Fair. Balanced. American.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Harry Reid

Joan Walsh:
Meanwhile, Steele and Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl are shrieking "double standard," comparing Reid's comments to the stunning 2002 musings of former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, who had to resign after he said the country would have been better off if it had elected Dixiecrat segregationist Strom Thurmond president in 1948. Oh sure: One guy is talking, perhaps inelegantly, about why he's wholeheartedly supporting our first black president; the other is wishing the country had elected a racist. That's exactly the same thing!

But I was a little bit bothered to jump on Twitter today, where my world is very liberal and colorful, and hear some Democrats still trashing Reid for his misstatement. You can read the whole thread here. One person suggested that Reid had no business discussing the issue of whether being light-skinned is an advantage for African-Americans, when that issue is in fact regularly debated in the black community. If we're ever going to have our long-delayed conversation about race, white people are going to have to be able to participate even on issues that black people have considered their own. I can't count the number of conversations I had in 2008, with savvy political observers of every race, talking about the advantages of Obama being light-skinned and biracial.

Seriously, does anyone really think it's coincidence that our first black president is a biracial man who came from Hawaii by way of Harvard (with a little political rough and tumble in Chicago)? If my thinking that means I can't be Senate majority leader ... well, that's OK. I didn't want that job anyway.

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