Racist, homophobe Jesse Helms is dead

NOTE FROM JOHN: Pig.

ANOTHER NOTE FROM JOHN: AP could only find one negative quote that Helms made? They’re making him sound like Garrison Keillor.

One of the most hateful men in American politics is dead:

Former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, a North Carolina Republican who became an icon to conservatives, died Friday at the age of 86, a senior congressional source told CNN.

Can’t even begin to think of anything nice to say about this guy — but a lot of other people will start praising Helms as if none of the hateful stuff matters. The hateful stuff matters. Let’s reminisce on the life of one of America’s biggest bigots who ruined the lives of so many.

Jesse Helms on “negroes”:

As an aide to the 1950 Senate campaign of North Carolina Republican candidate Willis Smith, Helms reportedly helped create attack ads against Smith’s opponent, including one which read: “White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife and your daughters, in your mills and factories? Frank Graham favors mingling of the races.” Another ad featured photographs Helms himself had doctored to illustrate the allegation that Graham’s wife had danced with a black man. (The News and Observer, 8/26/01; The New Republic, 6/19/95; The Observer, 5/5/96; Hard Right: The Rise of Jesse Helms, by Ernest B. Furgurson, Norton, 1986)

The University of North Carolina was “the University of Negroes and Communists.” (Capital Times, 11/22/94) Black civil rights activists were “Communists and sex perverts.” (Copley News Service, 8/23/01)

Of civil rights protests Helms wrote, “The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that’s thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men’s rights.” (WRAL-TV commentary, 1963) He also wrote, “Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced.” (New York Times, 2/8/81)

Helms on “degenerate, weak, sick homosexuals”:

Over the years Helms has declared homosexuality “degenerate,” and homosexuals “weak, morally sick wretches.” (Newsweek, 12/5/94) In a tirade highlighting his routine opposition to AIDS research funding, Helms lashed out at the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS bill in 1988: “There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy.” (States News Service, 5/17/88)

Helms being a racist:

And the man ABC News now describes as a “conservative icon” (8/22/01) in 1993 sang “Dixie” in an elevator to Carol Moseley-Braun, the first African-American woman elected to the Senate, bragging, “I’m going to make her cry. I’m going to sing Dixie until she cries.” (Chicago Sun-Times, 8/5/93)

Helms filibusters making Martin Luther King day a national holiday:

A year before the election, when public polls showed Helms trailing by 20 points, he launched a Senate filibuster against the bill making the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. a national holiday. (David Broder, Washington Post, Aug, 29, 2001)

On cutting AIDS funding:

Sen. Jesse Helms says the government should spend less money on people with AIDS because they got sick as a result of “deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct,” The New York Times reported Wednesday….

“We’ve got to have some common sense about a disease transmitted by people deliberately engaging in unnatural acts,” Helms told the Times.

And before anyone says that Helms came around on AIDS in his later years. No he didn’t. He came around on AIDS in Africa. Still didn’t want to help Americans with AIDS because, you know, they were homersexuals.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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