Harry Reid Apologized to the Wrong People
By Doug Edelman
January 18, 2010
There has been much buzz lately over comments made by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid referencing President Obama as a "Light skinned African American, with no Negro dialect – unless he wants one."
The comment is indeed offensive. But, sadly, the focus of these comments has been misdirected to the word "Negro" as somehow offensive; whether by its historic associations, or by its anachronistic character. And the "offended party" has been misidentified as President Obama.
This, of course, gives Senator Reid political cover, as Republican cries of "foul" are deflected by Reid's apologies, accepted by Obama, Sharpton and the Congressional Black Caucus.
But pay attention to the context of the statement! Reid is commenting that Obama would be acceptable to voters because he's light skinned and can speak plain English. By this, he is implying that American Voters would not accept a dark-skinned African-American candidate who speaks with a distinctly African-American "dialect."
Well let me "ax" Mr. Reid this question: Why are you insulting the American voter with your presumption that they are unable or unwilling to judge a candidate on his/her merits, policies, position, platform and plan? What gives you elitists the idea that the "great unwashed" population of the United States is so Neanderthal in their thinking that they vote on skin color and not on ideology?
Mr. Reid has apologized to the wrong people! It matters not whether Obama, Sharpton or the Congressional Black Caucus or the NAACP accept his apology! And the offense is not the use of the archaic term "Negro." The offended parties are the American voters and Reid has not apologized to them.
Now, of course, in the world of Leftist Politics… there is intense racial sensitivity to statements made by conservatives and/or Republicans (no, the terms are not synonymous!). Recall the flap over Trent Lott's comments at the 100th birthday party for Strom Thurmond. Lott didn't make a single racist statement, but he expressed praise for Thurmond, who had run for President nearly 60 years earlier as a segregationist. For this he was forced from his position.
So, then, should everyone who's said a kind word about (former Klansman) Senator Robert Byrd also resign? Did you realize he's next in line for the presidency behind Nancy Pelosi in the line of succession? Aren't you proud that a former Klansman is President Pro Tempore of the Senate?
No, if a person holds the progressive mindset and is instrumental in advancing that agenda, their character and behavior are irrelevant! All is forgivable. You can be a former Klansman. You can turn the Oval Office into a bordello and commit perjury. Character doesn't matter – as long as you are on the right (correction: left) side of the issues.
Personally, much as I'd love to see Senator Reid go… I will not join the chorus calling for his resignation over his statements. Yes, there's a double standard, and Lott should not have been forced from his position either. But we on the right should not lower ourselves to the crybaby tactics to force people from power because they've offended someone – just because the Left does it. Instead, we should point out the hypocrisy of the Left, but still take the high road and force Reid from office at the ballot box.