January 12, 2010

Harry Reid's Comments: There Is No Double Standard

Blacks weigh in on Harry Reid's racial comments / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com

So Washington is abuzz with the latest piece of red meat for politicians and associated operators to gnaw at, the simultaneously awkwardly phrased, stereotypical yet oddly insightful comments by Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. In their new book, "Game Change," journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann expose remarks Mr. Reid made in an interview about Barack Obama during the presidential campaign. Mr. Reid is quoted as saying that he believed the nation was ready to elect a "light-skinned" black man "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

Race hustler Ward Connerly is one of the voices of outrage from conservatives. "it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the spirit of forgiveness is universal—except when it comes to conservatives."

Conservatives charge there is a double standard, case in point, the experience of former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, who made remarks praising Strom Thurmond in 2002. Mr. Lott said of the segregationist: "When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we [Mississippians] 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 all these years either." Lott was forced to step down in the aftermath.

I'm sorry to break it to you guys, but there is no double standard here at all. In fact, quite to the contrary, I would argue that the condemnation conservatives get for verbal malfunctions like this, at least from the black community, is entirely logical and consistent.  Furthermore, its not complicated and when conservatives behave as though they don't understand it, it annoys me.

Let me break it down for you.  Why is it that Harry Reid can make a comment like that and largely get a pass from black folks while conservatives get branded with the "Raaciisst" label for similar verbal vomit? Simple:  

Harry Reid belongs to a party that behaves like it gives a damn about black voters!

I wish conservatives would stop behaving as though this is incomprehensible rocket science. I've said numerous times before:  the GOP does not consider blacks to be a political constituency necessary or essential to its aspirations for governance and the party, from rank and file to its leadership, behaves accordingly.  I've repeated that many times here at the Season, but maybe I'm falling into that pesky "Negro dialect" thing Reid was talking about and its making me hard to understand.  Why don't I let our illustrious chairman Michael Steele explain it to you:

Q: Why do you think so few nonwhite Americans support the Republican Party right now?
A: "Cause we have offered them nothing! And the impression we’ve created is that we don’t give a damn about them or we just outright don’t like them. And that’s not a healthy thing for a political party. I think the way we’ve talked about immigration, the way we’ve talked about some of the issues that are important to African-Americans, like affirmative action… I mean, you know, having an absolute holier-than-thou attitude about something that’s important to a particular community doesn’t engender confidence in your leadership by that community—or consideration of you for office or other things—because you’ve already given off the vibe that you don’t care." -GQ Magazine March 2009

So the next time a conservative makes a racial verbal bellyflop and gets tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail while your neighborhood liberal democrat gets a playful slap on the wrist and a pass and you don't understand, just return here and let our chairman explain it to you.