Republican politicians don’t have monopoly on being racist 

Oh, this one is way too good to pass on writing about it.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got nailed for uttering what may be one of the most stupid — and flagrantly racist — comments in some time. Here’s the kicker, and what makes this so good: The remarks were about the leader of his party.

That would be President Barack Obama of course, who, Reid said, is refreshingly bereft of “Negro dialect” when he speaks.

“Negro dialect”? Is Reid’s mind stuck way back in the 1940s? Here is Reid’s complete comment, in a book entitled “Game Change”:

“[Reid] 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 later put it privately.”

I’m not sure whether I should condemn Reid or slap him on the back for this Brobdingnagian gaffe. By cramming his foot down his throat so deeply, Reid has proved that, liberal dogma notwithstanding, conservatives and Republicans don’t have the monopoly when it comes to making racist comments.

Liberals and Democrats might deny that charge, but I got a full dose of it in late 2008, days after Obama won the general election.

I was at the annual Trotter Group meeting, an organization comprised of black columnists from across the nation. A young black man who worked for the Republican National Committee came to speak to the Trotters. He told them that he joined the party because Republican doctrines were most in accord with his personal beliefs.

When the question-and-answer period came, he got hammered. How could he identify with those racist Republicans, some members demanded to know. Another came up with this gem: “I don’t see how any intelligent black person could be a Republican.”

I’m sure it was quite a shock to the young man — as it was to me — that all black Republicans are idiots and all black Democrats are Phi Beta Kappa material. It struck me immediately that former U.S. ambassador Alan Keyes is not only a black Republican, but also probably more intelligent than all members of the TG combined.

Now, thanks to Reid, I can make the observation that Democrats can be every bit as racist as liberals claim Republicans are. And make no mistake about it: Reid’s statement was racist.

He not very subtly implied that “light-skinned” blacks are superior to dark-skinned blacks. And he didn’t have the good sense to know that he’d ventured into a very dangerous, volatile area. Believe me, black folks don’t bring up this “light-skinned vs. dark-skinned” thing unless we really have to.

How has Obama reacted to all this? Why, by accepting Reid’s pathetic apology and declaring “the book is closed” on the matter. White guys like Don Imus must be wondering where Obama was when they really needed him.

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

 

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Gregory Kane

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Examiner columnist Gregory Kane is an award-winning journalist who lives in Baltimore.

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