Sunday, January 10, 2010

No double standards here...

Nope, the Democratic Party and its supporters - particularly African-Americans - are all lining up in support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after comments he made about then-candidate Obama were printed in a new book about the 2008 campaign. Specifically, his comments were that Obama was:
a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one
[sarcasm]Yep, nothing racist or even stereotypical in those comments. I can see why no African-Americans would be offended by something so trivial. Heck, I can't see why I, or anyone else for that matter, should be offended by such commentary. [/sarcasm]

I think the problem here is that this exposes the political hypocrisy to which race and racism has devolved. Without defending the idiocy that has been perpetrated by Republicans in equal measure, the refusal of Democrats and leading African-Americans to condemn either the comments or the speaker lend a great deal of credence to the belief that racism has become nothing more than a political tool for Democrats to abuse Republicans. George Allen in Virginia during the 2006 Senate campaign with his "macaca" comment and Trent Lott's commentary on Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday celebration in 2002 are two of the more egregious examples by the Republicans in recent memory and both were pilloried by their Democratic opponents and subsequently lost their positions of authority. Indeed, there was no shortage of commentators, leaders and supporters from the left of the political spectrum who rose up indignantly and shouted for some form of punishment to be inflicted upon the two of them.

And that is all reasonable when the same standards are applied to the idiots on the left who make similarly embarrassing gaffes. The problem that arises here are the double standards that are clearly evident. The racist card is to be applied to your political opponents to ensure that they are labeled as such and to establish the moral high ground for your own side of any debate. But when your side makes comments that are clearly racist, then it is best to find some other way of deflecting attention away or defending them in the hope of "the greater good". The problem is that, by doing so, you then minimize the injustice of the racism that clearly does exist (except within the Democratic Party, obviously). So what is the greater good?

There has been commentary from Democratic apologists that Sen. Reid's comments do not compare with the comments of some of his Republican predecessors. That is a subjective (and specious) argument. According to those apologists, Republicans are all racist by nature so the intent of racial commentary is obviously racist by design whereas similar comments by Democrats are not intended to be racist because they are more enlightened on the subject of race. Therefore, the arguments do not compare. The problem with such an argument is that they are arguing intent and motive which can never actually be known by anyone other than the offender. Furthermore, if Democrats are so "enlightened", how can they possibly countenance such comments in the first place, let alone utter them aloud?

In a further galling move, Senator Reid apologized on the Sunday morning talk shows and then has followed up by calling every African-American leader that he can find to beg their forgiveness. And while this is obviously a necessity to help deflect attention away from his mistake, it seems that no one is questioning the fact that his mea culpa comes more than a year after the comments were made and only after it was published in an upcoming book. So, would he have apologized for his comments if someone had not outed them in the first place? Not likely. Additionally, the president, in a move clearly intended (and hoped) to defuse the situation, dismissed it with clear political motivations. If the Senate Majority Leader becomes embroiled in a distraction such as racist comments, it can only serve to detract from his goal of passing healthcare legislation - and those distractions must be avoided at all costs. There can be no clearer sign of the political machinations that have now superseded the issue of racism.

And in a country with as many open wounds relating to racism, this clearly is a problem.


  1. The comments were not racist. They were realistic.

    Hollywood chooses "light-skinned" black women over darker black women. Why?

    If you want to elect a man or woman to the presidency, you have to select someone who speaks the King's English with a "white" accent. Why?

    All ppl immediately judge others based on dress, speech, and color/racial group.
    If you dress nicely/sharply in tailored business suit, you improve others perception of you. If you speak proper "white" english, which has become the business standard, and you speak with intelligence and forceful arguements, others will see you as intelligent. As for the light-skinned bit, most ppl DO PAY ATTENTION TO THIS BOTH IN THIS COUNTRY AND MANY OTHERS (INCLUDING 3rd World). Why? White ppl have been in charge of US for 200+ years and almost always if someone refers to or talks about "Americans", they are subconciously referring to White Americans. White ppl colonized and ruled the majority of the planet between ~1600-1950. Thus in non-US countries, ppl assign status and beauty to "lighter-skinned" folks. If you want to criticize Reid, then you need to criticize the vast majority of Americans, the electorate, and frankly, you'll have to change the majority of the rest of the world.

    Good luck in that.

    There is a difference between calling someone a "nigger" or "jigaboo", and saying someone is, 'a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect'.

    This is much ado about nothing.

  2. Add-on to previous post:

    I agree with your final comment but it is related to the useless media within the US that chooses to focus on salacious nonsense. It allows the debate to be completely sidetracked onto useless B.S. rather than on the meat and potatoes. Why?

    Scandals and gossip, per human nature, tend to drive ratings. CNN et al. have turned into JSN (Jerry Springer Network).

    Which reminds me, have you seen the movie, "Idiocracy"?

  3. You can argue that his comments were truthful (I don't necessarily disagree with that). But, would Democrats be so forgiving had the comments been made by John Boehner (House Republican Leader) or Mitch McConnell (Senate Minority Leader) - both Republicans? Or any other Republican, for that matter? Somehow, I doubt it. And therein lies the crux of my argument. By chastising only Republicans for "unfortunate comments", Democrats and African-American leaders (and I use that term rather loosely) have served to cheapen what is obviously still a very difficult topic in racism.

    Additionally, if the comments were not as bad as Democrats would have the public believe (or as "truthful"), then why were they spoken privately instead of publicly during the campaign? And why, when they were published in the book, did Reid rush to apologize to everyone "within the sound of [his] voice"?

    The fact that his private comments do not match his public rhetoric paints him (and his supporters) as hypocrites who only speak out about the ills of racism come election time - when they want the black vote. That is not to say that Republicans are any less guilty, but Democrats have been considered to hold the moral high ground on this issue and it has now been ceded. Quite frankly, racism needs to be dealt with openly and directly or it will never be resolved.

    If you want to criticize Reid, then you need to criticize the vast majority of Americans, the electorate, and frankly, you'll have to change the majority of the rest of the world.

    Then the vast majority of Americans, the electorate and the majority of the rest of the world needs to be changed. Call a spade a spade regardless of who holds it.

    And I may have caught part of "Idiocracy" at some point but it didn't hold my attention for very long. What am I missing?