The big question today, and probably this week, is “Should Harry Reid step down?”

The simple answer to that question is a resounding and deafening, “YES!!!”  But it should be a resounding and deafening “Yes, but…”

Harry Reid is a pathetic excuse for a senator, and a pathetic excuse for a Majority Leader.  He doesn’t so much lead as follow the instructions of Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrat Party, when he should be following the instructions of his constituents and his conscience.  (God help us if his conscience tells him to do the things he does.  But that’s off the topic.)

But now we’re faced with the “racist” comments of Mr. Reid.  To refresh the memory, he said, during the period of time leading up to the 2008 Presidential Election, that Barack Obama “was ‘light-skinned’ and because he did not speak with a ‘Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.’”  This quote is stated in a new book entitled Game Change, written by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.

The fact of the matter is, that is a true statement.  Obama does have light skin, relatively speaking.  He does speak in a refined manner.  He CAN speak “ghetto” when he wishes to.  Most of us can.  So what makes the statement “racist”?  One word.  “Negro”.  We have become so incredibly politically correct that when a word is uttered, the ‘racist’ flag is hooked to the flagpole.  Other parameters must be met, of course.  If the speaker is considered a Caucasion, the flag is run up the flagpole and saluted, regardless of the context.  Unless, of course, it’s used in an annual contribution to the United NEGRO College Fund.  Then it’s ok.

But if the speaker is black, then myriad words are allowed to describe race:  African-American (which has even been applied to those native to Europe, Haiti, Jamaica, and other places. They’re not even American, and yet, they’re referred to as “African-American.”  But that’s not racist), Black, Negro, Nigger  and the various incarnations of that word.

So, there’s a double standard that we all acknowledge.  But why do we tolerate it?

The big furor in this is the parallel story of Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond.  Senator Lott made some comment about how things would have been better had Thurmond been elected.  Again, possibly a true statement.  And it was said in the context of a party for Thurmond’s 100th Birthday.  But in that case, Lott was driven out of the Senate on charges of “racism”.

Parallels can, and are, being drawn between the Reid statement from this week and the Lott situation of 2007.  And this is where I part ways with the results and the current controversy.

I don’t think Lott should have been forced to step out of his position because of what he said.  Was it stupid?  Yes.  Was it said as a joke?  Yes.  Could it have offended some people?  Sure.  Anything can offend someone at any given time.

I also don’t think that Reid should step down because of what he said.  Was it stupid?  Yes.  Was it said off the cuff?  Yes.  It wasn’t a joke, but it was simply a statement.  Could it have offended some people?  Obviously, the answer is yes.

But should these people be run out of their jobs because of it?  No.  I’m sorry, but NO.  Should they be run out of their jobs because they’re pathetic at what they do, and because they’re partisan hacks who put money and power before all else?  Yes.  Should they be fired by their constituents because they completely ignore the Constitution, and there’s a steady low rumble coming from the graves of our spinning Founding Fathers?  Absolutely yes.

But run out of office because they say “Negro”?  No.

Does that make me a “racist”?  Probably.

Do I care?  NO.

This entry was posted in adults, behavior, fairness, politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Racist?

  1. SKL says:

    Isn’t it amazing that here in the USA, where we used to be so proud of our “freedom of speech,” we have a degree of censorship that prohibits even well-meant statements?

    But wait, I must qualify that. If you claim to identify with the liberals or Democrats, then you are always given the benefit of the doubt. It’s we conservatives who are not allowed to say ANYTHING about race.

    Because conservatives are all racist, right? And liberals are not. Oh, no.

    The liberal media is studiously avoiding the statement made by Bill Clinton, while trying to convince E. Kennedy to back Hillary instead of Obama, that “come on, a few years ago he would have been serving our coffee.” And how about Biden, who during the primaries stated that Obama was the “first” clean, bright, articulate black candidate? Democrats all got amnesia over that one. “You know old Joe, his heart is in the right place.” Crap! And let’s not forget the many examples of racist speech that have come out of the mouths of our prominent liberal minorities over the years. Fact is, probably the majority of Democrats in Congress have some brilliant statement(s) like that in their past, if only the media had a motivation to inform us of them.

    To me, the most offensive part of this whole business is the double standard. Someone had CNN on in the other room today and while I tried not to hear it, I couldn’t help but notice how carefully they chose their panel of experts to “analyze” the meaning of this Reid incident. Why, surprise, surprise, each of them supported Reid. Do you think for one minute a conservative would have gotten away with that? For one minute? Would there be this whole “move on, he apologized” business?

    These people really think we are stupid. And sadly, to some extent, they are right. Those who don’t have the sense to look beyond CNN won’t even get a clear picture of what happened in the first place. Thank you, liberal-run US education system!!

    As for whether Harry Reid should resign – I don’t know, because do you really think he can get re-elected? He was sucking wind in the polls even before this “Negro” business. If he resigns, he could try to set up someone in his place that would continue to blindly support the agenda of Obama and Pelosi. But I agree that he doesn’t deserve to stay. He is intentionally trampling on the rights of all Americans and, more concerningly, on democracy itself. Not to mention the damage to the economy that will be very hard to reverse. But I’m not sure a resignation would be any better than just letting the voters speak in November.

    Oh, speaking of “free speech” – I don’t consider myself a racist; after all, more than half of my household has darker skin than Obama. As have the majority of men I’ve dated. But during the campaign, I made the following comment (after being informed that my use of the word “terrorist” was racist, even though I was talking about caucasion terrorists): “I don’t even view Obama as black. I see him as a white guy with brown skin.” Oh man, you should have seen the whipping I got for that. How dare I. But let’s be honest. His “black experience” was 99% manufactured, just as his accent is when he talks to black audiences. He wants whites to subconciously see him as a white guy. He is half white, was raised 100% by whites, went to a white school, etc., but because being seen as a negro will get him certain votes, I am required to speak of him as a negro – except when I shouldn’t. Whatever!

    Ultimately, the fact is that it’s the liberals who keep bringing race into everything. Just because it’s popular to say conservatives are racist doesn’t mean there is any proof of that. I strongly believe there are more racists in the Democratic party than in the Republican party. Many of them harbor the most insidious form of racism – the patronizing kind – we love you more because you’re black, incompetent, and in need of our help. I am surprised more blacks aren’t disgusted by this racist mindset. (Though many certainly are.)

    • Laura says:

      I’m willing to let Clinton off the hook for the “coffee” remark because I really think it was a reference to Obama’s inexperience, as opposed to his race.

      But I’m NOT willing to let Robert Byrd off the hook… he was the Grand Whatever-it-is of the KKK!!!

  2. Ellen says:

    For now, no comment, I have to think about it.

  3. Just a Mom says:

    I agree with you on this all the way Laura. He should not be run out of office for his comment just like Lott shouldn’t oh have.
    Just some food for thought, I mentioned this to my husband last night, maybe this was all planned to sell his book! Really had his statement not been a big deal I wouldn’t even know about the book.

    • Laura says:

      just to clarify… the book mentioned in the article, and the subject of all this controversy, isn’t written by Harry Reid. To my knowledge, he doesn’t have a book out. yet.

  4. Joy says:

    I’m not really sure what to say here. I’m not that familiar with Harry Reid. His name is sure a household name now though isn’t it? I’ll need to think about this more. I always know what I want to say but can’t find the right words so I also want to see how others say it.

    First of all I think we’ve gone way to far with “political correctness” and we take to much stock in all the crap people say. Don Imus, Mel Gibson and Michael Richards (Kramer from Seinfeld) all got into “trouble” with “racist” comments and lost their jobs. Now how can this man get away with it? I’m not saying anything about him one way or the other because until now, I barely knew who he was but this is just getting crazy. It didn’t matter what you turned on yesterday, this was the hot topic.

    I will say that anyone that sits on the right hand of Nancy Pelosi scares the living crap out of me.

    Maybe JAM’s right and it was just planned to publicize this book.

    • SKL says:

      Harry Reid is the current leader of the Senate, the author of the Senate version of the health care debacle, the guy who is excluding Republicans from the debate and doing all he can to bribe and threaten wayward Democrats to support that mess – as well as the other messes that Congress has made / wants to make to support Obama’s agenda.

      • Laura says:

        And he’s the senior senator from Nevada. With any luck, a lame-duck senator, trying to stand on his broken little webbed feet.

  5. Joy says:

    I also wanted to add that I heard Whoopi Goldberg say yesterday on The View that she would prefer to be called Black than anything else because that’s what she is. We are white, she is black. That’s what she said. I also think it’s ridiculous to call all black people “African Americans” if they were for example, from England, Australia, Canada or or somewhere other than Africa. Does anyone know who decided to call “dark skinned” people African American? Because Black people come from all over and not just Africa.

    • SKL says:

      My black friends also prefer “black.” But some of them will use the PC term “African American” to please others.

      I used “negro” because it’s the term we were discussing. But I don’t see what’s wrong with it, because it has the exact same meaning as “black.” Decades ago, Negro was used because it sounded more respectful than black. Now, it brings back memories from the days of segregation, etc., so I think that’s why people don’t like it.

      I really think we could get a lot more done if we could just stop categorizing based on skin color. Why do we need a “black caucus” in Congress? Is there anything those educated, popularly elected people have to say that can’t be said in a mixed-race group? Why do I get all kinds of unfriendly stares if I attend a black church or club meeting? Why can’t a white person say a race-neutral word like “terrorist” or “liar” without being called a racist? Why do the school systems require me to list my children’s race for their records? Hasn’t it been sufficiently proven that singling people out based on race – even with good intentions – only hurts the race that is being treated differently? Why is much of the music played in predominantly black areas full of “nigger” and other racial epithets? Why is the black community so offended that Tiger Woods happens to be attracted to light-skinned women? This is all created by people who pretend to be pro-black, but all it does is cement the racial differences. Truth is, the agenda behind much of this is self-serving – get more Democrat votes, foster helplessness which creates power in those who would pose as “helpers,” sell a million CDs that will teach a new generation to hate, shoot up, and get knocked up. Then figure out some way to blame the Republicans for all of it.

      So while I don’t love the term “African-American,” my preference would be to not describe people based on their skin color at all. Other than blacks, who do we describe that way? Do we speak of our “white” neighbors, our kids’ “blond” teachers, our “curly-haired” bosses? Should my kids’ classmates learn to refer to them as their “__-American” friends? I hope not. I hope they are viewed as individuals first, and that their physical characteristics are brought up only in celebration of their unique heritage, if at all.

  6. Tessa says:

    I agree with Joy, I don’t know anything about that guy or the situation, but I like what Whoopi said too. We should do away with all the other words-use black. I think the majority of us know not to use words like negro and such. It is offensive with good reason to many blacks. I hate when rappers use those words but it is up to them-freedom of speech I guess. But when you are a leader, especially in politics, I do think it is necessary to use respectful language. And since to most negro is offensive, I’d say be correct. I have a friend who is black-who was born in Kenya and raised in Europe. He doesn’t like to be called African American because he is African. I think there are far too many names for black people. White people don’t have so many slang terms for our skin color. Should he have lost his job over it? I don’t think so, but I don’t know all the facts either.

    • SKL says:

      I personally prefer brown if I’m going to talk about skin color. I have many, many brown friends and loved ones. I have never met a person who is black.

    • Laura says:

      I have a real problem that rappers use the “n” word… and that they’re allowed to do so, because of “freedom of speech”, when there so clearly is a double standard.

      If that rapper said (pardon the offense, because it’s gonna be)… “stupid nigga bitch,” well, it’s just a song, isn’t it? It’s art, it’s how he feels, it’s just the way it is. Creativity is a wonderful thing, and look, he’s just using his voice…that’s been oppressed for so many years because we had slaves here 200 years ago.

      Now, a white country singer says the same exact words… perhaps even sets all the exact same lyrics to a melody? And he’d be out of a career. He’d be ostracized for being racist, shot down, lose a recording contract, etc., etc., etc.

      THAT’S where I have the problem. Ok, don’t use the phrase. I get that “that word” is offensive to a lot of people, just like the “c-word” is offensive, completely off-limits to women. I’m cool with that. But do NOT then, turn right around, and use that word when referencing your best buddy, because he happens to possess the same color skin that you do.

      That’s not “freedom of speech” – that’s “censorship”. And however you paint it, it’s wrong.

  7. TRS says:

    I don’t know enough about the Reid comment to share an opinion… but I agree about the racist label being recklessly tossed about.

    Last month, I made a comment on F@cebook that I wasn’t as crazy about Michelle Obama as all the magazine covers are – got a bit chewed up over it… and so added that mostly I don’t like her husband. (in reference to his healthcare and abortion policies – I mean -YUK!) Then a former co-worker chimed in and asked, “Is it a black thing?”

    I got seriously POed – because I hate the fact that the second a white person doesn’t approve of or appreciate the values or policies of a black man – it must be because we’re racist and not because we have opinions or education about said policy!!! Grrrr.

    Anyway, then I said so on my FB page and got reamed some more! People said I was awfully defensive when he was clearly joking! I don’t think it’s a joke to suggest someone is racist when we clearly are not.
    I’m still a bit steamed about it.

    • Joy says:

      I totally agree with you TRS. I hate when I’m asked if I’m a racist because the President isn’t the President of my choice. Nobody ever asked me that before and there have been a lot of Democratic Presidents I didn’t like. When I expressed my feelings about Clinton for example, nobody said that. I get very sick of that.

    • SKL says:

      I totally agree with this. And I agree that Michelle Obama is not pretty and she also has an awful fashion sense. And it’s not racist to say that. There are unattractive people of all shapes and colors.

      It is so frustrating when you can’t have an intelligent political conversation with people who are otherwise intelligent. It’s like when you say you’re pro-life, and people say “Oh, you must be Catholic” (I’m not) as if that negates any reasoning you might have. Ugh.

      • Laura says:

        But her ARMS!!! Don’t you wish you had her incredible, magnificent, wonderful, superhuman ARMS?????

        • Nikki says:

          LMAO….you always notice the arms don’t ya!?

        • SKL says:

          No, I don’t think she has nice arms. My arms are much nicer than hers and I’ll never be on the cover of a magazine. Shoot – I don’t care what the hell she looks like, but let’s get real, right? I mean, how can anyone without a vision impairment say (with honesty) that there is anything impressive about her looks? Talk about blind followers.

          • Nikki says:

            There really isn’t one thing pretty about her is there? Now you want to talk about a First Lady who was beautiful inside and out…that’d be Mrs. Laura Bush….and not because she’s white or republican! lol

  8. Nikki says:

    Someday maybe color won’t even be an issue! Why does one even have to be labeled by their color? Negro may offend one, as honky may offend another. I can’t really comment on this actual issue because I don’t know anything about it. I do however know exactly what racism can do. I’ve seen it first hand. I grew up in a small “hick” town if you will. Just outside of Sacramento. I don’t usually tell people the town I’m from b/c Rush Limbaugh has made it clear to people if you are from there then that makes you STUPID! Back the late 80’s early 90’s it was a very racist town, burning crosses in the yard of black family. Our school had it’s first black principle, he was threatened so much he quit. Isn’t that ridiculous?! All because of his color!
    I don’t get peoples thinking on this one bit. Black, white, purple, green. WTH does it matter?!
    Should he had been fired….probably not. But like Joy said if we are going to be the racism police, then we cannot be descrimintory!? 😉 Whites don’t owe blacks anything and blacks owe us nothing….why can’t we all just get along!?
    I did not NOT vote for Obama because he is black…I hate when people say that too!

    • Laura says:

      The thing of it is, Nikki… if the “leaders” of this country and the Black Community (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al) would just shut up and sit down, the regular people in this country would police themselves.

      If you said something that was out of line, chances are, your peers would (and do, frankly) call you on it. If you said something by mistake, someone would say, “really? did you mean that?” and you’d realize the mistake and say, “oh, geez… No!!! I’m sorry, I meant… blah…” Problem solved. Nobody fired, hurt feelings soothed quickly with a heartfelt apology, or a chuckle over an offhand comment. No harm, no foul.

      But we have the JJ’s of the world who feel it’s their sworn duty to bring race to the forefront of every. single. issue. And frankly, those who scream the word “racist” the loudest, I believe, are the *most* racist amongst us.

      • Nikki says:

        I agree…what irritates me is that black people say they don’t want color to be an issue yet they are the first to play the race card. I can gaurantee that a majority of the “colored” population voted for Obama simply because he is black. I didn’t NOT vote for him for that reason. I do think that black people are the ones that keep the race card going.

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