Jesse’s Deathbed Conversion

Ken AshfordHistory, RaceLeave a Comment

In his new book, Jesse Helms admits he was wrong about AIDS back when he thought it was just a gay thing.  He came to see the light thanks to his “friends”, who (he says) include Bono.  Now, there’s a pairing I didn’t expect to see, like, ever.

But Jesse can’t quite erase his racist past, try as he might:

"I did not advocate segregation, and I did not advocate aggravation,” Helms writes. “By that I mean that I thought it was wrong for people who did not know, and who did not care, about the relationships between neighbors and friends to force their ideas about how communities should work on the people who had built those communities in the first place. I believed right would prevail as people followed their own consciences.”

He added: “We will never know how integration might have been achieved in neighborhoods across our land, because the opportunity was snatched away by outside agitators who had their own agendas to advance. We certainly do know the price paid by the stirring of hatred, the encouragement of violence, the suspicion and distrust. We do know that too many lives were lost, businesses were destroyed, millions of dollars were diverted from books and teachers to support the cost of buses and gasoline. We do know that turning our public schools into social laboratories almost destroyed them."


See? He wasn’t against segregation; he just thought that it should have been done by the local Southern white people.  And those mean Northern outside agitators came and “snatched away” the opportunity for all those rednecks, who were apparently chomping at the bit to desegregate. 

Jeez.  Anyone buy that?  I can smell the cognitive dissonance from here.