Main | Friday, July 04, 2008

Jesse Helms Is Dead Dead Dead

Former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), the most notoriously racist and homophobic politician in the history of the United States, has died at the age of 86. Happy Independence Day!!!

And now for some choice quotes from DEAD Jesse Helms, the greatest embarrassment to my home state of North Carolina and the nation:

- On threatening the life of a sitting president: "Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He'd better have a bodyguard."

- On gays and AIDS: “It's their deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct that is responsible for the disease”

- On equality: "I've been portrayed as a caveman by some. That's not true. I'm a conservative progressive, and that means I think all men are equal, be they slants, beaners, or niggers."

- On education: "Your tax dollars are being used to pay for grade-school classes that teach our children that cannibalism, wife-swapping and murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior."

- On civil rights: "The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights."

- On journalists: "The New York Times and Washington Post are both infested with homosexuals themselves. Just about every person down there is a homosexual or lesbian."

- On the Duke University students upset by Martin Luther King's assassination: "They should ask their parents if it would be all right for their son or daughter to marry a Negro."
Some choice commentary from around the web:

Michelangelo Signorile:
No, I do not have any sympathy for his family at this time or anyone else connected to this man, so fuck that usual nicety reserved even for the family of those with whom you disagreed. This is beyond a "disagreement ." Jesse Helms almost single-handedly allowed the deaths of thousands -- willfully denied them help -- while pushing his moral agenda in the Senate. His faint supposed apology in recent years -- for not doing more on AIDS, not for his vicious homophobia -- was far too little, too late, designed to clean up his ghastly legacy a little bit before he croaked. Throughout the 80s and 90s my friends died, and perhaps some of your friends died too, because this man stalled vital research and prevention efforts and vilified gay people.
A commenter on AmericaBLOG:
“A lot of crackers have their burning crosses at half-mast today in his honor.”
"If you’re a Christian, Jesse is probably in a very hot, unpleasant place. If you believe in Karma, he’s probably reborn as a poor black child in Somalia."
Via Dan Savage, this bit of unintentionally amusing animation on the Daily Oklahoman was screencapped. Dan's commenter writes:
I went to the Daily Oklahoman website to see what they were saying about the Seattle basketball team moving to OKC, and this was on the front page. The animated ad trotted out from the right side and landed right on Jesse’s mug. All I did was take a screenshot and add the text in the gray box at the bottom.
Classic video: In 1991, Treatment Activist Guerrillas (TAG) of Act-Up placed a giant condom over Jesse Helms' Arlington, Virginia home.

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