President William Jefferson Clinton delivered the eulogy for Senator Robert Byrd who died at the age of 92 this week. Whether or not Byrd’s life and service as a Senator is remembered positively, the stain of racism and the KKK follows him after his death. But, the former President’s laudatory remarks were both laughable and enraging.
“There are a lot of people who wrote these eulogies for Senator Byrd, and the newspapers, and I read a bunch of them. And they mentioned that he once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan. And what does that mean?” [Emphasis Added]
Fleeting? Really? Bill, that’s like saying, “I bumped into Monica.” Or, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
Byrd joined the ranks of the KKK when 24 and rose to the top officer of his unit. Byrd held the titles Kleagle (recruiter) and Exalted Cyclops. It seems a bit more than a “fleeting association”. Joining and rising in an organization is more than a “fleeting association”. That’s all well and good, and Senator Byrd apologized time and again for his “fleeting association”.
But apparently, the feeling, the “a jejune and immature outlook” never left him; well at least not before 1964 when he and the DEMOCRATS filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But, wait, he changed his outlook after that bill passed. Nope. He again was against the Civil Rights Act of 1965.
“In 2005, Byrd told The Washington Post that his membership in the Baptist Church led to a change in his views. In the opinion of one reviewer, Byrd, like other Southern and border-state Democrats, came to realize that he would have to temper “his blatantly segregationist views” and move to the Democratic Party mainstream if he wanted to play a role nationally”
Good, he was drug kicking and screaming into the mainstream and DID vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
Oh, and the ‘racist’ Republican Party was there supporting Civil Rights… …long before you.