Despite the ugliness, I am oddly comforted by the uproar over Lott's comments. I've been walking around lately with the horrible sensation of being time-warped back to a darker era, and the fact that this story has yet to die reminds me that, yes, despite everything, there has been progress.
Reading Krugman is always comforting too.
Let's be clear that last week's remarks were in no way out of character. On the contrary, they were entirely consistent with Mr. Lott's statements on many other occasions.
The great majority of Americans don't share Mr. Lott's views. For example, he opposed declaring Martin Luther King day a holiday, telling Southern Partisan magazine that "we have not done it for a lot of other people that were more deserving." Most Americans, I think, believe that King was pretty deserving.