The big ruckus seems to be over Harry Reid using the word "Negro" in the term "negro dialect" as reported in the new book by the writing duo Halperin and Heilemann, Game Change.
I think it would be a serious double standard for African Americans to take issue with the use of the word negro since we still have the United Negro College Fund, I wondered why the NAACP was still using the word colored which I find way more offensive than negro, but if the NAACP didn’t see a need to change it then I won’t argue.
I think what is going on here is a case of entitlement by the republicans. They decided that this was a racist statement and now the media is picking up on it. Harry Reid was addressing Obama prospects with certain sectors of the white demography. I am sure Obama being light skinned helped some white voters push the button for him, and truth be told it probably made some African Americans more enthusiastic. Being a darker skinned person I am familiar with this, more favorable treatment or feeling toward lighter skinned people. He did not call Obama a Negro, he called him a "light skinned African American"--what’s wrong with that, he is isn't he?
Sen. Reid is seventy years old, he is a man from a different time but he did use the “politically correct term”. Republicans and their supporters can say Obama is a socialist and pushing a socialist agenda, carry posters of Obama as a monkey or caveman, but Harry Reid can’t say he is a light skinned African American.
Sen. Reid said Obama did not exhibit a "negro dialect" which I am guessing it might mean Obama didn’t have an accent, he didn’t sound southern, like a pastor, or spoke slang—“unless he wanted to”, what’s wrong with that? I think he was saying Obama would be palatable in many demographics. Harry Reid was showing Obama's potential versatility and broad appeal.
Harry Reid should be praised for using the language he did, I could think of many other in-artful words he could have put in there. We learned something about Harry Reid’s character; we learn that he is not saying one thing in public and something else behind closed doors when it comes to matters of “race”. If this is the worst that comes out of Harry Reid's mouth when he thinks it’s not going to be repeated it then I wish more whites were like Harry Reid. This statement showed that Harry Reid is not racist or prejudice and that he understood the times politically and socially and was ready to take a leap of faith to move the country forward on both. Harry Reid truly believed that Obama could get elected.
Harry Reid was correct in his support for Obama and in his statements about Obama possibilities of getting elected. I think whites who are offended by Harry Reid’s statement is really a reflection of the mentality of some whites, exposing their prejudices. Harry Reid was candid in his statements and it is a truth that many people agreed with. I would add to Harry’s statement that Obama did not have any roots in American slavery and was seen not as a descendant from slaves but as the son of an immigrant, an experience many white Americans share and can relate to.
I don’t think Harry Reid needs to apologize for anything that has been released in the book, as he said that election was a proud moment in his life and these comments proved he conducted himself honorably.
Once again the republicans have used the media to do their dirty work, taking something positive and saying it’s negative. How many times are we going to allow this re-interpretation? By the way doesn’t Michael Steele try to talk in a “negro dialect” he claims to reach more African Americans. Lol. Thinking of his blog “What Up” and Michelle Bachman telling him “you be da man”.
As for the comments attributed to Bill Clinton I have to say I am not surprised, I do remember in the campaign that he made a statement implying that Hillary and John McCain were the only ones who “loved the country”. Do I think Bill Clinton is prejudice, no -- but I think Bill Clinton knows there is a segment of the country that is and he played the race card because it’s one of the aces in the American political deck. Harry Reid is not like Bill Clinton.
The stuff I find most revealing is the information about the Edwards. I supported the candidacy of John Edwards and advocated for him and Obama to form an alliance possibly running on the same ticket. How disastrous that would have been for the country. The statements Elizabeth Edwards made about healthcare showed extreme insensitivity for someone in her position and couldn’t her and John afford to buy their own healthcare. I am even more thankful to the citizens of Iowa and the early primaries that sorted that out for us.
As for the “bombshells” about the McCain campaign there was hardly any there, just a confirmation of what we already knew; John McCain didn’t give a darn about the country and Sarah Palin was a ditz. It wasn’t that Sarah Palin was a woman and she had children but that was how the republican framed the argument made by those opposing Sarah Palin. My feeling has always been that Sarah needed to tend to her children. Remember the reason her son went to the military was to avoid jail, and her teenage daughter was pregnant. Her views were radical; she abused the powers of her office (check out my piece "Making the Case Against John McCain")
This is another example of the Republicans exploiting the media and the idiot media allowing themselves to be manipulated. The information about Sarah Palin is far more damaging than Reid’s verbiage, but yet the dominating story has been this non-controversy stirred up by the Republicans to deflect attention from the fact that the Republicans, Fox News news, and John McCain are liars. John McCain kept saying Sarah Palin was qualified to be vice president when behind the scenes his campaign scrambled to teach her basic geography and history. If John McCain was more like Harry Reid he would not have put the country at risk the way he did by nominating Sarah for vice presidency.
This book is an indictment of the media, and I think it is sad that people who call themselves journalists withhold pertinent information during a major election in order to make money later from a book. When it’s done this way, it does feel a tinge like gossip. It feels like all the journalists want to be famous, they want fans, they want to be recognized, they are celebrity hawks craving the glossy spotlight. While I appreciate the writers presenting this, it would have been more valuable to me in 2008. We rely on the media to be our filter between presentation and reality; it doesn’t help when the “media” is part of the deception.
Even the so called liberal media CNN, MSNBC while they picked apart the Obama campaign running after every bone tossed out by Fox News news--they gave a pass to the McCain/Palin campaign even inflating the numbers of their crowds. They took their lead from Fox News and continue to do that today. It has gotten so bad that instead of covering politics the so called liberal media has resorted to just covering FOX NEWS, and then we wonder why the Republican agenda always gets traction—they are getting free media everywhere. The crossfire format adopted by news shows has not helped the debate, each side gets to present their own facts and the anchor is a moderator instead of a reporter/journalist. The American Media is disgraceful; they continue to wallow in the pit of partisan debauchery being zigged and zagged in any direction by the hypocritical republicans. Is it coordinated or is the media really as stupid as they seem.
We see this pattern again and again, people forfeiting their responsibility in order to cash in on a book. Dick Clark did it, George Tenant, Scott McClellan—it has to stop. My recommendation is not to buy this book, if you have already purchased it pass it on to someone who wants to read it. When we buy these books we condone this behavior and why should we help make them rich—they didn’t help us.