July 4, 2008

Jesse Helms is dead.

The NYT reports.

ADDED: An obit:
During his 30 years in Capitol Hill, the North Carolina Republican became a powerful voice for a conservative movement that was growing both in Congress and across the country, and he used his position to speak out against issues like gay rights, federal funding for the arts and U.S. foreign aid.

"I had sought election in 1972 to try to derail the freight train of liberalism that was gaining speed toward its destination of government-run everything, paid for with big tax bills and record debt," Helms wrote in his 2005 memoir, "Here's Where I Stand."

"My goal, when my wife, Dot, and I decided I would run, was to stick to my principles and stand up for conservative ideals."...

In 1960, he moved to the executive offices of Capitol Broadcasting Co., the parent of WRAL, and he developed a strong following across eastern North Carolina over the next decade by appearing in editorials that ran at the end of each night's evening newscast. The editorials blended folksy anecdotes with conservative viewpoints that blasted the federal government, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other entities he viewed as too liberal. In one noted editorial, he suggested building a wall around the UNC campus, which he called the "University of Negroes and Communists," so that its liberal sentiments could be contained.
Ugh. Mixing "conservative ideals" with racism.... I think that made millions of young people hate conservatism.
[H]e was accused of using racial politics to secure narrow victories. In the 1990 campaign against [former Charlotte Mayor Harvey] Gantt, for example, a Helms television ad showed a white man's hands crumpling a rejection notice from a company that had used an affirmative action program to hire a black job candidate.

His views on race relations – he opposed a national holiday honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., led a filibuster against the extension of the Voting Rights Act and called some young blacks "Negro hoodlums" – and social issues sharply divided the public into those who viewed him as a champion of the common man and those who thought of him as a narrow-minded bigot....

"What is unique about Helms – and from my viewpoint, unforgivable – is his willingness to pick at the scab of the great wound of American history, the legacy of slavery and segregation, and to inflame racial resentment against African Americans," [David] Broder wrote shortly after Helms announced that he wouldn't seek re-election in 2002.
Did he really die on the 4th of July? The president of the Jesse Helms Center announced that the time of death was 1:15 a.m. on Friday. It has long been considered an important distinction to die on the 4th of July, as, most notably, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams did in 1826. And now Jesse Helms has that distinction.

But death is an end, and the 4th — though it is a famous death day — more properly represents a beginning. In the hope that the era of Jesse Helms is really dead, let's look at another closeup of the Declaration of Independence:

115 comments:

corporate law drudge said...

So it goes

John Foust said...

"Thomas Jefferson survives."

Meade said...

He condemned the forced labour camps established by the USSR and was reportedly loved by family and friends.

Edgehopper said...

Did anyone else find the headline a little odd and Onion-like? "Jesse Helms dead, says Jesse Helms Research Center."

EnigmatiCore said...

While I am sure that there was good to go with the... unsavory, I...

Hmm. Not sure how to finish that. He lived to a ripe old age, but some of what he represented rightfully belongs in the past. No, I take that back. Rightfully, some of what he represented should not have been represented.

University of Negroes, ugh. How politicians like him and Robert Byrd and Strom Thurmond remained/remain in office is hard for me to comprehend.

Paul Snively said...

Can we please quit calling it "racism" unless someone actually claims that one race is inherently superior/inferior to another? The label has gotten so watered down that you can't make observations about culture or public policy that are strongly identified with race, e.g. gangsta rap, affirmative action, poor academic achievement, unwed parenthood, etc. without being accused of it.

To the extent that Helms said or even suggested that all African-Americans were inferior in some way, we should offer him no quarter, in life or in death. To the extent that he believed that "liberal" public policy solutions to the problem of race in America were at best misguided and at worst actively destructive, reasonable people can reasonably disagree.

bill said...

I guess MC Hawkings can update his song, Why Won't Jesse Helms Just Hurry Up And Die?

John Althouse Cohen said...

He condemned the forced labour camps established by the USSR...

Hey, he took the right position on something! What a great man!

You know who else condemned the USSR? ...

vet66 said...

In some future Socratic debate I would thoroughly enjoy listening to Reverend Wright discuss political correctness with Jesse Helms.

Helms spoke the unspeakable while Reverend Wright wears it like a merit badge from Trinity.

I don't have to wonder what Helms would have thought of the perversion of the national anthem recently in Denver.

rcocean said...

Quoting the NYT on Jesse Helms is like the quoting Pravda on the death of Franco.

With Liberals if you disagree with them on their pet issues - you're a racist or evil. His racial views in the 60s are irrelevant - that was ancient history even in 1980s.

Helms was a great conservative and a great American - he would have made a great president.

R.I.P

bill said...

You know who else condemned the USSR?

Hitler? (Russia actually)

ricpic said...

Jesse Helms stood firm against liberal hogwash his whole life long. RIP.

James said...

rcocean -

Ok, you want something more recent? Not racial, but disgustingly bigoted:

"In 1993, when then-President Clinton sought confirmation for an openly homosexual assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Helms registered his disgust. "I'm not going to put a lesbian in a position like that," he said in a newspaper interview at the time. "If you want to call me a bigot, fine.""

Yes, because we all know homosexuals can't deal with housing and urban development . . . (?) I will take him up on his suggestion and call him what he is.

Invisible Man said...

With Liberals if you disagree with them on their pet issues - you're a racist or evil. His racial views in the 60s are irrelevant - that was ancient history even in 1980s.

Yes, the man who introduced himself to the first (and only) black female Senator by whistling "Dixie" in 1993 was just 'misunderstood'. The reason he did it was obviously to show his problem with liberal policies on race, and not the fact that he was a racist bigot who frequently displayed his contempt for those without his particular skin tone.

Ron said...

Makes you wonder if the Times condemned Stalin...

Monroe also died on the 4th...and Barry White!

James said...

Invisible man -

Forgot about that one, here's a nice little explanation for that great protest of liberal race policies:

"Soon after the Senate vote on the Confederate flag insignia, Sen. Jesse Helms (R.-N.C.) ran into Mosely-Braun in a Capitol elevator. Helms turned to his friend, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), and said, "Watch me make her cry. I'm going to make her cry. I'm going to sing 'Dixie' until she cries." He then proceeded to sing the song about the good life during slavery to Mosely-Braun (Gannett News Service, 9/2/93; Time, 8/16/93)"

Ann Althouse said...

"Quoting the NYT on Jesse Helms is like the quoting Pravda on the death of Franco."

I linked to the NYT, but the quoted obit is from a North Carolina newspaper.

Next?

George said...

[Chapel Hill] university has consistently been a leader in American education and a center of liberal intellectualism in a generally conservative state. Former Senator Jesse Helms, a right-wing conservative, once asked, "Why build a zoo when we can just put up a fence around Chapel Hill?" Was he referring to the town's distinctly liberal bent or to the wild frat parties at the University of North Carolina? At any rate, Chapel Hill (in spite of Helms) has the highest concentrations of Ph.D.s in the United States.

--Frommer's

(The above was his answer years ago when North Carolina was trying to decide where the location of a state zoo would be.)

John Althouse Cohen said...

Hitler? (Russia actually)

Yes.

John Althouse Cohen said...

(Russia actually)

Actually, this page says the USSR existed from 1922 to 1991.

UWS guy said...
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UWS guy said...

The variation of that is, "Well, hitler loved his dog..."

UWS guy said...

LOL hitler!

His family must be sad. Can a racist be a good person? Can he be loved by his family and friends? Are there worse character flaws than that of racism?

In America, probably not.

jdeeripper said...

Well, unlike Thomas Jefferson at least Jesse Helms didn't actually OWN people as slaves.

Yet he wasn't overwhelmingly popular in North Carolina despite his successful career. I think that was partly due to the fact the he was ugly, wore glasses and had a speech impediment.

We all are more likely to make excuses for or sympathize with people we find physically attractive.

We may not like them more but we will dislike them less. And of course that is part of the reason for White anti-black racism.

I used to say if Rudy Giuliani looked like and spoke like Mayor John Lindsey but maintained his same views and policies he would have been a far less hated figure.

The fact that Rudy looks like a ghoul and has a minor speech defect feeds the dislike people have for him due to his policies.

the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other entities he viewed as too liberal. In one noted editorial, he suggested building a wall around the UNC campus, which he called the "University of Negroes and Communists," so that its liberal sentiments could be contained........and called some young blacks "Negro hoodlums"

Two words - Eve Carson.

We have yet to move out of the era of disproportionate black on White crime in America.

And that truth remains a major point of racial anxiety for The Good White Liberals and a major point of righteous grievance for White conservatives.

Trumpit said...

RIH Jesse Helms. That's "Rot In Hell" in case the acronym is unknown to you. Even his last name reminds me of Hell. Helms, hell, just a slight orthographic change is necessary. His first name is reminiscent of another imfamous American outlaw: Jesse James. Yes, I'm aware that I've added nothing to the discussion other than some venom, but on the 4th of July, that is what the son of a bitch, and his regrettably still living followers, deserve. If there were a God, Helms would have died on the anniversary of the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not on Independence Day. Ergo, there is no benevolent deity.

Trumpit said...

"We all are more likely to make excuses for or sympathize with people we find physically attractive.

We may not like them more but we will dislike them less. And of course that is part of the reason for White anti-black racism."

That takes the cake for inane comment of the day. Your prize: an Obama presidency.

UWS guy said...

The glowing posts on HotAir and LFG reminds me that there is still a lot to be put off by in the Conservative movement.

"Great American" "We need 100 more senators like him" "Martin Luther King holiday shouldn't have happened anyway"

I'm willing to give Helms a pass today, but not when Republicans are coming on the blogs and being (unknowingly!) racist.

Cedarford said...

Althouse - In the hope that the era of Jesse Helms is really dead, let's look at another closeup of the Declaration of Independence.

(Ann approvingly cites the phrase "all men are created equal" to show how out of step Helms was with the Holy Founders)

Of course one of the 1st things the British Parliament asked was if that meant the colonials were going to set about to free their black slaves....

"Err, no...that's not what we meant when we said "all men" - came the reply from the Holy Founders.

The Brits also got good mileage of the Declaration's Holy Founders "racism" directed at Indian tribes:

He has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, (of uppity Indians pissed their lands were riped off and having British legal champions out to give resitution in Brit Courts), and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our Frontiers, the Merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes, and conditions.

***************
While Helms was clearly an unreconstructed Southerner who championed his own kind as ardently as Jesse Jackson, Maxine Walters, Barbara Lee do just their kind now - his opposition to the MLK Holiday was mainly based on King's long association with Communists like Bayard Ruskin, Jack O'Dell, Stanley Levison, and the Negro & Legal Fronts set up predominantly by NYC Jewish Communists in the early 20th Century like the Lawyer's Guild, Pullman Porters Union, NAACP.

It was also based on questioning if King was the only American worthy enough to have his own holiday while files reportedly so damaging to Kings sexual, financial conduct, and Soviet associations were ordered kept under court seal and with held from the public for 50 years.

****************
BTW, the Clintons liked Dick Morris's Harvey Gannt "no white workers need apply" ad and the rest of his work so well they hired Morris 6 months after his Jesse Jelms gig.
Nor was it a groundless concern then or now, as whites and hispanics have begun winning civil rights lawsuits against southern, midwestern, SW black politicians that have tried "black only" patronage or open job market state and municipal hires.
*************************
Finally, we await the Althouse obituary on Teddy Kennedy also offering the "good riddance!" theme.

James said...

I am shocked, shocked I say! to see a post from Cedarford defending Helms.

A few snippets from Helms' opposition to MLK day:

"A federal holiday should be an occasion for "shared values," but King's "very name itself remains a source of tension, a deeply troubling symbol of divided society," Helms said."

King's name is a "deeply troubling symbol of divided society"? I would think a racist, pro-segregation senator is a more "troubling symbol."

"Helms said King had used 'nonviolence as a provocative act to disturb the peace of the state and to trigger, in many cases, overreaction by authorities.'"

He "triggered overreaction by authorities'? In other words, those marchers deserved to get beaten by the cops and have attack dogs siced on them. How dare they non-violently protest their lack of basic civil rights!

UWS guy said...

From the Corner: The first sentence of the NYT obit:

Jesse Helms, the former North Carolina Senator whose courtly manner and mossy drawl barely masked a hard-edged conservatism that opposed civil rights, gay rights, foreign aid and modern art, died early Friday.

He "opposed civil rights"? Uh, no. He opposed a particular vision of them.



Like the Libertarians on Prof. Althouse's Cruise trip, at what point do your libertarian policies just play into actual racists hands?

Hell, William F. Buckeley was a worldly cosmopolitan who was probably not racist in the slightest...yet he opposed the civil rights amendment vocally in National Review.

Real Racists play conservatives for suckers just like Wahabists and Arrafatian-Palesitinans hoodwink leftwingers.

UWS guy said...

Which George Orwell summed up with anti-war activists in England at the time, "Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist....”

In this context, Civil-Rights legislation may indeed have been a bad idea, or a bad way of fixing problems in our country.

But to be against them, was and is, objectively pro-racism.

UWS guy said...

Useful idiots to racists is what, sadly, many libertarians are.

George said...

The pendulum swings from one extreme to the other.

Here's a tiny example:

In my son's high school English class this year, unless I missed something, every novel he read was by an African-American author about the African-American experience. Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, etc.

If you are 14-years-old (or 15), whether you are black or white, if you are a boy (and maybe a girl, too) that has got to be one boring diet.

But that was the mandatory curriculum. Not Mutiny on the Bounty or Sherlock Holmes or whatever classics kids might actually find fun! to read, just a serious slog through a sea of political correctness.

Even worse, the kids know it.

UWS guy said...
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UWS guy said...

Hate to break it to you George, but most kids don't like Mutiny on the Bounty nor Sherlock Holmes.

Ann had a great post one day on wether schools should abolish Literature classes (it was actually there that I had first commented on her blog.)

And no...making kids read toni morrison is not a "pendulum" that is swinging the other direction.

Haha! Slavery for 200 years!....oh noes! the pendulum is all the way in the other direction with negro literature!"

Trumpit said...

"Not Mutiny on the Bounty or Sherlock Holmes or whatever classics kids might actually find fun! to read, just a serious slog through a sea of political correctness."

Nothing is stopping your kids from reading those books. They're available in Spanish translation complete with illustrations. I'm going to buy on Amazon, "Alicia en el Pais de las Maravillas." That's Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

George said...

UWS--

Hate to break it to you, but most people don't like being brainwashed, especially teenage boys.

The point is that the pendulum swings, with the prime example being Sen. Obama's candidacy and the blind eye with which many regarded his long-time minster.

Not even Helms would have stayed in office had his minister been equally loony.

Theo Boehm said...
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James said...

george said:

"Not even Helms would have stayed in office had his minister been equally loony."

Well, Helms himself was at least as "loony" as Wright, and he managed to stay in office as long as he wanted to. (Perhaps loony isn't the proper term for Helms, though. Despicable, hateful, etc. could be better options)

Theo Boehm said...
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UWS guy said...

George do you think your boys just don't like books by black people...or do you think that your attitude has swayed them?

You're raising your boys to be racists George, of course you don't think so, nobody does. Nobody does.

Theo Boehm said...
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UWS guy said...

Kids also don't (shouldn't) read fantasy books in school George (sherlock holmes etc), school isn't there to let the kids have fun reading, it's there to teach them something.

We force your kids to read Uncle Tom's Cabin and To Kill a Mockingbird not because it's good literature, George, but to teach them a lesson.

Lessons in school...who woulda thunk...

rcocean said...

I object to the idea that Helms was a "racist". Nor do I think that opposition to AA, MLK Holiday, or extension of the Voting rights act in the 1980s was racist.

I also object to any obit that quotes Broder. Why is this tired left-wing hack trotted out to proclaim the voice of history on Helms? I guess Bill Moyers and Daniel Shore were unavailable.

Maguro said...

You're raising your boys to be racists George, of course you don't think so, nobody does.

If it's wrong to dislike Toni Morrison novels, I don't want to be right.

Bob said...

Senator Helms was an anachronism, 100 years past his time. Had he been a Senator in the 1890's instead of the 1990's he would have been in the mainstream of US political thought. He was honest and principled, with strong moral convictions. If you didn't share them, that's fine.

As a personal anecdote, I met a man in the US Navy named Glenn Helms who claimed to be Jesse Helms's nephew. Glenn was bald and bearded, looked like the wrestler Ivan Koloff, and tooled around base in a 1968 Z-28 Camaro. He also roller-skated around base on occasion. I found him one night watching election returns (November 1982, if I remember correctly) and he said that he was waiting to see if "Uncle Jesse" won reelection.

*grins at the memory*

Theo Boehm said...
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George said...

"We force your kids to read Uncle Tom's Cabin and To Kill a Mockingbird not because it's good literature, George, but to teach them a lesson," writes UWS.

You couldn't teach 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' in public schools because of the dialect. A random passage:

"Lor, now! Miss Phelia; dat ar an't no way for ladies to do. I never did see ladies doin' no sich; my old Missis nor Miss Marie never did, and I don't see no kinder need on 't;" and Dinah stalked indignantly about, while Miss Ophelia piled and sorted dishes, emptied dozens of scattering bowls of sugar into one receptacle, sorted napkins, table-cloths, and towels, for washing; washing, wiping, and arranging with her own hands, and with a speed and alacrity which perfectly amazed Dinah."

As for "We force your kids"..... UBS, do you have children???

Good luck with that 'forcing' !!!

James said...

rcocean said:

"I object to the idea that Helms was a "racist"."

Well, I object to the idea that Helms was a "five-term Senator." But my objections don't make it any less true.

Chip Ahoy said...

I'm going to buy on Amazon, "Alicia en el Pais de las Maravillas."

Eww, sounds good. Does it come with A Trav├ęs del Espejo too? I love Jabberwocky translated in other languages. Not at all an easy task.

Le Jaseroque

Der Jammerwoch

el Jabberwock

Chip Ahoy said...

I like the part in Ann's post about Helms and his wife Dot.

Seneca the Younger said...

You'd have to dig pretty hard to find it, but Barry Yeoman interviewed Jesse for the Independent when I as in grad school, and was amazed to discover that Jesse was a sweet grandfatherly man who treated him kindly and was disarmingly concerned about his health. He was amazed that he wasn't able to dislike Jesse.

Barry did seem to get over that.

Look, Jesse as an old man from an old time; he wasn't a demon, just another man. Now he's dead.

Someday, if you're lucky, you'll be old too, and there will be people around who disagreed with you. Try to remember that.

reader_iam said...

civil rights, gay rights, foreign aid and modern art.

I'm sorry, but something about that series, especially ending as it does with "modern art," left me helplessly giggling. (It's a language thing, not the politics, that amuse, to be clear.)


I'm not sure whether to start throwing out other items to extend that list, or suggest that it all be boiled down to "foreign aid" (as in, aid to things foreign to a particular worldview) and left at that.

***

Also, gay rights aren't a subset of civil rights?

reader_iam said...

I'm not sure whether to start throwing out other items to extend that list

As in, "Big Bird! You forgot Big Bird!"

Theo Boehm said...
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Theo Boehm said...
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Jeff with one 'f' said...

"if there were a God, Helms would have died on the anniversary of the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki"

He should have died on the anniversary of military actions that saved tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans lives?

Hoe would that be bad?

Fen said...

Look, Jesse as an old man from an old time; he wasn't a demon, just another man.

Please. Do not interrupt the Left's 2 Minutes of Hate. After drawing on so much equivalence while defending Obama's racist religion, they need a good theraputic purge to convince themselves that they really do stand against bigotry and racism.

reader_iam said...

Theo: I would not call what you do "rattling on."

Happy Fourth of July!

rcocean said...

Why Helms was great:

"After just one year of service in the Senate, Helms introduced a resolution to make Solzhenitsyn an honorary American citizen. It failed in the House. Then Helms helped to arrange a Washington visit for the exiled Soviet dissident the following year. At every turn, he faced obstruction by key figures in the Ford administration, led by secretary of state Henry Kissinger. When, thanks to the diligent work of Helms’s staff, Solzhenitsyn was indeed brought to the country, Helms tried to set up a meeting for him with President Ford.

Not only was he rebuffed, but the State Department even forbade its employees to attend Solzhenitsyn’s major speech (to the AFL-CIO). So what did the freshman senator from North Carolina do? He went to the floor of the Senate, called it a “sad day for our country,” and accused Ford of “cowering timidity for fear of offending Communists.” It was a public-relations disaster for the White House. Among the conservatives angered by the administration’s parade of limp-noodle lickspittles was Ronald Reagan, who lambasted Ford in his newspaper column.

James said...

Fen -

I don't believe I ever commented in defense of Wright's many, often-despicable comments. With that said, when people tried to give the same "he's an old man from an old time" type defense of his comments, (i.e. a black man who would have been in his twenties during much of the civil rights movement, and no doubt experienced racism first hand), people rightfully called BS. Why should we grant Helms the kind of immunity you wouldn't want to give Wright?

Plenty of people came from the same "time and place" as Helms. However, many of these people were able to shed the disgusting beliefs of the time, while Helms held on to, and thrived off of, them.

Is it "blind hatred" for me to recognize and be disgusted with the venomous hatred of others? I don't think so.

Meade said...

"Also, gay rights aren't a subset of civil rights?"

No, not really. You see, gay rights are for gays. Civil rights are for civilians unable to pass as white civilians. And then you have your plain old ordinary everyday rights endowed by our Creator.

Those are for anyone able to walk around, including civil gays and people passing people previously unable to walk around feeling even the least bit gay.

Meade said...

"You know who else condemned the USSR? ..."

Yes, but he condemned it after he formed a pact with it.

Jac, my first comment was meant as faint praise although I am chastened by rcocean's last comment. Truth is, many liberals, even today, still can't quite choke it out: Soviet communism was evil. Pure murderous irreformable evil.

If support for segregation equals racism, then Jesse Helms was in the same racist company as the early American liberal Democratic Republican who wrote the first draft of our Declaration of Independence and died on the same day in July.

Theo Boehm said...
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blake said...

If Jesse don't like it
It's prob'ly not art
Jesse knows what's good
Oh, Jesse is smart

And if you don't like it
Then don't feel sad
'cause the art that you like
Is probably bad


--Loudon Wainwright III, "If Jesse Don't Like It"

William said...

In the course of life our culture and free will lead us to form many opinions and take many actions that future generations will deem despicable. History completely vindicates very few men. Churchill in his long life was only right about a few things. Lincoln and even Frederick Douglass said things about blacks that even Helms would find objectionable....Does the value of Jesse Helms lie in his principled opposition to Communism or his equally principled opposition to civil rights? I am glad that he lost the argument on civil rights but shouldn't there be some plus signs in the equation for the things that he got right. He said many things that were hateful but none of his actions were unlawful. He bumped against the guard rails but never really led his followers over the cliff. He did nothing to diminish bigotry but he did nothing to subvert a society that allowed bigotry to be subverted.

blake said...

Like the Libertarians on Prof. Althouse's Cruise trip, at what point do your libertarian policies just play into actual racists hands?

Liberty includes the freedom to be an asshole. Just as offensive speech is the kind that needs protecting from the law, so, too, with (merely) offensive behavior.

The first amendment plays into actual racists' hands, too.

blake said...

You're raising your boys to be racists George, of course you don't think so, nobody does. Nobody does.

No, I'm pretty sure the KKK and Aryan Brotherhood (et al) actively and knowingly encourages racism.

Not sure about La Raza or Black Liberation types.

blake said...

We force your kids to read Uncle Tom's Cabin and To Kill a Mockingbird not because it's good literature, George, but to teach them a lesson.

This usually works to create a lifelong loathing of literature; if only it created a lifelong loathing of people trying to teach lessons

UWS guy said...

Only in the movies blake. I'll turn it around, does Louis Feerrikan think he's an anti-semite? Nope, he'll give you perfectly good reasons why he's not. Someone who believes in UFO abductions think he's loony? Nope, and he'll give quite reasoned rationals for it.

I bet you couldn't find a skin head in all of Appalachia who would right out say, "I hate blacks." It's just not the way it works anymore.

UWS guy said...

I could give a shit if being forced to read an assigned book creates a, "life long loathing of literature."

Tough shit if being forced to do long division turned you off to Mathematics also.

But by God we're not going to let American schools mimic the rest of the world in turning a blind eye to our own past mistakes. The Japanese white wash their history lessons, the Chinese don't teach their children about theirs, the Russians fill their kids heads full of "glory days" clap trap.

I'll say it again, blake, tough shit if some little punk or his dad wants to paper over hard lessons of history and instead wallow in light-fantasy.

BOO-HOO I don't like Moby Dick because my teacher upset the hick sensibilities of my family.

Theo Boehm said...
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reader_iam said...

I could give a shit if being forced to read an assigned book creates a, "life long loathing of literature."

Really?

UWS guy said...
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George said...

Incidentally, UWS, both 'Mockingbird' and 'Uncle Tom' were written by white women.

Therefore, they would have been forbidden in my son's English curriculum. It limited his texts to works about the African-American experience by African-Americans.

My point, again, is the absurdity of political correctness.

My daughter's fifth-grade class read the biography of one--and only one-- Presidential candidate. It wasn't about the Mormon, the Baptist minister, the Navy man, or even the former First Lady.

As for Moby Dick, you can't teach that either.

"Are you a Marxist? Then Herman Melville’s Pequod in “Moby Dick” can be a factory. Ahab the manager, the crew the working class. Is your point of view religious? The Pequod sailed on Christmas morning, a floating cathedral heading south. Do you follow Freud or June? Then your interpretations may be rich and multitudinous. I recently had a new explanation of Moby Dick from the young man in charge of an electronic brain. ‘Once and for all,’ he said. ‘That white whale is everybody’s mother allowing in her watery bed. Ahab has the Oedipus complex and wants to slay the hell out of her.'" --Saul Bellow, Deep Readers of the World, Beware!

reader_iam said...

But by God we're not going to let American schools mimic the rest of the world in turning a blind eye to our own past mistakes.

Oh, stop being so melodramatic. Good lord, skeptical--MORE than skeptical--stuff was being taught way back in the dark ages of the '70s, when I was in middle school and high school. And I went to public school, and particularly in the case of high school, one that drew heavily from neighborhoods of working class and lower middle-class kids. You'd be shocked, shocked, no doubt, to find that many of things you seem to think people weren't taught before--when? the aughts? ever?--were, in fact, introduced even at that time. Interning Japanese? Check. Dropping nukes (including the concept that Roosevelt knew)? Check. Bigoted southerners and white people, in general? Check. Oppression by the patriarchy (complete with a whole social studies unit the unifying them of which was Carly Simon's "That's The Way I've Heard It Should Be")? Check. Ralph Ellison's "The Invisible Man"? Check. Nikki Giovanni and Amiri Baraka? Check.

Just a heartbeat later, the first poli sci textbook I purchased for a college class? It was called "The People, Maybe," and it pretty much presented the POV you'd expect.

Look, I'm not knocking any of those things. I am saying you need to get off your high horse and stop acting as if the 1950s ended yesterday, with all the years thereafter yet to come.

Shorter: Good grief. Get some perspective.

UWS guy said...

Honestly reader_iam: I read his post as something children say when their mad at their parents.

I'm gonna hold my breath!

The point of education is not to make children "love" learning or some retarded rational like that. It's a contract the citizens have with the next generation in order to prepare them for adulthood.

We could do with a lot less of this touchy-feely bullshit and fill their skulls with the knowledge that they--evident by their requirement to be in school!--are too ignorant to know what it is they need.

So, go ahead and "hold your breath" or cry that you, "hate literature" (whatever the fuck that means). If the job of teachers was to make kids happy and love school we'd hand out video games at 8 am every morning.
--------

George, for the record, I would abolish "literature" classes as such had I my druthers. But your misery of your kids reading books "by niggers for niggers (if you'll allow me to paraphrase?). Doesn't mean anything to me.

In literature class, kids could instead read a history of the life of Archimedes or a Civil War journal. Literature is something people should do in their spare time.

(Why is the state teaching 'Catcher in the Rye' anyway? Or 1984?)

but if they're going to teach it, they might as well make a history lesson out of it, and it sounds like your kids need a primer on why they need to learn about the life of Blacks in America.

reader_iam said...

So, go ahead and "hold your breath" or cry that you, "hate literature" (whatever the fuck that means).

Great, so now you're saying that I, of all people, hate literature.

LMAO.

UWS guy said...

I'd be a lot less irked today if not for reading all the hagiography of Helms on right leaning blogs.

I was perfectly willing to say, "A man with flaws like any other who served the country he loved."

But nooooooo....

All over it, "jesse helms! hero or American hero? Or, "he was right, MLK holiday is bunk!"

All followed by protestations that neither he nor all the backward posters were bigots and racists!

So spare me reader_iam your tut-tutting about my overreaction to some posters here lamenting all this negro-book this, and nobody's a racist anymore claptrap.

"Blacks had it bad for a while son, but it's all better now and anyone who says otherwise is just a huckster stirin' up trouble."

reader_iam said...

I was responding to your overreaction regarding schools teaching (or not teaching) a papering-over of our history, and particularly because of this particular phrase: "by God we're not going to let ... ." Who the fuck is "we," pray tell? Care to share (and do be specific)?

And there are more right-leaning blogs than just "the biggies." Maybe you should get around more (no, I'm not talking about mine). I've seen some very, very sharp criticism of Helms from people whose handles you'd recognize who are, shall we just say, hardly lefties.

UWS guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UWS guy said...

Get some perspective reader_iam?

I confront overt racism everyday where I live. People whom I consider friends, co-workers and others, none of whom--for a moment--think they're racists.

I swear to god half the people on this blog are like the Hollywood democrat socialite who said, "I can't believe "Reagan won...I don't know anyone who voted for him..."

Wow, you're telling me you don't see racism at your book club gathering in SoHo? Or that your glee club Alma Mater meetings aren't full of bigots? Well, America! Consider yourself cured!

UWS guy said...

Dude, I love national review...but the corner is full of Helms man crush today (Where's derbyshire when I need him to post?)

NR! They're respectable! Kinda!

UWS guy said...

When I say, "confront" I mean "wince inwardly" and make small gestures to sway their mind with words like "come now..." and "well, that's a good point, but..."

reader_iam said...

Never belonged to a glee club. I don't live in SoHo or belong to a book club. I don't question that racism is alive and well, and never have. You do not know what you're talking about, period, full stop, if you question any of those things with regard to me, personally.

And you can expand the issue you want, but I just clarified precisely what I was referring to in my initial comment, which itself was framed specifically with regard to schools, and, more precisely, specifically with regard to when a more expanded curriculum started to be implemented, as against your implication.

You can do with all that what you will.

UWS guy said...

"I'm not racist, I just don't like all the books by black authors being taught to my kids!" "It's a pendulum! First we hang blacks from trees and now it's swung all the way over....to...over to...uh...having to read books by them...."

UWS guy said...

I'll say, if a child hates books because of what he read in school, or the way in which the teacher taught, he's probably better off not reading.

I don't understand all the magical love associated with getting kids to read novels.

reader_iam said...

When I say, "confront" I mean "wince inwardly" and make small gestures to sway their mind with words like "come now..." and "well, that's a good point, but..."

Oh, really! Well, don't that just figure.

Shit, I had more guts than that 40 years, as a kid, and many time thereafters into recent times, but then you wouldn't be interested in any facts like that.

Blowhard.

UWS guy said...

At the beginning of the day I thought Christopher Hitchens won't bother doing an article on Jesse Helms because it's like shooting fish in a barrel, nobody would disagree, wouldn't be contrarian enough.

but I'm begining to think that his services might be required...

UWS guy said...

haha, blowhard, nice one. My grandmother hated mexicans. She was a school teacher, I loved her to death, but boy did she dislike them.

She never considered herself racist, ever. You're right though reader_iam, I really should have popped her on the mouth when those words slipped out.
------

Jesse Helms was probably loved by his family, and probably rightfully so and were I to speak at his funeral on their behalf I wouldn't dwell on his flaws.

But I also wouldn't go onto message boards and say that his political views were exemplary, that he was right about martin luther king!! Or deny that he was racist at all!

Not in national review, not on Hot Air, not on LFG something as simple as Ann has done. The man has died...these were his thoughts and politics.

She did say, "burn in hell" nor did she say, "gosh! what a patriot!".

Why do I have to Piss in the wind here to state the obvious fact that although a loving father, husband, friend, his politics were wrong and mired in bigotry?

UWS guy said...

*didn't say, "burn in hell."

blake said...

Mmmmm. Independence bile.

UWS, I've known racists who were proud of it and taught their children accordingly. Not all of them were white, mind you.

I'm also unclear about what you lesson you think novels are supposed to teach. They're fiction. You wanna be a hard-ass, fine, but I'm not the one comparing novels to long division.

Speaking of pendulums, there's one for you: "Kids have it too good these days, we need to put back the suffering in education!"

Here's a clue for you: Suffering and education are not the same thing. If you do it right education may or may not be fun, but it is always satisfying when applied.

I could give a shit if being forced to read an assigned book creates a, "life long loathing of literature."

Nice. We're going to teach the kids a lesson, even if it scars them for life!

Tough shit if being forced to do long division turned you off to Mathematics also.

Nobody had to force me to do long division. It was practically my hobby. Interesting change of tack though.

Someone who has to be forced to do it probably doesn't understand what they're doing. So they end up hating--and not learning--math. And that's serious, especially as these people end up teaching math (and conferring their misunderstandings and antipathy) to the next generation.

Force is not a substitute for knowing what you're doing, in education or anywhere else.

I'll say it again, blake, tough shit if some little punk or his dad wants to paper over hard lessons of history and instead wallow in light-fantasy.

I can't tell if this is personal to you or you're trying to make it personal to me, but you might want to dial back the righteousness, because you're totally failing to communicate here.

Anyway.

A novel, at best, gives you a single writer's perspective on a place in time, designed to be read by the people of that time. Most historical literature assignments are wasted on the student, because he has only the faintest grounding in the time period.

BOO-HOO I don't like Moby Dick because my teacher upset the hick sensibilities of my family.

What hard lesson of history is one supposed to learn from Moby Dick? That whales suck? Too late, dude, that battle's over, and the whales won.

blake said...

Why do I have to Piss in the wind here to state the obvious fact that although a loving father, husband, friend, his politics were wrong and mired in bigotry?

Ah, there's your problem: You don't. I'd probably be angry if I felt I had to do that, too.

Maguro said...

What hard lesson of history is one supposed to learn from Moby Dick? That whales suck?

No, whales blow. Learned that in biology class from UWS guy's racist granny.

UWS guy said...

post #11 in this forum.

"Helms would have made a great president."

UWS guy said...

Alternating chapters of Moby Dick use the explanation of the mechanics of whale rendering as metaphors for English social and economic issues.

plenty to learn there if you aren't a philistine.

UWS guy said...

But maybe that part didn't come through in the TV mini-series you watched with captain pickard.

OldGrouchy said...

What a time to really hit out at Helms now that he's dead. Guess hitting at him while he was alive was too scary for many members of the VLWC.

Jeez, now will those same good souls protest negative comments regarding Jimmah Peanut Carter when he goes to join his pal Fidel? That time should be a riot!

BTW: Yes, Fidel's still here but consider him really shuffling slowly in a short cul-de-sac. Of course, maybe that mean, tough rabbit will reappear in front of Jimmah and frighten him!

blake said...

I really don't know Jesse Helms except through the filter of the left wing media.

That LW3 song was probably the first time I'd heard of him, and I thought it was a little juvenile.

I don't know about other people but, personally, I've observed that the view I have of right wing figures from my youth is severely colored by decades of biased reportage.

So, if I'm not jumping on the anti-Helms bandwagon it's because I don't really feel like I know the guy's politics.

blake said...

Alternating chapters of Moby Dick use the explanation of the mechanics of whale rendering as metaphors for English social and economic issues.

plenty to learn there if you aren't a philistine.


Are you deliberately being obtuse here? Since the average--nay, even the exceptional student isn't going to have the faintest idea of what those social and economic issues of England in the first half of the 19th century were, how do you expect him to get anything out of Moby Dick?

If England's social and economic issues in the 19th century are so bloody important, why not just teach those?

rcocean said...

UWS,

For a white guy your canned outrage about "racism" is truly noble. A quote from a famous blog fits you:

"Naturally, white people do not get offended by statements directed at white people. In fact, they don’t even have a problem making offensive statements about other white people (ask a white person about “flyover states”). As a rule, white people strongly prefer to get offended on behalf of other people.

It is also valuable to know that white people spend a significant portion of their time preparing for the moment when they will be offended. They read magazines, books, and watch documentaries all in hopes that one day they will encounter a person who will say something offensive. When this happens, they can leap into action with quotes, statistics, and historical examples. Once they have finished lecturing another white person about how it’s wrong to use the term “black” instead of “African-American,” they can sit back and relax in the knowledge that they have made a difference."

dick said...

While I do not support the anti-gay slant on his olitics in the case of that lesbian for HUD he was absolutely right. She destroyed all the good things that had been done to get the residents of public housing involved in the administration of their homes and cleaned up a lot of the problems there. After she took over, she had it back to even worse than it was before and was even evicting the ones who were trying to get rid of the drug dealers. Terrible administrator with the worst housing policies possible. Don't care if she was a lesbian or not, she was in way over her head.

dick said...

James,

Actually while I disagree with his position on gays in high office, in the case of that lesbian for HUD, he was absolutely right. She was a disaster. She destroyed all the gains that had been made in getting the residents of public housing involved in maintaining and cleaning up their homes and getting rid of the drug dealers and gangbangers. In fact she even evicted some of the people who complained about the drug dealers because they made the task of running the housing projects harder. The result was that the housing projects ended up worse than they were before and she took not repsonsibility for it. Also did nothing to change it either. She was in way over her head and really messed a lot of things up that are still being fixed today.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

If for nothing else, I will be glad that Jesse Helms helped save Ronald Reagan from the ash heap of history in the 1976 Republican presidential primary.

UWS guy said...

Hey rcocean: I've lived and labored as a minority in plenty of countries to know racism directed at me by the majority, which outrages me when I see it here.

But if you want to regurgitate some neanderthal point about effete liberals and their patronizing of minorities here in the U.S. fine. That allows you to rationalize your own opinions go right ahead.

Next time you make a "policy" point against Obama as a rational for you not being interested in voting for him. (Or some other person like you expresses a wish that if only, "Michael Steel" or "Colin Powel" would run for office I'll remember your quote:

"Jesse Helms would have made a great President." and I'll know all I need to about your true reasoning.

Middle Class Guy said...

Trumpit said...
RIH Jesse Helms. That's "Rot In Hell" in case the acronym is unknown to you. Even his last name reminds me of Hell. Helms, hell, just a slight orthographic change is necessary. His first name is reminiscent of another imfamous American outlaw: Jesse James. Yes, I'm aware that I've added nothing to the discussion other than some venom, but on the 4th of July, that is what the son of a bitch, and his regrettably still living followers, deserve. If there were a God, Helms would have died on the anniversary of the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not on Independence Day. Ergo, there is no benevolent deity.



If there were a God, FDR, the great human rights criminal and JFK, RFK, and LBJ, the great civil rights violators would have been aborted before they could do their evil upon our country. People like you seem to promote crimes of the left and castigate the mere opinions lf the right. Hypocrisy has no bounds.

blake said...

"Jesse Helms would have made a great President." and I'll know all I need to about your true reasoning.

By modern standards, haven't most of our Presidents been racist?

OldGrouchy said...

Perhaps what we need to do when someone of note dies is to do what the Cavaliers did after Charles II's restoration: They dug up the body of Cromwell and mounted his skull on a pike! that'll teach'em; it looked peachy up there by Traitor's Gate until it rotted away.

Well, when's the party going to start and who'll mount Jesse's skull on a pike? Sounds like there're a number of volunteers here.

Cedarford said...

Middle class guy - If there were a God, FDR, the great human rights criminal and JFK, RFK, and LBJ, the great civil rights violators would have been aborted before they could do their evil upon our country.

You forgot Washington, Adams, Franklin, Andrew Jackson, Lincoln, McKinley, TDR, Wilson, RFK, and Nixon.

All hell on precious seditionist, terrorist or enemy sets of civil liberties and deeply respected "rights". Which makes your argument fringe - coming from the idiotic libertarians, the hard left, or pomo Jewish Transnationalists. And deeply silly, since all of them, even Nixon are credited by most Americans and most historians as serious consequential men when it came to protecting the public from the harm America's most dangerous enemies sought.

Only the same hysterical libertarian and Lefty fringes suggest that national security is mainly a function of courts to decide. An area of government best controlled by lawyers dressed in robes - who alone are most competent decide on security issues, And define the scope of, even in wartime - how to best serve & safeguard the paramount matter - "precious enemy rights."

James said...

dick -

I didn't actually see who the person was or how she performed. However, her performance once she was actually in place in the department is pretty irrelevant here. Helms didn't know, or care to know, how qualified she was to be in the position. The fact that she was a lesbian was enough for him to never want her in any appointed position, period.

I visited LGF earlier in the day, and I couldn't believe the comments I saw. Half the people seemed to be either completely unaware of his bigotry, and the other half tried to excuse it with the "oh well, he was a white guy from the segregated South - of course he would be racist" argument.

Helms is the sort of guy that the true conservatives, what I hear called the "classical liberals" should not want on their side. Certainly, he was right on some of the issues. But when you have an outspoken bigot as one of the biggest spokesmen for your conservative principals, the bigotry taints those positions. As Ann said in her post, "Mixing "conservative ideals" with racism.... I think that made millions of young people hate conservatism." I am a "young person," who considers himself a social liberal and, for the most part, an economic conservative. I think many people like me are scared away from voting for the Republicans because of the Jesse Helms' of the party and the influence of the extreme evangelicals in the past two elections. (Just as I am sure there are Republican-leaning moderates who are scared away from the Democrats by the extremist Kos-kids and socialists).

If either party could skillfully distance themselves from those extremes, they could probably form a dominate, efficient, and relatively popular government. Unfortunately, both parties seem to feel the need to pander for these morons' votes.

reader_iam said...

FWIW--though I disagree with a couple-so of his broader evaluations and prescriptions (or whatever; it's not my desire to word- or scope-quibble, at present) included therein--this blogger's post comes closest to my reaction of any I've read anywhere, from whatever axis.

Crimso said...

"Lessons in school...who woulda thunk..."

In that case, I'll have to be sure that I teach my CHEMISTRY students about the evils of Marxism...

Crimso said...

"You're raising your boys to be racists George, of course you don't think so, nobody does. Nobody does."


"I bet you couldn't find a skin head in all of Appalachia who would right out say, "I hate blacks." It's just not the way it works anymore."


Incapable of detecting irony?

Theo Boehm said...

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

veni vidi vici said...

"the other half tried to excuse it with the "oh well, he was a white guy from the segregated South - of course he would be racist" argument. "

this is where I put the Rev. Wright controversy, and for the same reason. I can hear what primary sources say and draw my own conclusions; when I hear the manufactured garment-rending righteous outrage of one or the other side, it's a cue that someone's trying to sell me a bridge, and only causes me to check that my wallet is secure and no one's hand is going through my pockets.

Kind of lame, the current national polity, eh?