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One of the, if not the, defining political goals of the Donald J. Trump Republican Party is to roll back the clock and return America to its dark past, where white men ruled supreme and minorities and women were second class citizens. While fighting social progress and dragging our nation backwards has always been the Republican way, code-words and dog whistles were generally used to appeal to the most base instincts of the white voter — until Trump came along.
Now we are treated to the sight of a sitting United States Senator wistfully discussing “the good old days of segregation” in a Senate confirmation hearing for a Supreme Court Justice.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is locked a very tight race for re-election against a Black Democrat, Jamie Harrison, used the phrase the “good old days of segregation” in a discussion on the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling that began the desegregation of American schools.
The good old days?
Sen. Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) just asked a question about the "good old days of segregation." pic.twitter.com/vUkh3STrJv
— The Recount (@therecount) October 14, 2020
Perhaps he was attempting to be sarcastic, but there’s no evidence in his face or in his tone of voice or other body language indicators that would indicate this.
Even if it was, it is in extremely poor taste and is a wildly offensive comment to make in the United States Senate building. Segregation and the Jim Crow era and the murders of the Ku Klux Klan represent one of the most disgraceful periods in our nation’s history, and it is beyond infuriating to see a sitting Senator speak longingly of the good old days when Black Americans were treated as second-class citizens.
We can only assume that once again, Graham is openly saying the quiet part out loud as he helps ram through a Supreme Court nominee chosen by a president who is openly campaigning on resegregating the suburbs and pushes a white supremacist agenda from the White House.
It just so happens that you can donate to Jamie Harrison at this link.
Social media immediately erupted in outrage:
I want senators and leaders that dont call segregation "the good old days". I am tired of all these men trying to revive the 1950s. Either we drag them into the future or we need to get rid of them so we can have a future. https://t.co/8hGinxXjVQ
— Russell Foster for Texas (@RussellFosterTX) October 14, 2020
Lindsey Graham just said these words: “the good old days of segregation.”
THIS IS NOT NORMAL. DO NOT NORMALIZE THIS. VOTE. HIM. OUT. https://t.co/pW34twn0hz
— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) October 14, 2020
Disgusting: Senator Lindsey Graham and Amy Coney Barrett talking about “the good old days of segregation”pic.twitter.com/CUmmYNvGtN
— Ben Meiselas (@meiselasb) October 14, 2020
There was a time when the responsible media would ignore clear politically motivated misinformation and only cover real news. I miss that time as much as @LindseyGrahamSC misses the days of segragation.
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) October 14, 2020
Dear Black People in South Carolina
Lindsey Graham JUST called segregation/Jim Crow the "good old days"
Please vote that racist bastard out of office
— BlackWomenAreKryptoniteToGOP (@battletested5) October 14, 2020
— Lesley-Ann Brandt (@LesleyAnnBrandt) October 14, 2020