How appropriate is it that on July 4, 2008 we are freed from the hateful thoughts and rhetoric of this vile excuse for a human being.
Former Sen. Jesse Helms, who built a career along the fault lines of racial politics and battled liberals, Communists and the occasional fellow Republican during 30 conservative years in Congress, died on the Fourth of July.
He was 86.
Helms died at 1:15 a.m., said the Jesse Helms Center at Wingate University in North Carolina. The center’s president, John Dodd, said in a statement that funeral arrangements were pending.
This is the man that led the opposition in the Senate during the debates to create a federal holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is the man who clashed frequently with President Clinton, whom he deemed unqualified to be commander in chief. Even some Republicans cringed when Helms said Clinton was so unpopular he would need a bodyguard on North Carolina military bases. Helms said he hadn’t meant it as a threat.
Like so many other not-so-fine wines, Jesse Helms may have mellowed as he aged but his various changes in positions on social issues did not and cannot change the fact that he stood against so many and supported the denial of protections and rights under the Constitution to so many.
He will probably join Jerry Falwell and so many others who took this country down the wrong path. And I doubt it will be in Heaven.
Heaven and Hell of course are allegorical and those who believe in karma probably would say that most likely he will come back as a poor gay African-American or Mexican-American mute living in a shanty on a river somewhere in this country. Reaping what he sowed
Helms once said in an interview he hoped what future generations learn about him “will be based on the truth and not the deliberate inaccuracies those who disagreed with me took such delight in repeating.”
“My legacy will be up to others to describe,” he added.
So what will Jesse Helms legacy be? Here is a sampling of public reaction to his death.
Good. I hope he rots in Hell. (next to Jerry Falwell)
And don’t give me that good christian BS. This man did more to harm people than almost any other man ever elected to office.
I know because I lived in N. Carolina for many years.
Probably sitting next to his buddy Jerry Falwell, in that special place in hell reserved just for ignorant, bigoted thugs. Good riddance.
Let the door hit you on the way out old racist.
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.”
OK, “Bigot”. Dies on the day of celebrating freedom for all. How darkly ironic.
Is Jessie going to be surprised when he finds out God is a black latina lesbian!
I think ya’ll get the point. Good riddance to old hate!