Harry Reid has admitted that he applauded Barack Obama’s candidacy for president in part because Obama was “light skinned” and had no taint of “Negro dialect–unless he wanted to have one.”
Reid has groveled and apologized, but not explained how he has evolved from his recent racism. Until he explains, I’m counting Harry Reid as one of the more obvious racists of recent times.
First, Reid is a member and has been an official (a bishop) in his racist church. He’s Mormon. Until the late ’70’s, Mormons denied blacks “the Priesthood.” Every white male in good standing in the Mormon church age 12 or above held some Priesthood rank. This policy was changed (due to financial pressure on Brigham Young Universtity from the Justice Department), but not repudiated. The Mormons didn’t say the previous policy was wrong, just that God had decided blacks had been punished enough, purely coincidentally with government threats to yank student loan funds from BYU if the Church didn’t knock it off.
Mormons still believe that God banned blacks from their Priesthood for 150 years. They don’t think the previous policy was wrong, but that God for whatever reason decided blacks no longer needed to be discriminated againt. (Mormons still believe in polygamy, by the way–they’ve just suspended the practice temporarily, like they’ve suspended, not repudiateded, their institutional racism. Ask a Mormon whether the church should officially apologize for denying the Priesthood to blacks, and watch the tapdance.)
Second, let’s look at what’s logically implicit in Reid’s statement: a dark-skinned black who you could tell was black over the phone would be someone Reid wouldn’t be happy about having as a candidate. That’s pretty fucking racist.
Barack O-Tom-a has forgiven Reid, on behalf of all black people everywhere, of whatever skin hue. White racists should take heart–clearly, Obama doesn’t put race issues above partisan politics.
This may be the most gutless thing I’ve seen Obama do yet. I’m sure it won’t be the most gutless thing I’ll see in the next couple of years.
Trent Lott was hounded out of Reid’s job for remarks that were much less explicitly racist. Gushing over Strom Thurmond at a 183rd birthday celebration for the old codger, Lott made remarks that could be interpreted as supporting Thurmond’s racism. That’s not what Lott meant, but that didn’t matter.
On the other hand, Reid’s racism is inescapable. But he’ll survive because he’s a useful idiot.
On Fox News Sunday today, Michael Steele, embattled head of the Republican Party, squared off against Bob Kane, his Democrat counterpart. Steele (who is black in a way that even Harry Reid would approve of) tried to score off Kane by saying that what’s sauce for Trent Lott should be the end of Harry Reid. Of course, Kane shoved that up Steele’s stupid ass. What Steele should have done is force Kane to apologize for what they did to Lott or to support removal of Reid. Instead, Steele let Kane get away with saying things like, Yes, but Reid meant it as a compliment….
Steele is what happens when Republicans try to play their own race card. He has dared Republicans to fire him. They should. He would never have gotten this job if he werent, ahem, a light-skinned black who speaks Negro dialect only when he wants to. Wow, I guess there are some Republican power brokers who are as racist as Harry Reid.