Interesting piece today in the Los Angeles Times. It’s an op-ed piece. Andres Martinez. “Who apologized for the filibuster? The Senate should be ashamed of the tactic that killed anti-lynching legislation.” You know, I’m interested in this because I did a morning update on this very, very subject. I mean, the Democrats are leading this notion that the Senate needs to apologize for filibustering anti-lynching legislation. It was the Democrats that led that filibuster! It was the segregationist Democrats way back when that led the filibuster against anti-lynching legislation. Do you realize that as recently as 1967, it was legal to lynch? As recently as ’67! When were you born, Dawn? Were you born in 1967? You weren’t even born? So you were one year old, and it was still legal to lynch. In your lifetime it’s still been legal to lynch people! In ’67 there was anti-lynching legislation that the Democrats, the segregationists, the same guys that fought the Civil Rights Act of 1964 refused that legislation. They filibustered it, and that’s what this piece is about. “Who knew the Senate was so cheeky? On Monday, a mere three weeks after the centrist, bipartisan Gang of 14 agreed, ever so proudly, to save the institution’s fabled filibuster, senators passed a resolution apologizing for the chamber’s failure to enact anti-lynching legislation. Astonishingly, Senate Resolution 39 makes no mention of the f-word,” the filibuster, “which denotes the mechanism that allows a minority of legislators to block votes.
“The resolution duly notes that at least 4,742 people, mostly African Americans, were lynched in the U.S. between 1882 and 1968; that nearly 200 anti-lynching bills, backed by seven presidents, were introduced in Congress during the first half of the 20th century; that the House of Representatives did pass three strong anti-lynching measures, but that the Senate never did, thus failing its ‘minimum and most basic of federal responsibilities’ to those who were ‘deprived of life, human dignity, and the constitutional protections accorded all citizens of the United States.’ As Mary Landrieu, the Louisiana Democrat who sponsored the resolution, said, the Senate was ‘uniquely culpable’ for Washington’s failure to protect U.S. citizens from a type of domestic terrorism often orchestrated by local authorities…. The apology, in effect, covers up just how self-interested the Senate’s actions really were, and how indefensible the filibuster remains. It distorts history by suggesting that a majority of senators were on the same moral plane with the anti-civil rights posse made up of the likes of Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi and Richard Russell of Georgia.” It goes on, but that’s pretty much the summation.
RUSH: We have some audio sound bites from the anti-lynching bill yesterday, and it will be interesting to hear some of these — and then we’re going to go back and listen to Senator Byrd from 1946. But first Mary Landrieu (D-LA), the cosponsor of the lynching apology calls lynching domestic terrorism. Here’s a portion of her remarks.
LANDRIEU: It’s not only that your eyes are drawn to the victims of the lynching, but you’re also drawn for the faces of the spectators and realize that these are more than crimes. This was in some measure domestic terrorism, American against Americans, citizens against citizens. And it’s a story that must be told.
RUSH: Well, but you’re not going to tell it all, are you? It was a Democrat-led filibuster that stopped anti-lynching legislation. Democrat-led filibuster. Not that it relates to the Democrats today. I’m just saying it’s awfully strange that this is all coming up now, this official apology. Here’s John Kerry, and he uses the word “torture” in this.
VIETNAM VETERAN JOHN KERRY: Lynchings were not just lynchings as we think of them. They weren’t just hanging somebody. They were in most cases torture on American soil. They were the brutal, middle of-the-night knock on a door and denial of rights to people in their homes. They were the willfully dispersion of fear into a community, and the torture was torture which, when you read some of that, i-i-it’s just stunning to believe that law enforcement at some times didn’t just stand aside, it was complicitous [sic].
RUSH: And you hear the word “torture” as he is using there. Let’s listen more to Senator Kerry.
VIETNAM VETERAN JOHN KERRY: Here we are standing here, and it is important because the journey is unfinished. It’s not enough just to acknowledge this today and walk outta here because there is a different kind of lynching that occurs when children don’t get the full measure of citizenship today in communities. There is a different kind of lynching that occurs when people are denied access to health care and denied the opportunity to be full citizens in the United States of America.
RUSH: And let’s go back now to 1968, shall we? Senator Byrd talking about Martin Luther King, Jr.
KLANSMAN BYRD: Martin Luther King fled the scene. He took to his heels and disappeared, leaving it to others to cope with the destructive forces he had helped to unleash — and I hope that well meaning Negro leaders and individuals in the Negro community in Washington will now take a new look at this man who gets other people into trouble and then takes off like a scared rabbit.
RUSH: There you have it. The”Dean of the Senate” today of the Democratic Party, Sheets Byrd, former grand klugar or whatever (kleagle) they call them of the Ku Klux Klan basically insulting Robert Byrd, in 1968, which was the last year that lynchings took place in the United States of America. He’s now one of the leaders of the Democratic Party. Don’t know he was in on the filibuster, don’t know, but I know it was a Democrat filibuster that stopped the passage of anti-lynching legislation, and I’m just bringing this up, because, you know, the Democrats in the Senate did this, they led this apology, and they used the filibuster to do it, you know. So it’s just information to put in your head out there to let it roll around.
RUSH: This is funny. Our old buddies at Newsmax, Carl Limbacher, (January 10, 2003) called on Byrd’s spokesman to ask them if Byrd had ever participated in any lynchings, and the spokesman for Senator Byrd “told protesters this week that he wasn’t sure whether his boss had helped lynch any African-Americans when the top Senate Democrat was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940’s. Members of the African-American Republican Leadership Council and the Washington, D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com staged the sit-in in Byrd’s Hart Building Senate office on Tuesday, where Byrd’s press secretary Tom Gavin fielded questions for about 20 minutes. ‘We asked Gavin, does he know what Sen. Byrd did while he was in the Klan?’ … ‘He didn’t know…. He said he hadn’t talked to Byrd about it.’ ‘We asked Gavin if he knew what the Klan was doing in West Virginia in the 1940s when Sen. Byrd was a member,’ added Taylor. Byrd’s spokesman pleaded ignorance again. ‘Were they lynching black people?’ came the next question. ‘Again, Gavin didn’t know,’ Taylor said. Then the protesters wanted to know, did Byrd’s Klan chapter burn crosses on black peoples’ lawns and run them out of town? ‘He didn’t know. He had no idea.'”
So Byrd’s spokesman drew a blank on all the questions. I think it’s funny to show up and ask spokesman, “Did your boss participate in any lynchings?”
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