At 1:15 a.m. on July 4, 2008 in Raliegh, North Carolina, at the age of 86 years old, Jesse Alexander Helms, one of the most long-standing, influential Senators in modern American history died of natural causes.
Unfortunately, he will be remembered. A father, husband, politician and passionate bigot, Jesse Helms was an infamous leader and promoter of sexist, racist and anti-gay legislation and social agendas that would be credited in the denial of health care for millions as well as the attempted repression of civil rights movements for decades.
May you rest in peace, Jesse. While we as a country, a society, cities, neighborhoods and individual people work diligently together to untangle your legacy of hate, may we also rest a bit more peacefully.