I was planning on posting something else for today's DRB (well, actually, I was planning on just saying "fuck it" and shutting the blog down). But with the news of Jesse Helms' passing, I feel obligated to post, as have so many others (and there's a big round-up here).
I was unprepared for this development, so I'm basically just cribbing the same quotes as on all those pages, and some earlier stuff, too. So here goes:
While working on the primary campaign against Frank Porter Graham, Helms helped create an ad that 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 doctored to illustrate the allegation that Graham's wife had danced with a black man.
Wikipedia summation of the portion of the FAIR article citing the Charlotte News and Observer article "To Mold a Nation - Part 1", 26 August 2001.
Here are some of Jesse's more fair-minded quotes:
On homosexuals: "degenerate, morally sick wretches."
On blacks: "Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced."
On black civil-rights activists: "communists and sex perverts."
His record on race is, in fact, a step below deplorable. In his 1990 U.S. Senatorial campaign, in which he ran against a black man named Harvey Gantt, he eagerly used the politics of race to his advantage.
Helms' campaign ran this television ad: On the screen a pair of white hands appears. The hands crumple up a rejected job application while a voice-over intones, "You needed that job ... but they had to give it to a minority."
"Prehistoric Republicans bid adieu", Daily Nebraskan, 10 September 2001
Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced.
New York Times Magazine, 8 February 1981
She's a damn lesbian. I am not going to put a lesbian in a position like that [assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development]. If you want to call me a bigot, fine.
Part of that can be found in this MSNBC article.
I was a senior when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. Roughly 2,000 of us joined a vigil on the quad for several days. The vigil was an instrument of our grieving and a voice for racial justice on Duke's campus. Higher wages and union recognition for the non-academic employees—cooks, food-servers, maids, and janitors, most of whom were black—became the focal issue. We sat peacefully and largely silent day and night, studying for finals, listening to Dr. King's speeches and singing "We Shall Overcome" every hour. To this day I count it as a major event in my spiritual formation.
Jesse Helms came on the television and said that all of the students sitting on the quad at Duke should ask their parents if it would be all right for their son or daughter to "marry a Negro" (Duke students were practically all white in those days). Unless the student's parents approved of that prospect, Helms advised, he or she should go back to class. We all took the words as vindication for our cause.
From this article.
And this is just skimming the surface; that man had a lot more hate he shared with the world.