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Lott Out

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  • Robert Sterling <robalini@aol.com>
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com Brother Lott s real record By Derrick Z.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2003
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,
      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com

      Brother Lott's real record
      By Derrick Z. Jackson, 12/18/2002

      IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to tell which sound is louder, the laughter of
      millions of black folks or the millions of mint julep glasses dropped
      to the ground by shocked conservatives who are screaming, ''Uncle
      Trent! Shut up!''

      Black folks are in stitches because Lott cannot unstitch his record.
      The Republican Party wants to stitch up Lott's mouth. A stitch in
      time nine years ago, when Lott was cavorting with offshoots of white
      citizens councils, might have save the Republicans from this moment.
      Finally, with Lott's wistful praise of Strom Thurmond's
      segregationist presidential campaign of 1948 threatening to put a
      white sheet over the entire party, Republicans are making moves to
      drop Lott as majority leader of the Senate.

      They are not moving fast enough to stop the painful from becoming
      preposterous. In an interview on Black Entertainment Television, Lott
      was asked by interviewer Ed Gordon, ''What about affirmative
      action?''

      Lott said, ''I'm for it. I think you should reach out to
      people ... ''

      Gordon interrupted, ''Across the board?''

      Lott said, ''Absolutely, across the board. That's why I'm so proud of
      my alma mater now, University of Mississippi, that obviously had a
      difficult time in the '60s and '70s, now led by an outstanding
      chancellor, Robert Khayat, that has gotten rid of the Confederate
      flag. ... I am for affirmative action. And I practice it. ... I have
      actually tried very hard to be an affirmative action participant.''

      Lott has tried hard all right - to kill affirmative action and black
      participation in just about anything that would have benefited black
      folks from his college days to today. Just in case you actually began
      to feel sorry for Lott as he wriggled to be a brother, here is a list
      of Lott's votes and actions over the last four decades:

      Early 1960s: Fought to keep his Sigma Nu fraternity all white not
      only at the University of Mississippi but across the nation.

      1975: Voted against extension of the Voting Rights Act.

      1976: Voted to ban judges from awarding money to cover the costs of
      attorneys to victorious plaintiffs in civil rights suits.

      1979: Voted for a constitutional amendment to ban school busing.

      1980: Praised Thurmond at a rally for presidential candidate Ronald
      Reagan, saying that if Thurmond had been elected in 1948, ''we
      wouldn't be in the mess we are in today.''

      1980: Voted against federal administrative penalties for people or
      firms that are guilty of discriminatory housing practices.

      1981: Instrumental in President Reagan's attempt to give Bob Jones
      University, which then banned interracial dating, tax exemptions.

      1982: Voted again against extending the Voting Rights Act.

      1983: Opposed Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, citing its cost
      and ''the fact that we have not done it for a lot of other people
      that were more deserving.'' In 1998, Lott said, ''Sometimes, I feel
      closer to Jefferson Davis than any other man in America.''

      1983: Supported an amendment proposed by Senator Jesse Helms to
      preserve tax-exempt status for Bob Jones University, which then
      banned interracial dating.

      1984: Said ''The spirit of Jefferson Davis lives in the 1984
      Republican platform.''

      1988: Voted again against administrative penalties in housing
      discrimination.

      1989: Voted against $300,000 for the King federal holiday commission
      to promote racial harmony.

      1990: One of only four senators to vote against requiring the Justice
      Department to categorize hate crimes by race.

      1990: Voted against the restoration of affirmative action programs
      struck down by the Supreme Court.

      1992: Told the Council of Conservative Citizens, which has ties back
      to the white citizens councils of segregation (known by African-
      Americans as the ''downtown Klan''): ''The people in this room stand
      for the right principles and the right philosophy. Let's take it in
      the right direction and our children will be the beneficiaries.''

      1993: Voted to extend to the Daughters of the Confederacy the design
      patent for the Confederate flag.

      1994: Voted to support an amendment by Helms to strip federal funding
      from the King holiday.

      1994: Voted against the use of racial statistics in death penalty
      appeals.

      1995: Voted to end affirmative action in federal contracting.

      1997: Voted against affirmative action in funding businesses for
      people of color and women.

      1998: Voted again to end affirmative action in federal contracting.

      2000: Voted against expansion of hate crimes laws to include gay and
      lesbian people.

      2001: Was the only senator in a 93-1 vote to oppose the appointment
      of Roger Gregory, a black judge, to the US Court of Appeals for the
      Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va.

      This record is important not just to pile on Lott. He is done for as
      majority leader. The importance is in measuring it against who will
      take his place. It is ironic that the first Republican senator who
      said Lott should be replaced, Don Nickles of Oklahoma, has displayed
      nearly the same reflexive opposition to civil rights, down to voting
      against the King holiday, supporting Bob Jones, and voting to kill
      affirmative action.

      Nickles said, ''I am concerned that Trent has been weakened to the
      point that it may jeopardize his ability to enact our agenda.'' Lott
      may be going, but his politics are hardly going with him. Lott may
      now have reduced himself to a fool, but the conservatives, once they
      mop up the puddle of mint juleps, will not be fooling around.

      Derrick Z. Jackson's e-mail address is jackson@....

      This story ran on page A23 of the Boston Globe on 12/18/2002.

      *****

      GOP Berate of Lott Hypocritical
      Wed Dec 18, 2002

      WASHINGTON - Former President Clinton says Republicans are
      hypocritical for berating Senate Republican leader Trent Lott about
      his insensitive comments on race.

      "How can they jump on him when they're out there repressing, trying
      to run black voters away from the polls and running under the
      Confederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina?" Clinton said
      Wednesday in New York. "I mean, look at their whole record. He just
      embarrassed them by saying in Washington what they do on the
      backroads every day."

      Lott has been trying to atone for publicly wishing that former
      segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond had been elected president in
      1948. Lott said his home state of Mississippi voted for Thurmond "and
      if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have
      had all these problems over all these years either."

      Lott has apologized, but many conservatives have called for him to
      give up his leadership post. President Bush's aides have said Lott
      doesn't have to resign, but the White House is not making the case
      for keeping him in place either.

      "I think that the way the Republicans have treated Senator Lott is
      pretty hypocritical, since right now their policy is, in my view,
      inimical to everything this country stands for," Clinton said while
      attending an event for the European Travel Commission.

      "They've tried to suppress black voting, they've ran on the
      Confederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina. And from top to
      bottom, the Republicans supported it. So I don't see what they're
      jumping on Trent Lott about."

      Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot called Clinton's
      comments "misleading" and "divisive rhetoric."

      "This is another tired example of Bill Clinton misrepresenting the
      facts and misleading the American people to gain political
      advantage," Racicot said.

      *****

      Lott stepping down as majority leader
      Frist emerges as front-runner for leadership post
      Dec 20, 2002

      WASHINGTON (CNN) --Wounded by the controversy over his comments
      criticized by many as racially divisive, Sen. Trent Lott announced
      Friday he was stepping down as Republican leader in the Senate.

      Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, emerged as the front-runner to replace
      Lott, who had been under increasing pressure to step aside because of
      the furor, which Republicans feared would distract from their
      congressional agenda and undermine efforts to reach out to minority
      voters.

      "In the interest of pursuing the best possible agenda for the future
      of our country, I will not seek to remain as majority leader of the
      United States Senate for the 108th Congress, effective January 6,
      2003," Lott, 61, said in a statement.

      "To all those who offered me their friendship, support and prayers, I
      will be eternally grateful. I will continue to serve the people of
      Mississippi in the United States Senate," Lott said, indicating that
      he would not resign his seat from the upper house of Congress.

      Frist, 50, had announced his "likely" candidacy Thursday night, and
      support for him grew quickly.

      Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, one of the strongest allies of
      Lott, Friday endorsed Frist for majority leader. That move by
      McConnell, who had also been seen as a possible successor, makes it
      all but certain that Frist will have the support he needs to win the
      job.

      A physician from Tennessee who is a favorite of the White House,
      Frist issued a statement late Thursday saying several senators had
      approached him and asked him to seek the post.

      Lott's comments
      Lott was elected majority leader in November, but his political
      standing eroded in Washington because of the controversy surrounding
      his praise of Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist campaign for the
      presidency.

      The remarks -- suggesting the nation would have been better off had
      Thurmond been elected -- drew a strong rebuke from, among others,
      President Bush, who called them "offensive" and "wrong."

      Lott, despite several apologies, never managed to contain the
      criticism from Democrats and -- more importantly -- conservatives and
      Republicans. His legislative record on civil rights was scrutinized
      and past statements about Thurmond's 1948 candidacy were also
      criticized.

      "I have concluded that the current controversy has completely
      overshadowed our efforts to expand the American dream to all
      Americans," Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Missouri, said in a statement
      Friday, announcing his support for Frist.

      Even before Lott's announcement, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
      issued his own endorsement of Frist, as did John Warner of Virginia
      and several others.

      "If Bill Frist is a candidate for majority leader, I'm for him,"
      Alexander said in a statement. "He's my neighbor, my friend, my
      senior senator and one of our best national leaders." (Full story)

      Warner: 'Bigger than friendship'
      Warner, the veteran Virginia senator, has long been a friend of
      Lott's. But he was among the first of the GOP's 51 senators to call
      for a meeting of the party conference to consider whether to vote on
      a new leader. The meeting is set for January 6.

      The stakes are much "bigger than friendship," Warner said, and the
      leadership battle is an issue "about what's best for the United
      States of America" and how best the GOP can "preserve the credibility
      of the United States Senate."

      Before Lott's decision, only one GOP senator -- Sen. Lincoln Chafee
      of Rhode Island -- had said publicly that Lott should step down.

      Others, however, have been very critical of his comments, saying they
      have opened the GOP to unfair charges of racial bigotry.

      Several Republicans and conservatives said the controversy threatened
      to undermine the Republican agenda -- and that of the White House --
      in Congress next year. The furor took the glow off the Republicans'
      election victories in November, when they regained control of the
      Senate and built on their majority in the House.

      Lott, who had apologized repeatedly for his comments, had picked up
      the public support of about nine Republican senators, including such
      senior figures as Alaska's Ted Stevens and Utah's Orrin Hatch. But
      most GOP senators kept quiet about the matter.

      The White House stayed on the sidelines, refusing to publicly endorse
      the idea of replacing Lott -- or offering him much support. Warner
      denied the White House had been involved in persuading Frist to run
      or that he had been in contact with the White House over the issue.

      "The White House will work with whoever it is that members of
      Congress deem appropriate to represent themselves," White House press
      secretary Ari Fleischer said Thursday.

      Former President Clinton lashed out at the GOP Wednesday, saying it
      was "pretty hypocritical" of Republicans to criticize Lott for
      stating publicly what he said the GOP does "on the back roads every
      day."

      CNN Correspondent Jonathan Karl contributed to this report.
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