The latest manufactured tempest in a teapot to pollute America’s political atmosphere is the strident complaints and outrage over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s supposed racist description of then Presidential candidate Barack Obama. There is a surfeit of outrage from race-mongers and the expected opportunistic attacks from the GOP.
The supposed racial offense is that, during the 2008 campaign, Sen. Reid is alleged to have described Obama as “a “light-skinned” African American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”
I loath Reid and pray nightly for his painful and ignominious death, but it is ridiculous to attack him over manufactured non-issues, especially ones that further the racist agenda of certain Blacks.
Of course the race-baiters – and somewhat sadly, the leaders of my own titular party – blew their collective stacks over this allegation. Let’s put it in context though. Below is what the authors of Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, claim Sen. Reid actually said:
He was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a “light-skinned” African American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,” as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama’s race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination.
— Game Change, pg 37
I can’t see where any sane person in America would have a problem with Reid’s statement unless that “offended” person had either an racial axe to grind or wanted yet another hand-out and wasn’t shy about using extortion to get it.
President né Senator Obama was and is exactly that, a light-skinned African-American with a politically safe and pleasingly nondescript accent and possessed of a cultured vocabulary that has none the issues of either the rural South or the thuggish Inner City.
Actually, President Obama, with his Kenyan and American mixed parentage is one of the few Blacks in America who can rightfully claim the nomenclature of “African-American”
Senator Reid was also correct in his thoughts that Obama was the sort of Black that America was ready to accept in a position of political leadership. In a realpolitik sense Sen. Obama was the Magic Negro of 2007 and 2008 and the combination of his demeanor, presentation, and race certainly helped him defeat Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary.
But facts and context don’t matter to race-baiters, and they certainly don’t matter to GOP who has been given the chance to treat a Democrat in the same manner as the Dems have treated GOP politicians who made potential controversial statements.
Such is the twisted state of society and politics in America.