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Wednesday, July 09, 2008 

State Official Quits Rather Than Lowering Flag For Senator Jesse Helms

A State official in North Carolina has quit his managerial job rather than follow the Governor’s directive and lower flags to honour former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms. The state Department of Agriculture director instructed his staff not to fly the U.S. or North Carolina flags at half-staff Monday, as ordered in a directive to all state agencies by Gov. Mike Easley.

L.F. Eason e-mailed his employees in the state standards lab and said, "Regardless of any executive proclamation, I do not want the flags at the North Carolina Standards Laboratory flown at half staff to honor Jesse Helms any time this week." He told his staff that he did not think it was appropriate to honor Helms because of his "doctrine of negativity, hate, and prejudice" and his opposition to civil rights bills and the federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

When his own superior ordered the lab to follow the Governor’s directive, Eason decided to retire rather than pay tribute to Helms. After several hours' delay, one of Eason's employees hung the flags at half-staff..

News Observer

Right wing Senator Jesse Helms was a member of the Republican Party. He was an unapologetic racist with fans in both Canada and the United States .... here are the kind of things that he liked to say on the floor of the United States Senate Chamber:

"Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced."
Senator Jesse Helms

"The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights."
Senator Jesse Helms

Even in death Helms is divisive.

No doubt. Statements like he made should have been reprimanded by his political party and by his constituents.

Part of me thinks that you should respect the rank, if not the person who fills it. And a bigger part of me is screaming, "GOOD FOR HIM!" I'm sure there are places in more progressive areas of the country that would hire him.

Leftdog, they won't have reprimanded him. Too many people in the Republican party think this way. It's just that Helms said it clearly and boldly.

We need more people like Eason. That's the kind of integrity and courage that is missing in politics.

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