RIP Jesse Helms
July 4, 2008 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Good, bad, and ugly. "Most North Carolinians are not as conservative as Jesse Helms," state Sen. Paul Luebke, D-Durham, said in a 1995 interview. "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."
posted by yoga (9 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: gnfti's post seems most solid, let's keep that one. -- cortex

Bye, Jesse. Hope your trip to hell is quick.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:17 AM on July 4, 2008

My folks thought the guy walked on water. I grew up listening to his editorials on the nightly news. I can respect his standing up for his beliefs; I don't respect his attitude toward gays, and I think he did a lot to propogate the old redneck discrimination in the south. Way outdated dude.
posted by yoga at 8:20 AM on July 4, 2008

Jesse Helms, White Racist by David Broder, Washington Post.
posted by ericb at 8:20 AM on July 4, 2008

Perhaps it's karmically fitting that, in the year in which we're likely to elect our first African-American President, the last of the old-guard racist politicians on the national stage would die on Independence Day.
posted by mkultra at 8:26 AM on July 4, 2008 [4 favorites]

Thanks for that, ericb--I guarantee you that MSM coverage of Helms' death will mirror that of his retirement. This native North Carolinian does not mourn his passing.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:27 AM on July 4, 2008

See also: Interview with Karen Finley.
Sen. Helms, who spearheaded Congress's campaign to amend the NEA guidelines to include the "decency" standards that Finley and her coplaintiffs argued were violative of the First Amendment (the U.S. Supreme Court unfortunately disagreed, 8-1), is the man to whom "The Return of the Chocolate-Smeared Woman" is dedicated. In that newly written piece, Ms. Finley tells us: "I've come to realize that I've been in an 8-year, sexually abusive relationship with Jesse Helms. Jesse is intensely, erotically, passionately out of control in his sexual need to dominate me. And I've had enough. The sexual relationship began on the Senate floor, when he eroticized my career, my work, my livelihood. He could never just see me as a person doing my job."
posted by yoga at 8:27 AM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Some of his choice words:
"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."
posted by ericb at 8:29 AM on July 4, 2008

Obligatory Bill Hicks quote:

I'm so sick of hearing, "Well, your leaders misspent your hard-earned tax dollars, so you the people have got to tighten your belts and we gotta start payin' this back, because we, your leaders, misspent your money." You know what would make tightening my belt a little easier? If I could tighten it around Jesse Helms' scrawny little chicken-neck. "AHHHH, I feel better about the sacrifice right now!"

"You fuckin' tobbacco-pushin' motherfucker... you are the worst fuckin' drug dealer in the fuckin' wooooorld, you scrawny, right-wing fearmongering piece of -- SUCKER OF SATAN'S COOOOOCK! YOU SUCK SATAN'S COCK, you fuckin' chicken-necked little cracker!" I'd tighten my belt if that were the case. I'd eat bologna for a week, you know what I mean? I'd sacrifice.

Boy, Jesse Helms is another great one, isn't he? Just another fevered ego tainting our collective unconscious. Cause you know, anyone that far to the right, like Swaggart, anyone that far to the right is hiding a very deep and dark secret, you do know that, right?

I'm an armchair fuckin', uh, psychologist BUT, anyone - you know that when Jesse Helms finally dies, he's gonna commit suicide first of all in a washtub outside, underneath a pecan tree. He's gonna slash his wrists and write in blood, "I've been a bad boy." But you know they're going to find the skins of young children drying in his attic, swarms of horseflies going in and out of the eaves, and on CNN over and over, his wife going, "I always wondered about Jesse's collection of little shoes." Anyone that far to the right is hiding a deep, dark secret.

posted by tapeguy at 8:32 AM on July 4, 2008

"If God had wanted us to use the metric system, Jesus would have had 10 apostles."

Hey, at least that one's kind of funny.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:33 AM on July 4, 2008

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