January 10, 2010

Barack Obama Accepts Harry Reid Apology for Racist Remarks

I'm never surprised when old white men display racist tendencies. As such, it didn't surprise me that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apologized for a racist statement that he made during the 2008 presidential election. [SOURCE]

He offered an apology following reports he privately described then presidential candidate Barack Obama as a Black candidate who could be successful, thanks in part to his "light-skinned" appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one."

The comments were reported by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in their new book "Game Change."
He (Reid) was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a Black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama - a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’ as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination," they write.
Harry Reid made his stupid comments in 2008 campaign season. He apologized yesterday,
“I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments. I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obama’s legislative agenda.
I feel sorry for Sen. Reid. His comments were made over a year ago ... and he is taking heat for it now ... just as he is entering into a tough re-election campaign in Nevada.

In a statement released by the White House, the president accepted Reid's apology:
"Harry Reid called me today and apologized for an unfortunate comment reported today. I accepted Harry's apology without question because I've known him for years, I've seen the passionate leadership he's shown on issues of social justice and I know what's in his heart. As far as I am concerned, the book is closed."
I 'spose that Reid may lose his Senate seat. What say u?


DrKeithCurrie said...

Let us forget racism. Lets make our world better, so that we can have happy life and future.

msladydeborah said...

Hotep Villager,

I wanted to suggest that you read Monroe Anderson's viewpoint on Reid's remarks. It is definitely a different opinion.

This particular set of remarks just made me laugh. I can't even get angry about what he said. Why? Because it is not the first time that some White male who is old has spewed out thought from the old school of thinking about a person of color.

The complexion tone issue is one that is raised in Black circles frequently. Why are we getting all aroused because a White man makes some of the statements that we do?

The Negro part of the statement is definitely outdated. But let's keep it real-a whole lot of us Black folks have that same racial identity on our legal Birth Certificates. We also need to go there with this point-a lot of Negroes made the conversion to being Black.

It is definitely a slap in the face more to Reid than Obama. It just shows me that there are still people who have not moved their mindsets from the past into the present.

I like to take the highest road possible in situations. Accepting an apology in this case is that path.

I also believe that this was unleashed to cause Reid problems. Which it has done.

Symphony said...

I can't get up in arms over it at all. Seems to me the president's negro dialect is in full force when he's around black folks, particularly in the black church chastising black daddies to shape up.

Meanwhile when its time for something positive (especially by way of policy) he's everyone's president. The idea that if he fixed all of America black people will be better is half way comical. If the ship isn't sinking thats great but we're on the bottom with our heads barely above water anyway.

And yes, I get that he's everyone's president and I've shouted that since before he was elected but when you bring out the belt, be willing to bring it out for all folks, not just black folks. But back to Reid's comments.

I didnt see anything wrong with what Reid said. Apparently its one of those things that only black people can say. Many black people agree with what he said.

Reid is telling it like it is in a very strategic way, whether people want to hear it or not.

Its like telling a woman if she wants more dates to lose 100 pounds. Well, I'm not telling you how it should be. I'm telling you how it is.

corvedacosta said...

I don' see why that in 2010 we cannot move past race. I think Reid should go. He knows better. Obama saying the book is closed is just hushing the topic for now until another loser says another racist comment. They should be called criminals if they do.

I am not in a society where people are that racist but gosh it must hurt Obama at some point.

AAPP said...

Harry Reid is the most powerful man in the United states Senate, we should not discount his "bag test" towards President Barack Obama as a test he would do for anyone who would seek employ in his senate offices, are any department of the Federal government, or the many oversight committee staff positions he may have under his control. It is unwise to just ignore this mans power in word and deed against blacks. Redid is the same guy who stood at the door against the now Senator of Illinois. In our blind faith to Barack Obama, it seems that black folks want to ignore color aroused hatred, and think it will go away. we must confront color aroused hatred whenever it raises it's ugly head.

As Martin Luther King once stated, "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

uglyblackjohn said...

Reid was correct.
Jackson was dismissed because many couldn't understand a single word the man said.

That Obama is able to code-shift depending on the listener is also common.
How many of us are able to the the same?

In much of America, many people see being half-Black as only being half bad.

Am I offended by a guy who tells the truth?

Villager said...

Keith - ...it's hard to forget racism. It seems to surround us in so many incidious ways.

Lady D - I did read Monroe Anderson's comments at your request. It was enlightening in a number of ways.

Symphony, UglyBlackJohn, AAPP and CorveDaCosta - Each of you had powerful comments ... both here and in some cases on your own blog. I 'spose that Harry Reid will have a reckoning soon enough. Quite frankly, the entire Democratic Party may have a reckoning if they can't pull out the election on Tuesday in Massachusetts.