Monday, December 23, 2002

Bob Herbert joins the chorus of those who are saying, "not so fast," in response to the GOP efforts to paint Lott as an isolated problem.
The Other Trent Lotts By BOB HERBERT Having thrown Trent Lott overboard, Republican leaders seem to think they are now absolved of any further responsibility for the racism and ethnic insensitivity that have tainted their party. The problem is now supposed to go away. They are deluded. The problem isn't going away because Republican leaders haven't rid themselves of the habit of playing to the closet racists and the Confederate flag-waving yahoos who mean so much to the G.O.P. For 40 years the party has gone out of its way to court the enemies of black people. It's an offense for which it should be begging forgiveness.
As an example, Mr. Herbert describes the man who has been chosen to replace incoming Majority Leader apparent as the head of the Republican's Senatorial campaign committee: George Allen of Virginia:
A few years ago, when he was governor of Virginia, Mr. Allen issued a proclamation declaring April "Confederate History and Heritage Month." From Mr. Allen's pro-Confederate perspective, the Civil War was a struggle for "independence and sovereign rights." Independence, in this case, does not refer to the independence of black slaves. I'd like to know if Senator Allen feels we'd all have been better off if the South had won the Civil War. It's a fair enough question. Mr. Allen loved the old Confederacy so much he displayed the Confederate flag in his living room. He was a little touchy about it, though. When someone accused him of flying the flag in his living room, he took umbrage. "It was never flying," he said. "It was nailed to a wall."
Every Republican should be asked the question hilighted above. How many do you think will be?

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