Monday, January 11, 2010

Harry Reid & the Black Caucus Double Standard

[After following this story over the weekend, I had to post something about it to my blog and in other places across the Internet. If black leaders in this country will say nothing at this time, then perhaps those of us who give a shit about more than an singular agenda should, in their stead, speak out with the loudest of voices. --gh]

Thanks to the publication of a new book about the 2008 Presidential election, it is becoming apparent that Senator Harry Reid is not, um, "less ignorant than we used to be" (to coin a phrase from a good man). In reference to then-candidate Obama, Senator Reid commented on the likability of the candidate because of a presumptive, general acceptance of his complexion, and then Reid went on to say that this candidate, Obama, spoke "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

WHAT THE ---- !!!!

Now, for the sake of objectivity, I easily accept the fact that ignorance will never be totally eradicated from this world. After all, we are human. And I also accept that a person of Mr. Reid's age may utter such things from time to time, and yet, he, himself, may not be a full-blown bigot. In his mind, there may have been nothing wrong with these remarks. (And surely, that was the case, because he has only now apologized for them, many months after they were uttered, and only because they are meeting public scrutiny.) But none of that makes this gaffe even remotely excusable.

What's more insulting to me, too, is the cavalier attitude taken by the Congressional Black Caucus. This feckless lot has found no reason to stand legion with the many demanding that Reid voluntarily step down for this verbal misstep. In fact, the Chair of the CBC said this:

"I have had an opportunity to speak with Senator Reid and he apologized for his unfortunate remarks concerning the President and he understands the gravity of such remarks. There are too many issues like the economy, job creation and energy for these regrettable comments to distract us from the work that must be done on behalf of the American people."

That might be fine to you, Rep. Barbara Lee. And maybe I missed the memo--but who died and anointed you the high ambassador for all people of color this year?

Speaking as one of those persons of color who has had to spend a lifetime dealing with the issue of dialect and natural inflections, I am appalled--but not surprised--that so-called black leaders would elect to follow political expedience and party loyalty over the greater pursuit of social dignity and any effort to marginalize old mindsets. That these leaders, who have never been silent on lesser matters, would cower now, when they know something to be wrong, only attests to the fact that they are not leaders, at all. Or that is to say, they are not leaders when it comes to standing up to their so-called friends.(Remember, they forced Trent Lott into obscurity for saying something with less potency than this.)

Perhaps it is also fitting and a bit ironic that, next week, these same so-called leaders will be celebrating the life of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. As they get ready to do this and lament about "having a dream", they would be well-served to remember another statement from Dr. King: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

My, how easily it seems that we have forgotten.


To understand why this is so personal for me,
click here.


Pam R. said...

I'm an African American female, and I've always thought the Democrats were more racist than Republicans supposedly were. This remark seems to support my thesis. It's not really the comment here, but the IDEA behind the comment. What were the ideas?

* Light skinned black people are far more desirable than dark-skinned ones. This is a carry over from slavery where the lighter-skinned blacks (who were often the children of the slave owner) were given easier jobs than the dark skinned field N*gg*rs.

*A 'negro dialect' - we found one of you that can talk. We didn't put 50-cent in office. He seems to represent most of you people.

* The fact that he's still using terms like this means that his politics are still probably 50 year old segregationist Dixiecrat politics. BEWARE. The welfare, healthcare, and other care is probably, in his mind, to keep the African-American dependent slaves on the government. 50-60 years of welfare did more to obliterate the Black family than 400 years of slavery. God never meant for ANYBODY to be dependent on a government check of any kind.

I usually don't give a rip about when some idiot makes stupid racial remarks (ie...Dwayne Dog Chapman, Don Imus, etc...) because they are not in a position of power. BUT THIS GUY IS THE HEAD OF THE SENATE! HE'S SHAPING POLICY FOR THE REST OF US DIALECTED DARK SKINNED NEGROES!


Trent Lott was ousted from his position because of an ignorant discriminate remark that I think was far less injurious than this.

Black people, wake up. THIS is the democrat party YOU voted for.

A concerned African-American Female,
Littleton, CO

Digger in LV said...

WOW! What a freaking idiot this guy is! And you are right on point about black leaders. They want to cry "racism" about everything under the sun but not about this. Now their credibility is in question. It serves them right.

Anonymous said...

I just knew people were going to find a way to blame our black leaders for something a racist said. Now you are going and doing the same thing the Republicans are doing, Gary. You think you found something worth crying about, and you are driving it into the ground. And you want to talk about party loyalty and politics? Look in the mirror. You are no different.

Cedrick said...

Okay. I agree that what Harry Reid said might have sounded like it was in poor taste. It was just in poor judgment to whom he said it.

First, let's look at the man's record. He has been an strong supporter of policies that have helped advanced blacks and other minority for his entire political career. You were comparing this man to Trent Lott who openly said the country would have been better if a segregationist had been President. That means they are not the same kind of people.

Second, Negro is a word that's carried over from a generation ago. The United Negro College Fund. Other groups have the word in their name too.

I agree that Negro dialect is not the best descrpition of the way black people speak. But lets be honest, a lot of us don't speak like whites. And that brings me to the important point. You know that better than anybody. So why support Republican idiots who pretend that they don't know what Reid is talking about when he said dialect.

The only thing Reid is guilty of is maybe the way he said what he said. But what he said only brings up a good point. White people don't like it when black don't sound like them or act like them or even when they look too black. That is just the truth, we cannot pretend that's not what Reid was talking about.

Republicans just want to derail the President's agenda. They think this will help them. You should not be following them. My brother, you know better than anybody that they might be pointing out racism today but that is just to take the spotlight of their own racist ways.

A Concerned Black Man
In Alabama

Jonathan said...

Pam, I applaud your comments. Very well said.

Cedrick, your comments are so typical and reflect the mental spell the Democrat party has the black community trapped in. For example: "He (Reid) has been an strong supporter of policies that have helped advanced blacks and other minority for his entire political career."

That quote right there sums up everything that is wrong with the the vast majority of the thinking within the black Democrat voting block. The myth is that Harry Reid and Dems like him vote to advance the black community. The truth is that Harry Reid and Dems like him have made a career out of growing the government dependent class, and fortifying their own power by insuring the dependence class who will blindly and perpetually vote for members of the Democrat party. While creating a "boggie man/ monster in the closet" fear of the opposition which more often than not happens to be Republicans.

2nd myth: "white people don't like it when blacks don't sound like them or act like them or even when they look too black. That is just the truth, we cannot pretend that's not what Reid was talking about."

There's that monster-in-the-closet mentality drummed up to keep the voting block in line. The truth is that white people have been listening to R&B, hip hop albums, etc, dressing in fashions set by African Americans for years now. (Btw, how many blacks listen to country and dress in country attire? Just sayin...) Now, if a black person or a white person is seeking political office or any high level job they will have to be well-spoken and professionally dressed. Being well-spoken and well-dressed does not mean they have to talk white or dress white; it simply means they have to be well-spoken and well-dressed. If a white or black person wants to run for high office they will both have to meet a certain standard.

And as for completion, white people genuinely could not care less about the shade of one's darkness. Lets take J.C Watts, for example, both of his parents were black and he has a darker skin tone than Obama who is half black and half white. But I can guarantee that if J.C. Watts would have been running against Obama or Hillary Clinton for Pres., every McCain voter would have voted for the darker, full-black candidate J.C. Watts over the half white, half black, light-skinned Obama or fully white Hillary Clinton. The reason why has ZERO to do with skin color and everything to do with political philosophy.

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