It would seem that Senator Harry Reid’s racial remarks resulted in a major onslaught by CNN on Monday, 11 January 2010. Was Senator Reid’s statements racist or racial? I am going to provide my own take on this matter. I don’t regard Senator Reid’s remarks as excusable. Yes, he had every reason to apologize for them and did. President Obama, who was the recipient of these remarks, also accepted this apology. Now, is this a statement that can be called a political one day wonder and the news media then moves on? They should. And given that this is the off year elections 2010, then Senator Reid’s constituents should decide his fate.
Now as to what would have made Senator Reid’s comments particularly offensive. Is it pointed out to a white politician that he “condescends” or “panders” to his audience if he drops his Harvard educated speech patterns and talks to his rural audience? No. Not typically. Nor would a white politician get told that he sounds as ignorant as the people he has in his audience (the meaning of white dialect, perhaps). And even further, would people have voted for Obama if he hadn’t spoken routinely in a well-cultured and educated manner? Probably not. Which says of the people who went on CNN, whether GOP or Democrat, that they danced around the issue of race relations. It is a fact that Obama demonstrated how well educated he happened to be, that he was prepared to be informed on the substance of the issues during his presidential campaign, that won him the majority of the popular vote and a landslide victory in the electoral college vote. “Negro dialect” simply never came up. And why would it? And why should it now?
What has happened is that Reid did denigrate Obama, as Senator (2008 remarks) and as presidential candidate. But as stated above, the voters should decide what to do about Reid.