No disrespect to Jesse Helms (well, a little), who passed away today at the age of 86, but with him and Jerry Falwell both gone within slightly more than a year of each other, a whole generation of bigots seem to be exiting the building. And, those budding youth from Jesus Camp aside, I haven’t heard of anyone quite as terrifying taking their reign.
Just a brief example of Helms’ work, which isn’t so much a stab at him as it is a truth I’m sure he’s in the grave smiling about: He introduced and supported anti-gay legislation, blamed gays for AIDS, saying, “I’ve never heard once in this chamber anybody say to the homosexuals, ‘stop what you’re doing.’ If they would stop what they’re doing there would not be one additional case of AIDS in the United States.” He even fought against establishing Martin Luther King Day, saying Congress “couldn’t possibly idolize a man who had ties to socialist activists.”
I’m sure there are many nice things one can conjure up in regard to Helms’ very productive life, as well as many more not-so-nice things. I’ll do neither… On one end the man died today so the wuss in me feels its not the best time to bitch about him, and on the other, he DID blame my sexual orientation for the most destructive disease in modern times, even though it was really his buddy Reagan and his administration’s extraordinary mishandling of AIDS that deserve blame if there so be some. Instead, I’ll let Daily Kos do the talking. Blogger Al Obama went farther than I could ever go about in the wake of someone’s death (save maybe Fred Phelps, a thousand times the bastard Helms was. Wait.. did I just say a nice thing?)… See the quotes below or check out the full obituary at the link.
Please dear God, let there really be a hell. Because if there really IS a hell then Jesse Helms is already consumed by it’s lowest depths. He’s wailing for eternity with his blood brothers; Adolf, Mao, Stalin and the rest of the worst of the subset of human beings who have crossed from mere mortal to eternal evil. Satanic. Jesse joins his kin, Strom Thurmond, Bull Connor and a host of other vicious racist fucks who have taken it upon themselves to very nearly ruin the core principle that this country was founded upon: equality.