CONVINCE ME There's Any Similarity Between Reid, Lott Remarks!!

@anniepa (27162)
United States
January 11, 2010 5:45pm CST
You've likely heard by now that according to a new book, "Game Ghange", Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada had said of Barack Obama 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.’ " Senator Reid has apologized, more than once I believe, and President Obama has accepted his apology. That isn't nearly enough for many on the right. RNC Chairman Michael Steele said yesterday on "Meet the Press" that Reid should step down from his position of Senate Majority Leader or it would show a double standard compared to the treatment of Trent Lott. You may recall that in 2002 at the 100th birthday party for the retiring Senator Stromm Thurmond Lott had noted that in Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign, whose centerpiece was opposition to integration, Mississippi was one of four Thurmond carried. "We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either," Lott said. Lott was rebuked by then President Bush who said, "recent comments by Sen. Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country. He has apologized and rightly so. Every day that our nation was segregated was a day our nation was unfaithful to our founding ideals." Lott ended up stepping down as Majority Leader. PLEASE tell me how there's any similarity whatsoever between the two men's remarks! Granted, Senator Reid made a poor choice of words but how was it "racist"? I understand that to some, the use of the word "Negro" in itself is offensive but it should be noted that many older Americans still use it regularly and mean no disrespect by it; the "United Negro College Fund" is still using it. Both my mother and my mother-in-law, neither of whom had a single racist bone in their bodies, still referred to African-Americans as either "Negroes" or "colored" until they day they died because that's what had been accepted throughout most of their lives. On the other hand, what did Lott mean by, "...we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either"? All WHAT problems and WHY wouldn't we have had them? I'm not accusing him of being racist because I've never met the guy so I couldn't possibly know what's in his heart but if I were told one of the two men were racist my first guess wouldn't be Harry Reid! Any comments? Can you convince me... Annie
9 responses
@jerzgirl (7892)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
12 Jan 10
Reid shouldn't have said what he said, to be sure. There is no easy or truly acceptable way to say what he meant because there would always be someone somewhere who would take offense to it, but it was true. A dark-skinned candidate with a heavy urban linguistic style would have NEVER been electable, regardless of his qualifications. It's just that simple. This country's long history of racial division makes it difficult for ANY minority to make inroads into any arena previously dominated by whites. Barack Obama was probably the absolute best choice for blacks to have a chance to reach the White House at this time. That does NOT mean they don't deserve to be there. It just means that changes of this nature in this country take time. Prez. Obama is the first step. It will be just a bit easier for other candidates of color as time goes on because of his successful election. Reid definitely chose the wrong words to explain himself - and I'm guessing because he initially thought they would be the least offensive. You have to remember - he is a member of the Mormon church - a church that until 1978 refused to allow blacks to hold the priesthood or to enter their temples. The "one drop" rule applied for over 100 years. They were the whitest church in the world (not counting White Supremacist churches). Why else would White Supremacist groups gather in places like Idaho and Utah - because there are still many sympathetic to their cause there. Reid is from Nevada, another heavily Mormon state. Now, this doesn't make him racist - it's the culture he's been wrapped up in for decades. It's hard to escape the influence at times. As for Lott's claims - it's because of THAT history that we have difficulties today with commenting on anything racial or ethnic. Anyone who could suggest that electing a pro-segregationist to the Presidency would resolve any of today's current issues implies that "separate but equal" and Jim Crow were policies to be admired and supported. Sorry, but although Reid's words were distasteful and unwise, his intent was not. Lott's is another thing entirely.
@anniepa (27162)
• United States
12 Jan 10
Very well said, jerzgirl. Did you see where one of the GOP Senators said what Reid said was far worse than what Lott said? Annie
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (7892)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
12 Jan 10
No, I didn't see that, but it doesn't surprise me at all. They never smell their own farts.
2 people like this
@anniepa (27162)
• United States
12 Jan 10
ROFLMFAO...GOOD ONE!! Annie
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15178)
11 Jan 10
my first reaction to the first quote you made was wondering if america is more or less like europe in the 60s - i.e. the speaker was trying to be inclusive and openminded but decades later it will look dated, and very race conscious indeed. the second looks distinctly nasty. more generally i don't care what happens to my star but please remember just what happens when the extreme right get powerfull...
2 people like this
@anniepa (27162)
• United States
12 Jan 10
You don't have to worry about ME forgetting how dangerous the far right can be! Annie
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15178)
12 Jan 10
was inspired to do a discussion that i think has got some of the regulars in here steaming. ahem.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Jan 10
Personally I do not understand what the big stink was about as Reid said only what many other people thought. I asked my black friends and family member and they did not think it was an insult but very true. Most blacks have been called much much worse. Obama is no different from any other well educated African American.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27162)
• United States
12 Jan 10
I agree. He was giving Obama a compliment in a strange sort of way, I suppose. As I said, the word "Negro" is still accepted and used by older people. Really, when you think about it, what did Reid say that was one bit different from what many political commentators said all throughout the campaign, with the exception of that one word? There was much discussion about whether the voters were ready for a black candidate just as there was discussion as to whether the voters would accept a woman. It isn't surprising since until now every President has been a white male with a common sounding name and presumably, other than JFK, they've all be protestant. Annie
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jan 10
I am glad that that a black man was running for president as it has broken the broken the stereotypical mold for president I just do not think Obama was the right man for the job. Now I would like to see the right woman get the job.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27162)
• United States
18 Jan 10
I totally respect that you don't think Obama was the right man for the job and I KNOW his race has nothing to do with it for you. I also couldn't agree more about finding the right woman for the job! Someday... Annie
@artistry (4154)
• United States
17 Jan 10
... Hi annie, Going to try this again as I got booted the first time I responded. The record speaks for itself in the case of both men. Trent Lott voted against a holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr., against the voting rights act and other civil rights laws to help minorities, if I am not mistaken. Harry Reid has been the exact opposite in his voting in the Senate. So when Lott made his remarks, one could only think that he meant that segregation with Thurmon in charge would have been the right thing for the country. You can't turn a cat into a dog. He said what he said. Reid called then Senator Obama into his office and encouraged him to run for president because he felt he could win. He was actually praising Obama, when he was saying what he said. Two more different men you could not find when it comes to people of color. Rest the case. The verdict has been given.
1 person likes this
@artistry (4154)
• United States
19 Jan 10
...Hi annie, Thanks for the nice surprise. You made my day "o). Take good care.
@flowerchilde (12520)
• United States
12 Jan 10
I heard a clip where Al Sharpton said he was offended.. But I'm not really wanting to convince you. I do remember when Hilary Clinton said something about Iranians and gas station attendants.. but that didn't receive much coverage from the lib media outlets either. I think any bigotry toward any group of people (including conservatives or liberals) is ignorant. And no way do I want to see a one party media.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27162)
• United States
12 Jan 10
I've seen Al Sharpton interviewed at length several times since this story broke and what I've heard him say is that he was offended or disturbed - I honestly forget which word he used - over the use of the word "Negro" and the phrase "Negro dialect" at first but that he had no thoughts of Reid being a racist and didn't think he should step down because of this. I remember something about Hillary's comment but I can't remember the details anymore, but it did get covered. I agree that any bigotry is ignorant; I just don't think Harry Reid is a bigot. Annie
1 person likes this
@xfahctor (14126)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
12 Jan 10
annie, I am not going to be able to convince you of anything in this. Despite bieng on my "awakening" watch list (I do hold sometiny flame of hope), you are still one of the most partisan people in this forum. You have your head so far up the asss of the democratic party you paracticly share a digestive tract. Sorry, cude way to put it I realize, but I'm getting too old to beat around the bush anymore and my "tact" gland was surgicly removed years ago. YOu say Reid isn't one of your favorite politician, though your actions, or rathger lack of actions in critisizing him when it has been due, and it has been due quite often, speak volumes. I have never seen you critisize a democrat, or praise a republican (and no, lieberman and Spectre don't count). That being said, here is my take on the whole thing. Both men were praising a democratic (or former democratic) member of congress. Both men are incapable of speaking intelligently or thinking about what they said before hand and consindering how it is going to come out. NEITHER man is racist .Stupid, ignorant, unable to speak coherantly yes...racist...no. The difference is in the way partisan people are handling it.
@xfahctor (14126)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
12 Jan 10
Just as a side note, i couldn't help but notice your absense from my thread on executive order 12425. I trust this is an oversight......
@anniepa (27162)
• United States
18 Jan 10
First, yes it is an oversight which I'll correct ASAP. Second, sorry but I think Lott is a racist and his record backs thatup. Annie
@Taskr36 (13926)
• United States
12 Jan 10
You're right in that there is no similarity. Trent Lott was merely complimenting a friend at a birthday party and said NOTHING about race. When he mentioned problems he was referring to the financial problems in our country, but his opponents chose to take his words out of context to frame him as a racist. Harry Reid on the other hand was clearly speaking about race. He basically said Obama's a good black candidate because he doesn't look too black, nor does he speak like a black person. The only people consistent in heir reactions were republicans. They showed little tolerance for either politicians regardless of political party whereas democrats are only tolerant of sexism and racism when it comes from within their own party.
@anniepa (27162)
• United States
12 Jan 10
What am I missing here, Taskr? How did you come to the conclusion that, "When he mentioned problems he was referring to the financial problems in our country," out of his comments that if Thurmond had won on his segregationist platform we wouldn't have the problems we have today? HOW could anyone even mention that Presidential run without race being implied? Annie
1 person likes this
@nzinky (822)
• United States
12 Jan 10
I think Harry Reid used the wrong phase maybe he could have used a better choice of words but he said it and people are offended by it and its the people that put him in office and they are the ones asking for him to resign.......It's just not the embarement of that phase that they are wanting him to resign but him not listening to the people on health care and the spending......This is just the straw that broke the camels back.... Since he had the stroke it seems his brain and moouth can't form the right things to do......It's time he stepped down cause people don't like what he is doing spending money we don't have to spend......Where is it coming from Oh I forgot Obama found out he had a printing press at his beckin call.....
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
12 Jan 10
In what context do you want them to be similar? Michael Steele SHOULD go after Reid and suggest he step down and draw these comparisons. You, being one of MSNBC's faithful, know full well that it's all fair game when somebody--a Republican--crams their foot into their mouth! Look what shouting "You lie!" got Wilson in terms of calls for resignations, apologies, refunds of donations, etc. But booing and hissing was patriotism. It's never the same. Never. But it has to be the same in politics. People need to be reminded who did what when and who's mums' now. It tags the people partisan to a fault. The comparisons between Lott and Reid come not from the context of their comments, but in the fallout after. Lott couldn't and will never be able to explain it away to make himself look like any less of a racist. But the excuses come flying out for Reid. People saying he's actually telling the truth, thus labeling the white electorate as racists! (How in the frick!?) People bring up his age. People cite his apology and Obama's acceptance and say let it be buried. Tell that to Wilson. There's really nothing happening over Reid's situation other than the mainstream--outside of Fox lol--backing him up with excuses. Can you imagine if Glenn Beck said that in those exact same words? My goodness gracious, what about Palin!? "Similar" wouldn't be in question. It'd suddenly be automatic, I suspect. So Steele takes the opportunity to blow it out of proportion. Nobody else will from his own party or their pocket press networks. And for me, I'm personally offended. I thought Reid calling opponents of government-run healthcare "slave owners" or whatever he called them was a one time thing. Turns out this guy is intent that America is racist.