The firestorm over Harry Reid’s comment about Barack Obama’s race has caused another round of racial discussions and not to the benefit, this time, of the ultra racially sensitive liberals.
This scandal, if we have to call it that, is better suited for a Republican than a prominent liberal politician. The usual double standards are out in full force here. Within the prism of liberal thought this would be a racist comment however in the process of protecting one of their own liberals come close to getting the whole thing right. But only close.
To recap, Reid said that given Obama’s light skin color and absent a “Negro dialect” he could be a viable candidate for president. Well, maybe or maybe not. If Obama were of a darker complexion or spoke with a “dialect” would it really make a difference? If there is a racial question here it is what does Reid think about whites? Would they be put off by Obama if his appearance were any different? In that context it’s a debatable question. It all has to do with the measure of white racism.
George Will seems to think Reid was right commenting on This Week with George Stephanopolos when he countered conservative Liz Chaney who called for Reid’s racist head. Ms Chaney wants to out liberal the liberals and give credence to the standard that any discussion on race ought to be racist. Alright Liz, so what if there is hypocrisy on the left. Do you have to side with the wrong end of it?
Liberal response, for once is varied. Some think that although what Reid said was dumb, it certainly isn’t racist. Others are sticking to their politically correct guns and affirming the racial aspect. For the more moderate criticism of being “dumb” the question has to be asked, what was so dumb about it? As for the It’s racist view, the question is, how so? Nothing he said was a disparagement upon black America.
For the record Harry Reid and George Will are both wrong. If Obama were “blacker”, if that’s the correct term, what measurable difference would it make? Put in another way, if a person is a racist does that person make fine distinctions in pigment or accents? I think not. If the reader disagrees then certainly it is a legitimate matter of debate. But to say what Reid said was “dumb” is not correct, nor was it racist. The argument seems to focus on the use of the word “Negro”. The word has negative politically correct connotations. If anything the notion of editing the language for political correctness ought to be once and for all done away with. “Negro” may be an outdated word but within the context of what Reid said, it’s meaningless.
As an aside, why is the Bill Clinton aspect of this story shuffled to the side? The revelation of Reid’s comment comes from the just released book Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. In the book it’s reported that Clinton told the late Ted Kennedy that a few years ago Obama would be “getting us coffee”. Oh my. This so outraged Kennedy, according to Heilemann and Halperin, Kennedy quickly threw his support for Obama. Now that’s something to talk about.