NAACP Explains Robert Byrd's Transformation
A sickening response from many bigots is that "Hillary is a bigot, too". Donald Trump and many other racists like him, point to Hillary Clinton's embrace of Robert Byrd, who once was an organizer for the KKK. I like to point out that Byrd renounced that allegiance 40 years before his death and voted in the Senate as a progressive on race issues. he apologized "a thousand times, and will continue to apologize" for his involvement in that organization. He rejected, apologized and spent a life time atoning. That position is what Hillary and the Democratic Party embraced, certainly not his misspent youth in that hateful group. I like to use Pope Benedict as an example. Benedict was a Nazi soldier in 1945. that certainly didn't define him. When people change and spend their lives contrary to the cause that one got involved 80 years before their death, in Byrd's case, we take them at their word and judge them by their actions.
Here's what the NAACP says on the subject:
<snip>Senator Byrd reflects the transformative power of this nation, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous was quoted at the time of his death in June 2010. Senator Byrd went from being an active member of the KKK to being a stalwart supporter of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and many other pieces of seminal legislation that advanced the civil rights and liberties of our country.
Senator Robert Byrd, by all accounts, had shifted away from the group after becoming disinterested in 1952 and had completely rejected the Ku Klux Klan by the time of his death, on several occasions, as reported by Snopes.
I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times and I dont mind apologizing over and over again. I cant erase what happened.<snip>
Actual redemption? Not that important for "Republicans".
It interferes with their easy assumptions that everything is either black or white, one is "with us or against us", and "things have always been this way and always will be".
It's why "flip-flop" was made a pejorativethe progressive concept that a person can hold one opinion and then another after learning more about an evolving situation makes them crazy because it undermines the religious concept of "unshakeable belief". (Which it actually does not; learning from mistakes is one of the tenets most religious parables teach. They often eagerly conflate "faith" with "personal opinion" because they like to have faith. Lots of it.)
Also, thinking is hard and revisiting a situation objectively takes time. They'd rather go with what they know, which was learned from their parents, which has always been "the way it was, the way it is". Shades of gray are too complicated to explain to their children.
They'd much rather shoot first and believe there was no good that could have been done because that lets them sleep at night.
This is one of the most important and least acknowledged things about politics and philosophy.
By real I mean his habit of grabbing so much highway pork for West Virginia, at one point WV was getting half the highway funding, the rest of the country got the other half.
Byrd's father didn't help matters either, with his tantrum over desegregating schools.
And there was the time several years before he died, when he used the term for "white n*****."
I can't even remember now what it actually was.
Byrd did renounce the Klan.
Trump supporter David Duke still embraces it.
I dislike racism and any dehumanization or removal of the importance of the individual. I do not like group-think or those who seek to control or oppress to further their own means.
Consider that DD knows the vast majority of people don't like him because of what he stands for. Consider that he understands endorsing someone does them damage because of this. Then consider if it's possible he has ulterior motives. Trump has said on camera that he denounces DD. R Spencer also says he supports him (& is aware the majority of people who know of him strongly dislike him), & he wants "national socialism" in addition to racial division. That is the opposite of what Trump's economics are. The fact that people think Trump is racist increases racial division by pitting half the country against the other half (one half accuses, the other half accuses back) and increases the chances for socialism & racial division; which is what their goals are.
Think about it like this, the entire premise of this thread is to defend a man who has a racist past by saying he is capable of change; therefore his association or endorsement by certain people shouldn't tarnish their names. Perhaps this is true, there is no way to know what was truly in the man's heart. When he filibustered the Civil Rights act for 14 hours straight (the longest ever from what i have read); that was over a decade after he became "disinterested" in the KKK. However he lived many decades after that and could very well have changed. Young people tend to make mistakes & get carried away easily. This is one reason forgiveness is important.
This same standard needs to be applied to everyone; if you accept that one person can change, then you shouldn't hold the past of someone you don't like against them if they demonstrate change; or dismiss it by saying they aren't genuine (because you don't like them).
It is my belief from all my observations; most Americans detest racism. There are some individuals who are racist; but they are few & far between. I am using the classical definition for racism here, hating or thinking lesser of some1 because of their race.
the modern interpretation dilutes it's gravitas by equating it to stereotyping. I'm not saying stereotyping is good, i think anything that causes people to stop looking at each other as individuals has potential to cause harm.
my 2 cents
He renounced his kkk involvement before i was born, and I'm 62. He stood almost alone on the Senate floor renouncing and questioning the impending 2003 GWB Iraq invasion. That took tremendous honor and character during that rush to war the entire ESTABLISHMENT was pushing for. He took a courageous stand against "the big lie" campaign of our entire MSM.
surely redeemed himself in my book.
The Iraq Invasion Archive-Robert Byrd-I weep for my country
Senator Byrd Moved to Tears Over Kennedy
Robert Byrd became an American hero when he delivered that speech on the Senate floor. I remember at the time I too wept for my country and for my Democratic Party, which had far too few heroes standing up against this war of choice before it started.
Thank you for posting Senator Byrd's speeches.
He's never apologized TO the Central Park Five. He has no regrets. He called them thugs just a couple of years ago.
The late Robert Byrd has to continue to renounce his ties to the Klan 60 years ago, and Democrats continually have to account for that. But Republicans get a pass on Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, Louie Gohmert, Blake Farenthold, David Duke, and a host of others too numerous to count for actions and antics far more recent than 1952.
Certainly not me and Democrats I know. If the GOP has standards that low, that's their own problem.
....through the decades of actions that followed his "transformation". He became a bastion for civil rights and equality in his last 30+ years.
Those claiming that Clinton is a "bigot" because of her association with Robert Byrd should only look at his actions in the Senate.
And he was 27 when he wrote these words:
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.
Byrd spent many more years atoning for his admitted bigotry than he spent actually being a bigot.