View Full Version : Senator Trent Lott Asks Blacks For "Forgiveness"

Tuesday, December 17th, 2002, 07:51 AM
By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Senate Republican leader Trent Lott asked black Americans on Monday for forgiveness for his seeming nostalgia for segregation, announced a change of heart on some civil rights issues and promised to use his position to help push through initiatives that would benefit minorities.

"I accept the fact that I made a terrible mistake, used horrible words, caused hurt," Lott, R-Miss., said during a 30-minute interview with Black Entertainment Television.

"I'm sorry about that. I apologize for it. I've asked for forgiveness and I'm going to continue to do that .... But it is about actions more than words. As majority leader I can move an agenda that would hopefully be helpful to African Americans and minorities of all kinds and all Americans."

A contrite and sometimes defensive Lott has been trying to atone for saying at a 100th birthday party for Sen. Strom Thurmond (news, bio, voting record) that Mississippians were proud to have supported Thurmond for president when he ran in 1948 as a segregationist.

"And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either," Lott added in his Dec. 5 toast.

The BET appearance is at least his fourth apology, as Lott tries to hang on to his job as Senate majority leader. Some Democrats have called for him to resign, and Senate Republicans have called a January meeting to consider the issue.

Lott said he didn't think he should have to resign or be replaced, and denied that he is a racist. "To be a racist, you have to feel superior," Lott told interviewer Ed Gordon. "I don't feel superior to you at all."

Lott, sitting alone with Gordon in a Mobile, Ala. television studio, continued to insist that he didn't mean anything racial with his Thurmond comments.

"What did you mean when you say 'those problems'?" Gordon said.

"I was talking about the problems of defense, of communism, and budget, of a government that sometimes didn't do its job," Lott said. "But again I understand that was interpreted by people the way it was and I should have been sensitive to that. I obviously made a mistake and I'm doing everything I can to admit that and deal with it and correct it. And I'm hope that people will give me a chance to do so."

Lott announced that he has changed his mind about making Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a federal holiday having voted against it when it was on the Senate floor and said he supports affirmative action.

"I'm for that," Lott said when asked by Gordon again. "I'm for affirmative action and I've practiced it. I've had African Americans on my staff and other minorities, but particularly African Americans, since the mid-1970s."

Lott also said he had reached out to several lawmakers to push forward an agenda he said would help minorities, including talking with Rep. John Lewis (news, bio, voting record), D-Ga., about setting up a task force on reconciliation and with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, about setting up an African-American summit.

Lewis, a veteran civil rights leader, said Lott was "sincere" in their Monday conversation and he suggested that the Mississippi senator join him an annual civil rights tour in March through places like Selma, Ala., where police badly beaten him during the 1960s civil rights struggle.

"I'd like to come down on his side, giving him a chance," Lewis said. "I'm not one of those calling for him to step down and give up his leadership post. We all make mistakes, we all make blunders. It's very much keeping with the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence to forgive and move on." [img]http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20021216/thumb.1040056706.lott_nyet136.jpg


Wednesday, December 18th, 2002, 03:36 AM
Looks like he is getting a scolding...I guess his jewish puppet masters are a little unhappy with his remarks.

Saturday, December 21st, 2002, 04:26 PM
A little twist to this story...From Nationalist Richard Barrett and his organization.