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.