(Damn... It's really hard to put one's beliefs and ideals before partisan rancor, sometimes. I find this guy pretty unpleasant--there's this whole feud thing we're having, primarily because he seems to enjoy calling me an asshole (in the deleted version, I was a "dickhead" and a "sicko" posting "bitchy rants," which both "made him unhappy" & "pissed him off"), along with disparaging my blogging, using a whole slew of other nasty little names & phrases, all because I don't happen to share his political persuasion (as far as I can tell, anyway... He's never been specific as to why I'm an asshole. All I know for sure is, he seems pretty certain I am)--and yet here I am agreeing with him simply because--in this Harry Reid situation, anyway--he's right...)
Here's the parts of the malcontent's post (I'm not making fun... That's his screen name) with which I have no issue:
No, I'm sorry but I don't see anthing racist about Reid's comments.
I can't stand Harry Reid, but his comments are not racist by any stretch of the imagination.
If the person to whom the comments were directed is not offended than neither am I.
I was not offended by Reid's or Lott's remarks. ...
And don't tell me about Trent Lott either, Trent Lott gave an offhand compliment to Strom Thurmond during a dinner in his honor. He never mentioned - or thought of - segregation or Jim Crow. Period. He was saying something nice about an old man. ...
Aside from being unable to "stand Harry Reid," (He wouldn't've been my choice for Majority Leader, but I there are far worse people, even in the Democratic Party), I agree with all of that, including the bit about Trent Lott. People sometimes make poor word choices and thus imply things they do not intend to say or imply.
I didn't like or agree with Trent Lott and I wasn't sorry to see him go, but I have no reason to believe he was a racist... When Lott said "When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either." , I believe he was just trying to say something nice about a 100 year old man, and neglected to consider that when Strom Thurmond ran back in 1948, he ran as a segregationist Dixiecrat. It is open to interpretation of course, but I believe he just hadn't thought his words through...
Reid, on the other hand, said what he said intentionally, and meant it. (Back in 2008, Mr Reid said privately that Mr. Obama could become the country’s first black president because he was “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”) I don't know whether or not I agree that a lighter skinned black has an advantage over a darker skinned black among the electorate--I don't want to believe it could be true these days (or ever), but that doesn't mean it isn't--but there's not a doubt in my mind that a candidate's dialect makes a difference--sometimes it helps, and sometimes it hurts. Reid was not stating that this is the way it should be; he was expressing the opinion that this is the way it was.
There is a difference between saying something racist and saying something racial. (Yeah, I caught Sharpton on CNN, and stole that line from him... The fact that he said it doesn't make it wrong, though...) There are differences between us all, and we have to be able to discuss them without falling into the trap of calling anyone who acknowledges that fact a racist (or when it's not a racial difference, a bigot). One's heritage comes with a set of stereotypical features at birth, and one's upbringing in the home & in society at large adds a "stereotypical" set of values and beliefs (and some more features, like dialect) to that mix. As a group, _______ people look and act differently than people who aren't _______. (Sometimes the differences are greater or less than others, depending on how those blanks get filled in, but whether they're filled in with the word "Polish," "Black," "Christian," "female," or "straight," there are differences. If there weren't, people would just be people, and there would be no need to differentiate between 'em.)
While there is a line--and sometimes a very thin one--between discussing those things that make people of a particular religious, ethnic, or social group "different" from the rest of us, and bigotry/racism, we need to be able to talk openly about who "we" are, who "they" are, and who we all are together (as a community, as citizens, and as human beings). What Reid said wasn't racist. It was just discussing race.
Of course, I didn't agree with everything the malcontent said in his post. Briefly, here are some of the points with which I did not agree.:
The sad truth is that blacks will make excuses for Reid's comment because they willingly wear the blinders that make them see only the notion that it is impossible for a democrat or liberal to be racist in any way. Blacks are the most gullible ethnic group on earth. And their heroes called the liberals epitomize double-standardness.
"Blacks are the most gullible ethnic group on earth." Wow. I'm just speechless.
How is it when Joe Wilson shouted "You lied" that everyone called him a racist. He was disrespectful, sure, but there was nothing inherently racist about saying those words. Yet, he took a lot of heat about being racist for some unknown reason. People assumed some inferred meaning behind his words. Now you have Harry Reid saying words that are clearly of a racist tone and he gets a free pass.
I have no idea whether or not Joe Wilson's a racist, but if he is (or ever was), it isn't because he yelled out "You Lie!!". (There is some question about his affiliation with the "Sons of Confederate Veterans," a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center says has many pro-segregation members, however. I've neither the time or inclination to explore this further, but I urge anyone interested to do so. In the meantime, I'll assume that Jow Wilson is just rude, but not a bigot.) And that line about "...Harry Reid saying words that are clearly of a racist tone..." Doesn't that contradict what the malcontent said in the title & first paragraph of his post? Yeah, I think so too...
And who gives flying Crap about what a pile of RACIST SHIT like Al Sharpton thinks?
The civil Racist leaders in this country are hitting an all time low, when they whine and snivel about not getting their way. Then they pull this two faced malarkey. ...
If I ever catch the likes of Sharpton any where near my children, the big bad White boogie man will be the least of his worries.
Not a big fan of Sharpton--not everything should be looked at and dissected from a racial standpoint--but I don't think he's a racist, either.
The Dems condone it because they say they have done so much for the African American community. If they have done so much why are so many African Americans families still living in poverty. i would guess a much more higher percentage than any other group except for maybe native Americans. Who are also very dependent on govt handouts. Are you seeing a common theme here. People who rely on govt handouts or anyother handouts for that matter live in poverty. when you become self reliant and self sufficient is when you are able to achieve success. And that my friends is why poor people from all over the world risk getting killed to come here.
I don't know... To me that says "Poor people are poor because they're poor, and if the rest of us would just let them suffer the effects of their poverty, the poor will get off their lazy asses & become rich."
[The Democratic party's] failure to hold their own accountable is laughable. In the last two years since then candidate Obama declared they have given passes to Bill Clinton twice, Joe Biden, and now Harry Reid while attempting to pull the race card on any political oppenent that opposes them.
Again, if what Harry Reid said wasn't racist--and the malcontent says it wasn't--then how is it he believes the Democratic party is giving Reid a pass?
Each of these Democrats made foolish statements involving race. But I think that to varying degrees, they all fall into the same "racial, not racist" soup as Reid and Lott, above.
Now, let's talk about Robert Byrd the Democrat KKK member. Using your logic, all Democrats who ever complimented Byrd obviously approved of his KKK membership and by extionsion the lynching of blacks that the KKK did.
Byrd (and Thurmond, above) are a different story... They most certainly WERE racists, back when it was far more acceptable to be so than it ever should've been. I cannot say what was in their hearts, but I'd like to believe that they both saw the error of their ways and renounced their racist beliefs. However, I think that malcontent's argument against whoever "you" is, is flawed. To make an apples to apples comparison to the Thurmond situation, where one could even possibly be implying approval for the KKK or lynching, one would have to compliment Byrd for all the work he did for folks while in that "anti-communist social organization" back in the 1940's. Congratulating Byrd for being the longest serving senator in US history, for example, (or something similarly unrelated to that time or those activities) is a whole other kettle of fish.
Previous commentary on similar subjects:
Angie Harmon plays the race card 3/31/09
Racist Music Just a Download Away on Mainstream Music Sites 2/25/09
Free Speech, Imus, and the Free Market 4/26/07
Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed 1/31/07
I'm working on a piece on another blog that discusses race, racism, and bigotry. When it's complete, (or should I have any additional thoughts or links) I'll update, below.