“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 and he spent the rest of his life making it up. And that’s what a good person does. There are no perfect people. There are certainly no perfect politicians.”
Thus spake the impeached and disgraced 42nd president of the United States, despoiler of the Oval Office, known predator, admitted liar William Jefferson (Blythe) Clinton at the obsequies of the late Senator Robert Carlyle Byrd of West Virginia.
We should all allow the dead to rest in peace. However, we also should not whitewash their lives with lies dismissing as “a fleeting association” KKK Byrd’s commitment to that hate group.
He wrote in 1944, “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side . . . Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”
He later explained that he had joined the Klan because it was staunchly anti-Communist, at a time when anti-Communism didn’t exist in America and when the U.S.S.R. was America’s ally in World War Two.
He subsequently wrote a letter to Grand Imperial Wizard Samuel Green advising him “on whom to appoint to important posts in the hierarchy of the hate group. . . Byrd urged, ‘the Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia’ and ‘in every state in the Union:’ ” http://tiny.cc/lvpwj
In 1965, this “ex-Klansman” emotionally attacked the Civil Rights Bill and staged a 14 hour filibuster against its passage.
In 1967, he opposed the nomination of the first black to the United States Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, in 1991 he voted against Marshall’s replacement, Clarence Thomas, who nevertheless became the second black associate justice, and he opposed the desegregation of the armed forces.
In 2001, Byrd used the term “white niggers” on national television, not once but twice, and, as Michelle Malkin has pointed out, there was no uproar because he was a Democrat: http://tiny.cc/vvul7
Let a Trent Lott or any other politician with an “R” next to his name use the banned N-word, and all hell would break loose. In Lott’s case, all he did was praise another former-segregationist, Strom Thurmond, at the elderly senator’s birthday party in 2002 and he was hounded out of office.
Robert Byrd may have sincerely repented his sins of bigotry before he died, or he may not have, but let us just bury him and not shower him with false encomia. Let’s especially not lie about him as Clinton did nor defend his iniquities with the lame, self-serving excuse, “He wanted to get elected.”