Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beginning of the End of Politicizing Race?

The focus on Harry Reid’s “unfortunate” comments about the candidacy of Barack Obama is, as it always is with matters such as this, extremely overblown. That said, if Mitch McConnell had said the exact same thing I’m pretty sure Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Keith Olbermann would spontaneously combust simultaneously like Spinal Tap drummers.

If we need proof that Reid is over his head as Senate Majority Leader, I’d prefer to focus on the numerous other “unfortunate” quotes or votes by Mr. Reid that have very real impacts on the lives and safety (see his quote on Iraq in 2007) of Americans.

However, given the response by various leaders, black, white or otherwise, hopefully this could be the beginning of the end of politicizing race (wishful thinking, I know). Ward Connerly (chairman of the American Civil Rights Coalition and author of "Creating Equal") expressed this perfectly in his recent column in the WSJ

“Mr. Reid personally called President Obama and a handful of presumed leaders of the so-called African-American community—Julian Bond, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson among them—to beg forgiveness for his racial sin.

To no one's surprise, all of those to whom apologies were extended responded by accepting Mr. Reid's apology and saying that the nation had more important issues to deal with, such as health care and national security.”
He concludes as follows:
"We are too quick to take offense about race when none was intended. Some are too anxious to manufacture outrage over matters that do not justify the attention that we give them. And we are too quick to politicize race.

As far as I'm concerned, Messrs. Bond, Sharpton, Jackson and a host of other Americans formerly identified as "negroes" have forever forfeited the right to be outraged whenever a Republican or a talk show host makes an inappropriate or "insensitive" racial comment.”
It will be very interesting to see the reaction next time a conservative makes an “insensitive” racial comment. Will we see the traditional outrage filled with racist labels and demands for resignations, or will it go away with an apology?


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