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Inhofe: Sotomayor Is a ‘Racist,’ But Strom Thurmond Is A ‘Great American’

By Ian Millhiser  

"Inhofe: Sotomayor Is a ‘Racist,’ But Strom Thurmond Is A ‘Great American’"

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Echoing statements by nativist former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and former KKK Imperial Wizard David Duke, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) called Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor a “racist” last night on the Senate floor.  Watch it:

Interestingly, while Inhofe is convinced that the first Latina nominee to the Supreme Court is consumed by racial animus, he had very different things to say about a fellow Southern white conservative.  After former Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) claimed that America would have avoided “all these problems” if it had put a segregationist in the White House, Inhofe quickly came to Lott’s defense:

“In an effort to honor the life and service of Strom Thurmond, Senator Lott made some comments that he probably wishes he had phrased differently,” Inhofe said. “I do not believe Senator Lott meant to be malicious or racist with the comments he made. I believe he was merely honoring a great American on his 100th birthday, but I believe he is right to apologize for the words he used. Racism of any type must not be tolerated.

“Many have been quick to criticize Lott, but few have been quick to accept his apology. I do not believe he harbors racist sentiments in his heart. He has apologized and appropriately clarified the meaning of his statements. I believe we should accept his apology and move forward.”

In Jim Inhofe’s America, Sonia Sotomayor is a dangerous bigot who must be stopped, but Strom Thurmond is a “great American.”

Update

Inhofe “clarifies” his comment on Sotomayor:

“Statements that seek to pit one race against another or elevate one race at the expense of another, regardless of who utters them, have no place in the American conversation,” Inhofe said. “I am not characterizing anyone as a racist, but I will categorize and condemn such racially fueled statements for what they are.”

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