And Three More Reasons to leave Senator Harry Reid Alone:
I’m going to do something I don’t normally do here on Hustleknockin—defend dumbass politicians. But here's one time where it's needed; so here goes:
Leave Senator Harry Reid alone.
I’m a college educated African American with a muslim name and no discernable negro dialect—except when I want one; and as such, I’m about as offended by Harry Reid’s “light-skinned/no negro dialect” comment as I was in Feb 2007 when Joe Biden said of his then-democratic primary rival: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy” Biden said of Obama. “I mean, that's a storybook, man."
In short, I’m not offended by Reid's words one bit.
Reason #1: It’s100% true.
Fact is, Barack Obama became the most electable Black candidate in the history of national US politics for as much as what he isn’t as what he is.
Harry Reid knows that politics is about electability and electability is about mass appeal—both rational and irrational. Reid, Biden and their pseudo-enlightened hand-wringing critics on all sides know that there’s a big ugly reason why, since the US declared its independence 1776 we’ve only had 123 Blacks in Congress (out of 9,000 plus); only 6 black senators (out of 1,913 total)—ever; a and 5 black governors—ever, and as of 2010, exactly one non-white US president. Harry Reid knows that there’s an ugly reason why despite raising more money than any candidate in history and bdespite having a whole host of other political assets, Obama still lost almost 57% of White voters to McCain/Palin, a ticket that had more holes than a warehouse fulla mesh.
Harry Reid knows that if Barack Obama had Michelle Obama’s skin tone, Hilary Clinton would be celebrating her first year as the first female president of the United States. Harry Reid knows that if Barack Obama had the “negro dialect” of Jesse Jackson of Al Sharpton, or Tavis Smiley or Chris Rock, regardless of his intelligence or policies, he’d probably still be in the Illinois State Senate or maybe in the House of Reps. (Don’t believe me? Hilary Clinton has a great “negro dialect,” but she still lost.)
Harry Reid knows that if Barack Obama had been the great-great-grandson of US-born slaves (instead of the son of a Nigerian immigrant and a Kansas woman of Irish ancestry) he’d probably have gotten about as much support from the DNC as the Green Party gave to Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente.
Reid knows the game. As does every member of every political party at every level in America knows the game. Obama knew his advantages and played them right into the White House.
But singling out Senator Reid (and Biden before him) is no different than the white politicians who single out Black Churches once every 4 years so they can feign the holy ghost, tell half-assed, half-baked white-guilt stories and accuse their opponents of wanting to bring back Jim Crow for votes—it’s an easy way to pretend you care racially equality knowing good and hell well that you really don’t.
Problem #2: This comment is old as hell.
Reid’s comment has been an open secret since he said it back in 2008; and we all know, Washington can’t keep secrets worth a damn. So the real question is why are all these “get Reid” folks mad now? I swear, the only thing worse than phony outrage is phony outrage covered in cobwebs. (Now where’s my bug spray?)
Problem #3: Reid’s Apology was more Insulting.
Reid’s comment was the most honest observation about race in America any white politician has made since John Edwards’ Two Americas speech in 2003. But instead of defending it for what it was—an acknowledgment of the double-standard laced minefield politicians of color must face—Harry Reid has cowered and caved while his attackers—none of whom want a genuine dialogue on race in politics—have corralled Reid’s comment into the old binary (and easily disposed of) “offensive-or-not” box.
Problem #3: Who's Mad, Really?
Funny how most Black folks, online and off aren’t that really mad at Reid, at least not enough to sound off about it. Sure some are, like Michael Eric Dyson, as we’re not monolithic on any issue these days. But based on what I’ve seen on TV and read online, this has been reduced to i pissing contest between White Conservatives and White Liberals arguing over what’s offensive to Black Americans.
That’s mighty, um, Aavatar of all y’all.
One of these days White politicians and White commentators are gonna learn to let Black folks decide for ourselves who the anti-black racists are and what's actually offensive to us, and leave it at that. One of these days…
Problem #4: Where’s the Reform, Harry?
Harry Reid and the DNC’s refusal to fight for a public option, and dragging ass on sweeping reforms in the education system, the prison system or the predatory lenders and credit card hustlers) all of which disproportionately hurts Blacks and other communities of color says far more about how Reid and the DNC truly see Black folks than which n-word he uses.
In the end,both the DNC and RNC along with assorted political hacks and media whores are, once again using race, specifically black folks as fodder in their holier-than-thou war. And I for one am offended by this.
(But hey what do I know? I'm just a dark-skinned negro with a terrorist-sounding name.)