Ok, I've noticed a trend among lots of public speakers. Basically, it supposedly only takes proof of racism to completely discredit somebody, or even association with a known racist, whether their association had anything to do with racism or not. I've seen it on both sides of the aisle, as J. William Fulbright, former Arkansas Senator, has been cannon fodder for conservatives looking to discredit everyone he ever knew, most notably Bill Clinton and Robert "Sheets" Byrd. On the other side, Trent Lott was demonized for 'comments' he made at Strom Thurmond's retirement party. When I heard this story broke, it was never mentioned what he said, just that it was grossly racist and showed how evil a person he was. His comment was telling Strom Thurmond that the country would be better off if he had been president. It was probably an empty compliment telling an old friend how admired he was, and Lott probably didn't even mean it. However, Thurmond ran as a Segregationist, which makes Lott irrevocably evil for even pretending to think he'd make a good president. The question I have to ask is why? Is association with racism, in any form, an automatic qualifier for evil? I guess the base question is this: Is it possible to be both a racist and a good person? Ok, back up for a second before you answer. Racism is the belief that one race is superior, period. Now, most people who are or were racists were raised that way, and while it is possible to buck the trend, most people raised racist will be racists and can no more think of other races as equal than we could think of, say, a gorilla as equal to a human. Now, this is an ultimately negative view and acting on it is immoral, highly unethical, and often illegal. There's no denying that. However, if someone helps his community, is kind to his neighbors, even ones he believes 'inferior' (though his attitude may be more of a condescending pity), and otherwise displays 'good' qualities, is he still evil for being a racist? Now, J. William Fulbright was racist. He opposed desegregation, claiming that it would be detrimental to both white and black students (and he was somewhat right, though not for the same reasons he thought he was). He also ran the University of Arkansas, one of the first integrated universities, gave selflessly to his community and many charities, fought for his constituents, and was an all around good guy. Therefore, for all his faults, I don't think Bill Clinton should be demonized for looking up to him. I mean, my grandparents are very racist, but they're some of the kindest, most moral people I know. So, once again, the question: Can a person be both a racist and a good person? The media and PC crowd, especially the NAACP, seems to think no.