Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Byrd's evolution on matters of race mirrors a nation maturing

The life of Senator Robert Byrd is a testament to how much we can all change in our lifetimes. Once a Ku Klux Klansman, Byrd spent more time apologizing for that episode of his life than he ever actually spent with the Klan.

Like many young white men of his generation in the 1940s he grew up when the Klan actually meant something. In small towns across the nation, and not just in the South, all the local political elite were members of the Klan. If you wanted to be something, you joined in. Even noted Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was in the Klan in his native Alabama. That’s not to defend Byrd’s decision to join. The Klan was a hateful organization to its core, but in some places it was the only game in town.

Read the rest at The Loop.

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