Cochran and Lott AWOL on Lynching Resolution | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Cochran and Lott AWOL on Lynching Resolution

[Originally posted June 14] In a highly publicized resolution last night, the United States Senate formally apologized for the body's failure over the years to pass a federal anti-lynching law that might have been used for intervene in lynchings that occurred in the past century. The entirely symbolic resolution, co-sponsored by 80 Senators, was passed last night by unanimous voice vote ("All in favor say 'Aye'"). A recorded vote was skipped to, presumably, avoid embarrassing the one Democratic and 19 Republican Senators who decided not to put their names on the resolution as a co-sponsor, including both Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran from Mississippi. Bloggers have noted that both Lott and Cochran voted against federal hate crimes legislation in 2002 as well.

Previous Comments

ID
141311
Comment

I have emailed both of the senators...expressing how I felt about this unexceptable behavior...and think everyone who reads this article should also!! this totally out of line....just goes to prove what they really care about...but they are more than likely funded and supported by the very people whose ancestors carried out most of the lynching here in MS!...but I did not expect any better out of the Trent "racist" Lott....

Author
vern
Date
2005-06-14T12:08:15-06:00
ID
141312
Comment

tsk tsk tsk! Not surprising at all... But a little sad. When are Mississippian's going to wise up and get these BACKWARDS politicians out of office that do little-to-nothing to change the national perspective (including our own) of this state?

Author
kaust
Date
2005-06-14T13:52:40-06:00
ID
141313
Comment

I totally agree Knol...this the exactly the reason when you mention MS internationally the first thing comes to mind is....a noose and burning crosses...but our Senators are proving them correct!!!

Author
vern
Date
2005-06-14T14:59:13-06:00
ID
141314
Comment

Gee, and this comes on the heels of our favorite morning talk host, Larry, saying that the Klan were only responsible for 8 to 10 lynching last week. As if that made it OK for the Klan? I didn't understand why he even mentioned it. Then this morning they were going on and on about how "we" need to get over all this race stuff and move on. "Make a list of everything we should be sorry for and get over it" they said. What a shame! How can we move on when our own representatives from the greatest racist state of MS won't even support a symbolic bill aimed to help reconcile the past. They defy logic when it comes to race and racism. Sure we have made great strides in race relations. Only to have them stepped on by actions like these.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-14T15:26:21-06:00
ID
141315
Comment

"only 8 to 10 lynchings"? Only? What losersóthat talk show is an embarrassment to the state of Mississippi. Best to ignore it as I do. Anyone with half a brain would listen to a show with Larry Nesbit whining on and on and think that Mississippi is exactly what most of the world thinks we are. And Ben Allen needs to work on strengthening his spine if he doesn't believe that crap, too. He's just enabling it ... at best. Just. Say. No. Of course, Lott and Cochran are no better as they proved with this move. Whatódo they really believe that all us lowly, backward Mississippians here in "flyover country" are going to rise up and toss their living-in-the-past a$$es out of there if they vote to *condemn* lynching? Thank you, gentlemen, for once again sending the message to the world that Mississippi is just a bunch of racist hicks. Y'all rock, dudes. This needs to be a campaign issue when both of them are up for re-election. Don't forget. Meantime, all, also don't forget that Mississippians have long been over-represented by the loudest idiots among us -- the ones that make us sound like racists and dumbasses. It is up to the rest of us to ensure that they *are no longer the loudest voices.* We've given them a free pass for too long. Speak up, friends. There is a new generation in this state, and we are sick and tired of being represented this way. Speak up. Go on. It's our turn at the mic.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-14T16:30:14-06:00
ID
141316
Comment

Here is Thad Cochran's statement to the JFP today about his lack of support for the resolution: "I don?t feel I should apologize for the passage or the failure to pass any legislation by the U.S. Senate, but I deplore and regret that lynching occurred and that those committing them were not punished." (Note that this wasn't any kind of binding legislationójust a resolution.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-14T16:35:43-06:00
ID
141317
Comment

What a weak response by Thad. And, I like the guy! These resolutions may just be ho-hum to some, they can speak volumes about our image and if we are taking the steps to change our past. Who were the other senators who didn't sign or support it? I didn't bring up Larry's comment when it happened because we had beat that horse dead the week earlier with the NSun. Again, I had no clue why or what it added to their discussion. Maybe Larry will read this and expand on his "KA-noledge" of the klan, racism and how we must get over it. Or maybe not! ;-) Donna is right. It is up to us to speak louder then the haters who want to perpetuate our image (ie. outside reporters), and the haters who continue to think it is all behind us (ie. locals), so we should get over it.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-14T16:45:52-06:00
ID
141318
Comment

I know: a lot of people like Thad. But it's impossible to respect this. This is the perfect opportunity to send a positive, different message about Mississippi without spending a dime or obligating anybody to a damn thing. But, no. These menówhom I am declaring honorary members of the N-JAM Clubóare not going to help us change Mississippi's reputation and how their own children view the state. So it is up to the rest of us. They've had their chance. We should each and every one of us feel betrayed by this. It is simply mortifying.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-14T16:52:00-06:00
ID
141319
Comment

Now I am ultra PISSED with message Thad has let come out of his mouth! Donna, I do agree they had a chance to shine a positive light on good 'ol MS and they blew it! I will be screaming from the roof tops when election time comes around....I have never put much faith in Thad or Trent....I bet if is was legislation for Stennis (whatever his name is--the other racist pig from MS) they both would have been there front and center!!

Author
vern
Date
2005-06-14T17:18:06-06:00
ID
141320
Comment

Three words: ORGANIZE. MEDIA BLITZ. DATE: November 7, 2006 (less than a year and a half away) Anybody get the picture?

Author
Philip
Date
2005-06-14T17:20:40-06:00
ID
141321
Comment

And, if we don't elect them again, then we will be starting all over in the congressional pecking order. That is one good thing about Bennie, Thad and Lott, excluding party ties, is their tenure which brings MS some clout politically. Oh well...sigh. Also, they will still get elected again because an issue like this will get glossed over and forgotten long before the votes are counted. Apathy wins again! Should we try for another Flag Vote? (I wish, I really like that Magnolia Tree Flag) Sometimes charisma overshadows a persons true flaws.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-14T17:25:03-06:00
ID
141322
Comment

torti...I hate to say it but you could be right...it will get glossed over and they will come out looking lilly white as ususal.....

Author
vern
Date
2005-06-14T17:31:31-06:00
ID
141323
Comment

grrrrr...sorry just had to do it!

Author
vern
Date
2005-06-14T17:32:44-06:00
ID
141324
Comment

No that was good! :-) I mean what was in the heads of the 20 who didn't vote for it? What is the argument on their behalf? At least with the "Hate Crime" Bill (first difference), those who opposed the bill said that we already have laws on the books for heinous murders and crimes, that include capital punishment, that need to be enforced. Weak, yes. But, an argument none the less. Second, it was a resolution (think Kenny Stokes at weekly council meetings) meant to show "how far we have all come" as our morning talk show hosts like to remind us of locally. It is not some new law that will overturn cases and dig up memories of the past. Quite contraire! It is specifically aimed at achieving the goal that they wax so eloquently on and on about daily. Taht is putting the past behind us in a constructive way that is a WIN/WIN for both sides! I donít see how they can find a way to spin this in the news to look any better ñ only worst.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-14T17:49:41-06:00
ID
141325
Comment

it "is" a resolution - it passed! Yea!

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-14T17:50:50-06:00
ID
141326
Comment

Here's the list of current holdouts: http://americablog.blogspot.com/2005/06/final-list-of-senators-refusing-to.html Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Robert Bennett (R-UT) Thad Cochran (R-MS) John Cornyn (R-TX) Michael Crapo (R-ID) Michael Enzi (R-WY) Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Judd Gregg (R-NH) Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Trent Lott (R-MS) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) Richard Shelby (R-AL) John Sununu (R-NH) Craig Thomas (R-WY) George Voinovich (R-OH) According to the blog linked above, it's possible for a Senator to add himself as a co-sponsor to a resolution *after* it's been passed, if he'd like to. (The ethical ramifications of such a thing are mind-blowing, so hopefully that's only something that happens with resolutions and not actual legislation.) So here's an interesting question. Can Mississippi change its Senators' minds? Cochran is on record with a comment that sounds like he (a.) knew about the resolution and (b.) decided against co-sponsorship. That's rough, folks. It means he thinks it would hurt him politically to sign it. As far as I can tell, Lott hasn't said anything about it. Regardless, this is the operative phrase: they can still co-sponsor the bill. In fact, apparently four senators on the original list have done just that, including the lone Democrat. Will they?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-06-14T17:51:34-06:00
ID
141327
Comment

That is some A$$ SAving legislative rules there Todds! How can any of these senators "NOT" jump on the chance to CYA themselves while still being able to tell their back-room buddies, "Hey, I held out Bubba. Got another grand?" Talk about some "John Kerry-like" finesse to this issue if they want to take it!

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-14T17:59:20-06:00
ID
141328
Comment

Oh, thanks for the list! Everybody knows by now where to go to email them! Ok, so go email them! ;-p

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-14T18:00:34-06:00
ID
141329
Comment

In Thad's case if all your support came from old Citizens Council members and there offspring...which translates to KING COTTON money I guess I would not sponsor it either.....yes I am bitter! No I have not heard nothing from Trent...I guess he is trying to get his statement just right so that he won't put his foot in his mouth AGAIN...but honestly it would not surprise me if he went and added his name after the fact...just to look good...

Author
vern
Date
2005-06-14T18:06:18-06:00
ID
141330
Comment

I agree with tortoise, in Lott & Cochran being re-elected, debatable still is rather the majority of the voting constituencies are racists or dumb asses!

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-06-14T18:19:23-06:00
ID
141331
Comment

It sounds to me like it's time for a petition. ;-) This is ridiculous. If Cochran, at least, is who people says he is, he needs to ADD HIS NAME TO THIS RESOLUTION with all deliberate speed.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-14T18:41:42-06:00
ID
141332
Comment

And to repeat, Donna --- November 7, 2006!!!!!!

Author
Philip
Date
2005-06-14T18:43:07-06:00
ID
141333
Comment

Don't worry, Philip, we're hearing you loud and clear. We don't need to EVER return to the horrifying times of Kirk Fordice using the "Mississippi Burning" taunt to be re-elected. It is time to mothball the race-coding and the southern strategy -- if we are who we say we are. It's time to put our money where our mouths are. Sens. Cochran and Lottóplease show the world that Mississippi has indeed changed. Right now, your message on our behalf is deafening, and it is ugly, ugly indeed. Just like all the state legislators who saw the light after we and other media pointed out that they were sandbagging the Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner highway resolution for no good reason -- it is time to fix this mistake. And it is a serious mistake. Sign. The. Resolution.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-14T18:46:57-06:00
ID
141334
Comment

For anyone who didn't get my Fordice reference -- our esteemed former governor taunted challenger Dick Molpus for *apologizing* to the families of the three men on behalf of the state in 1989 for the murders of their loved ones. And he did it during a debate at the Neshoba County Fair just down the road from where the decaying bodies were found. Here's Dick's apology. This southern strategy crap has got to stop. I truly believe the state is moving on from this, even if these old bucks aren't and are trying to use such race-coded messages (as not signing an anti-lynching resolution!) to appeal to the absolute worst among us. Worse still is that they assume that this crap will keep them in power. It has to end. And we all must do everything we can do to end this. The state, and our people, deserve better. And if we don't demand better, how in holy hell can we complain when that woman from Kentucky says she's afraid to send her son to Jackson State? This is our riddle to solve, and we can solve it if we have the courage to stand up to race stereotypes and race coding and say, "No, y'all have been saying and doing that crap here long enough. Mississippians deserve better than this." Please spread the world.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-14T18:53:18-06:00
ID
141335
Comment

While we're talking about Trent and Thad, I found something on Trent's Office's website that is VERY offensive. It's off topic on this particular thread so I started a new thread about it .

Author
Philip
Date
2005-06-14T20:03:37-06:00
ID
141336
Comment

Phillip- the links to Lott's page from your thread no longer work. Coincidence? You decide... At any rate, Mississippi had a real chance to show the world that we have changed a bit from the Mississippi of old. Instead, Lott and Cochran's non-action have set us back 30 years. Thanks guys! I think that the real problem is both Trent and Thad have been away from here for way too long. Perhaps it is time to bring them both home...

Author
Rico
Date
2005-06-14T21:09:41-06:00
ID
141337
Comment

Rico, I thought it was coincidence too... It wouldn't be the first time Trent's had to give treatment to things he's said. It was actually an error in Philip's original post. I've corrected.

Author
kaust
Date
2005-06-14T21:16:03-06:00
ID
141338
Comment

Unfortunately, because they can always count on the white rural vote, Cochran and Lott are probably more or less unbeatable. I'm ashamed to say that I actually voted for Cochran the last time around, but from here on in I'm not--even if his opponent is an unknown independent. This is ridiculous, and (as was true in the case of Lott and the Strom Thurmond debacle) I find the non-apology more offensive than the act that actually inspired the controversy. I know this all ties in with the Fordicean idea that whites should not apologize for the evils of the past because those evils aren't their fault. That's not necessarily an evil idea in and of itself, but the U.S. Senate is an institution, and it is culpable, and it does need to apologize. We need John Grisham to run against Lott in 2006. I can't think of anyone else who would potentially be interested in running and still stands a chance of winning. Mike Moore can't beat Trent Lott; he needs to save his powder and challenge Barbour in 2007. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-06-14T23:14:11-06:00
ID
141339
Comment

here's a thought. lets say they don't think this is necessary...ok. trent...thad...the rest of you non-voting republicans...name for me the policy you DO support to deal directly with racism? not some round the bout crap, but something that any of 'em have done to address the problem of racism in america. *cricket chirp* exactly. Its just like the affirmative action issue. bad idea? GREAT! get rid of it for you the BETTER idea you have! what's that? you don't HAVE a better idea to replace it with? oh. i see. bottom line? conservatives don't ever fix anything.

Author
jp!
Date
2005-06-14T23:18:11-06:00
ID
141340
Comment

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name is of course that Lott and Cochran both benefit immensely from racism, so it would be against their best interests to fight it. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-06-14T23:23:23-06:00
ID
141341
Comment

the sad part is that i really think that isn't true TH. i think they've been there too long and are too powerful for it to matter. they don't have to pander to the racist and if they didn't, the vote wouldn't dry up for them. i really don't believe it would be a problem. the problem is that if i'm right...and i'm being pretty nice to say all that...well, if i'm right, then that means they don't realize they can stop playing to the racist vote OR they don't WANT to. either way, it speaks volumes about the unwillingness to represent the modern Mississippian. its either sad or pathetic. they can choose.

Author
jp!
Date
2005-06-14T23:55:29-06:00
ID
141342
Comment

The Clarion-Ledger editorializes today about the lynching resolution: The bi-partisan resolution noted the failure of the Senate to act on more than 200 anti-lynching bills that were approved by the House. The resolution had 80 sponsors and passed unanimously. Notably missing from its sponsors were Mississippi Sens. Trent Lott and Thad Cochran. [...] Cochran and Lott should have made more effort to support this resolution of conscience. "Made more effort"? Whoa, you tell 'em good, Ledge! How about calling for these two esteemed senators to add their names to that resolution forthwith???

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-15T09:39:11-06:00
ID
141343
Comment

i must ask in complete honesty what do any of you expect they have shown and will continue to show that they have little if any respect for the crimes that allowed them to be seated where they are and until poor white mississippians are able to understand that they are being played there is no hope none and that is reality at some point someone must understand that we are in the same boat there is no excuse for this and to paraphrase jefferson i weep for them if God is just

Author
skipp
Date
2005-06-15T12:19:46-06:00
ID
141344
Comment

...the article in the Clarion-Liar stated that Thad did sponsor other bill benefiting Native Americans and Japanese....which is fine....if you are gonna be like that then be consistent across the board (don't sign nothing) BUT he has singled out African-Americans basically stating that I do not care about that race of people past or present...I can take a snake I just prefer one with "rattles" so that I know he is present....

Author
vern
Date
2005-06-15T12:47:03-06:00
ID
141345
Comment

Thanks, knol. For some reason, I have trouble mastering the forum linkings (as you see in other of my posts : ( )

Author
Philip
Date
2005-06-15T18:04:04-06:00
ID
141346
Comment

i sent a personal letter to both senators about this as well as the following (open) letter to the editor of the C-L. it is deeply frustrating to see someone in power so unwilling to do so little. Letter to the CL: The US Senate passed a resolution this week that would officially apologize for their refusing to pass anti-lynching legislation to protect our citizens from mob violence. It is with great shame that I see our US Senators avoid even showing up for the vote. Thad Cochran's claim (in this paper) that HE wasn't personally responsible for the votes and thus shouldn't be part of the apology rings both sour and hollow note. Our senators would do well to remember that this state's Senators worked hard to derail such legislation. We always lead the nation in lynching deaths and always worked to strip away any protection against mob violence. This fact is not on the rest of the nation. This refusal to act brings us BACK into that same, ill light. Senators, you reprent present day Mississippi in Washington--not yourself or the racists of the past. Sometime the children must take responsibility for the acts of their fathers. The two of you could not be bothered, it seems.

Author
jp!
Date
2005-06-16T07:49:41-06:00
ID
141347
Comment

this is the first time i have posted to this site, although i frequently enjoying reading it. i just could not continue to read what has been written about thad cochran without saying anything. he is a principled man, and from what i have heard he decided it was a bad practice for the senate to start apologizing for all the legislation that the senate never passed...that could go on forever. thad cochran was the first congressman from misssissippi to hire a black staffer, even when the democrats would not do it. from what i understand, he does not display the mississippi flag in front of his office in washington (like every other senator does) because he understands it is offensive to some. thad cochran has done more to heal racial problems in mississippi than any other elected official ever even thought of doing. he should not be criticized for being principled in his decisions, regardless of how the media spins this story.

Author
Monroe
Date
2005-06-16T08:12:59-06:00
ID
141348
Comment

how the media spins this story...okay i see now we blame the media for his position this is what i mean when i say that we are getting tricked into side issues the hiring of a black staffer has nothing to do with anything Zora Neal Hurston said it best "all of my skin folk aint my kinfolk" so the black friend argument is pointless and serves no purpose the issue is Cochrans principles and he showed us his true position when it comes to principle any principle that involves African descendents in america everyone has gotten an apology from this government except us Indians Asians Mexicans the only people that wont be apologized to are Africans and Cubans so may Cochran and the people he represents be ashamed for this racist position whether it is "principled" or not hollajack

Author
skipp
Date
2005-06-16T09:48:15-06:00
ID
141349
Comment

thad cochran has done more to heal racial problems in mississippi than any other elected official ever even thought of doing. he should not be criticized for being principled in his decisions, regardless of how the media spins this story. First, Monroe, thanks for joining in. I hope you'll stick around and discuss other issues. Second, I don't think that Cochran is being criticized for *being principled* in this matter -- I think he's being criticize for the principle that he's invoking. And perhaps its because of his moderate record on race issues that he is attacked more harshly for this apparent gaffe than is Lott, who is expected to walk around looking stupid. I think a lot of people are surprised that Cochran would take the stance that this resolution is inappropriate -- partly because resolutions having fairly frequently in the Senate and they're often used to right past injustice or to speak to the concerns of specific constituencies. For instance, Cochran has, in the past, co-sponsored an "Arts Education Month" resolution, the "National American Indian Heritage Month" resolution, a "Greater Civic Awareness" resolution, the 2005 "Year of Foreign Language Study" resolution, the "National Home Education Week" resolution and a resolution declaring November 25, 1991 "National Military Families Recognition Day" (his co-sponsor was John Kerry). In other words, he and other senators appear to feel that work on resolutions is worth a reasonable chunk of their time. Six Southern senators failed to co-sponsor the resolution: Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Thad Cochran (R-MS) John Cornyn (R-TX) Kay Hutchinson (R-TX) Trent Lott (R-MS) Richard Shelby (R-AL) Kentucky, Viriginia, Alabama, OK, FL, the Carolinas -- all signatories. I think if Mr. Cochran is standing on principle then perhaps he needs to get back from Paris (sorry, easy dig) and elaborate upon that principle, perhaps with an Op-Ed piece. We are happy to provide him a forum for it.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-06-16T09:58:10-06:00
ID
141350
Comment

skipp, punctuation is your friend. Or, at least it's my friend, when I'm trying to understand your posts. There's this excellent example, on the different ways women and men punctuate "a woman without her man is nothing." There's: "A woman, without her man, is nothing." And: "A woman: without her, man is nothing."

Author
kate
Date
2005-06-16T10:10:56-06:00
ID
141351
Comment

skipp, you may not consider some of the black men and women who moved from mississippi to washington to work for sen. cochran to be your kinfolk but i think they would take a lot of offense to your accusation that thad cochran is racist. my point about cochran hiring them is not that cochran befriended a black person, but that he did not care what the political ramifications were from hiring them (even when the democrats were too scared to)...he hired them anyway.

Author
Monroe
Date
2005-06-16T10:53:58-06:00
ID
141352
Comment

he is a principled man, and from what i have heard he decided it was a bad practice for the senate to start apologizing for all the legislation that the senate never passed...that could go on forever. I've been thinking more about this portion of your response, because it seems to the be crux of Cochran's argument -- and I'm seeing that Lamar Alexander is using similar logic in some pieces I've read about his lack of support for the resolution. But the simple truth is that supporting this resolution doesn't force anyone to support any other resolutions. This resolution stands alone, and, as far as I can tell, sets no precendent for any particular Senator to support a bad resolution down the road -- and it would seem that would be doubly true for a Senator who is also a man of principle. If some future Senator stands up and demands a Senate resolution apologizing to Jane Fonda, and Mr. Cochran is *really against* that one, he doesn't have to co-sponsor it. In January, 99 Senators co-sponsored a resolution praising the Iraqis for their recent elections. In June, only 84 Senators (at last count) co-sponsored this resolution (brought by two Southern Senators) to apologize to the Senate's inability to pass a federal anti-lynching statute over the course of 100 years of that despicable practice, despite the fact that the House had passed such a bill at least three times. Cochran may be a principled as a matter of course, but I think in this case he's chosen the wrong principle.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-06-16T11:12:48-06:00
ID
141353
Comment

monroe, that is what makes Thad's decision all the more odious. he IS a principled man and he HAS done formal resolutions of apology for acts that he himself didn't do. that is precisely why his excuse is so thin. it isn't just a matter of the bills the senate didn't pass. the fact is that Miss. was lynching people by the hundreds--more than any other state--and Miss. Senators were some of the most active in BLOCKING such legislation. The fact is he's co-authored apology letters to the native american tribes of north america and the japanese of internment camps during WW2--all of which he had nothing to do with personally--and now this, which CLEARLY ties to Miss., somehow violates a 'rule' he has. at best its insincere. this sort of thing i expect from Lott--not from Thad. more to the point, it is a resolution that wasn't just voted on, it was co-authored by 85 of 100 senators. for him not to join in and somehow think that isn't a statement on the matter is ludacris. on another note, when the actual vote came down, Frist refused to recognize or the effort to make this a rollcall vote, so that it would be in the record who would and would not vote on the matter. we get a voice vote to help hide people from posterity. cowards.

Author
jp!
Date
2005-06-16T12:32:58-06:00
ID
141354
Comment

Monroe frankly I don't care if Thad's entire staff was black and that is not the point.....and after this stunt any African-Americans on his staff should QUIT!

Author
vern
Date
2005-06-16T13:54:40-06:00
ID
141355
Comment

First time poster so sorry if it's been discussed and dismissed. I saw Thad's reasoning as this resolution was a bad precedent for issuing senate apologies for everything under the sun. You all have brought up previous resolutions he has signed on but, correct me if I'm wrong, they were resolutions of support or cogratulatory in nature, not apologetic. If that is, in fact, his stance, he reflects my opinion on the lynching resolution. I think it is a waste of time to issue all these unbinding resolutions and, pardon me for saying it, I think is was nothing more than grand-standing. I wish all politicians would quit wasting our time with exercises like this and do the jobs for which they were elected.

Author
crpiii
Date
2005-06-16T14:08:58-06:00
ID
141356
Comment

no, they were apologetic. at least the one towards those in internment camps in WW2 and i THINK one concerning the plight of native americans.

Author
jp!
Date
2005-06-16T14:47:07-06:00
ID
141357
Comment

I think it is a waste of time to issue all these unbinding resolutions and, pardon me for saying it, I think is was nothing more than grand-standing. I wish all politicians would quit wasting our time with exercises like this and do the jobs for which they were elected. I see this logic, but I think the premise is faulty. If Cochran was co-sponsoring a *rules change* that would keep the Senate from considering non-binding resolutions that take up valuable time on the Senate floor, that would be a matter of principle. But the fact is that his failure to co-sponsor this resolution didn't take *any less time* than it would have to support it. And his failure to co-sponsor this bill is *not* going to stop non-binding resolutions -- like the one he consponsored earlier this year to declare 2005 the year of Foreign Language Study -- for him to fail to co-sponsor this bill. Ergo, his decision was political. He wants to be on record communicating that he doesn't think the Senate should make this apology. Now, we can compare this to interrment and other extraordinary cases. But it's worth stepping back and placing lynching in its context. The lack of federal anti-lynching laws are an *extraordinary* case in our nation's history, clearly a Constitutional issue that was overlooked for a century and, as a legislative body, I think the Senate should be on record as recognizing that failure. If it sets a precedent of any kind that the Senate apologizes for allowing mobs to overturn the Bill of Rights against certain citizens and kill them for offenses pretended or imagined, then what, exactly, is the problem?! I suggest if your response to this is "what's the big deal," then you *really* need to consider closely what lynching was and what it meant for a nation like ours to have ever condoned it. Cochran is on the wrong side of this one. Plus, like I said, in the future if there's a resolution that comes up that doesn't merit the apology, Cochran should make his case then. The idea that this resolution somehow gets in the way of legitimate Senate business, however, rings hollow for me, and it hasn't been a problem for Cochran in the past.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-06-16T15:40:07-06:00
ID
141358
Comment

Todds, just to clarify... I think Cochran's stance was that we should set the precedent of the Senate issuing apologies for every error made in the past. It was MY opinion, not his, that all nonbinding resolutions are a waste time. They DO take up valuable time on the Senate floor and it's time I would rather them spend on the other points of business at hand. I was not stating that this was Cochran's purpose in not signing the non-binding resolution. I have never intimated that our country's abhorant history of lynchings is "no big deal." I could never dismiss the stain that they leave on the fabric of the country and this state. However, I think this resolution was nothing more than a media activity and I, for one, have grown very tired of these type of activites. No apology from the Senate floor will bring to life those that died, nor will it change the minds of those sick individuals that participated in those terrible acts.

Author
crpiii
Date
2005-06-16T15:59:25-06:00
ID
141359
Comment

I think Cochran's stance was that we should set the precedent of the Senate issuing apologies for every error made in the past. How would this possibly set that "precedent"? It makes no sense to me that members of a governmental body apologizing for that body not doing what it should have done to prevent one of the most abhorrent series of crimes perpetuated on U.S. soil (that was done to terrorize Americans, literally) would somehow translate into setting a precedent of apologizing for every little error. That's absurd. It is also classic excuse-making and insults our intelligence. I expect better from Cochran, if not from Lott. This week, they are both embarrassing the state of Mississippi and clearly because they are afraid to offend racist voters. I shudder at what this means.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-16T16:19:49-06:00
ID
141360
Comment

crpiii: I think it is a waste of time to issue all these unbinding resolutions and, pardon me for saying it, I think is was nothing more than grand-standing. I wish all politicians would quit wasting our time with exercises like this and do the jobs for which they were elected. And how much time would Cochran and Lott have wasted if they, the two senators from the state that lynched more people than any other, said "Yea" instead of not saying anything? They refused to support this resolution for the same reason Lott refused to issue a credible explanation when he said Strom Thurmond should have won the presidency, and the same reason Barbour never asked for his photo to be removed from the Council of Conservative Citizens web site: For all their token, non-material "support" for African Americans, they know where their real base comes from. I agree with Donna. This demonstrates that Lott and Cochran are both beholden to rural white racists. There is no other plausible explanation. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-06-16T16:35:07-06:00
ID
141361
Comment

Much as I dislike his policies, I've gone out on a limb and defended Lott's little speech to Strom Thurmond. I really believed that what he said was taken out of context, and used against him to take away some of his power. I really hate witch hunt tactics, even when they come from the camp that I support! Now I find out that Lott really is just your plain old run-of-the-mill racist. It sickens me...

Author
Rico
Date
2005-06-16T18:28:06-06:00
ID
141362
Comment

Todds, just to clarify... I think Cochran's stance was that we should set the precedent of the Senate issuing apologies for every error made in the past. Fair enough. That's my interpretation of what he said to us as well. And I think it's bullsh*t. :-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-06-16T18:38:28-06:00
ID
141363
Comment

Rico, agreed on witch hunt tactics in general. To be honest I was never offended by Lott's initial comment; I thought it was a sweet thing to say to a man on his 100th birthday, and I might have said it myself if I knew Thurmond. But he had the opportunity to explain what he meant, and he went into full-blown Clintonian "that depends on your definition of 'is'" mode. He could have handled it in so many ways. I think I would have chosen humor; "Well, obviously I meant the integrationist Strom Thurmond" or something. But what he chose was a stiff non-denial denial, like he'd just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar and wanted to stay out of trouble and still get his cookie. And now here he is several years later, with his hand still in the same damn cookie jar. Nobody of Lott's intelligence level makes a fool out of himself that many times on the same issue unless he has a reason to. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-06-16T18:52:37-06:00
ID
141364
Comment

rico, the strom deal could be 'out of context' if it wasn't IN the context of Lott's political career.

Author
jp!
Date
2005-06-16T18:56:57-06:00
ID
141365
Comment

Question- if the racists really are so powerful in this state, why doesn't Richard Barrett get more votes when he runs for something? At this point, he would get *my* vote if he ran against either Thad or Trent- it's like what was stated earlier, when dealing with snakes, it's better to be able to see and hear the rattles... Anyone know anybody at the tourism department? I have a great new slogan to replace "Only positive Mississippi spoken here". "Mississippi- Our Senators have Principles!"

Author
Rico
Date
2005-06-16T23:30:16-06:00
ID
141366
Comment

Rico, that gets EXACTLY to the point i made first off. they AREN'T that powerful here. our senators are popular and powerful enough that they could have come up with the idea for this resolution and it wouldn't hurt their popularity one bit. hell, recall trent lot getting on BET and talking about LIKING affirmative action? now we all know that was BS but do you think that's gonna effect the voter turnout for him? heck no! the real problem is that these senators standing up on these issues has more meaning because of WHO they are and where they come from. there IS NO political fallout for them...at least none substantial enough to effect their careers, and yet they refuse to act. THAT is why it speaks volumes about these men and that is why it is shameful. there is a different context here for us and for them than, say...Judd Gregg & John Sununu from New Hampshire.

Author
jp!
Date
2005-06-17T07:51:32-06:00
ID
141367
Comment

Yes, JP!, I would certainly agree with that. Even if Lott and Cochran *were* in the pocket of the White Citizens Council, it seems like they could have both put their names on this resolution, as it really has no teeth and could be easily interpreted as just "throwing us a bone". I've been thinking and thinking about this thing- even wrote ol' Trent a letter voicing my displeasure (no reply- no suprise)... The only thing that I can come up with is that it might be in their best interest to keep Mississippi down. As our image improves, we are better able to attract new industry (casinos, Nissan, etc.). More new industry attracts more new people. And the more new people that we have coming in, the more their (Lott and Cochran's) power base erodes. That is the only thing I can come up with- can those guys really be that greedy?

Author
Rico
Date
2005-06-17T12:41:58-06:00
ID
141368
Comment

rico, you're trying to hard to find a reason. The reason is base a pathetic.

Author
jp!
Date
2005-06-17T12:51:19-06:00
ID
141369
Comment

Perhaps, but I just can't see any other reason except maybe: I seem to recall Lott ran unopposed last time. I don't remember if Cochran had an opponent. I don't know how it is for people running for the Senate, but I do know that people that run for office below that level (for example the state house and senate) are allowed to keep any unspent campaign funds. Supposedly, that was why Musgrove took a dive- instead of spending his campaign money in the last few crucial weeks of the gubenatorial race he chose instead to pocket the money- estimated to be over a million dollars! Anyway, I would bet that it is pretty hard to raise campaign funds if you are running unopposed. Maybe they are both trying to make sure that someone runs against them next time... Still grabbing at straws here....

Author
Rico
Date
2005-06-17T13:11:18-06:00
ID
141370
Comment

well, that 'golden parachute' as they call it wasn't the issue in the musgrove campaign (which i had the ability to see firsthand). hey man, i'm not knocking your suppositions, i'm just saying don't grab at straws. it isn't that complicated. why do something that overtly snubs 40% of your population when there's no political benefit to do it and little fall out (from your base) if you don't. the thing is that it is isn't a priority. it just isn't. there are a variety of reasons, and thad's hiring policies aside, their voting record is not reflective of supporting anything dealing with the black community. (try to name two items that they co-authored that directly effected or dealt with black people in a positive, even superficial way. what? you can't? me neither. the reason is racism or disregard or somewhere inbetween. which it is, is up to anyone's guess. the problem is that their voting record, particularly Lott's sorta narrows down our guesses.

Author
jp!
Date
2005-06-17T13:22:39-06:00
ID
141371
Comment

Roll Call did a story that interviewed some of the holdouts or picked their comments up from state publications. From Cochran: Most outspoken has been Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who stood his ground against a series of home-state news reports and editorials critical of his decision. Cochran has taken the position that the bill deals with the failure of previous Senates on the lynching issue, something he shouldnít have to apologize for even though he would have supported anti-lynching measures had he been in the Senate during the civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s. ìI donít feel I should apologize for the passage of or the failure to pass any legislation by the U.S. Senate. But I deplore and regret that lynchings occurred and that those committing them were not punished,î he said in a statement last week. In an interview with his stateís largest paper, the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, he pointedly noted that the paper had not apologized for its 50 years of editorials in support of segregation. And Lott? Two Senators, Trent Lott (Miss.) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.), could not be reached for comment about their decisions against signing on to the bill. From what I can tell, he's dodging it completely.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-06-19T20:39:18-06:00
ID
141372
Comment

Well, Lott never did bother to respond to my e-mail, though I was very polite in my comments. Who will run against him in 2006?

Author
Rico
Date
2005-06-19T21:01:58-06:00
ID
141373
Comment

that cochran explaination would be fine if it didn't contradict a history of similar non-binding resolutions that he's voted for over the last few decades. too lazy to miss the pairs airshow or a coward. its down to one of the two. maybe both. i think he didn't wanna miss a trip to Paris.

Author
jp!
Date
2005-06-19T22:23:29-06:00
ID
141374
Comment

Update: Seven of the 20 senators have since signed on to support the resolution, though neither Lott nor Cochran are among them. The resolution is now supported 87-13. http://capitolbuzz.blogspot.com/2005/06/senators-who-refused-to-co-sponsor.html Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-06-22T03:27:17-06:00
ID
141375
Comment

yup. they can sign on after the fact, but who cares right? doesn't have anything to do with them right? i mean, that's what they're up there for...to represent themselves, not us--right?

Author
jp!
Date
2005-06-22T07:14:06-06:00
ID
141376
Comment

A great editorial about Lott and Cockran regarding their lack of support.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-22T07:34:00-06:00
ID
141377
Comment

Tortoise: I read that piece in this morning's paper and I can understand where it's coming from but there's a glaring error that I couldn't get beyond. The three men in Philly were not lynched, they were shot and, in Chaney's case, beaten. That really bothered me and is something that I would think a writer of Rasberry's status would know.

Author
crpiii
Date
2005-06-22T08:58:44-06:00
ID
141378
Comment

crpiii, Actually, the three men were lynched. I assume you're thinking "lynch" means "hang." It doesn't, although that was a frequent means for "lynching." American Heritage defines it thusly: To execute without due process of law, especially to hang, as by a mob. Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were lynched in textbook fashion, you could sayówith the help of law enforcement and the protection of local law at the time. It is important to understand that the main reason FEDERAL lynching legislation was needed was because law enforcement and even local government were involved in some way. Therefore, it became a federal, or constitutional issue. This wasn't about just about passing a federal law against killing someone. It was about passing federal legislation to stop organized violence by the state against a certain race of people. It is a very, very dark stain on the country that the Senate would not pass it then, and a very dark stain now that Lott and Cochran would not sign onto the resolution last week. At the very best, it shows the ignorance that still prevails even about what lynching is/was. And I'm not directing that at youófrankly, if you don't know because we haven't talked enough about it or studied it in school or had our public officials addresses our ugly lynching record, then it's not your fault that you don't know the definition. I'm really hoping that a lot of education about this issue will come out of this now. That's the best part about the resolutiuon coming up in the first place ó to open up such discussions.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-22T09:09:39-06:00
ID
141379
Comment

Also, we also have an editorial about this in today's issue. I'll try to post the Killen-related stories early in the day, rather than later, being that everyone's talking about this today. And the cover is about to go. It's a "wow," thanks to Kate Medley.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-22T09:11:06-06:00
ID
141380
Comment

Thanks, Ladd. I did not know much of what you just wrote. Looking forward to more.... Steph

Author
Steph
Date
2005-06-22T09:19:49-06:00
ID
141381
Comment

As I understand it, there is also a question of whether Chaney was beaten. There was put out initially and reported all over (and I have reported it), but as I understand now, I'm not sure it's been resolved. The official causes of death are a gunshot to the head of Mickey Schwerner, and gunshots to the chest of J.E. Chaney and Andy Goodman.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-22T09:20:00-06:00
ID
141382
Comment

No problem, Steph. This is important stuff. Here's another explanation of lynching that seems pretty accurate; it includes the origin of the name, which I also find that most people don't know about: Killing of an alleged offender by an individual or group having no legal authority. In the USA it originated in 1780 with creation of a ëcommittee of vigilanceí in Virginia; it is named after a member of that committee, Captain William Lynch, to whom is attributed ëLynchís lawí. Later examples occurred mostly in the Southern states after the Civil War, and were racially motivated. During 1882ñ1900 the annual number of lynchings in the USA varied between 96 and 231, but today it is an exceptional occurrence. Source This stuff should be prominent in our American history classes, no? By the way, if you're a teacher, there's a great thing going in Neshoba County today about teaching civil rights in the curriculum. Read about it here. You don't have to be there from the beginning, teachers, so please go on over and join in. And you can be part of history just by being in Neshoba County this week.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-22T09:40:17-06:00
ID
141383
Comment

I'm with so many of the rest of you - what would these two have lost if they had signed on? It's not as though their voter base will vote for someone else next time, is it? It wouldn't have cost them a darn thing. I don't understand why they initially refused, but I can understand why they won't sign on now. I suspect that each of them wishes, by now, that they had just voted "yes" and gone on. I'm afraid doing so now will feel to them as though they are agreeing with all the bad pub they've gotten and admitting that everything negative that's been written about them was right. I'm not sure they can be magnanimous enough to swallow that much crow. It may come down to whether the public appears to see them as standing with the Klan or not. That perception, if written about in the media enough, or apparent enough in mail to them, might make it a choice between eating crow or swallowing Jim Crow poison.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-06-22T10:26:38-06:00
ID
141384
Comment

I stand corrected.

Author
crpiii
Date
2005-06-22T13:12:42-06:00
ID
141385
Comment

C.W., I agree; they are between a rock and a hard place. And they put themselves there. I hope they are hearing from every single good Mississippian out there who know that an apology costs nothing. And I hope they realize starting right now that we are not the Mississippians they think we are and act like we and tell the world we are. We must stand up to this and say, "enough." There is never shame in apologizing for a wrong. Never. Ever.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-22T14:20:42-06:00
ID
141386
Comment

Everyone in the Senate voted for the apology because it passed unanimously.

Author
Monroe
Date
2005-06-22T15:48:14-06:00
ID
141387
Comment

I don't think that it is too late for Lott; Cochran already outed himself with that lame excuse, but to the best of my knowledge there has been nothing but silence from Lott's office. What if he were to just say "I was out of town when the vote was taken, of course I agree with it and will sign it..."? It would be better than nothing- hell, the rest of the world *expects* us to be a little slow about these things...

Author
Rico
Date
2005-06-22T17:29:06-06:00

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