July 10, 2008

L.F. Eason III, American Hero

Just wanted to post this story about a long-time North Carolina state employee who chose to retire rather than lower a flag to half-staff in honor of the late Senator Jesse Helms, because it's the very definition of awesomeness.

Jesse Helms, for those of you lucky enough to know nothing about the man, was basically the premiere evil, Southern racist to ever grace the halls of Congress. His highlights, among many others, include filibustering the overwhelmingly supported effort to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday; opposing domestic AIDS treatment because, in his mind, it would be helpful to gays; and vehemently opposing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and pretty much any other piece of legislation that went against his bigoted, backward, redneck ways.

So, naturally, when Helms passed a few days ago, not many tears were shed across the country, except maybe below the Mason-Dixon line. Even so, NC's governor still ordered that all U.S. and state flags be flown at half-staff, a show of honor and respect given to all recently passed members of Congress, no matter how undeserving.

But L.F. Eason III, a director of a state highway standards laboratory, told his staff to ignore the governor's directive, stating later that Helms had a "doctrine of negativity, hate and prejudice," which is true. When ordered by his supervisors to lower the flag, Eason, a 29-year veteran of the state's workforce, chose instead to retire.

So here's to you, L.F. Eason III. You're an inspiration to us all, sir.

R.I.H. Jesse Helms, Southern bigot and possible vampire (1921-2008)

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