Sunday, June 19, 2023
By Steven L. Taylor

Eric Pianin, in today’s WaPo, has a write-up on Robert Byrd’s new book, and specifically his history with the KKK: A Senator’s Shame.

The piece is perhaps the most comprehensive that I have read on this topic, including references to Byrd’s past that Byrd himself has left out of his own accounts.

Byrd’s career is phenomenal is many ways. Certainly he has carved out for himself a substantial place in the history of the Senate. However, it does continue to amaze me as to the degree to which he has gotten a pass on his personal history. For while he may wish to describe his association with the KKK as a “youthful indiscretion” there is also his obstruction to Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s and his “white n*gger” comment in recent years–all of which doesn’t paint an especially nice picture of the Senator–even if we assume that his views on race have evolved (which I am sure they have).

Compare, for example, the trouble Senator Lott go in over his Strom Thurmond comment (trouble I think he deserved). Or, the fact that Howard Dean can run around accussing the Republicans en masse of being racists, yet Robert Byrd is accorded remarkable amounts of deference. It simply strikes me as odd and disproportionate.

Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments/Trackbacks (2)|
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.

2 Responses to “Byrd and the KKK”

  • el
  • pt
    1. Buckland Says:

      A bit of reader reporting — My family was slightly involved with Byrd and the KKK back in the late 40′s and early 50′s in West Virginia. Here’s a note I wrote about it a while back at

      One note. This grew out of a series of conversations I had with my Grandfather back in the mid 80′s. Would a Grandfather shade the truth of activities that he was involved in many years ago when talking to his grandson? My guess is probably, especially when talking about times he was ashamed of.

      Short version to those not interested in the link: The Klan was economically strong in WV at that time. Small businesses were under a lot of pressure to be a part of the Klan. Many did more for the economic benefits than the racial angle, kinda like paying protection money (as the commenter says). Possibly not the righteous choice, but one that many made.

    2. bryan Says:

      Byrd’s recent comments about the president, the war, the last election, etc., put him squarely in the land of the moonbats. Deference to his age notwithstanding.

    blog advertising is good for you

    Visitors Since 2/15/03

    Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics



    Powered by WordPress