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.
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."