While frolicking around on the front lawn, Senator
Trent Lott, Republican, and incoming Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, has stepped in a pile
of poop. And after several days, the stink is still there, and perhaps it may well linger for
weeks, if not months. So be it. Such are the laws of nature.
The reader might wonder, if he or she does not already
know, what is all this to-doo-doo about?
At the 100 year birthday celebration for
Senator Strom Thurmond, Republican from South Carolina, Senator Lott was giving a little
speech in honor of the birthday boy, and as such speeches go, they sort of push the positive end
of the envelope out into the region of fantasy, while completely, and absolutely, and shall we
say consciously and willfully ignoring any and all negative characteristics of the person in
question. This is as it should be. Such are the laws of human sociability, especially those that
govern birthday parties. Among other things, this is what Senator Lott said of the 100 year old
"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for
president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our
lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years."
Oops. Well, some people say that this statement is no
big deal. But, to tell you the truth, the more closely you look at it, the more amazing it gets. In
other words, the spirit of truth will eventually require everyone to arrive at the point where they
are shaking their heads in disbelief, and muttering to themselves, "Can you believe the guy
actually said that?"
In fact, this was a huge mistake on the part of Senator
Lott. There's simply no getting around it. Senator Strom Thurmond had run for the office of
U.S. President in 1948 at the top of the ticket of the Dixiecrat Party, and from all accounts, and
I think this has been thoroughly enough vetted, that the only reason he was running
for President was to take that party's segregationist polices into the White House,
where they could be endowed with the fragrance of federal power. For those who have a clear
memory of the totalitarian boot of segregation, and the pain and anguish that people suffered
under the immense pressure of its sharp heel, this statement marked the reappearance of that
boot on the public stage, and in a favorable light. Most Republicans are still shaking their
heads in disbelief.
When Lott made this statement, many people believed,
and they jumped to this conclusion immediately, that this statement revealed that Senator Trent
Lott was a racist at heart. And because a racist has no business being in a top leadership
position in the U.S. Senate, a proposition that nearly everyone would agree with,
calls for Lott's resignation, at least from some quarters, was immediate.
The question is, is Senator Trent Lott a racist at
Well, there is one thing that we can say
about him for certain.
Senator Trent Lott was born in Mississippi in 1941,
and that's where he grew up, and that's where he was educated. In 1941, Mississippi was fully
in the grips of the segregationist agenda, and stayed that way into the mid 1960's. When
Strom Thurmond ran for President in 1948, the future Senator Lott was just seven years old. As
Lott entered the decade of the 1950's, he was nine years old. He exited the decade of the
1950's at the age of 19. That means that Trent Lott did most of his growing up between
1941 and 1960 in a culture where segregation was a part of life. And we now
know, that in his college years, that he stepped forward as a student leader to keep
segregation alive within his college fraternity.
If you don't mind the pun, I would say that
this explains a lot.
I was listening to viewer call-ins on this
subject on the C-Span Washington Journal the other morning, and some Americans of African
descent, who were actually living in Mississippi in those days, called in, and from
their testimony, you could get an idea of the bitterness and the resentment that they
still hold as a result of what could be no less than the most inhuman treatment that
they and their families suffered. And Trent Lott lived in the very midst of this
inhumanity in his most formative years. And as noted, in his college years, he even
made the effort to perpetuate it.
Now, here is the central point. Being so
close to the reality of segregation, especially after being put into the position of
having to repudiate his own segregationist background as part of the process of
achieving power in the Republican Party, you would think that if anyone would be
sensitive to the pain and the suffering that was inflicted on Americans of African
descent in the segregationist south, that Senator Trent Lott would be the one with
that sensitivity. That would make sense.
But, in fact, to say what he said about
someone whose 1948 Presidential campaign was all about perpetuating
segregation, well, this shows the most gross insensitivity and blindness to the pain
inflicted upon Americans of African descent during those years.
This is an important point. Personally, at
first, I did not appreciate how much of a blind spot this actually represented. I
listened to the pro's and the con's related to this event over a few days, and I could
tell that he certainly made a big mistake, but I did not understand the dimensions of
that mistake, until I could actually feel the pain, and the anger, and the resentment,
and the bitterness, of those who actually suffered under the segregationist policies.
And that came about only by listening to people who were actually there at the time
(via C-Span). The important point here, as that Trent Lott was there. He lived among these
people. For myself, having never lived there, I got the point after listening to one or two
stories. I would assume that he must have heard hundreds of such stories over the course of his
So, either he knew exactly what he was
doing, and consciously poked a finger into the eye of the black community again,
which would indicate the presence of a streak of cruelty in his character, or he resides in a
cocoon of insensitivity that is thick with the callouses of false programming.
Now, I am happy to say, that there isn't a person
on earth who would ever contend that Senator Trent Lott is a cruel person. If he was, especially
in this racist way, he would have the reputation of being a racist, and if he had that reputation,
he would have never been elected to the Majority Leader post in the U.S. Senate. Remember
David Duke? There's a racist. And a proud one. How far did he get in the Republican Party?
He got nowhere.
Therefore, the only reasonable
explanation for this statement by Trent Lott, is this cocoon of insensitivity, that I
just mentioned, that is thick with the callouses of false programming traceable to his childhood.
In this respect, we can see, that as a part of
the southern white culture of that day, that children were trained up with that
insensitivity. I don't think you can deny that. I think you must factor this into the
equation. To many white southerners, that insensitivity, was a virtue. That's actually
true. In the upper crust of culture, they wore it as a badge of honor. Just as their
forefathers wore the pro-slavery mindset as a badge of honor. And children learn
what their parents teach them. And so, we can understand, and we can give the
guy, not a pass, but a break, because of this.
And one other thing. To be fair to Lott, when it comes
to presidential campaigns, nothing about presidential campaigns since then, has been about
segregation. Presidential campaigns are about a lot of different things, and segregation is not
one of them. If you take the issue of segregation out of the equation, and simply understand
that Lott was stroking Thurmond's presidential ambitions generally, then you can understand
how the initial statement could have been made, though only inside that cocoon of insensitivity.
The primary question is now, how is
Senator Lott dealing with the situation?
Has the man dug in his heals, and
defended his original statement? Has he taken on a superior attitude, and put down
the people who are criticizing him? Has he tried to dodge the issue? Has he been
deceptive, or has he prevaricated on the issue in any way? Has this person given
any sign or indication that he is in a state of denial?
The answer to these questions, in every
case, is no. He has been honest, straightforward, and repentant. He admits to the
presence of the character flaw, and he admits that he needs to make improvements
in this area. He has apologized profusely for this insensitivity. And he has
promised to take real and tangible steps to reach out to the African American
Senator Lott made an extensive statement on this issue
on Friday, December 13, 2002, at a press conference in Pascagoula, Mississippi. This is how he
feels about segregation:
"Segregation is a stain on our Nation's soul. There's no other way to
describe it. It represents one of the lowest moments in our Nation's history, and we can never
(read full transcript)
I would encourage people to read the full transcript of
his remarks. I think you will come away with the sense that here is a genuinely repentant and
good hearted individual.
Though, I would observe, that a prominent Republican,
going through what amounts to a public session of sensitivity training, is not a bad thing for the
Republican Party, but a good thing.
In my judgment, this is exactly the kind of
response that warrants complete forgiveness. I believe this is a perfect example of
how a public figure ought to respond to a public mistake. And he ought to be
rewarded for this, and not further pilloried.
We have seen examples of public officials who are not
forthcoming when it comes to admitting and apologizing for their mistakes. I am sorry to say,
that more often than not, we see cover-up, denial, and sidestepping as the standard response.
And what is the truism that comes out of every such public debacle? It's that the initial crime
or misdemeanor is never enough to destroy a person's career. It's the coverup that follows. We
all know that people make mistakes. That fact is not reflection on character. What reflects on
character is what a person does when he actually makes a mistake. Even if a person can hang
onto office after a coverup, his reputation is destroyed. Well, Trent Lott has learned from the
mistakes of others. In his response, there has been no effort to coverup, deny, or sidestep. He
is meeting this head on with an honest, repentant and apologetic attitude, an example that
ought to be honored.
And because of this, God our Father sets before
Senator Lott, a great opportunity to turn a great weakness, into a great strength. He has the
whole African American community listening. I mean, they are hanging on his every word. If
he can succeed in bringing forth fully that spirit within his own heart that is genuinely
repentant, and respectful of the African American community in general, he has the opportunity
to win many African Americans over to his side, and in this I am thinking about the possibility
of getting pro-life African Americans to actually vote for pro-life candidates for once in their
Now, against the backdrop of his genuinely
repentant behavior, those who continue to pillory him, are breaking the golden rule with
every stone they throw. If you could ask every one of these stone throwers, if this is the way
they would want to be treated when one of their character flaws is publically exposed, and they
too are genuinely repentant in regards to it, in every case, they would say that they
would expect to be forgiven, and expect to continue on in their career, and with
even greater respect because of their humility. Though there will be some, even after affirming
the value of the golden rule when it comes to themselves, will still bend over, pick up another
stone, and hurl it at Senator Trent Lott. God Bless them.
Let the golden rule, then, rule this affair, and let's
move quickly towards the common ground of resolution.
But, we should remember, that in
Senator's Lott's effort to show a new level of sensitivity to the African American
community, he should not be drawn into a position of pandering to the mindset of
victimization which hangs over that culture like a cloud of smog hangs over Los Angeles. I
would say to them, that the road to renewal, will always be the road of forgiveness. It is only in
the paradise of forgiveness that God blesses the soul with abundant treasures of wealth and
But the leadership of the African American
community, generally speaking, preaches a different message. They preach that the road into
the promised land must be paved with the gold of reparations born out of the continued
fires of anger, bitterness and resentment. And Senator Trent Lott will be required
by these leaders to kneel before this altar as a sign of his new found sensitivity to
the needs of the African American community. He will be hard pressed to remain standing
before this demand.
So, from the onset, he faces a real dilemma. On the
hand, he will need to exhibit real and genuine sensitivity, but on the other hand, he will not
want to contribute to the mindset of victimization that is too prevalent within the African
The only way out of the mindset of
victimization for the African American community, given their history, is to come into an
understanding of the Teachings of the Real Ascended Masters. And I would dare say that the
same would apply to the Palestinians as well. Through these
Teachings, they will come to understand that everything that happens to a racial
group is a result of that groups karma. The fact that the nations of Africa
generally live in the morass of poverty, is a karmic condition traceable to a far
more ancient repudiation of the Divine Path that God sets before all of his
Children. The members of this race, with notable exceptions, have collectively repudiated that
path, and they are now suffering the consequences.
The fact that some members of this race were taken in
slavery to America, represents a very interesting irony. It represents a mixture of
both very negative karma, and very good karma. Negative in regards to all of the
suffering associated with slavery itself. But, all of this suffering, this people had
already inflicted on others in the dim past. They were simply reaping what they
had sown. But in the act of being taken to America, even in chains, this represents
the good karma associated with their long forgotten divinity, when they lived in the
Kingdom of God, and served within that kingdom as genuine sons and daughters.
In being brought to America, they are given the opportunity to reap all of the
benefits associated with the divine sponsorship of America. They know levels of
opportunity and prosperity that their brothers and sisters in Africa will not
know, perhaps, for a very long time.
But most importantly, they are given the
opportunity to find the Teachings of the Ascended Masters, and by walking the
Path of Initiation, to reclaim their divine estate.
You see, that is where freedom is really at.
Every Child of God, and this includes men and woman of all races and all cultures
on earth, has a threefold flame anchored in their hearts. This is the presence of the
love, wisdom, and power of God our Father. By bringing the outer identity back
into congruency with all the divine principles which radiate in great abundance
from that heart flame, the soul anchors the very presence of heaven, and all of
heaven's abundance, right within its own temple.
African Americans must forgive those who
perpetrated great crimes upon them in the practice of slavery, and the practice of
segregation, and even in the ongoing indulgence of racist sentiments by some.
They must see this as the return of their own karma, from an ancient time, crimes
for which they would like to be forgiven as well. Though, as you can see, not all
crimes can be forgiven. Some crimes must come back upon people to teach them a
lesson. And it will be no different for those who inflicted the actual crimes of
slavery upon them. Those acts accrued a horrendous karmic debt as well, much of it
paid off I think by those who gave their lives in the course of the American Civil War. The
portion of that karma that was not paid off by those who fought to free the slaves,
let God be the judge of that. Now is the time for African Americans to move on.
African Americans must move into the
future on a golden carpet of divine understanding, which becomes a carpet of
forgiveness, which becomes a carpet of spiritual achievement. African Americans
must take to heart the message of the threefold flame of the heart, that true freedom
will only come to them, to anyone, when they have returned to that place of perfect
harmony with that flame.
All of the mind, all of the feelings, and all
of the memories, must be brought into alignment with all the divine principles that
radiate forth from the divine love, the divine wisdom, and the divine power, that is
anchored by the One God, our mutual Father, in their hearts, and in all of our
hearts. This is the path to perfect peace and harmony among all peoples and all