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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | December 12, 2002

Lott was a racist in college

Our short recess from All-Things-Lott is now over. From Time Magazine:

Trent Lott's Segregationist College Days: At Ole Miss, the Senator helped lead a fight to keep blacks out of his national fraternity

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott helped lead a successful battle to prevent his college fraternity from admitting blacks to any of its chapters, in a little-known incident now four decades old. At a time when racial issues were roiling campuses across the South, some chapters of Sigma Nu fraternity in the Northeast were considering admitting African-American members, a move that would have sent a powerful statement through the tradition-bound world of sororities and fraternities. At the time, Lott was president of the intra-fraternity council at the University of Mississippi. When the issue came to a head at Sigma Nu's national convention known as a "Grand Chapter" in the early 1960s, "Trent was one of the strongest leaders in resisting the integration of the national fraternity in any of the chapters," recalls former CNN President Tom Johnson, then a Sigma Nu member at the University of Georgia.
I keep thinking that Lott will pull through, his leadership post intact. But it looks like the national media is now trying to one-up each other with new Lott revelations. I'm not about to predict that the press will stay on this story for more than a few days (they do suffer from ADD after all), but it does appear that Lott is starting to get the Gore/Clinton treatment from the press.

Update: Boy, if this story has "legs", it's a millipede. This latest piece from the AP recaps Lott's race record to date (which may require several revisions after the press is done digging through Lott's closet).

Also, the left-blogosphere needs to invent a new online award to reward the best amongst us. And Josh Marshall should be its namesake and charter recipient. Read the latest.

You'll remember that yesterday morning TPM broke the story of the amicus brief then-Congressman Trent Lott filed on behalf of Bob Jones University back in 1981.

Well, it turns out there's another amicus brief in the mix. You'll also remember we talked yesterday about Trent Lott's friends at the Council of Conservative Citizens. That's the white supremacist group, the leaders of which Lott often meets with and for whom he's been known to pen an occasional newsletter column. (Here's an excellent backgrounder on all matters relating to the CCC from a watchdog outfit that tracks hate-groups.) Well, it turns out the Council of Conservative Citizens filed an amicus brief in the cross-burning case! Yes, it's all coming together! And guess which side they're on?

Posted December 12, 2002 02:30 PM | Comments (108)


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