Right Pulls the Wrong Race Card on Reid

Want a bone to gnaw on? Try this one: Imagine for a minute that a public conservative or conservative Republican politician had commented, oh, say about 2 years ago to the effect that then candidate Barack Obama was gaining traction in part because he was light-skinned and knew how to “talk white.” Suppose the remarks had just recently come to light. How do you think the liberal media would play it? Oh, I know you know.

He would be castigated as a racist and blamed for everything from conditions in the bowels of slave ships, to post civil war lynchings, to the earthquake in Haiti. Gnaw on that bone long enough, though, and you might find that the imagined injustice and dissatisfaction distort your judgment — it has already happened to a lot of conservatives.

Yes, Harry Reid was given a pass on his remarks that no conservative would have been given — but substantively, his comments were NOT racist. And just because equally not racist, but similar, comments — had they been made by a conservative — would have been excoriated by the leftist media, is not an excuse for conservatives.

Reid’s observation about Obama being light-skinned, as opposed to dark, is factual. The observation that this probably was a help to his acceptance was very likely the case and applies, by the way, among blacks just as much if not more so than among whites. The observation that Obama as they say, “talks white” — although Reid used a (not PC, anachronistic) term that one would expect from a man of his age — “without Negro dialect” — is factual.  The observation that Obama can “talk black” when he wants to is factual, and plenty of blacks have commented on his ability to do that without being called racist. Finally, Reid made these comments in the course of declaring his own personal support for Obama, based in part upon what he considered to be the factors that made Obama electable.  Maybe Reid should have been smarter in realizing that conservatives would take his comments and use them to accuse him of racism, but just because he wasn’t that foresighted is no excuse for the conservative side.

To reiterate: just because we know that if a conservative made those comments he would be toast in the media by morning, is no excuse for conservatives to lambaste Reid as a “racist.”

The real reason to lambaste Reid as racist is because of his support for abortion.

A black baby is three times more likely to be
murdered in the womb than a white baby.

Since 1973, abortion has reduced the black population by over 25 percent.

Twice as many African-Americans have died from abortion than have died from
AIDS, accidents, violent crimes, cancer, and heart disease combined.

Every three days, more African-Americans are killed by abortion than
have been killed by the Ku Klux Klan in its entire history.

Planned Parenthood operates the nation’s largest chain of abortion clinics and
almost 80 percent of its facilities are located in minority neighborhoods.

About 13 percent of American women are black, but they
submit to over 35 percent of the abortions (statistics from Klan Parenthood).

Today — Martin Luther King Day — is a good day to resolve not to cry “racist” at the drop of a hat just because you think it might be to your political advantage to do so. Even if the other side does it and even if you are fairly sure they would do it again — it is still wrong.

But it is also a good day to remember that a real deadly racist agenda is being carried out in our country and that every politician who supports abortion is unwittingly helping the accomplishment of that agenda. Time to make them witting.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Claire

    Really good points.

  • daveknecht

    Agreed, however I think it is important to point out as factual that a conservative would have been
    called a racist for this and made toast by the media. The media nor Reid should get a pass on this.

  • waynergf

    I disagree.

    Reid’s comments were racist because they were based solely on racial characteristics, or characteristics influenced by race – not on the content of Obama’s character, nor on his qualifications for president. Would Reid have similarly commented on the “lightness” of a Caucasian’s skin or on his dialect?

    Comments do not have to be false to be racist. The test is whether the comments are pertinent to the issue at hand.

    *** Wayne ***

  • Mary Kochan

    Waynergf, they were comments about his electability, to which both his race and voter perceptions of same were very pertinent.

    I don’t see how your question applies, because there is no history among white people of favoring one another based on lightness of skin. Nor is there a history among blacks of favoring or disfavoring white people based upon skin tone, but it is a well known fact that even blacks tend to stratify themselves based upon skin tone. Now if Obama were a white female with blonde hair, it would have been perfectly alright for Reid to say that some men were going to vote for her because she was blonde. One would have to be eminently naive to think that every voter voted for Obama on the basis of his qualifications to be president — or that voters always vote for any candidates solely on basis of qualifications. Many blacks voted for Obama solely on the basis of his race. So did some whites and some whites also voted against him on the basis of his race. So his race and perceptions of same WERE pertinent to his electability and electability is always a pertinent factor when one politician is endorsing another.

    As for remarks about dialect — they are made all the time about various white candidates, expecially when southerners campaign in the north. And there were plenty of comments about George Bush’s ability to speak (or not) both during his races and while he was serving.

    Your definition of “racism” would turn every single observation about color into a racist statement and make us all racists.

  • goral

    Mary, your analysis of this is correct. If we had a reasonable political climate out there, Reid’s remarks should just be dismissed. The fact is that we don’t.
    The Democrats wanted to play the race card right from the outset. The Republicans had to step gingerly during the campaign with their criticism of Obama to make sure the red race card wasn’t pulled.

    All the while back at their war room the dems and the media were scheming how to misinterpret any Republican remark, while they themselves were totally immersed in race consciousness whether racist or not.

    I think it was useful to get that remark out in the open just in case they dig up a similar remark against a Republican. Petty isn’t it? That’s our disgraceful politics. Multiply that by ten in Mass. where the “Kennedy” seat is being contested. It is the Kennedy seat because it was bought and paid for. Reid and Obama are doing everything to keep it that way.

    All politics is dirty but the dems are disgusting.

  • waynergf

    The issue for the American people was (or should have been): “Who’s most qualified?” Reid’s issue may have been “Which Democratic candidate is most electable?” but that is a type of cynicism that we don’t need – in any context.

    The comment by Reid was based on race alone and had nothing to do with capability for the job. I stand by my comment.

    *** Wayne ***