Lott’s comment was different from Reid’s

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In response to Tuesday’s Democrat editorial I must point out that while Trent Lott was only being kind to an old man, Strom Thurman, I can assure you that I would never have considered joking about the Dixiecrat Party. Why?

In 1948 my dad Tom Reed voted for Harry Truman, unlike the majority of Mississippians who voted for the Dixiecrat Party, made up of Strom Thurman and his running mate Fielding Wright, the governor of Mississippi.

My dad was called some really ugly names for that by most of his friends. I will leave that to one’s imagination.

Email newsletter signup

Why did Dixiecrats break from the Democrat Party? The answer was simple. President Harry Truman ordered the integration of the armed services, worked to end lynching and the poll tax. Truman was a hated threat to the “Southern Way of Life.” The KKK and lynchings were alive and well.

Understanding this even as a young child I saw the South had to change. It never was a laughing matter.

In private Sen. Harry Reid pointed out that should Obama win it would be because he was partially white.

His comments hinted at the obsession of the majority of voters to prefer voting for persons of white blood. This too reminded me of the fear of one in the past if they had Negro blood.

As a child I was an extra in the famous movie Showboat filmed partially here in Natchez. Only when I was older did I understand the character portrayed in the movie by Ava Gardner was haunted by the fear that it would be known that she had Negro blood.

Talking about race is not racist, but joking about a political party that wanted to keep one race down and used violent means to do so is never a joking matter.

Mary Jane Gaudet

Natchez resident