Volume 5, Issue 2 University of Houston
In a whole Lott-a trouble
It's a known fact that racists are going to sneak their way into office in this country, but did anyone think they would be stupid enough to make their sentiments public? Apparently, Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss) is.
Lott is desperately trying to clean the slate of his career, smudged most recently by comments he made Dec. 5 that Strom Thurmond should've been elected president in 1948. Should've, could've, would've -- looks like Lott should've thought about the political consequences of his words.
President Bush spoke out against the Senator's comments, and most recently, White House advisers have told the press that Bush won't go out of his way to save Lott, should the Jan. 6 GOP meeting decide to cut Lott from the majority leader position. The Bush administration can't afford to have love for someone who spoke affectionately about a presidential candidate who ran on a pro-segregation platform.
Sure, the Senator has apologized. He's even appeared in a 30-minute interview on Black Entertainment Television. And in his fourth public apology, he mentioned the fact that he is no longer opposed to the celebration of Martin Luther King Day (he voted against it back in the day) or affirmative action.
But African-Americans, including NAACP chairman Julian Bond, aren't buying the sweet talk. "He kept saying 'I made a mistake,'" Bond told AP radio. "But he didn't make one mistake. His whole public life has been a mistake."
The Houston Chronicle reported that some Republican aides are worrying Lott may have no choice other than to resign his Senate seat, jeopardizing the GOP's majority and equalizing the Senate at 50-50.
The GOP probably wouldn't want that to happen and will no doubt try to coax a humiliated Lott into sticking around with a chairmanship or some other perk.
In either case, it's better if he stepped down. While he may or may not have been speaking for Mississippi, he certainly wasn't speaking for the Senate, much less the country with his "offhand" remarks. A good politician, a good citizen, should know better.