“”Yo Jesse...Why the fuck won't you just hurry up and die? And take that punk bitch Strom Thurmond with you!
|—MC Hawking, "Why Won't Jesse Hems Just Hurry Up And Die?"|
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|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
Strom Thurmond (1902—2003) was a U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. A career Dixiecrat-turned-Republican who could point to pork barrel legislative victories as evidence of his efficacy, he never shied from abusing the power of his (perpetual) incumbency to try to downplay any, ahem, past misdeeds, while cynically pretending that all those years were reformative, when it was really identity politics and blatantly racist policy-making that had become unpopular.
He served eight terms in the Senate, a total of 47 years.
Society advances one funeral at a time
Strom Thurmond holds the record for the longest filibuster by a lone senator, at 24 hours and 18 minutes. He was opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1957. This was his greatest achievement as a U.S. senator. Next.
In 1948, Thurmond and like-minded southern democrats became concerned when President Harry S. Truman began demanding equal rights for blacks. Their response was bolting from the Democrats and starting an independent run headed by Thurmond, in the hopes that they would split the vote enough to prevent a majority in the electoral college, throw the election to the House of Representatives, and force Truman (or his opponent Thomas Dewey) to make concessions. Sadly for the dixiecrats, the Democratic vote remained solidly Democratic, and Thurmond had to resort to replacing Truman's name with his own on the ballots in some southern states. Truman then went on to win in an electoral landslide anyway. Thurmond may have gotten the last laugh, though, as he went on to outlive the others by three decades.
My black mistress agrees that race-mixing is bad
Though he hated most black people, he had an illegitimate mixed-race daughter he fathered with a girl who was 16 at the time he got her pregnant, whom he paid reparations. You don't have to believe in equality to want to bang your black maid! (The hush money was mainly paid so that she would stop telling people about how black she is.)
Oh, go away
The times, they be a'changin'
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott was forced to resign after praising Thurmond's presidential run in 1948 at Thurmond's 100th birthday party, claiming that America would have less problems if they chose him. The main reason Strom Thurmond ran in 1948 was to maintain segregation.
And now something completely (censored)
Strom Thurmond and Al Gore worked together to
eliminate entertainment that nonwhite people enjoyed restore morality to the media. Or supposedly just their wives. The result was Tipper Stickers on half of the albums.
Sure the tipper stickers only put warnings, and it's not directly censorship, but the result is that it makes censorship all the easier. Walmart refused to carry any offensive material, and if you happened to grow up in the 90% of the US where Walmart had eliminated any competition for specialty stores that'd carry an unedited Straight Outta Compton, well then yuck foo, buddy!
Unofficially? It was nothing more than a distraction from a proposed blank tape tax, according to Frank Zappa. The idea behind it was that if blank tapes cost as much as the ones from the album store, no one could make a profit from piracy. But the unmentioned result would also be that independent artists could also not make a living unless they signed with one of the major companies. Because the last thing that the media needs is creativity.
- United States Senate: Longest Serving Senators
- Fox News: Thurmond Holds Senate Record for Filibustering 27 June 2003
- View the victory in all of its glory
- Dewey died in 1971, Truman in 1972.
- USA Today: Thurmond's illegitimate daughter speaks out 17 December 2003