Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Biography - Strom Thurmond|
Actor: Strom Thurmond
Genres: Television, Documentary
When he died at age 100 in December 2003, Strom Thurmond became the longest serving senator in the history of Congress. One of the most controversial U.S. politicians of the 20th century, Strom led the fight against the Ci... more »
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Irritating Even If True
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 08/26/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I don't care for Condi Rice, but I admit that she has very impressive credentials. The same happens here: as a Black American, Strom just makes me sick, but he did live a lively and credentialed life. I think Biography did try its hardest to show both sides of him.
They show that he was a judge, a medalled veteran, a keen politician, etc. However, they sometimes imply that "he was racist because the times were racist." He should be held accountable for that mess! They try to pass him off as if he were Madonna: a master of reinvention. This gushiness here really bothered me. But to A&E's credit, they show the venerable Congressman John Lewis and other African Americans saying how disgusting this Old South leader was. The work even shows Strom using the N-word and giving speeches on promoting segregation. What can you say? Quite truthfully, the guy did uphold segregation but then later got huge numbers of Black South Carolinians to vote for him. It's true even while it's disturbing.
This documentary was made in the late 1990s. They tack on a new ending with a clearly different narrator who mentions Trent Lott's regretful comment, Strom's death, and that he had a biracial daughter. I wish these dynamics were explored more. If they can contextualize his former racism, then why not contextualize how Southern white men of the past would promote segregation but demand sexual services of black women? The fact that Strom was homophobic and attacked gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin never comes up here either. The work consistently describes Strom as having "a penchant for the young ladies." Why can Republicans get away with that, but Democrats like JKF and Clinton cannot?"