Many people are observing the passing of Strom Thurmond with mixed feelings. A lot of my friends seem to be rejoicing as if an evil dictator has been deposed. If we look at his past words and actions, it is easy to see why some blacks may not think too fondly of Strom Thurmond. I am not sure what to think, actually. As a Christian, I know it is not good to harbor hate for anyone, no matter how reprehensible their behavior has been in the past. I was reading a Slate article about him, and they spoke about how no official apology for his past behavior was ever rendered. However, there seemed to be an "unspoken" apology that his fellow conservatives voiced for him over and over.
What was once an unspoken rumor of his biracial daughter has come to light in news services as well. It would seem that his past disdain, or need for seperation from the black race was not quite so urgent at one point in time. He fathered a child with a black housekeeper in 1925. I really don't know what to feel about this situation. It certainly isn't relief, because Strom Thurmond and people who espoused views like his in the past have ceased to be a factor in American life. Rather, they are somewhat of an oddity or a curio, a "blast from the past" if you will. We could actually look at this man, and his career and see the evolution of the politics of race in this country. Whether his heart had ever softened toward minorities we will never know. But we can see that there were changes that were made. At least on the outside because of the pressures of the American People. No matter what people say, and to what extent Strom Thurmond made changes in behavior and word. There is no species on earth that cannot survive without evolving and adapting to their environment. Whether it was sincere or not Strom certainly adapted. Who else could have been in office at the age of 100?
[Click here to hear Strom segregation rhetoric circa 1948]
[Do you hear the word "nigra", "negro", or "nigger"?]