Tuesday, August 17, 2010

James J. Kilpatrick — 1920-2010

James J. Kilpatrick, a conservative writer and probably best known to my generation as the target of Dan Ackroyd’s SNL parody of 60 Minutes (“Jane, you ignorant slut…”), has died.

He was pretty much an old-school right-winger, defined in his own terms:

“Conservatives believe that a civilized society demands orders and classes, that men are not inherently equal, that change and reform are not identical, that in a free society men are children of God and not wards of the state…” he wrote.

He defended segregation, including drafting an article in 1963 for the Saturday Evening Post that said, “the Negro race, as a race, is in fact an inferior race.” The Post did not publish it, however, since it would have appeared after the bombing of the church in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four children. He never repented his views but gave them up because he realized that segregation was a lost cause.

If there is an afterlife, it would be nice if those four girls were on the admissions committee.