Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Klansmen for Obama

Throughout my nearly 20 years working in politics I have built and have witnessed some creative coalition building but yesterday's news out of West Virginia is perhaps the best one yet.

US Senator Robert "Name Another Building After Me Paid With Your Tax Dollars" Byrd of West Virginia endorsed US Senator Barack Obama for President of the USA yesterday. Now this biographical note does not appear on Senator Byrd's official website (http://byrd.senate.gov/bio.htm) but he was (can you quit this organization?) a member of the Ku Klux Klan which he comes to grips with via his book noted in this Washington Post (if you don't believe me perhaps you will believe the Post) article:


A Senator's Shame
Byrd, in His New Book, Again Confronts Early Ties to KKK
By Eric PianinWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, June 19, 2005; Page A01
In the early 1940s, a politically ambitious butcher from West Virginia named Bob Byrd recruited 150 of his friends and associates to form a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. After Byrd had collected the $10 joining fee and $3 charge for a robe and hood from every applicant, the "Grand Dragon" for the mid-Atlantic states came down to tiny Crab Orchard, W.Va., to officially organize the chapter.

So congratulations Senator Obama -- you have to be the first black man/African-American (covering my bases here!!) in American history with a 50/50 chance of becoming president to be endorsed by a recovering Klansman. This is even a great accomplishment than when the Reverand Jesse Jackson ran for President.

Personally I think race relations in the USA would be helped by Senator Byrd taking his endorsement one step further by doing a national town hall meeting with Senator Obama to talk about his experiences in the KKK.

Now this is diversity,


No comments: