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Jesse Helms pens new book

North Carolina's one-man confederacy of dunces, Jesse Helms, has written a book, Here's Where I Stand, to be released later this year detailing the career that earned him the nickname Senator No, as well as Prince of Darkness and a few we can't print here. He claims to have been misunderstood. Following are excerpts from his book, each of which is followed by actual quotes from Helms' long career. You be the judge.

From Here's Where I Stand: "We will never know how integration might have been achieved in neighborhoods across our land, because the opportunity was snatched away by outside agitators who had their own agendas to advance. We certainly do know the price paid by the stirring of hatred, the encouragement of violence, the suspicion and distrust."*

"The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that has thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt the traffic and commerce and interfere with other men's rights; lawlessness invites lawlessness. If and when this erupts, who will restore order?" — WRAL-TV, 1963.

"I did not advocate segregation, and I did not advocate aggravation.... People from outside the South totally misunderstood the nature and intent of many Southerners. They thought opposition to the proposed laws meant hostility toward blacks. That simply was not true."

1967: "It is time to face honestly and sincerely the purely scientific statistical evidence of natural racial distinction in group intellect. ... Those who would undertake to solve the problem by merely spending more money, and by massive forced integration, may be doing the greatest injustice of all to the Negro."

1968: "They should ask their parents if it would be all right for their son or daughter to marry a Negro." Helms' advice for students at Duke University, who held a vigil after Martin Luther King's assassination.

"Perhaps nothing in my 30 years in the Senate has been more twisted and misunderstood than my ... opposition to the creation of a federal holiday to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. My decision was based on facts, not on personality and certainly not on race."

1966: "It is interesting to note that the Nobel Peace Prize won't be awarded this year. When one recalls that Martin Luther King got the prize last year, it may be just as well that the committee decided not to award one this year. Perhaps it was too difficult to choose between Stokely Carmichael and Ho Chi Minh."

*Excerpts were taken from the News & Observer in Raleigh, which obtained uncorrected proofs of Here's Where I Stand, to be published by Random House. Other sources include CNN transcripts and WRAL-TV. Never let it be said Creative Loafing shirks an opportunity to give gasbag politicians a little advance publicity.

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