Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pickering confronts his critics

Sid Salter writes a great piece in today's Clarion Ledger on Charles Pickering and "A Price Too High."

An excerpt from Salter's piece:

In Pickering's second book, he confronts his Senate and special interest tormentors - particularly U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and the group People For the American Way. He does it merely by letting them be hoisted on the petard of their own contradictory comments in their attempts to smear a white Southerner with the false charge of racism....

In A Price Too High, Pickering recounts the behind-the-scenes political machinations on Capitol Hill - including his defense in public and private by his son, 3rd District U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Flora. But he also writes about the toll it took on his health and on his family.

One particularly powerful chapter focuses on Judge Pickering's March 28, 2004, interview on the CBS news magazine show 60 Minutes with veteran journalist Mike Wallace.

Wallace, feared by politicians and public officials for his ability to get to the truth regardless of the consequence, gave 16.74 million Americans a chance to get to know Pickering and hear what Mississippians had to say about the charges of racism lodged against him by Schumer, the People for the American Way and other critics.

One of the real stars of the 60 Minutes piece was veteran civil rights activist Charles Evers, the brother of slain NAACP field director Medgar Evers. Charles Evers staunchly defended Pickering in front of a national television audience and told of his efforts to battle the Ku Klux Klan in Jones County in the 1960s.

Evers recently read Pickering's second book.

"Unlike those who attacked him in Washington, D.C., I know Charles Pickering personally; and I know his positive record on race relations, civil rights, and equal protection for all," said Evers. "Washington liberals attempted to portray him as a racist; they sickened me. I've been in the fight. I have the wounds. I know the truth. If you are interested in promoting better race relations, you should read Charles Pickering's story."

(Read Salter's Full Piece Here)

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