Historical Irony and Booker T.

November 6, 2008


John McCain gave a fine concession speech last night.  High minded and principled.  His admirers say that that’s the real McCain, as opposed to the nasty mud slinger his campaign handlers forced him to be in recent months.  Perhaps so…

He cited Teddy Roosevelt’s invitation to Booker T. Washington to visit the White House and the condemnation that rained down on him for it as an example of how far this country has come in the last century.  For example, the quotation below, with offensive epithets retained for historical flavor:

“The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that nigger will necessitate our killing a thousand niggers in the South before they learn their place again.”

[quoted inTheodore Rex, Edmund Morris, 2001, 55]

Need it be said that the speaker, Benjamin Tillman was a stalwart of the Democratic Party?