Friday, July 04, 2008

Not in his lifetime

I'm sad that Jesse Helms is dead. Had he hung on for a few more months, he might have witnessed the election of the first black president -- and he would have gone to his grave realizing that much of his life's work had been for naught.

It's worth noting that a White House spokesman called Helms "a great public servant and true patriot" and Bob Dole called him a "good, decent human being." I understand that it's bad form to speak ill of the dead, but perhaps a more appropriate, yet tasteful statement, would have gone like this:

"We extend our sympathies to the family of Jesse Helms. We understand that Jesse did what he believed was right, but it is tragic that he wasted so much time, talent and energy toward dividing Americans, and to denying African-Americans the liberties guaranteed them under the U.S. Constitution. His death should not make us forget that much of what he stood for was wrong. "

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