Monday, January 11, 2010

No Negro Dialect Unless He Wanted To Have One..? Sen. Harry Reid, Keepin' It Real

If you follow political news, you are aware that Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) is in some hot water for comments he made about President Obama in the new book, Game Change by Bagwine faves, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.

Sometime during the 2008 Presidential campaign, Reid said that the country was ready for a, "light-skinned" African-American president with "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

Republicans are all over Reid’s comments like white on rice, and some are demanding that he step down from his post as Senate Majority Leader.

Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) have said that there should be as much outrage over these comments as there was over former Senator Trent Lott’s (R-MS) comments back in 2002.

They both fail to say that Lott’s comments suggested that we’d be better off today if Strom Thurmond had been elected President in 1948, because we’d still have separate bathrooms for blacks and whites, separate lunch counters, and me having sex with Tyra Banks would be frowned upon unless of course she was my maid, servant, or general purpose house nigger.

So to me…there is a big difference as to what Harry Reid said and what Lott said. In fact, Harry Reid was exactly correct.

Evidently America, at least the section that votes, was ready for a light skinned African-American who has no negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.

And let me tell you folks…Obama sometimes does like throwing a bit of negro dialect around.

I have it on solid information that he refers to his Secret Service cadre as, “my posse”. He calls Joe Biden, “my homie”, and often addresses CIA Director Leon Panetta as, “Snoop Dog”.

He even refers to Air Force One as, “My Tricked Out Seven-Hoopty-Seven”. So c’mon folks…Sen. Reid was merely keepin’ it real.

I guess the main furor is over the fact that Reid used the word, “negro”. What’s the big deal? There’s a perfectly good reason why he did that.

Reid’s a Mormon.

Mormons have had issues with black people for decades. Hell, they have only allowed the black, Satanic, race of Cain the opportunity to become priests and enter the Mormon Temple since 1978.

While many non-Mormon Americans didn’t replace the use of the word “nigger” with “negro” until some 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Harry Reid did it in a mere 30 years after blacks were emancipated in the eyes of the Mormon Church.

I’d say that proves that ol’ Harry is on the cutting edge and three times quicker than other Americans when it comes to cultural sensitivity, accepting change, and as I said, keepin’ it real.

Sen. Reid doesn’t just confine his honesty to how he feels about President Obama and negroes either. No sir-ree. He’s an equal opportunity truth teller as evidenced by this statement he made at a press conference some time ago…

"My staff tells me not to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway, in the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true."

See folks? Harry Reid has always been and was in this case about Obama, telling the truth...which leads me to one conclusion, and one conclusion only…

If you hate Sen. Harry Reid…you hate the truth.


If you'd like to watch it...Here's a good video put together by Newsy that covers multiple angles of the Reid controversy...


David said...

It seems to me that middle america is a whole lot more accepting of a light-skinned mulatto than a fully african-featured dark-skinned african-american. Those intensely roots-looking dudes are more scary to the diversity-adverse than the light skinned. The reality is the reality. Not saying it is right or fair but it is reality.

And lord knows those mormons have a whole bunch of trouble with diversity...otherwise they wouldn't have funded the whole crush-gay-marriage vote in California last year.

Matt-Man said...

David: The Mormons are coming around. Hell, just 30 years ago they gave blacks FULL access to the Church. Cutting edge my friend, cutting edge...or something. Cheers David!!

3 Men and a Lady said...

When will people in the public eye learn that their off color comments are audible?

Matt-Man said...

Lady: Ha. Poor ol' Harry has been in the public eye for more than thirty years and has never learned that lesson. Cheers D!!

Desert Rat said...

One word: melanin

Matt-Man said...

Rat: Ha Ha Ha...Well Done. Cheers Rat!!

Jay said...

The awesome thing about Obama is that he's black without actually being "BLACK."


Actually, Biden's comment about Obama being "clean and articulate" was far worse.

Scott Oglesby said...

“Republicans are all over Reid’s comments like white on rice” –great use of a metaphor!

Look, the way I see it is this; other than the Deep South, and pockets of the wastelands in between Chicago and Vegas, these antiquated words, phrases and views are finally dying out. I honestly don’t think that Reid meant any harm; it was just the word he was raised with. In other words he, like so many others is simply ignorant. And finally that ignorance is being replaced by knowledge, understanding and communication within the last few generations.

All that being said; he’s right, it’ll be anther 100 years before the country is ready for a ‘real’ black, black man. No matter how educated or intelligent he may be.

Matt-Man said...

Jay: Ha. And you're right. Biden's comment implied that it was an oddity that a black candidate was clean and aritculate. Cheers Jay!!

Scott: Ha, Thanks. His comment was antiquated and ignorant, but your last paragraph is correct, as is Reid. It will be quite some time before that happens. Cheers Scott!!

Dana said...

I'm with you on this. Sometimes the truth sounds harsh, but when did we decide it was better to punish people for the truth?

The country *was* ready for a black president ... as long as he wasn't too black. It might not be perfect. It might not sound nice. But it *is* true!

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...there was a time when "negro" was the polite word...

Matt-Man said...

Dana: Yep. He was right on the mark. The negro word was unfortunate in that it shows that he is out of touch and out of step with the times but it doesn't change the fact that what he said was correct. Cheers Dana!!

Phfrankie: And evidently Reid is still living in those times. Cheers P-Man!!

Dianne said...

typical of our media and culture there will be hours and hours and hours of coverage of fake outrage rather than any form of discussion and learning

Reid spoke the truth, shade does matter in this country

I know it personally. I can't count how many times people have thought they were congratulating me by telling me how good it was that my son wasn't too dark. And it now continues with my grandbaby although there is concern over her wide flat nose.

Did you read where Bill Clinton referred to Obama as "a guy who would have been serving us coffee" when he tried to get Teddy Kennedy to endorse Hilary.

Matt-Man said...

Dianne: Feigned outrage is part of the diet with which this site could not live without. I'm not a Reid fan at all but c'mon, attacking him over using the same word that is used by the United Negro College Fund?

And I know you know it, and it isn't all that unknown to others that light skinned African-Americans are often looked at differently by not only whites but among some blacks as well.

And yeah, the Clinton remark really helped him build upon the remarks he made during the South Carolina primary. Oy Vay. I love Bill, but the man has no filter left.

Cheers Sexy!!

Yogchick said...

Couldn't agree more.

Pointing out that a black person – who speaks like white people and is half white himself – would make a more palatable candidate to the white constituency is hardly nearly as offensive as implying that segregation would have solved a lot of problems (Republican Trent Lott). Reid was merely saying what many Americans (especially many liberals) were already thinking and knowing. It’s an inconvenient truth that being in the right social class is a major factor in being able to run for office. Barack Obama is just the kind of black candidate that can pass the litmus test of being well-educated, professional, and middle/upper-middle class – as evidenced by his “white” dialect.

In other words, Barack Obama is being held to the same standard as any white candidate. A white, working class American who had the dialect of a working class person would have a pretty difficult time running for President – just as Jesse Jackson (who speaks with a "Negro" dialect) found it pretty difficult to run for President. If you want to run for president, you better speak like a white middle-class, educated person.

No matter what color you are.

If Harry Reid is guilty of anything, it’s for acknowledging this out loud. But then, tactlessness is hardly the same thing as racism.

Matt-Man said...

Yogchick: I don't know if one has to speak like a white person. I mean I am white but I cuss quite a bit. But speaking as though one is educated does help the success of the campaign.

Other than that, I agree with just about everything you said. Cheers!!

Micky-T said...

I hate it when the news is so...niggling.

Matt-Man said...

Micky: Hee Hee. Very funny. Cheers Mick!!

Lu' said...

I see him as black even if he is tan.

Matt-Man said...

Lu: If I was asked to provide a physical desciption I would descibe him as a black man. Eh...Cheers Lu!!

Clay Perry said...

reid is a mormon? no shit... he actually believes that when he dies he is going to populate an entire planet and his wife shall be eternally pregnant? and he thinks that special underwear has to be worn before he can go into a specific room? romney looks the part.. but reid? and people make fun of right wingers? seems ignorance is well represented on both sides of the aisle...

Jimmy said...

This is what happens when crackers, who ordinarily have little interaction with black people, talk about black issues. I've worked in a mixed ethnic culture all of my life and I, as anyone who shares that reality, would never say what Reid said the WAY HE SAID IT. There are other, more academic, ways of getting his idea across; Harry is just not sophisticated enough to manage them - because he his a old, Mormon cracker.

Marilyn said...

After all of this, my main question is how can we really integrate this country? It's hard for an obviously sympathetic old white guy who has personally known very few black people to talk about race, this is true... but we're all turning into old people and the world doesn't seem to be getting any more integrated. Meanwhile the race issue is still there, just often ignored. Not talking about it doesn't make it go away.

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