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Washington (CNN) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apologized Saturday for making racially insensitive remarks about Barack Obama during the presidential campaign.
Journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported the remarks in their new book, “Game Change,” which is scheduled to be in bookstores Tuesday.
The authors quote Reid as saying privately that Obama, as a black candidate, could be successful thanks, in part, to his “light-skinned” appearance and speaking patterns “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”
“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,’ ” Halperin and Heilemann say.
“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.
In a statement to CNN, Reid said, “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,” the senator from Nevada said.
Reid pointed to his efforts to integrate the Las Vegas Strip and the gaming industry, among other legislation favored by African-American voters.
“I have worked hard to advance issues important to the African American community.”
he senator called Obama Saturday afternoon to apologize for the racially insensitive remarks.
“Harry Reid called me today and apologized for an unfortunate comment reported today,” Obama said in a statement.
“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.”
Hmmmmm. I’m going to be a little bit objective here. My first thought is Reid’s un-PC remarks weren’t that much different than remarks black people were making about Obama since he started campaigning. The real problem here is Reid is white and sometimes the truth hurts.
It is openly discussed among the black community that “light skin” is easily accepted among the non-black populous versus “dark skin.” It’s “wrong” but that’s the way it is. Reid was making the same observation a person of color has made since the beginning of race relations in this country.
The “negro dialect” Reid was referring to is formally known as “African American Vernacular English,” and casually known as “Ebonics.” Although, Reid’s choice of words in describing this dialect warranted furrowed brows and wagging heads, he wasn’t off the mark. If Obama took the podium in the voice of Lil’ Wayne, every black person would be up in arms about how “ghetto” he is, about how “he can’t act right.” Reid, in less words, was saying Obama was “acting right.” Right enough so that he had a fighting chance to be elected by those people who wouldn’t ordinarily vote for a black man.
Now we all know exactly how the “black man” is perceived in this world. I said, world and not America, because this folly of a stereotype is on a global scale. Black men are angry, aggressive, dangerous and most of all scary. I can’t count how many times my guy friends have told me that banal story of the white woman that hastily grabbed her purse or crossed the street when she saw them coming. I can’t count how many times I see a young black man get stopped and frisked when he was just minding his own business.
Bonjour mon amies,
I’m going to give this another go. I miss writing. I miss sharing my thoughts. I really can’t stand this ‘New Moon’ hysteria seriously. I have had enough! Maybe I just need an outlet to blog about how horrible that movie and it’s predecessor looks/is? C’mon! people will fall for ANY-THING. Put one or two mildly attractive tweens/teens, sprinkle media hype and PRESTO even the housewives get all hot and bothered. These kids are what? 12, 13? Underaged nevertheless and probably the same age as your son. Get a life. The acting in that movie looked so bad in the first one I couldn’t even sit through the commercials… I don’t get it. I should make my own crappy movie for 11 bucks get PerezHilton to get his panties in a bunch over the leading man and make me some millions. I have had enough.