It would be comical if it weren’t sad, the transparent rationalization of Senator Harry Reid’s comments on the complexion of Barack Obama, the candidate.
I understand the president’s acceptance of the senator’s apology and his need to bar the White House door against a political tempest. But trying to explain away Reid’s choice of words as “inartful” does nothing more than put a ribbon on a rat.
Many influential African Americans have gone on the record in defense of Reid: CNN Political Analyst Roland Martin, PBS Editor and Senior Correspondent Gwen Ifill and John L. Jackson, Jr., author of Racial Paranoia. Furthermore, liberals galore – and I’m no conservative — are smugging up the joint. Case in point, Frank Rich, who writes in his Sunday column:
For all the hyperventilation in cable news land, this supposed racial brawl didn’t seem to generate any controversy whatsoever in what is known as the real world.
I suppose the “real world” would be rationalization nation, which, to me, is populated by hypocritical apologists.
Excuse me ladies and gentlemen, you’re focusing on trees: there’s a forest out there in them thar words. Shall I parse their highly charged meaning?
I’ll take a crack at it. Essentially, by saying Obama would work as a presidential candidate because he was light skinned and didn’t talk like those negroes (I exaggerate here to make a point) is racist pure and simple. You don’t have to be a linguist to read between these lines and their attendant implications. Turn the phrase around, and here’s what Reid is really saying: “I’m sure glad he doesn’t look real dark and talk, you know, real Negro.” Another words, this guy isn’t like those real dark black people who scare the pants off us white boys.
Exaggeration? If so, by how much. It’s all code, man, and we’ve all been around enough to know it. High-minded parsing can’t explain it away.
It’s a Democratic double standard, pure and simple. Maybe that’s why I became an independent long ago.