The Democratic Party has staked a claim to the high ground in racial relations and politics for a generation now. While there are sincere Democrats who have worked hard to better racial relations in the United States and South Carolina, the Democrats' defense of United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just compounds the insult issued by Reid.
As widely reported, Reid, in an interview for the book "Game Change" was quoted as saying that President Obama was "light skinned" and did not have a "Negro dialect."
Let those words sink in. If a Republican Senator, in the leadership or not, used the word "Negro" in a interview or public remarks, there would a be political storm around that Republican. Frankly, it should be. What is disturbing is the absence of a political storm around Reid.
Indeed, the DNC Chairman, a former white Governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, had this to say in defense of Reid, " I think if you look at the reports as I have, it was all in the context of saying positive things about (then) Senator Obama..."
Wow. Let those remarks sink in. To the DNC Chairman, noting that an African American is "light skinned" and has no "Negro dialect" is trying to say something positive about that African American candidate? Are we to assume that a darker skinned African American who spoke with the accent that a good portion of African Americans, and most Southerners in general have for that matter, ran for office that he would be a lesser candidate because he was darker skinned?
Of course Democrats will cry to the heavens that is not what Reid or Kaine meant. However, their words are there, and if uttered by any Republican nothing short of resignation would be acceptable. One can not just get around words like "light skinned" and "Negro" from a United States Senator in this day and age.
Yet, the Democratic leadership is trying to do just that. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a wealthy white woman from California, urged that the matter "should be closed" because Reid apologized to the President and to the "Black leadership."
At least Feinstein did not call African American leaders the "Negro leadership." Still, Feinstein's remarks had the ring of "he has apologized to those people, why do you care?"
That seems to sum up the Democratic Party leadership. Here's why we can't just move on.
First, the use of the antiquated racial term "negro" is just not acceptable in today's world. To use that term to describe someones dialect is also unacceptable. Further, to suggest that noting someones "light skin" is saying something positive about them as they seek a job is outrageous. Both Reid and Kaine would be fired by most businesses for their remarks, as they should be. The American people should demand no less of their political leaders.
Also, there is the insult to the President of the United States. While VUI disagrees with most of the President's policies and even has some fun at his expense, because, after all, he is the most powerful man on the planet, VUI drew the line with rightwingers who prayed for the President's demise. President Obama is the President of the United States, which includes all of us. So, VUI feels pretty comfortable calling the insult Reid gave Obama. Instead of dwelling on his racial features, why not offer that the President had a well organized campaign or something like that? After all, Senator John McCain's skin was much lighter than the President's and he lost the election in a landslide.
But, in the world of liberal politics, the racist remarks of their leaders are dismissed as misstatements. Indeed, VUI wonders how many liberal bloggers out there will actually hold Reid and Kaine accountable for their remarks. Indeed, are liberals practicing the "soft racism" that they say dominates American life?