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Race and the Republicans36:17
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photoRepublicans wanted to make their party seem more welcoming to minorities. Then along came Trent Lott and the racial divisions were ripped open again. Lott's comments at the 100th birthday celebration for Strom Thurmond, praising the senator's 1948 presidential campaign, which had been based on support for segregation, caused Republicans to cringe and some party leaders to call for Lott to step down from his leadership position.

The race question has long dogged Republicans, who have worked to shed its appearance as an all-white club. The emotional reaction to Lott's comments underscores how much race remains a festering sore in the country's political life. In this hour, Republican voices speak out about race and the GOP.

Guests:

Thomas Edsall, political correspondent with the Washington Post

Earl Black, professor of political science at Rice University, co-author of "The Rise of Southern Republicans

Andrew Sullivan, writes daily on his website andrewsullivan.com, senior editor at the New Republic

Hillary Shelton, director of Washington bureau of the NAACP

This program aired on December 16, 2002.

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