Tuesday, December 16, 2003


I woke up this morning to the news that Strom Thurmond was the father of an illegitimate child. This was news on several fronts, but the largest being that the child's mother was black. I didn't hear the entire story, but what I did hear was good.

I heard that Strom's family didn't doubt that this woman was his child. This was good.

I heard that the family wanted to meet with her in order to open a conversation and learn about each other. This was good.

I heard the woman's lawyer say that she only wanted to be recognized as part of the family. This was good.

But more than all of that, I found it strangely good and comforting that this unapologetic segregationist, racist, right-wing archconservative man had an affair with a black woman. Granted, I don't know all the details: was it consenual, was it rape, etc. But there's something satisfying about this particular incident.

Is it a voyeuristic revelling about the downfall of a man ala Jimmy Swaggert, Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker, Bill Clinton kind of thing? I don't think so. I think it has more to do with this taking another chink out of the racist/segregationist armor. I mean, if Strom can have sex with a black woman, anything is possible. Whatever rhetoric one preaches, we probably all have more in common than we wish to admit.



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