It’s not often considered good form to speak ill of the dead; yet with the passing of Democratic Senator Robert C. Byrd, one could almost make an exception. The eldest and longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate at age 92 at the time of his passing, Senator Byrd of West Virginia was at one time a Kleagle and an Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan.
Although he later claimed to have been involved for only a year or so, documents have surfaced showing his fascination with the KKK lasted for perhaps as much as a decade. Also, his public voting record of opposing black nominees while in officer certainly does little to ameliorate his claims to a changed heart.
As the politics of the nation shifted, Byrd made public claims to changing with them, but as recently as 2001 had made public comments in which the “N-word” was uttered by him, though in that case it was uttered in reference to white people. Despite the Democratic party’s modern image as the party of racial diversity, they tolerated Byrd and his record of bigotry right up until his death, throwing out every possible defense to protect him, including Kohler kitchen sinks.
While WonderfulPessimist.com appreciates the grief of those who will miss Byrd as an individual – a father, grandfather and so forth – it would be disingenuous to pretend this site mourns his passing. His membership in the U.S. Senate was a stain on this nation’s history, and only as time goes by can it ever be expected to fade from memory.
That being said, we do hope he made peace with his creator and found truth and forgiveness with him prior to his passing.