"All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches." Senator Strom Thurmond in 1948
Jackson calls for Lott's resignation in wake of remarks on Thurmond
BY H. GREGORY MEYER
CHICAGO TRIBUNE - 8 Dec - (KRT) - Blasting comments attributed to Sen. Trent Lott, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. on Sunday called for the incoming Senate majority leader to quit.
"Trent Lott must step down," Jackson said in a statement. "He is supposed to be Senate majority leader for all Americans, but he once again has shown he is interested only in Confederates."
Jackson rebuked Lott after the Mississippi Republican glowingly recounted the 1948 presidential campaign of Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., who turned 100 last week.
Speaking at a birthday party for the lawmaker, Lott said the United States would have been better off had the then-segregationist won.
"I want to say this about my state: when Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him," Lott said. "We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
Thurmond ran for president as a candidate for the breakaway Dixiecrat Party when he was governor of South Carolina.
"All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches," Thurmond said while campaigning against Republican Thomas Dewey and Democrat Harry Truman, who supported civil rights legislation.
Through a spokesman Sunday, Lott said, "My comments were not an endorsement of (Thurmond's) positions of over 50 years ago, but of the man and his life."