Monday, January 11, 2010

Reid's Racist Comments

So, Senator Reid's ridiculously racist comments, where, during the 2008 Presidential race (no pun intended), he described Obama's lighter skin and lack of "Negro" dialect as reasons why he (Obama) could successfully be elected President, have been all over the news.

I'm not sure whether or not I think Reid should step down.  On the one hand, I do agree that saying something obscenely racist and offensive doesn't negate everything else about a person (for example, we can think that The Pianist is a fantastic movie without condoning Roman Polanski's behavior or anti-woman attitudes--just as being a rapist doesn't make Polanski's movies automatically suck, making good movies also does not excuse him from being a rapist, or the consequences of his rapist actions).

But these comments are really, really, really offensive, as well as incredibly revealing about racism in the US.  Look, I'm really not SURPRISED that an old, white, upper-middleclass straight guy said what Reid said.  Everyone's going on about how he's a Democrat, isn't this shocking!!!11! (or they're getting all racism-apologetic, talking about how it's OKAY for him to be racist because he's a Dem).  But it's not shocking.  I know enough about the Democratic party to know that they're not progressive.  So this isn't surprising at all.  Just annoying.

To me, this is an example of where the stupid thing that someone has said reveals a lot about their mindset.  While yes, I do think it might have been better if Reid had never said anything so incredibly racist and stupid, even if he didn't SAY it, he obviously THINKS it.  This way, I know that he harbors this racist idea.  If he had been smart enough to keep quiet, then we wouldn't know about it.


I don't know if he should step down.  If there's precedent for it, then yes, he should.

I find it moderately hilarious that the GOP is claiming a double standard.  First off, I don't think it's that accurate to compare Former Senator Lott to Senator Reid, although it's not TOTALLY inaccurate.  Second of all, the GOP doesn't understand what a double standard actually means.  Really.  You guys have no clue.  I'm serious.

Anyway, we'll see what happens.  I'd like to see Reid do SOMETHING to try to repair this huge issue he created, something more than just saying, "Whoops, sorry!"  After all, he made the comments almost two years ago, and he's only apologizing now that everyone knows about it.  I'd file that under "Only Feels Bad Because People Are Angry, Not Because S/he's Legitimately Sorry."

1 comment:

  1. In my opinion, there is absolutely no reason for him to step down. Yes it was tactless, yes it was offensive speech, and yes, he probably should not have said it -- or at least not in a public forum with the exact wording he had.

    But there is really no precedent for someone stepping down for saying something stupid. Hell, there is precedent for people not stepping down when DOING something stupid.

    Plus, tactless as it was as he phrased it, the truth is, Harry Reid's comments have factual validity. Now that is no defense of not being able to word it in a more sensitive way, but his statements are most certainly valid. If Obama fit more of an African American stereotype, he would have been unelectable to the general populous. Like it or not, we live in a society that still holds latent -- or even blatant -- racist tendencies.

    By no means is it justification for Reid's statement. That being said, I do not think he should apologize for his content, just his wording, and I most certainly do not think he should be resigning.