Do you think that Trent Lott saying Strom Thurmond was a great man and that if he had been elected President on the segregationist Dixiecrat ticket in 1948, the country would be a lot better off and Harry Reid saying that Barry O is a gifted orator with light skin and no Negro dialect are similar things?
If they are, the American people can evaluate the information and draw a conclusion. I think that's what they're doing. I think it's a good thing. Different types of people will undoubtedly evaluate the comparison differently and draw different conclusions. That's the way these things always go.
I don't think Strom was a racist in the sense that he thought people of color were inferior. Strom lived intimately all his life, with many in the Black community. It's unlikely a man as intelligent as he was, would harbor beliefs that they were in any way inferior. He just believed that White people should remain in control of society and government. Harry was conjecturing positively on the idea that Americans were disposed to elect a President of color based on his exceptional communication skills and the fact that his affect minimized the perceived differences between Black and White culture. These two statements seem fundamentally different to me but neither are, in fact, about racial prejudice.
I found many things to admire about Strom Thurmond personally. He was quite a guy. I didn't agree with him much on the subject of race relations. I also find much to admire in Harry Reid. It's a struggle though. Growing up in the West, I was raised to distrust Mormons. I still have to fight against that prejudice all the time and many others I was raised with. Sometimes I have not treated Mormons with the respect they deserve. We all have our prejudices. I do. I may have more than most. I'm glad that society is becoming more accepting of diversity and that most young people today are not being raised with the degree and multiplicity of prejudice that I was. I find in many of the young today, an example for myself.