So the latest dust-up is the discovery that Harry Reid said a couple of years ago that Obama’s chances for being elected are increased because he is light skinned and doesn’t have a pronounced Negro dialect unless he chooses to. Inasmuch as this seems to be patently obvious, and is only a negative reflection on those who would vote against him because of his speech patterns or his color, the fact that Reid is forced to apologize is a sad commentary on the state of the nation. He should be willing to own his comments. They weren’t offensive to anyone who knows this country’s history. I think the impulse to insist on apology is emblematic of the lack of individuality and the eroding value of standing up for what you believe in that is wider spread than ever before. We have become a fearful, trembling nation. The founding fathers would be ashamed. Troubling.
Moving thread from IMHO to MPSIMS.
Well stated, CC.
Since it seems patently obvious, you would feel the same way if it was a prominent Republican that said it, right?
Reid sounded like he was making a professional assessment of a potential political candidate. He was probably asked what are Obama’s chances of winning. In terms of a private conversation I don’t see Reid’s comments out of line.
It’s no different than determining if a woman can win a beauty pageant or model professionally. Is it politically correct to comment on a woman’s bust size or butt? Maybe not, but the realities are certain body shapes have a better chance of pursing a career in modeling. Maybe that’s shallow.
Skin color is not the only factor for politicians. There’s a reason JFK, Bill Clinton, Obama and other handsome men do well. Outside appearance still matters.
I certainly hope so. Despite my almost automatic dismissal of anything a Republican says these polarized days, I’d have to acknowledge the truth of the statement.
Is that the only reason Reid gives for Obama’s chances? It would certainly sound bad if someone asked about a black candidate’s chances for office and the answer focused only on his skin color and dialect. It’s true, but it stings a little because a lot of people (myself included) voted for Obama for more than his light skin color and non-negro dialect.
If Reid gave a bunch of other answers, then I think people are just being oversensitive. If a major politician thinks there is racial bias in the way the public votes then he should be able to talk about it. The reaction here will only prevent politicians from saying anything intelligent about race in the future.
Maybe he should apologize for apologizing.
I think it’s silly to conflate the implications of ones skin tone and speech patterns. Judging a person based on the level of pigment is ignorant. Judging a person based on the way they speak and their eloquence is totally acceptable and practically mandatory.
Saying Obama doesn’t speak with any Negro dialect is the equivalent of saying a Southern doesn’t speak with a pronounced drawl or a Italian with a Jersey accent. Of course well spoken, neutral accented people obviously have a broader appeal.
I should have mentioned that I agree with you OP. The problem is that Reid actually spoke his mind and therefore needs to apologize a couple hundred times and possibly get on his knees and offer free blow jobs.
And people wonder why politicians lie.
There’s already a thread in Great Debates, so I’m going to close this one.
twickster, MPSIMS moderator