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Old 02-22-2011, 01:07 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,921
Default Re: Black History Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Originally Posted by bkjazfan View Post
Lott's sin was venal whereas Byrd's was cardinal.
Quite the opposite, really. It's a silly comparison (the venal/mortal sin one, I mean) but if you want to make it, the definition of mortal sin is that one does a serious act with knowledge and consent.

Byrd's history suggests that he had a background that caused him to have early sympathy with the KKK in the early '40s. That's not admirable, but it's understandable. He later repented. So one could say that he did a serious act with flawed knowledge/understanding.

Lott's comments were made in '02, and contrary to John's apology, I don't think he simply lacked awareness of the significance or implication in them. He went to college at Ole Miss during the era of the Civil Rights Movement (despite at one point denying that there were any problems there). To the extent he made his comments for political gain, I think Glenn's take was correct -- it was knowing, cynical.

I also tend to agree with Glenn's idea that the reaction was overdone, but not because Lott deserves sympathy or was just unthinking.

Anyway, I thought the discussion about Lott was a little weird, because who cares. I guess more people than I thought.
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