Saturday, July 5, 2008

"I'm going to make her cry. I'm going to sing Dixie until she cries."
- Jesse Helms on how he planned to welcome Carolyn Mosely-Braun, the first African-American woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate, to her new office. He followed through on his threat by singing to her when the two shared an elevator.

"Well, thank you, I think."
- Helms's reponse - coupled with a salute - to a caller who thanked him during a 1995 appearance on the Larry King show for "everything you've done to keep down the niggers."

"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?"
1950 campaign ad written by Helms. In this same campaign, Helms doctored photos to show the wife of his candidate's opponent dancing with a black man.

"There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy."
- Jesse's 1988 analysis of the AIDS epidemic

"Degenerate...weak, morally sick wretches."
- Helms's description of homosexuals in a 1994 interview with Newsweek

"The University of Negroes and Communists"
- Helms shorthand for the University of North Carolina

Jesse Helms is finally dead. Forget all of the inspid panderings to some "legacy" worth celebrating that Helms allegedly left behind, and throw out all of the white-washed tributes the networks have churned out, devoid of any spectre of the damage and hatred he inflicted on people across this country. Helms was a shitstain on the fabric of this nation; the last of the great race-baiters who embodied the worst impulses not just in Americans, but in all of humankind. He couldn't even muster the decency and self-awareness of other former segregationists like George Wallace and Strom Thurmond, who both had the good conscience to recant their fomer views later in life. Helms was unrepentant evil to the very end, loathsome and despicable, who would have bordered on charicature if the totality of his heartlessness wasn't so terrifying to witness in another human being. He was a national embarassment whose death yesterday can only be considered a cosmic birthday present for a nation sorely in need of one.

"And you know when Jesse Helms finally dies, he's going to commit suicide in a washtub out back behind a pecan tree. He's going to slash his wrists and he's going to write in blood, 'I've been a bad boy.' But you know they're going to find the skins of young children drying in his attic, swarms of horseflies going in and out of the eaves, and on CNN, over and over, his wife going, 'I always wondered about Jesse's collection of little shoes.' Anyone that far to the right is fucking hiding a deep, dark secret." - Bill Hicks

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