Commentary: Don't sanitize Helms' racist past

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So CNN correspondent Roland S. Martin has a problem with Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond because they were segregationists. I’m not big fans of them either but let’s not forget the fact that Thurmond renounced his segregationist ways later in life and had an obvious touch of jungle fever.

But let me pose a question to progressives out there. Why do Helms and Thurmond get labeled as racists but Sen. Robert Byrd of WV gets a pass when he was in the Ku Klux Klan. You don’t join the Klan because you look good in white. Is it because he has a D next to his name? Byrd was a segregationist too yet I haven’t seen any black reporters labeling him as a racist.