The EU

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Senator Reid's Gaffe

Eugene Robinson, a columnist for The Washington Post yesterday gave us his insight on the Harry Reid imbroglio:
Skin color among African Americans is not to be discussed in polite company, so Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's newly disclosed remark about President Obama—that voters are more comfortable with him because he's light-skinned—offended decorum. But it was surely true.
Mr Robinson has always struck me as a level-headed columnist, albeit a little more "progressive" than I.  I think he captures the truth behind the controversy over Senate Majority Leader Reid.

Or, we could look at it from a different point of view.  It sure looks like the elite media look down on former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for her use of her patois while campaigning, rather than speaking standard LA Middle Class English.  We are led to think that Sarah Palin's English is little better than that of Eliza Doolittle.  I don't think this attitude is right or insightful, but it does exist and no one in the MSM is going to take on the MSM for this.

I don't think Senator Reid should be taken to the wood shed for forthright comments about a candidate in a private discussion.  Mr Robinson's second and third paragraphs:
Color bias has always existed in this country.  We don't talk about it because we think of color as subordinate to racial identification.  There are African Americans with skin so light-hued that only contextual clues speak to the question of race.  I remember once looking up some distant cousins on my father's side.  They were so fair of hair and ruddy of cheek that I thought I'd gone to the wrong house, until one of them greeted me in what I guess Reid would call "Negro dialect."

Forgive me if I am neither shocked nor outraged.  A few years ago I wrote a book about color and race called "Coal to Cream," and the issue no longer has third-rail status for me.  What I would find stunning is evidence that Reid's assessment—made during the 2008 campaign and reported in a new book by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin—was anything but accurate.
On the other hand, the Senator could be criticized for not updating his language.

I think it is time to move on.

And, it is still the time we should be judging people based upon their character and their contribution rather than their skin color.

Regards  —  Cliff

  A million other things, yes, but not this.

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