Saturday, July 3, 2010

“He was trying to get elected”

Sen. Byrd was laid to rest last Thursday after a long service to his country in the Senate. Many notable politicians, including Obama, Biden, and former President Clinton, came out to show their gratitude and honor the late Sen. Byrd. Now, we have been discussing the KKK, NOI and NAACP mission and push for their own agenda's based on race. In the latest update to the KKK website, which I posted previously, displayed their understanding that violence will not get their agenda push forward. Former President Clinton said in his eulogy for Sen. Byrd, "He once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan, what does that mean? I'll tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and hollows from West Virginia. He was trying to get elected. And maybe he did something he shouldn't have done come and he spent the rest of his life making up. And that's what a good person does. There are no perfect people. There are certainly no perfect politicians."

President Clinton is correct that Sen. Byrd, who led the filibuster of the Civil Rights Act, ties to the KKK was foolish but I am not so sure he spent the rest of his life trying atone for it. Sen. Byrd voted against and attempted to block the confirmations of Clarence Thomas and Thurgood Marshall. While no one will deny Sen. Byrd's fondness and knowledge of the U.S. Constitution but let's be honest about the man. For President Clinton and President Obama to overlook Sen. Byrd's connection to the KKK because of his long service to the nation is a slap in the face to everyone that fought for Civil Rights. To say it was okay for Sen. Byrd to have ties, and they were very strong ties, to the KKK in order to get elected displays an attitude of our current political state of mind.

How many minorities out there believe that it would be okay for a man or woman to run for office on the sole basis of saying anything to get elected? I know this is America and we all have the right to hold our own views and say our own opinions but for two Presidents of the United States – one anointed the First Black President and the other actually being the First Black President – to wash away the sins of a man because "he was trying to get elected" is ludicrous. Thomas and Marshall were not the only non-white confirmations he voted against. He also voted against Condoleezza Rice. To say he made strides that overshadowed his racist start in politics is intriguing since this is the same man that used the term "white nigger" in a 2001 interview with Tony Snow. While his run in the Senate and the good he did for West Virginia is remarkable, I struggle with the notion for two presidents to forgive a man of his sins because "he was trying to get elected." Does no one else see the hypocrisy here?