‘There’s not enough troops in the Army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Negro race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our schools and into our homes.’

– Strom Thurmond, at his acceptance speech after being nominated to run for president on the States’ Rights Democratic Party in 1948.

These are the words of Strom Thurmond during his campaign for U.S. president 54 years ago. For Trent Lott to pay homage to that campaign, praise it and declare its goals as good for our country is a disgrace. It is a clear sign that racism lives in the heart and mind of the GOP Majority Leader of the Senate. Trent Lott should resign.

This was not a ‘bad choice of words’ as he is claiming. Lott has publicly made the same point before.

Lott should resign because of his long association with the racist Council of Conservative Citizens (formerly the White Citizens Council) in Mississippi. There is ample photographic and written evidence to show that association.

Lott has had a life-long association with racist politics and movements. He was a pro-segregationist as a youth and in college. He has promoted and used racism during his entire political career. His voting record is clear: he opposed civil rights; he opposed labor’s, women’s and the rights of gay and lesbian people. He has been a pro-big business right-wing racist all of his life. The Republicans and the media have been hiding the true nature of these racist views. It’s time to put an end to their racist cover up.

The current ‘Southern strategy’ of the Republican Party includes an alliance with the Klan. Lott’s presence in the top circles of the Republican Party speaks volumes about the true nature of that party. Shame on the GOP leaders who say he should go because he’s too damaged to push through their far-right agenda, not because of his racist views.

On the other hand, those Republicans who continue to support his leadership show utter contempt for the struggle for racial equality.

We urge everyone to keep the pressure on – telephone your elected officials and join the efforts of civil rights and progressive groups that are calling for his resignation.