Friday, January 24, 2003

For the life of me I couldn't figure out what the hell William F. Buckley was trying to say in his New York Times op-ed the first time I read it, and I wasn't going to waste any more precious moments of my existence reading it again. But, Jeff Hauser has this to say about Buckley (in email):

ONE CHARACTERISTIC OF MODERATES IS TO ACCEPT RIGHT WINGERS AS PEOPLE TOO: HOWEVER, THOSE WHO A) OPPOSED CIVIL RIGHTS AND B) HAVEN'T BEEN 100% CONTRITE SINCE SHOULD C) BE PUBLICLY VERBOTEN. Heck, I'd be okay with getting rid of the contrition exception (i.e., how bad is Robert Byrd's presence as a leader in the Dem caucus), but let's take the first step and worry about even greater purity down the line.
Anyway, the NYT publishes an op-ed by William F. Buckley. . . on racial preferences vis-a-vis legacy admissions?


William F. Buckley, Jr.

In 1955, a few short years after finishing college, William F. Buckley founded the National Review, which continues to be an influential journal of conservative opinion. Buckley's opposition to federal civil rights measures, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act, has remained unchanged. In a recent debate this year on his television show, "Firing Line," he was questioned by ACLU president Ira Glasser:

Glasser: In 1961, you said you were "not ready to abandon the ideal of local government in order to kill Jim Crow."

Buckley: That's true.

Glasser: You ought to be ashamed of that now. Are you?

Buckley: No In order to advance them [blacks], certain cultural changes, including education, had to be done Whether it should have been turned over to the federal government, in my judgment, it ought not to have been."

Yes, perhaps someone can correct me - but I'm not aware that Buckley has ever disavowed his explicitly racist pro-segregationist views of the past. Why the hell would the N.Y. Times allow him, of all people, to write an op-ed on the subject? Damn that conservative Howell Raines!