I am in shock after reading your Dec. 12 editorial “Trent Lott isn’t stupid; he just made a mistake.” It is unconscionable for any human being to defend segregationist policies. This is not an opinion, it is a fact of equality, fairness, and dignity.
To allow Mr. Lott to sweep his comments under the rug with an apology is irresponsible of both the nation and this paper’s editors. To “speak before you think” is indeed a mistake we are all bound to make from time to time, but to speak with words of separation and hate shows an absence of character and judgement we cannot allow in the leaders of our country.
This is not an issue that is blown out of proportion, especially considering the report released today by the FBI stating that incidents of hate crimes in this country have doubled since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
It is not obvious to me that Mr. Lott is not a segregationist. He has made nearly identical comments over the years, as was reported in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi on Wednesday, according to another article in your paper. Hiring a few blacks on your staff does not excuse gross negligence of the principles of equality our country prides itself on.
When statements such as these are made repeatedly, they indicate honest thoughts, not errors in speech.
Our country allows for such beliefs to exist within its borders, but for an elected official of such high position to hold them is outrageous.
Mr. Lott cannot apologize enough for his actions. The only response that will redeem his disturbing actions is resignation from his elected post of Senate Majority Leader.