Press Conference Shows Lott Family Colors
December 13, 2002
Jackson City Hall
Richard Barrett: I'd like to thank Trent Lott's daughter for being here, today. And, thanks to Senator Lott, certainly, for his service to Mississippi and our country. Tyler Lott Armstrong: My father is a wonderful man, who has always stood tall. The news-media has twisted his words. He has good character; he's a Christian man and a good man and has been a wonderful family man, with his children and all. Barrett: Mississippi is proud that he has stood tall, but please convey these memorable words to him, if you would, "Stand fast, Mississippians." May he not only stand tall, but stand fast.
Strom Thurmond is a man of character, as well, which is why Mississippi has supported both Senator Thurmond and Senator Lott. Just as Jesus taught the elders in the temple, a Mississippian should be teaching his colleagues in the Senate. That is why I have asked Tyler, Trent Lott's daughter, here, to remind her father, once again, "Stand Fast, Mississippians."
Galileo was forced to recant, but the earth still orbits the sun. Trent Lott was forced to recant, but blue birds still keep out of red birds' nests. It seems that a bird has more sense than a Bush.
Mississippi rolled with Ross, stood tall with Paul, rang the bell with John Bell, so will not tuck tail with Trent. In the fight for freedom, Mississippi has never been and will never be lukewarm. Especially, when it comes to segregation. What is segregation? The moral and common-sense way for different races to touch, without colliding. Another word for "segregation" is "discrimination." Another word for discriminationâ?? is "choice." What is wrong with freedom of choice? It's all about freedom. I segregate myself from dirt, by taking a bath, from snakes by not picking them up and from other countries by living in the good, old USA -- unlike W.E.B. DuBois, a founder of the NAACP, and Stokeley Carmichael, another integrationist, who preferred to go and live in Africa. Both were self-declared communists, by the way. Ron Bonjean, freedom of choice is moral and it is right.
Had Strom Thurmond been elected in 1948, you would be able to sell your house freely, sit in a classroom safely, live in a neighborhood peacefully and hold a job meritoriously. Mississippi fights on for that day. When critics attacked Mississippi in his day, Theo. G. Bilbo said, "Keep your big nose out of Mississippi." That's why he is remembered as The Man. Would that Trent Lot would say the same thing. Then, he wouldn't be remembered as The Wimp. Mississippi is winning new friends and allies, just as John Stennis said we would. That is why Trent Lott was elevated in the first place. We beat the foes of our flag. We can beat the foes of Trent Lott.
Mississippi is more than Interstate highways and magnolia trees: it is a land of principle and patriots, which has earned the respect and support of the rest of the country. You may be surprised, but Boston and Biloxi think very much alike. An integrationist would haul the bust of J. Z. George, who brought us out from under the Reconstruction, out of the Capitol Rotunda, and strike the name of James O. Eastland, who fought the so-called Civil Rights Bill, from off of the federal building. I can't conceive of Trent Lott doing that. America is a free, English-speaking, Western-civilized country. Integrationists seek to Africanize, Mexicanize, Orientalize and communize it. But integration is immoral and subversive. And it shall ultimately fail. Integration represents a forced society. Mississippi stands for a free society. That is why Mississippi has no apologies to make. Peter made his denials, but was forgiven. Mississippi would like to forgive Trent Lott for his denials, as well, but he needs to quit trying to please the Black Caucus and the Kennedies. The Democrats will never forgive him and the NAACP will never support him.
Mississippi cannot say that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Theo. G. Bilbo, James O. Eastland, John Bell Williams, William Colmer and the 588,000 who voted for our flag are "immoral," Mr. Bonjean. That would be a lie. Because it is the integrationists, who oppose them all, who are immoral, liars and wrong. We have a Republican President and Senator because Strom Thurmond formed a new consensus of Northerners and Southerners to abolish the forced society and usher in a free society. Mississippi thanked him before and thanks him, again. With Republicans or Democrats, we'll get highways and Social Security and veterans' benefits. Except with the Republicans, we're not supposed to get integration to go along with it.
Mississippi stood almost alone in voting Republican in 1964, in opposition to the so-called Civil Rights Bill. Then, the rest of the country saw they could not beat us, so they joined us. This is no time to cut and run. Especially with the power Mississippi has earned and deserves in Washington. Anyone who would apologize for opposing integration would endorsing the takeover of this building by Louis Armstrong and Kenny Stokes. If Trent Lott was wrong, that makes Kenneth Stokes and Louis Armstrong right. And Mississippi knows better than that.
Trent Lott's original statement was from the heart and honest. Honesty is still the best policy. Mississippi needs men of backbone, not jellyfish, for we have the same enemies today as we had in 1948 and we fight on for freedom.
This address was delivered by Richard Barrett at a press conference at Jackson City Hall in Jackson, Mississippi on December 13, 2002. Barrett, described by Salon as "the leading segregationist in Mississippi," stepped forward just as the press secretary for Senator Trent Lott, Ron Bonjean, was telling reporters that "segregation is immoral." Barrett's Open Letter to Trent Lott, urging the Senator to resist his foes and not apologize, received national news' coverage the previous day.
Lott had honored retiring Senator Strom Thurmond, the staunch segregationist who pioneered Southern entry into the Republican Party, in hopes of establishing a new power base from which to abolish the Civil Rights Bill. Lott had said that he was proud of Mississippi for having voted for Thurmond in 1948. When criticized, Lott began to waffle and, eventually, under pressure from George W. Bush, "apologized."
Barrett asserted that Mississippi had nothing to apologize for and that integration was immoral. A reporter asked if Barrett was "whipping" Lott, to which Barrett replied, "If Senator Lott deserves a whipping for apologizing for his principles, let Mississippians, not his foes, do the whipping. Like brothers and family, we tend to and care for our own."
Asked if he would be attending a press conference called by Lott in Pascagoula later that day, Barrett said that he would not, "but I have fond memories of being in Pascaguola with Trent Lott and William Colmer in happier times. When Jackson was the most segregated city in the country, it, also, had the lowest crime-rate." He continued, "But look at what integration has wrought. It is now the murder and car-theft capital of the country. America, take your choice."