Racism is generally considered a bad thing. If you poll most Americans, they will tell you that they do not support racism or racist views. If you consult leading media experts they will denounce racism as cutting the very underpinnings of a society based on equality for all. While there are many who do embrace a racial bias, whether because they truly believe in any racial superiority or simply because that is the way they were raised, most people do think that everyone should have the same rights regardless of the color of the skin.
Having said that, there is a difference in the color of skin.
We are not all made up the same way. We are not all carbon copies of one another and to ignore the differences that do exist is foolhardy. We all make decisions and judgments based on any number of factors, and yes, one of those factors is color. We may not want to—we may deny that we do, but all the same, there it is. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has been raked over the coals for remarks he made during the 2008 Obama campaign. He asserted that Obama only got elected because he is a light-skinned black man who does not speak with an ethnic dialect.
His actual words were: ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”
Horror of horrors! How dare he say that! Not about Obama!
How about the fact that every word he spoke was the truth? Barak Obama would not have gotten elected if he looked or spoke like Flavor Flav. But it is not just a racial issue. No person would get elected if that person did not speak with articulate eloquence that indicates intelligence. Even George W, who admittedly is not the brightest bulb in the pack, did not speak like a hick redneck when running for office. If you aspire to high public office, you cannot speak with any dialect that belies ignorance, whether you’re black, white, brown, yellow or purple.
Many black (African American) people have thrown their hats in the presidential ring over the years, but none of them managed to garner their party’s nomination. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson regularly attempt to run, but fail to get very far. Obama pulled it off because he did not speak with any hint of an ethnic dialect. During the campaign, some in the black community accused him of selling out—of talking like a white man in order to get elected. This is true—and not. He didn’t talk like a “white man,” but then again, he didn’t talk like many black men. He spoke the English language the way it was meant to be spoken. He used the language properly, something that many people have forgotten how to do. That is not denigration, it is a compliment. I do not like Obama as president—he did not have enough experience for the job (a fact that is being borne out by this mess of an administration)—but I like that he is intelligent and articulate. He speaks with purpose and clarity. He does not muddle his sentences with mindless rhetoric or inane colloquialisms. He is a great public speaker.
Not a great president, but a great speaker.
If he were not as good a speaker as he is, he would not have gotten elected. It is as simple as that. That is what Harry Reid said during the campaign and that is what he is apologizing for.
Now, I am a conservative Republican so it may come as a surprise that I do not think Reid should be fired. Of course, the GOP just wants a shot at filling his vacated seat if he were fired, so that is understandable. The democrats, however, are closing ranks around Reid saying that he didn’t mean any harm by his comments, that he meant it as a compliment. Obama says he didn’t mind the remark and he accepted Reid’s apology and wanted to put the whole incident behind him.
Should he have apologized in the first place? If so, why? He spoke the truth. What is wrong with stating the obvious?
There is too much emphasis on being “politically correct” and “racially sensitive” these days. People are afraid to speak their minds for fear of offending someone. Even the movie “Avatar,” a fantasy film set in the future in a foreign planet, has been targeted as being racially insensitive. Get a grip people! If you are not white, it does not mean that everyone is out to insult you. People are too sensitive these days. We need to develop thicker skin and let things slide. It’s not all about race. Heck, we have a black (almond mocha?) president, so stop playing the race card and focus on the issues and problems facing this country.
Judge Obama by his actions and his policies. He may be a bad president, but he is a great speaker. Look past the color of his skin and if you do, you will see Harry Reid was entirely correct. Obama is a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect.’