Helms apologizes for stance on AIDS, not on segregation
Former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms, in his upcoming memoir, suggests that racial integration was pushed on America by “outside agitators” before America was ready for it, sharpening racial antagonisms. Helms writes:
“We certainly do know the price paid by the stirring of hatred, the encouragement of violence, the suspicion and distrust.”
If we followed this logic, the US should not have gone into Iraq as our actions there certainly have stirred hatred, violence, suspicion and distrust. Yet, there are times in history – and whether or not you agree that Iraq is one of them, the civil rights movement was certainly one of them – that society needs a little stirring.
In regards to his opposition to laws protecting homosexuals from discrimination and of funding for AIDS research, Helms has changed his views:
“It had been my feeling that AIDS was a disease largely spread by reckless and voluntary sexual and drug-abusing behavior, and that it would probably be confined to those in high risk populations. I was wrong.”
Here, Helms still does not seem concerned with the fact that even had AIDS remained confined to the high risk populations that engaged in reckless and voluntary sexual and drug-abusing behavior he was sentencing these individuals to death.
Helms was wrong on both these issues. TYL is happy to see Helms acknowledge this on one issue, even if it was for the wrong reasons.