We stand passively mute

A speech from the Senate Floor by Sen. Robert Byrd. Feb 13, 2003

It raises the hypothetical question (hypothetical since it’s not about to happen)….if Byrd announced his candidacy for President, could I support him?

I think I agree with everything he says in this speech.
His words, I believe, are at the very least
worth listening to, and thinking about.
But can a man be forgiven for the mistakes of his youth?
Especially mistakes such as his?

Sen Byrd is the Democratic Party’s Strom Thurmond.
Like Thurmond, he has publicly renounced his former views…
but that doesn’t change what he did as a young man.

What does it mean when he is one of the few Senators
with the courage to stand up and say what is in this speech?

The world is turned upside down
when someone who once wore a hood over his head
is delivering statesman-like speeches on the Senate floor.

(This isn’t a metaphor. He was a member of the KKK.
And not too many years ago, in an interview,
he slipped and used the N_ word,
but in the same way Black comedians in the 70s and 80s used it
as a term that didn’t depend upon race,
but it was enough to remind everyone.
Apparently his constituents are able to overlook it,
and perhaps this speech shows why.)

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