Late last week, it was revealed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made some “inartful” comments during the run up to the 2008 Presidential election. The object of those comments was Barack Obama and the subject was Reid’s opinion that Obama’s light(er) complexion and his ability to turn on and off a “Negro dialect,” made him electable. Attention has been given, justifiably, to Reid himself, but yesterday, something else that is very telling emerged. And that is that President Obama thinks this whole matter is about HIM.
This clip has more content than is necessary to make the point, so I apologize for that, but I could not find one that narrows in on the specifics. The section of this clip that I am thinking about starts at about 0:45 when Obama comments on the Reid matter.
The problem is that Obama (and his media apologists who are trying to make this go away), thinks Reid’s comments are exclusively about Obama. I will grant you that the context of Reid’s comments DO, in fact, focus on Obama and his characteristics which Reid felt were to his electoral advantage. But the implications of Reid’s comments have a broader reach and are not limited to just Obama and his particular complexion and manner of speech.
By implication, Reid is arguing that African-Americans who have more melanin in their skin and who speak with a distinctive African-American dialect, are not electable to the highest office in the land. Reid’s predisposition, as evidenced by his “inartful” comments, is racist on its face. How else could it possibly be characterized? And Obama’s gracious gesture in characterizing these comments as being “in praise” of HIM, utterly misses that point.