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I wasn't going to post on the Harry Reid comment about Obama.....that Obama is "light skinned" and "doesn't have a Negro dialect unless he wants to"..... because there's not much to talk about. Reid, who was praising Obama in his remarks, didn't say anything that wasn't true and didn't mean any of it as a slam on Obama, just the opposite. Given that,....Reid apologized, Obama accepted the apology....end of story, right?
Not when Republicans are as unpopular as they are right now.
Hysteria overload....seems like an apt description of Republican and conservative response to Reid's remarks. Nothing unusual though. The Detroit underwear bomber guy hysteria overload has barely cooled and now we're treated with fresh, new, hysteria overload. In fact, if you think about it.....all of last year was dominated by hysteria overload from the right. Townhall bust-ups, tea parties, the Cheneys, Rushbo, Beckerhead. I don't want to refer to what I've been witnessing as TeaBagger Overload....because that could be, you know, misunderstood as something obscene.
The word Negro, though used less prevalently now than in the 60's, is not a derogatory name. We just love it when Samuel L. Jackson says Negro in movies like Pulp Fiction. We still have with us today the United NEGRO College Fund and the American NEGRO College Fund.
But the Harry Reid comment and the hysteria overload surrounding it has nothing to do with the word 'Negro' or the words 'light skinned'.....it has to do with the total bankruptcy of the Republican Party.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) called for Reid to resign as Senate Leader, saying....
"It's difficult to see this situation as anything other than a clear double standard on the part of Senate Democrats and others,"
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the embarassing Michael Steele followed Cornyn's lead.
"So I ask, why the double standard ? If these types of racially insensitive remarks are wrong and call for punishment, then they are ALWAYS wrong and call for punishment. It shouldn't matter to which political party the offender belongs."
Those who push a deceptive national storyline have, once again, attempted to force a square racist "double standard" peg into a round hole of political calculation.
First, the incident Cornyn and the ususal suspect Republicans are referring to as proof of a "double standard".
Here's what Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) said at Strom Thurmond's birthday party in 2002.....
"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."
That statement doesn't just contain "racially insensitive" wording. That statement endorses national racism. Lott, with the words he chose, endorsed segregation as the better way.
Here's a quick breakdown of what it would have meant to have "followed" Strom Thurmond's "lead".....
Thurmond supported racial segregation with the longest filibuster ever conducted by a single Senator, speaking for 24 hours and 18 minutes in an unsuccessful attempt to derail the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
Thurmond became a candidate for President of the United States on the third party ticket of the States' Rights Democratic Party, which split from the national Democrats over the proposed constitutional innovation involved in federal intervention in segregation. Thurmond carried four states and received 39 electoral votes. One 1948 speech, met with cheers by supporters, included the following:
“ I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there's not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigra race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches."
Senator Thurmond decried the Supreme Court opinion in Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education, which ordered the immediate desegregation of schools in the American South. Thurmond praised President Nixon and his "Southern Strategy" of delaying desegregation, saying Nixon "stood with the South in this case."
...he (Thurmond) never explicitly renounced his earlier views on racial segregation.
Strom Thurmond was an overt racist and proud of it. He believed in keeping blacks and whites separate in American society. Thurmond earned his label as a segregationist. Trent Lott stated that if America had followed Thurmond's segregationist "lead",...."we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years."
Lott was confirming his own segregationist tendencies.
Harry Reid, on the other hand, has been rated with a 96% voting record on civil rights by the NAACP.
Let me be clear. To invoke a double standard.....one must be faced with, at the very least, similar circumstances.
Trent Lott praised a segregationist, a racist, saying America would have been better off if we had kept segregation in tact, had maintained racial divisions. Harry Reid, while praising Barack Obama, clumsily chose the words "light skinned" and "without a Negro dialect", to evaluate Obama's chances of becoming president.
And finally,....Trent Lott lost his position as Senate Leader because George W. Bush actively worked to push him out after the Thurmond snafu.
When comparing apples......you must start with apples in each hand. The Republicans don't care anything about whether they are comparing and contrasting equal situations. What they care about is maintaining the hysteria overload.