Monday, August 4, 2008

Jesse Helms' desk

Jesse Helms, the former Republican senator from North Carolina who built his career on blatant racism and demonizing gay people and people with AIDS, is preaching tolerance from the grave -- but only within his own family.

In his will, filed in Wake County courts twelve days after his 04 Jul 2008 death, Helms asks
that my children try to be as understanding and tolerant of each other as possible and to make every effort to avoid disharmony among themselves.
Helms infamously said that gays caused the AIDS epidemic, victimized hemophiliac AIDS patient Ryan White, threaten the survival of the American family, are in a battle against American values, and have the ultimate aim of having the American people accept "their perverted lifestyle". There was apparently no mention in his last testament that he regretted any of his atrocious behavior, but he did fret about the final disposition of his old Senate desk. He specified that if no family member wanted it, it should go to the Jesse Helms Center Foundation.

By the time an HIV vaccine is discovered, tens of millions of people will have died of AIDS, many of whom could have been saved if Helms had not blocked funding for prevention and treatment. Once a vaccine -- or even an outright cure -- is discovered, it is reasonable to suppose that there will come into being an AIDS Holocaust Museum, located perhaps in San Francisco, New York, or even southern Africa. Just as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum displays artifacts from the Nazi regime, an AIDS Holocaust Museum would be a suitable setting for Helms' desk, along with a display of his monstrous statements with which he profaned the floor of the United States Senate.

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