Bill Clinton Defends Byrd's Ties With The KKK

Joe Schoffstall | July 3, 2010
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From the steps of the West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston, Bill Clinton downplayed the late Sen. Robert Byrd's days in the KKK, chalking it up as a misguided mistake that was not representative of him as a person.

"There are a lot of people who wrote these eulogies for Senator Byrd in the newspapers saying, and I've read a bunch of them, they mention he once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan and what does that mean? " I'll tell you what that means. That means he was a country boy from the hills and hollow of West Virginia, he was trying to get elected and maybe he did something he shouldn't have done, and he spent the rest of his life making it up-- and that's what a good person does. There are no perfect people. There certainly are no perfect politicians", Clinton said to applause. So let me get this straight; Robert Byrd joined the KKK to get elected, and he spent the rest of his life "trying to make it up?" No, he didn't. When Robert Byrd first joined the KKK when he was 24 years old. Democrats who are trying to rewrite his legacy act as if he was a 5- year old who made a simple mistake of stealing a bag of chips from a convenience store. Robert Byrd did not spend the rest of his life "trying to make it up." He became a member of the Klan in 1942 and was the leader of his chapter. In 1944 he wrote a letter to Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo saying, "I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds." In 1947 he wrote a another letter defending the KKK and, once again, defended the Klan is his Senate run in 1958. He voted against Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas and joined other Southern Democrats in an unsuccessful filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and was proud of it. In 2003, while being interviewed by Tony Snow on Fox News, he used the term "white niggers" not once, but twice, with almost no backlash. A Republican would be forced to withdraw immediately. But the hefty double standard applied gets him a 'get out of jail for free' card since he's just a Democrat who made a mistake. Yeah, I'm thoroughly convinced he was a good person that spent the rest of his life trying to make it up. He was young and foolish and accidently joined the KKK, and his other actions are not representative of who he was or what he believes. I find irony in the fact that this is all coming from a president who was one of two to ever be impeached. I also find irony that Democrats take full credit and literally convinced millions they are the reason African Americans have equal rights. To that I say check out this article by Bob Parks, "The Democrat Race Lie."