Harry Reid's Negro Dialect
I do not get what the problem is with what Harry Reid said about Barack Obama. According to the scuttle butt I have receiving from various sources (word of mouth, electronic, etc.) Reid urged Mr. Obama to run for President in 2006. Reid's thinking at the time was Mr. Obama was light skinned and did not have a "negro dialect" unless he needed it.
GOP Chairman, Michael Steele is on record as calling for Senator Reid to resign because the statement is racist. Huh? Am I missing something?
For the record, Mr. Steele is a well known opportunist for his party, the Republicans. I understand it is job to fan the flames of division and make Senator Reid look bad. I get that.
However, I have a suggestion for Mr. Steele: choose something else. This is not a Trent Lott moment or an Alphonse D'Amato moment. This is not even close to racism. In fact, it might be a moment of clarity in our racial madness.
Clearly this statement is no indication that Mr. Reid's statement is a racist, as Steele and many other Republicans have alleged. If anything, Mr. Reid is airing the dirty laundry of the United States and telling everyone else, the country is racist. He is saying emphatically in code nonetheless, that White America will vote (and did) for Mr. Obama because he is light skinned (and has a white mother) and because he doesn't sound like most black people White America encounters. This is, for want of a random survey, thought to be factually accurate by many people, black and white and red and brown and yellow.
In other words, White America still has trouble with black people but Mr. Obama, by being light in complexion, and by speaking in that funny Kansas accent, most of the time, had a good chance to get elected. Not only was Mr. Reid correct in his racial perception, Mr. Obama was elected.
The other fact about this is, black people were saying this for months about Mr. Obama. Many African-Americans did not like him because he was not a descendant of a chattel slave and because he was light skinned. The negro dialect issue was also mentioned repeatedly in circles I travelled in over and over during the primaries. It was not until he won in Iowa that black people began to think he could win and forgave him for not having the blood of slaves in his veins.
So before many of us call for Mr. Reid's head, lets think about what he said carefully because one day many will say - Harry Reid did not tell any lies. This is America is is talking about; he just told you where you live.