Strom Thurmond thoroughly disgusts me. I know he's an easy target, and I hate to pile on to such an obvious point, but still. The worst thing was not so much that he was a racist, but more that he really wasn't that much of one. He made his nut pushing "segregation forever" and all that typical Jim Crow nonsense- but he apparently didn't actually personally really have that strong an opinion. It was just something to say to pander for votes, and he was happy to flip it over when the wind started blowing the other way. That cynical disregard sucks even worse than the racism.
If I thought he was a demagogic political hack before, I don't quite have words for this- but we'll see if I can find some. This rates far worse than racism. God damn any son of a bitch who would treat his daughter like this.
If you want a case study in racial pathology and parental abuse, read the four page Washington Post story. Essie Mae Williams is a 78 year old retired school teacher. Her mother was a 16 year old maid in the Thurmond house. 22 year old Thurmond was a school teacher living with his parents at the time.
For many years, Thurmond quietly gave her a little money here and there. He visited with her occassionally- and publicly denied her till the day he died.
He didn't just not mention her. She was known of, and he actively specifically denied his parentage. Worse yet, he convinced her to do the same.
My mind reels contemplating the machinations of this master politician manipulating his own daughter like a particularly problematic constituent. He'd see her for a couple of hours once or twice a year. Apparently he was affectionate and nice to her, and of course always had a few bucks for his girl.
She obviously desperately wanted to think well of her daddy. He spoke nice to her. She wouldn't want to hurt his feelings. Then he greases her up with a few bucks to keep her quiet- and enough affection to let her convince herself that this money was proof that he cared. So she herself actively denied her parentage his whole life. She loved him and didn't want to ruin his career.