The Future of Education
links for 2010-08-16

James J. Kilpatrick Is Dead

The press corps in the 1960s and 1970s was even worse than it is now.

Nationally syndicated columnist James J. Kilpatrick:

I did not say I was sorry for my former views on racial integration. I said, very carefully, that I was sorry I ever defended the practice of State-sanctioned segregation. There is a world of difference.  Neither did I ‘belatedly come to the conclusion that I was wrong about my former stand on equality of the races.’ As I tried to make clear, I belatedly came to the conclusion that I was wrong about my former stand on the rightness of State-sanctioned discrimination...

Jeet Heer sends us to Nancy MacLean:

Nancy MacLean provides a good summary of Kilpatrick’s politics in the 1960s:

Answering [the Civil Right march in Birmingham in 1963], James Kilpatrick, the rising star in the conservative firmament, made his movement’s premises more explicit:

This precious right to discriminate underlines our entire political and economic system...

As for the Negro claiming the right to inclusion, why, he had sat out the whole industrial revolution.

He is still carrying the hod... still digging the ditch. The hell he is equal.... He has no right... to favored treatment in employment, promotion, or anything else.

White Americans should rise in “resentment,” he argued, against “those who demand in the name of race what they have not earned in the way of worth.”... He complained that blacks were being “petted and pampered, cuddled and coddled” by “reverse racism,” an interesting line of attack, since simple equal opportunity, much less affirmative action, had not yet been accepted as public policy.

Far from rendering Kilpatrick marginal, such outbursts won him a lucrative platform as a national spokesman for the cause. In 1964 the Newsday syndicate hired him to write a weekly column, “A Conservative View,” soon carried by fifty newspapers. "By 1970 I was appearing there times a week in 170 newspapers across the country." [Kilpatrick] would be invited to dine at the Nixon White House, was featured as a writer for Nation’s Business, and was given a weekly television spot on 60 Minutes....

[...]

When criticized by an annoyed segregationist for apologizing for “your former views regarding racial integration,” Kilpatrick hastened to set the “record straight”:

I did not say I was sorry for my former views on racial integration. I said, very carefully, that I was sorry I ever defended the practice of State-sanctioned segregation. There is a world of difference.  Neither did I ‘belatedly come to the conclusion that I was wrong about my former stand on equality of the races.’ As I tried to make clear, I belatedly came to the conclusion that I was wrong about my former stand on the rightness of State-sanctioned discrimination.

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