Fathers, who respected the very considerable cultural differences in the different States. That respect is what Federalism was all about. Thurmond understood the point, and rallied Southern Conservatives against something that was wrong--demonstrably wrong--interference with local society. Those who happen to agree with the social values that Truman was promoting, seem to be missing the whole point.
As for Fulbright? He was rather a "Liberal." That he did seek to defend Arkansas' racial traditions, however, is not to his discredit. Rather, it is to Clinton's discredit, that he did not.
Having said all of that, however, I do not think that you will find that either Senator and former Governor Thurmond, or his close associates, ever said anything mean spirited about any member of any race. His stands were based upon principle, never the sort of racial antagonism, that Bill Clinton tried to foment, while pretending to be doing just the opposite.
While on the subject, one can only wonder at what is happening to National Review. Buckley was not particularly close to the former Southern leadership. But he was very closely associated with Barry Goldwater, who most certainly was closely associated with that leadership. The present Republican base is because of Thurmond's joining the Republican party, and bringing with him a lot of former Democratic Conservatives, when Goldwater won the nomination in 1964. This article makes one wonder if Buckley has turned his back on Buckley! (His former publisher, Bill Rusher, even wrote a very lucid book on the subject of the realignment that would thereafter make the Reagan election possible, in the 1970s.)
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site
Nonsense. The context of the speech indicates indisputably that Lott was making light-hearted praise of Thurmond's long career of fighting big government. Thurmond was a segregationist in 1948, but Thurmond has also been a staunch conservative opponent of big government for entire gubernatorial and senate career. It would have been wrong for Lott to say that Thurmond was good for supporting segregation in 1948. But Lott did not do that. When considered in its context, Lott praised Thurmond for fighting big government, and no true conservative should have any problem with that.
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