Another day, another dose of fake outrage from the GOP. This time it’s about some pre-election comments made by Sen. Harry Reid regarding the America’s saying President Obama could succeed as a black candidate partly because of his "light-skinned" appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
I probably shouldn’t even wade into this mess, but I never met a fire I couldn’t make worse by throwing gas on it.
Clunky terminology aside, I don’t think he’s wrong. As far as presidential politics are concerned, Senator Obama was a good “starter minority.” As a nation, we dipped out toe in the water. I think there were a great deal of Americans that were not ready for a full-fledged, card-carrying black man as president. It’s like this:
America may accept this as President:
Exhibit A: Colin Powell
But America is not yet ready for this:
Exhibit B: Flava Flav
He would get white Middle-America votes:
Exhibit C: Tony Dungy
He would not:
Exhibit D: Ray Lewis
The Townspeople just aren't ready for him:
Exhibit E: Sheriff Bart
The thing is, just talking about differences between races or cultures does not constitute being offensive or insensitive. There are differences… We as Americans (or humans of any country) do not have one universal way of acting or thinking. We just don’t. So I don’t see where acknowledging these differences is a big deal.
Where you get into trouble is attaching value judgments to the differences. My feeling is that “Different” ≠ “Wrong”. Some people do things in ways that we, ourselves, don’t and that doesn’t necessarily make them better or worse, just different.
There’s only one reason the Republicans are carrying this fight and that’s to try to throw some political stink onto Reid’s re-election campaign. The party of the Willie Horton ad doesn’t give a rat’s ass about offending African-Americans. They’ve never met a Head Start or After-School or Urban Assistance program that they didn’t want to cut. To hear them huff and puff about this clumsy quote is to pretend they have a conscience about race relations. They don’t.
This is what happens when a political party is out of new ideas. They’ve got “Lower Taxes”, “Law and Order” (for non-white-collar criminals), “Punish Women for Daring to Have Sex”, “Keep Out the Foreigners”, Lower Taxes Some More” and “Get the Gays Back in the Closet.” Oh, and “Let Businesses Regulate Themselves Because What Are the Odds of Them Collapsing the Economy Again.” All they can do is throw stones:
So they grasp at stuff like this because as long as they’re filling the airwaves and pointing fingers, there’s no time left to point out their woeful legacy on social issues.
Besides ensuring that ultra-rich blue-bloods can pass on their filthy lucre on to their spoiled trust fund kids, tax free…