Fun With Media Distortion, or Strom Didn't Say "Negro"...
I should have known better than to trust the AP or CNN or the New York Times on this one... Anyway, as Chloe Lopez brought to my attention, the Thurmond quote in my cartoon (taken from an Associated Press report) is incorrect. According to the AP, Thurmond said the following in a 1948 presidential campaign speech:
All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negroes into our homes, our schools, our churches."
If you listen to audio recordings, however, the transcript is a bit different:
I want to tell you, ladies and gentleman, that there's not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theatres, into our swimming pools, into our homes and into our churches. (wild applause)
Now there are other differences as well, since there don't seem to be any bayonets involved in the second quote. So it seems possible that the quotes are from two different points in the speech, or from different speeches. But that doesn't change the fact that the second quote is being ignored in the media, or that it is a more accurate characterization of the presidential platform Lott got so wistful for.
- But, as they used to say on Reading Rainbow, you don't have to take my word for it. You can hear it for yourself in RealAudio from the National Public Radio archives (link also on this page). Also worth hearing:
- Brief Morning Edition report, includes audio of Lott and Daschle's remarks at Thurmond’s birthday (aired 12/10/02)
- Scholar/Activist (and much missed former Harvard Afro-Am professor) Cornel West speaks on Thurmond, Lott, Daschle, and the N word Thurmond really used. (aired 12/11/02)