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Friday, July 04, 2008

Sorry, Jesse, the Afterlife is Integrated

Like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Monroe and Eva Gabor, Senator Jesse Helms has died on the Fourth of July. I have to say that I was shocked and saddened to learn that he hadn't died years ago.

From Wikipedia:

Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker noted in his memoirs that Helms had "the 'humorous habit'" of calling all black people "Fred".
A MeFi commenter compares this to the demeaning practice of calling all Pullman porters "George":
In 1916 the Society for the Prevention of Calling Sleeping Car Porters “George” (SPCSCPG) was founded by a wealthy Chicagoan, George William Dulany, Jr. Over the following two decades the society’s ranks swelled to over 30,000 people, all named George and including French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, George Herman “Babe” Ruth, and King George II of Greece. The SPCSCPG was partly a half-joking expression of the annoyance the Georges felt at sharing a nickname with the African-Americans who staffed the Pullman Company’s sleeping cars. However, there were those among the society’s Georges who saw and objected to the racism involved in the practice; in the antebellum South slaves were often called by their masters’ first names, and the Pullman Porters were viewed as something like the slaves of George Pullman. [Link]
Me, I call all the bigots I meet "A**hole."

Sally J.

I'll second that one, Chris. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Last week I was reading the Wikipedia entry for David Susskind -- and was sickened to learn that although he extenesively interviewed Truman in Missouri, he was never invited to their home. Why? Because no Jew had ever crossed Bess' threshhold, and she wanted to keep it that way.

Chris

Another commenter over at MetaFilter quoted Jesse as saying that a black man would be elected president "over my dead body," to which God replied "That can be arranged."

RabidGenealogist

Dear Chris,

I was born and raised in North Carolina and was very much aware of Jesse Helms, especially in the 1970s when he was "the" political voice of TV and radio out of Raleigh. It was most certainly the voice of an egocentric, bigoted, racist, homophobic, and ignorant man. I was ashamed to even have come from the same state. It wasn't long before I moved elsewhere.

I have always said that I will throw the biggest party ever when Jesse Helms dies. Well, let the planning commence! Tonight the world is certainly a finer place -- without Jesse Helms!

BTW, it was a delight to finally meet you at the SCGS Jamboree last weekend. You rock!

George G. Morgan

Chris

I'm pretty it wasn't me you met at the Jamboree, as I was some 3,000 miles away. Did somebody steal my identity, or do I have Googleganger?

Tex

Some years ago, my teen-aged son saw me reading Dorothy Allison's, "Bastard Out of Carolina." He asked me if it was about Jesse Helms.

'nuff said. :-)

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