"There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy."
-- States News Service, 5/17/88
"What is really at stake is whether or not America will allow the cultural high ground in this nation to sink slowly into an abyss of slime to placate people who clearly seek or are willing to destroy the Judaic-Christian foundations of this republic."
-- 1990, on funding for the National Endowment for the Arts
"I've been portrayed as a caveman by some. That's not true. I'm a conservative progressive, and that means I think all men are equal, be they slants, beaners or niggers."
-- North Carolina Progressive, February 6, 1985
"Let me adjust my hearing aid. It could not accommodate the decibels of the Senator from Massachusetts. I can't match him in decibels or Jezebels, or anything else apparently."
-- 1993 Senate floor debate with Ted Kennedy
"All Latins are volatile people. Hence, I was not surprised at the volatile reaction."
-- stated by Helms after Mexicans protested his visit to Mexico in 1986 to investigate allegations of political corruption.
"To rob the Negro of his reputation of thinking through a problem in his own fashion is about the same as trying to pretend that he doesn't have a natural instinct for rhythm and for singing and dancing. The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights."
When a caller to CNN's Larry King Live show praised guest Jesse Helms for 'everything you've done to help keep down the niggers,' Helms' response was to salute the camera
and say, 'Well, thank you, I think.'"
--- Wilmington Star-News, 9/16/95
"If God had wanted us to use the metric system, Jesus would have had 10 apostles."
"The New York Times and The Washington Post are both infested with homosexuals themselves."
University of North Carolina (UNC). "University of Negroes and Communists."
"Many white North Carolinians are no doubt motivated to vote for Helms because of the almost primal fears he fans. 'The principles we're espousing have been around for thousands of years,' former aide James Lucier once explained, citing the 'prepolitical' themes of God, family, property, and national pride.
But some voters are also attracted to Helms by the personal qualities that make him a rarity among politicians. He brings genuine passion and a sense of moral purpose to what he does. He stands on principle and refuses to compromise. He stands by his friends, and he forces opponents to vote on issues they would rather ignore.
'Most North Carolinians are not as conservative as Jesse Helms,' says Paul Luebke, a state representative and author of Tar Heel Politics. 'But by presenting himself as a man of courage, willing to stand up against "tax-and-spend liberals," homosexuality, and so forth, Helms commands respect.'" *
I think a certain amount of respect is due when people die.
Appearing on “Larry King Live” in 1995, Jesse Helms, then the senior senator from North Carolina, fielded a call from an unusual admirer. Helms deserved the Nobel Peace Prize, the caller gushed, “for everything you’ve done to help keep down the niggers.” Given the rank ugliness of the sentiment — the guest host, Robert Novak, called it, with considerable understatement, “politically incorrect” — Helms could only pause before responding. But the hesitation couldn’t suppress his gut instincts. “Whoops, well, thank you, I think,” he said.
*sigh* You missed the point of what I was saying.
Shine on, you crazy deutsch bagge.
posted by porn in the woods at 4:44 PM
And you're still missing the point. I wasn't asking anyone else to do anything or change their behaviour or anything. I was musing on the conflict this brought up in me.
For Mr. Helms, the orderliness of the small town even encompassed racial segregation; as a child, he saw it not as a great evil but as an accepted part of his world.
I agree that he was a reprehensible human being. I stated what very clearly. I also feel that people deserve respect when dead--if for no other reason than for the family and loved ones of the dead person. That is why there is a conflict for me here. I really, really don't understand how I could be any more clear.
From 1960 to 1972 he did political commentary on WRAL radio, WRAL-TV and the Tobacco Radio Network. The stations’ statewide reach and Mr. Helms’s piquant commentaries against communism, the “lax” criminal justice system and welfare turned Mr. Helms into a household name, both loved and hated.
Helms, as a prominent TV editorialist, repeatedly criticized what he called "the so-called" civil rights movement, attacked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and portrayed the white South as a victim of a national smear campaign.
"The civil rights struggle is now no more than a political gambit leading to anarchy," Helms said in a WRAL editorial in April 1964. "It is time for politicians to stop thinking of the minority bloc votes of the next election and start thinking of the next generation. Otherwise America will be destroyed from within -- just as Karl Marx forecast."
What he doesn't say is that the 2,751 editorials were based in some of the most venal bigotry of the times. "Are civil rights only for Negroes?" he asked in 1963. "White women in Washington who have been raped and mugged on the streets in broad daylight have experienced the most revolting sort of violation of their civil rights. The hundreds of others who had their purses snatched last year by Negro hoodlums may understandably insist that their right to walk the street unmolested was violated." In his five-minute editorials, Helms condoned lunch-counter segregation; said civil-rights protesters were "no less an affront to society" than the Ku Klux Klan; and accused civil-rights marchers of participating in "sex orgies of the rawest sort." He also insisted that four Alabama Klansmen who murdered a Detroit woman in 1965 were responding to "deliberate provocation" by Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lyndon Johnson. If Helms feels any remorse for inflaming racial tensions in North Carolina during the 1960s, he reveals none of it in his new autobiography.
In fact, he still justifies his opposition to civil-rights laws. "Many good people who supported the principle of progress for everyone could not agree to the destruction of one citizen's freedom in order to convey questionable 'rights' to another," he writes. "They believed forced social engineering was hazardous to the freedom we all deserve." By polarizing the races, Helms writes, the civil-rights movement constituted a "new form of bigotry." But he also wants us to know that he himself is not a racist. As proof he offers his "friendship"--more like friendly banter--with one of the Capitol's black elevator operators.
Days after Helms was sworn in [in 1973], the Supreme Court ruled abortion legal; Helms's crusade against Roe v. Wade became a model of the tactics he would use in building the New Right. By tacking "pro-life" amendments onto unrelated bills, he forced his colleagues to vote on the abortion issue again and again; these votes were then used against them at election time. Helms has never hesitated to embarrass his peers on issues that would build a national constituency—the Panama Canal, school prayer, busing, "secular humanism," and other now-familiar New Right causes. In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 1975, he said, "I think we will find our majority in presenting our views in terms that are easily understood by persons who are worried about what is happening to them, but are outside of active political participation."
By doing so, the right could enlist "not only our trusty band of ideological conservatives, but nonpolitical people who are grappling in their own communities with issues such as pornography, the right to life, school textbooks, community control of schools…. We must not forget that the most fertile ground for political action lies with the millions who are completely disgusted with both major parties."
Helms has also helped set up many of the New Right's network of PACs, foundations, and think tanks. He has a genius for fund raising. In his 1978 campaign for reelection, against weak opposition, he raised more than $6 million—then a record. In 1984, he raised a staggering $16.5 million, an all-time record for a Senate campaign. An analysis of campaign documents in 1985 by the Institute for Southern Studies and The North Carolina Independent showed that more than 60 percent of Helms's money came from donations of $200 or less—the small givers who respond to direct-mail appeals. The survey found that "most of Helms's biggest givers are risk-taking entrepreneurs, owners of medium-sized, often family-dominated businesses, producers of hard goods rather than services."
In effect, Helms has successfully combined the support of the "nonpolitical people" he described in 1975 with that of rich backers of the old far right. Texas oilman Nelson Bunker Hunt, for example, gave the 1984 Helms campaign $4,000—and gave $90,000 to a Helms-related foundation, the Institute of American Relations, which advocates right-wing policies in Latin America and has financed some of Helms's trips there.
The 1972 election left Helms with a small campaign debt. With his friend Tom Ellis he sent out a direct-mail appeal for help; it was so successful that it grew into the National Congressional Club, a computerized direct-mail fund-raising machine whose headquarters are in Raleigh. The club is the nation's richest political action committee; it raised and spent more than $15 million in 1986 alone. Without Helms and the club, Ronald Reagan would very likely not be president today. In 1976, Reagan seemed about to drop out of the presidential race after defeats in the primaries in several northeastern states. Helms urged Reagan to remain in the race until the North Carolina primary; and with Helms and Ellis guiding his campaign (among other things, they circulated a handbill with a photograph of then Senator Edward Brooke, a black man, and warning that Ford might make him vice-president), Reagan scored an upset in North Carolina and went on to lose by a surprisingly narrow margin to Gerald Ford at the convention. This made him the party's frontrunner for 1980.
"Jesse Helms was a kind, decent, and humble man and a passionate defender of what he called "the Miracle of America." So it is fitting that this great patriot left us on the Fourth of July. He was once asked if he had any ambitions beyond the United States Senate. He replied: 'The only thing I am running for is the Kingdom of Heaven.' Today, Jesse Helms has finished the race, and we pray he finds comfort in the arms of the loving God he strove to serve throughout his life."
To echo this newspaper's memorable comment on the death of William Randolph Hearst, it is hard even now to think of him with charity.
In domestic politics he denounced the 1964 Civil Rights Act as "the single most dangerous piece of legislation ever introduced in the Congress", voted against a supreme court justice because she was "likely to uphold the homosexual agenda", acted for years as spokesman for the large tobacco companies, was reprimanded by the justice department and the federal election commission for electoral malpractice, and compiled a dismal personal record as a slum landlord.
"Well, you know what they say: if you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!"
-- Clairee Belcher (Olympia Dukakis) in Steel Magnolias.
I want to do something to help the Negro race to recognize the opportunity that awaits it. It is not enough for me to hire a few qualified Negroes for good jobs in our own company. To tell you the truth, we would like to have more than we presently have....
We now have Negroes operating our film center, for example, and our very best film editor is a Negro....
I propose to set up at our station a separate department which, for want of a better name, I think we shall call our "Department of Racial Development."...
. . . .
Our department head and Mr. Coltrane would then work to find places for these people in business and industry. We would make constructive examples of them. We would have personnel people of the various companies appear and give testimony as to the productivity of the Negroes whom they have hired.
A step further: The Negroes who have obtained jobs would then be the best possible spokesmen to urge others to prepare themselves, to stay in school, to apply themselves.
I think I need not go on with the details of what might be done. What I want, simply said, is to create a climate of acceptance among the races--both ways. [emphasis added] As it now stands, a lot of people are doing a lot of talking, and are making whatever token efforts might be necessary to "get along." That is not enough.
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