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Monday, January 11, 2010

Harry Reid is a Racist (NOT)

 Leave it to the Republicans to make an issue out of nothing. As if they really care about speaking out against racism.

The latest false claims in the GOPs "War on Facts" is with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In Mark Halperin's new book called "Game Change", a behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 campaign for the presidency, Harry Reid is said to have made remarks about Barrack Obama's chances of becoming the first black President of the United States. Reid says that because Obama is light-skinned, and does not speak in a "Negro dialect" (his words), that Obama actually has a chance to win. Granted, the use of the word "Negro" is a tiny bit off-putting, but this is an old man (71 years old)-- use of words like "Negro" or "colored" are almost expected from someone of this generation. Other than that, Reid is 100% correct.

All Black folks know of the divide between the light-skinned and dark-skinned among our community. I remember my great-aunt talking about how when I was born, people thought by mother had an affair because I was so light (my dad was dark-skinned, my mother light-skinned). And my younger brother is also dark-skinned, but not as dark as my father was.

In our community, light-skinned blacks are known to get along better in life than dark-skinned blacks. We have the "better hair", get the "better jobs", get the "prettiest women", etc, etc, etc. Organizations in our community have exploited this fact.  Clubs like The Blue Vein Society; named so to identify blacks who are light enough to be able to see the blue veins in your upturned arm. Or "the brown paper bag and ruler test", used to identify blacks whose skin color was as light as a brown paper bag, and hair as straight as a ruler. This is the reality that we've all had to deal with. Hell, even Spike Lee deals with this in his earlier films. This is a clip from his 2nd film "School Daze":

(Side note-- this is a piece of cinematic MAGIC from one of Hollywood's best directors.)

This is the kind of made-up controversy tailor made for the Republican Party. Yes, Harry Reid should have known better, and maybe should not have said this at all. His statements are known facts, and there was really no need for HIM (a politician with an important role/position) to say this. But the Republicans are jumping on this, making stupid arguments like "Why are Liberals so quick to defend statements like this? If this was a Republican, he would have been run out of town."

I'll tell you what the difference is. It's because what Harry Reid said is an actual fact, that any Black person would agree with. When Trent Lott (R) got in trouble, what he said was that if Strom Thurmond, who ran as a segregationist, was in charge, we "wouldn't have all the problems that we have today."

What he said was, basically, without all these "Negros" (or in Strom's case, his words, "the Nigger race"), we would be living in peace. Lott didn't say this once-- he said in at least 5 different times, in PUBLIC, in defense of a proud racist:

Yeah, big difference between this and what Harry Reid said. I don't think you'll find a Black man or woman ANYWHERE that will think that Harry Reid and Trent Lott are in the same boat. But leave it to the Republicans to MISS THAT BOAT completely.

And as for Mr. Michael Steele, who is sooooo "offended" by what Reid said to the point where he's suggesting that Reid resign...coming from someone who said that he's going to lure Blacks to the GOP with "fried chicken and potato salad"...someone who called his blog on the GOP website "What up?"...a Black man who himself has performed so inadequately at his job that it makes my skin burn...he should take his own advice...and just shut up.

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