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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:59 PM

Lee Atwater’s infamous “n*gger, n*gger” interview

The interesting blog Fifth Column points us to this great find by Rick Perlstein in The Nation — tape of infamous Republican race-baiting operative Lee Atwater (the “Willie Horton” guy) describing his Southern strategy in iconic (yes, the n-word) terms.

how abstract you handle the race thing. In other words, you start out … Now y’all aren’t quoting me on this … you start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff.

And you’re getting so abstract now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites…. “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.” …


http://americablog.com/2012/11/audio-of-infamous-lee-atwater-interview-its-a-matter-of-how-abstract-you-handle-the-race-thing.html

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Reply Lee Atwater’s infamous “n*gger, n*gger” interview (Original post)
UCmeNdc Nov 2012 OP
carolbrenner Nov 2012 #1
DollarBillHines Nov 2012 #3
geckosfeet Nov 2012 #4
still_one Nov 2012 #5
ailsagirl Nov 2012 #6
brokechris Nov 2012 #11
backscatter712 Nov 2012 #16
brokechris Nov 2012 #17
geckosfeet Nov 2012 #9
still_one Nov 2012 #10
GETTINGTIRED Nov 2012 #2
JeffHead Nov 2012 #7
Butterbean Nov 2012 #8
David Zephyr Nov 2012 #12
BlueDemKev Nov 2012 #13
LeftInTX Nov 2012 #14
Tom Ripley Nov 2012 #15

Response to UCmeNdc (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:01 PM

1. Horrible, Agonizing Death

 

Atwater died a horrible, agonizing death - and conservative ideology will soon suffer a similar fate.

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Response to carolbrenner (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:07 PM

4. not horrible and agonizing enough

I know, I am a cruel bastard. I feel bad saying it, but a thousand deaths are not enough for the likes of him.

Better link (in that it works): Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:27 PM

5. I remember him crying for forgiveness, and apologizing to former foes. The fact remains that

He would have never sought redemption or forgiveness if he wasn't dying at the time

What is he remembered for? Bringing racism as a legitimate campaign strategy for the republicans, and his legacy is that it has never been more part of the republican strategy as it was then

So even though at the end he sought redemption, that is not what he will be remembered for, it will be the southern strategy


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Response to still_one (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:12 PM

6. Apparently no redemption at the end

Mary Matalin (a friend of Atwater's) told Ed Rollins:

"..when we were cleaning up his things afterwards,
the Bible was still wrapped in the cellophane and had never been taken
out of the package,' which just told you everything there was. He was
spinning right to the end."


His whole life story was grotesque.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Atwater

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Response to ailsagirl (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:58 PM

11. in fairness, a person

could repent of their past deeds without reading the bible.

Whether or not he truly did repent we can never know. It seems he converted to Catholicism, so likely he confessed his sins to a priest pursued that route to forgiveness.

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Response to brokechris (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:26 AM

16. He made a huge scene out of asking for a bible during his terminal illness.

It was all over the news.

To hear that it was still in the shrink-wrap after he died and people were cleaning out his stuff pretty much shows his character.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:15 AM

17. actually, he said that the Living Bible had

been a help to him. And when they packed up his room, Maitlin said there was a bible still in the package.

Just because it seems that he didn't read that particular bible, it does not mean that the bible couldn't have influenced him (he was raised Lutheran). There was a priest visiting him daily at the end--if I were speculating I would not be surprised if that priest brought a bible and studied with him.

Who cares though? All I am saying is that you don't have to read the bible or indeed have any particular religion to repent of past deeds. Whether it was genuine or not--is not for me to determine.

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Response to still_one (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:03 PM

9. God may have forgiven him. Maybe. It speaks volumes that in the end he admitted he knew

what he did was immoral and an affront to god him/her/itself and begged for forgiveness. My feeling is that he was trying to forgive himself, and forget the hate he had sown.

The sad truth is that his legacy lives on. And his hate has infected me, only it is fanning the flames that burn his soul.

Someday it will die out in me. But not today.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:42 PM

10. It still exits because followers like rove insure it does

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Response to UCmeNdc (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:03 PM

2. no different than today

to the trained ear....

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Response to GETTINGTIRED (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:21 PM

7. You got that right.

They get more "abstract" every day.

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Response to UCmeNdc (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:46 PM

8. Well. My jaw is just hanging open.

Never knew who he was (I was 17 when he died), never knew what "the southern strategy" was. Holy shit. That interview is just............................disgusting. I can't even.

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Response to UCmeNdc (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:07 AM

12. Karl Rove's buddy.

.

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Response to UCmeNdc (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:20 AM

13. That bastard...

While seething after the 1988 election, I said that I hope Lee Atwater dies a slow, painful, agonizing death. Barely two years later, I got exactly what I wished for.

When I think of how Atwater's life was abruptly cut short, I'm reminded of the scene in "Ghost", when the spirits of death rose up out of the shadows and swept Willie Lopez's evil soul away forever.

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Response to UCmeNdc (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:38 AM

14. The Southern Strategy was an evil marriage

I'm still waiting for the divorce...it ruined the northern, moderate Republicans and changed the entire party into a bunch of "Dixicrats".

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:06 AM

15. The evil that men do lives after them; Only a good suit is oft interred with their bones.

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