I would be remiss not to acknowledge the passing of one of the more unapologetic racists of the 20th century.
“To rob the Negro of his reputation of thinking through a problem in his own fashion is about the same as trying to pretend that he doesn’t
have a natural instinct for rhythm and for singing and dancing.” — Helms responding in 1956 to criticism that a fictional black character
in his newspaper column was offensive.
“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.” According to Edge of the American West it looks like the evidence attributing this quote to Helms is insufficient.
–Jesse Helms, North Carolina Progressive, February 6, 1985, quoted in, “Yes, They Really Said It!”
“Watch me make her cry. I’m going to make her cry. I’m going to sing ‘Dixie’ until she cries.” –Statement made to Orrin Hatch in reference to Carol Moseley-Braun
“You needed that job and you were the best qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota.” –Statement made in a 1990 TV commercial during a close campaign against black Democrat Harvey Gantt
“White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife and your daughters, in your mills and factories? Frank Graham favors mingling of the races.” Helms reportedly helped write this TV commercial passage as an aide for North Carolina Republican candidate Willis Smith in 1950
The University of North Carolina was “the University of Negroes and Communists.” (Capital Times, 11/22/94) Black civil rights activists were “Communists and sex perverts.” (Copley News Service, 8/23/01)
Of civil rights protests Helms wrote, “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.” (WRAL-TV commentary, 1963) He also wrote, “Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced.” (New York Times, 2/8/81)