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McCain Owes America an Apology

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McCain Owes America an Apology: John Lewis Was Right

John McCain spent months fanning the fear-filled fires of folks scared of terrorists, socialists, and anti-Americanism in his campaign for President.  On election night he made a fine concession speech and walked away==but the fires are still burning.  John McCain apparently thought it was OK to turn fears on high for as long as possible to help his quest for the presidency.  But he cannot now just expect the flames to turn off.  He owes America an apology for running a terribly fear-mongering, knowingly false and divisive campaign. 

Just outside of New Orleans, a newly discovered chapter of the Ku Klux Klan murdered one of their newest recruits in the past few days.  The woman who was murdered was a novice who took a bus down from Oklahoma after the election for the specific purpose of joining the Klan.  She was shot and her body was burned after a disagreement with the Klan leader.  Coincidence?

Nationwide, gun sales are up.  People in Houston are buying, according to the Los Angeles Times, assault rifles and high capacity magazines of ammunition.   Denver, according to the New York Times, set a one day record for people seeking weapons.  Coincidence? 

In the most expensive exclusive private school in New Orleans, a classroom of 12 year olds was asked by their teacher what their reactions were to the election.   In front of one African American classmate, one white student said, "Twelve black people can't run a Burger King, how do you expect one black man to run the country?"-  What made that student and his family think that was acceptable speech?  Does the fact that McCain got 86% of the white vote in Louisiana give a hint?  Coincidence?

The New York Times reported on the people in small town Alabama, where the election is making whites fear that blacks will now be more "aggressive." 

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John McCain professed to be deeply offended by Congressman John Lewis' warning that the campaign of McCain and Palin was stoking fires that could not be put out.  They spent months pounding away at supposed connections to terrorism that they knew were bogus.  They spent months screaming that socialism was on the advance if they lost.  Their campaign gave comfort and support to their fellow travelers of the hard right to scare and scare and scare people.  And guess what, people are scared.  And scared people do scary things.

Congressman Lewis warned them in October.  "As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better."

Senator McCain was "offended,"- seriously offended by Rep Lewis' comments.  "Congressman John Lewis' comments represent a character attack against Governor Sarah Palin and me that is shocking and beyond the pale. The notion that legitimate criticism of Senator Obama's record and positions could be compared to Governor George Wallace, his segregationist policies and the violence he provoked is unacceptable and has no place in this campaign."-

Maybe this is all just a coincidence since the election.  Coincidence?  I think not.  John McCain owes this country a real and full apology for fanning the fires of fear.  And he also owes John Lewis an apology.

By Bill Quigley He is a human rights lawyer and law professor at Loyola University New Orleans.  He can be reached at


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Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and law professor at Loyola University New Orleans and Legal Director for the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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you are so right JIM,McCain does need to stop and ... by EVELYN CONLEY on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 11:21:59 AM
I find it really hard to be sorry about racists ki... by Roger on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 12:50:09 PM
Being as how John McCain possesses esoteric, highl... by Michael McCoy on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 1:25:12 PM
I agree that he owes Obama and Lewis an apology, b... by Diane Vandermast on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 1:57:22 PM
What was so puzzling about the whole campaign wage... by Caronome on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 2:13:50 PM
"He owes America an apology for running a ter... by Hope Hofmann on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 6:09:28 PM
I don't even put these little tidbits together... by Scott on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 9:24:34 PM
No one knows what an Obama presidency will bring. ... by Gallaher on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 10:46:25 PM
We also owe him thanks for running such a stupid c... by Jeffrey Rock on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 10:47:09 PM
If there's one thing I've learned about Re... by Viki_FL on Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 11:31:05 PM
IF there is a God and if he/she is so inclined, th... by psycheboat on Friday, Nov 14, 2008 at 8:37:03 AM
"...fed the flames of hate and bigotry...&quo... by Scott on Friday, Nov 14, 2008 at 8:15:35 PM