Friday, July 04, 2008

Jesse Helms dead at 86

Jesse Helms died today in his home state of North Carolina at age 86, according to news reports. ''America lost a great public servant and true patriot today,'' White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

In fact, the conservative former Republican senator was a bigot who fought against the United Nations, gay rights, art and helping AIDS patients. I can’t say I’m sad to see him gone.

Here are some of his worst hits (from the NY Times' archives):

"It is interesting to note that the Nobel Peace Prize won't be awarded this year. When one recalls that Martin Luther King got the prize last year, it may be just as well that the committee decided not to award one this year. Perhaps it was too difficult to choose between Stokely Carmichael and Ho Chi Minh." – television commentary, 1966.

"Think about it. Homosexuals and lesbians, disgusting people marching in our streets demanding all sorts of things, including the right to marry each other. How do you like them apples?" – campaign speech, quoted in The Los Angeles Times, October 28, 1990.

“Nothing positive happened to Sodom and Gomorrah,” he said, “and nothing positive is likely to happen to America if our people succumb to the drumbeats of support for the homosexual lifestyle.”

On seeking to reduce the amount of federal money spent on AIDS sufferers in 1995, because, he told The New York Times, it is their "deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct" that is responsible for their disease: “We've got to have some common sense about a disease transmitted by people deliberately engaging in unnatural acts."


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