January 9, 2010

Harry Reid thought Barack Obama could become President because he was "light-skinned" and had "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

Reid is apologizing profusely, now that those quotes appear in a new book. How many other Democrats said more or less the same thing?

Biden famously said, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," and he went on to become Obama's choice for VP.

Can we infer that they were pretty much all saying that?

ADDED: I'm very interested in this "unless he wanted to have one" idea. I'm picturing them trying to figure out whether it might be effective, at least some of the time, to dial up the dialect and just how far would be appropriate. I'm thinking maybe Hillary paid attention...

93 comments:

oldirishpig said...

It's why they picked him, isn't it? Or is it racist to say that?

Jason (the commenter) said...

If this is what they say about Obama behind his back I can only imagine how they talk about gay people.

Thanks for confirming how I suspect all liberals think, Harry!

vbspurs said...

I agree with the awkwardly phrased "Negro dialect" thing, but "light-skinned"? What is that about?

In my world, I don't judge a person by the colour of their skin. That doesn't mean I don't see colour. Of course, I do. But it's like meeting a person and registering in a split second that, oh, this person has curly hair, or blue eyes. It's just a detail.

But speech is tied to behaviour, and that yes, I do judge a person by (and vice-versa, of course). Grammar, turn of phrase, presentation.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

It's why they picked him, isn't it? Or is it racist to say that?

They picked him because he was a legitimate progressive, who was palatable to the US public. Those are very rare politicians to find, indeed. Dennis Kucinich and Paul Wellstone couldn't have become President, but Barack Obama could and did.

But when it got to the general election, I'm convinced Americans felt good about being able to vote for a black person, who to boot, seemed to run a very tight campaign. That's an idealistic reason, tied to a very practical reason. And if that's not what being an American is about, I don't know what is.

Irene said...

How many other Democrats said more or less the same thing?

Bill Clinton. Here's how he characterized Obama when seeking Ted Kennedy's endorsement for Hillary: "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee."

Jason (the commenter) said...

Is Reid letting this out on purpose now so he can get the racist vote? This could be his way of letting them know he's one of the good old boys.

rhhardin said...

Reid was right, except in apologizing.

MadisonMan said...

I also agree about the dialect. I make judgements on people based on how they speak. Also on how they dress.

Skin color? No.

DADvocate said...

I've long maintained that the liberal Democrat policies that increase the black populations dependence if racist and does more harm to blacks than the boogey man racists liberals always scream about. Liberals don't truly want blacks to thrive and prosper. If blacks did, liberals wouldn't be able to buy their votes with promises of handouts.

Malcolm X, comparing Democrats (sly foxed) to Republicans (wolves) said, "In a wolf's den, I'd always known exactly where I stood; I'd watch the dangerous wolf closer than I would the smooth, sly fox. The wolf's very growling would keep me alert and fighting to survive, whereas I might be lulled and fooled by the tricky fox." Democrats have been fooling minorities for a long time despite Malcolm X's warning.

MrBuddwing said...

Is Reid letting this out on purpose now so he can get the racist vote?

More like, he'd rather break the news than have "60 Minutes" do it for him.

vbspurs said...

I'm thinking maybe Hillary paid attention...

"I want to end with her favourite quote. It's from Mahatma Gandhi. He ran a gas station down in St. Louis for a couple years"

- Hillary Clinton.

"You CANNOT go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent ... I'm not joking."

- Joe Biden.

Kirby Olson said...

Obama is EAST AFRICAN, his father was from Kenya.

There is no legacy of slavery in his past.

His family was never chained up on a boat, or had to pick cotton, or was whipped.

West Africa is a very different story. Their facial characteristics and color are very different, and their history is totally different.

It's racist to think he's "black," as if that determines something about him and his past.

He played it very well, but Kenyans and Somalians and Ethiopians are totally different in their looks from people from the Congo or the Gambia, from hence southern slaves were abducted to work on the Episcopalian plantations of the pre-Civil War south.

Obama is NOT part of that story.

He's been interpreted into that story by racists who see everything as a racial story.

Obama's story has been misinterpreted by everyone because of the race movements. But he's an individual, and must be considered as one, to even be partially understood.

vbspurs said...

Also on how they dress.

I just had this conversation with an Italian (female) friend of mine this week. I told her to dress well in America.

"Why? Americans dress so badly!".

"I know, but they judge people on how they dress, just the same."

It's one of those things about Americans. Like when you go to their homes, the TV is always on.

wilbur said...

Hey...did you check out the comments on NYT link? Plantation owners out in force on a Saturday, no less.

vbspurs said...

"A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee."

Holy moley, Irene. What a book, eh? I can't wait to buy the Kindle version this Monday!

Irene said...

@Victoria, I can't wait to see what the books reveals about the First Lady.

vbspurs said...

I hadn't thought of that! It's well-known that Hillary Clinton has the vocab of a trucker. It seems Elizabeth Edwards does too. Something tells me Michelle Obama is SUPER salty.

rhhardin said...

Skin color matters because you can't see the face of a really dark-skinned person on TV, making it impossible for him to fake sincerity.

Charles said...

Why didn't we hear about Reid's comments back when he said them?

lucid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lucid said...

Obama was always good at hyping the black English when he wanted to--see the clips of his speeches in the South Carolina primary. They are complete with rhetorical flourishes that knowingly evoke Malcolm X for an African-American audience.

And when Bill Clinton pointed out that race was a significant factor in Obama's victory there, Hillary was blamed for racist statements.

Ain't "reverse" bigotry wonderful?

JAL said...

Victoria said: It's one of those things about Americans. Like when you go to their homes, the TV is always on.

Wager here. I bet that the great majority of the American commenters on this blog do not "always" (or even a lot of the time) have their TVs on where you to stray into their homes.

Takers?

JAL said...

Charles --

Rhetorical question, right?

TRO said...

"Is Reid letting this out on purpose now so he can get the racist vote? This could be his way of letting them know he's one of the good old boys."

Reid was already toast in the upcoming election, now he is just going to be light brown toast.

Cedarford said...

Eckert - "He is a lot like Tiger Woods. Or maybe Urkel. I don’t know. I forget which is which."

Curiously enough, when Woods was at Stanford, he was nerdy enough and spoke English completely free of ebonics enough that his team mate's nickname for him was Urkel - which Tiger didn't exactly like.

Watch out for Democrats that begin to make a big stink out of Reid's remarks. Currently, the king-makers at Goldman Sachs and other big money Dem redoubts and the heads of Gov't employee unions like Reid as Pelosi's loyal lackey. But at this point, no doubt many are seeking to have Reid go after Dodd and "Do a Torecelli" and fall on his own sword.
Dems are better at this than Republicans - who will doggedly stick with an incumbent that has "Loser" written all over them.

====================
Kirby Olson - "He played it very well, but Kenyans and Somalians and Ethiopians are totally different in their looks from people from the Congo or the Gambia, from hence southern slaves.."

They are almost separate gene pools. The West African blacks are of generally lower intelligence than E Africans except some Nigerian & north tribes that are non-Congolese blacks. West African blacks have distinct features, like those fast twitch muscle fibers.
Obama's father's tribe, the Luo - are part of the genetically distinct Nilotic group..which are separate from the Bantu, part Congloid origin group Americans are familiar with from the ex-slave black population here.

From the standpoint of shared history, Obama has nothing in common with US blacks. Genetically, nothing in common with the "black part" of most US blacks. That he was accepted was a very skillful marketing on his part.

Almost Ali said...

"...no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

The term should be African American.

Hang Harry Reid for being frank. Obama can be a jive turkey, or he can play a jive turkey. He can walk white, or do the ghetto bounce when feeling defiant. The more ghetto-bounce, the more defiance. Which is the height of jive-turkey irony because he's the man, the top dog, the President.

But, he has to go home at night, and Martin-Luther-King help'em if he didn't bounce, inflect, and mimic. And get in white people's faces.

Next time Obama approaches the lectern, note which role he's playing. Generally, he plays it white on national security issues, and jive-turkey on domestic issues. Because he's a fountain of complexity. A real rocket scientist.

edutcher said...

People wondered if he was somehow a little more charming in person.

Well, they don't call him Dingy Harry for nothing.

Technically, there's nothing wrong with the word, Negro. The PC crowd has been playing this game for 40 years, which is why I don't call anybody Native American, African American, etc., and now Harry has been hoist on their petard, much like Halo Joe.

WV "derte" What Harry wishes people would call him instead of Dingy.

vbspurs said...

Takers?

Ironically, my TV is always on. :)

EDH said...

Althouse ADDED: I'm very interested in this "unless he wanted to have one" idea. I'm picturing them trying to figure out whether it might be effective, at least some of the time, to dial up the dialect and just how far would be appropriate. I'm thinking maybe Hillary paid attention...

Obama accused Hillary of "talking like she's Annie Oakley."

To me, Obama toggles between that Jack Valenti Texan whistle and Reverend Ike.

From Inwood said...

Obama declared that the statement was the work of an “isolated extremist” & that “book is closed”.

Obama is the Race Cop in Chief as he was with Gates. Henry, not the Sec of Defense, of course.

HelenParr said...

Obama is a world-class chameleon.

But could someone answer me this...

WTF is that little jog thingie he does when descending airplane steps? He holds his hands loosely by his belt as he sort of slouches down the steps. Really. Someone ought to give him lessons on how to descend steps presidentially.

mariner said...

JAL:
Wager here. I bet that the great majority of the American commenters on this blog do not "always" (or even a lot of the time) have their TVs on where you to stray into their homes.

What is this "TVs" thing you write of?

;)

Fred4Pres said...

Barack Obama stated this about Harry: "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."

Had Harry Reid had an R after his name...then he would be racist. That is how it works.

Fred4Pres said...

And I agree, what is with the light skinned stuff? Is that important to Harry Reid?

mariner said...

vbspurs:

Black Americans are at least as racist as white Americans ever were.

They judge each other by skin color, playing light-skinned black people against dark-skinned black people.

Fred4Pres said...

What they say behind your back:

How Bill Clinton drove the Kennedys to Barack Obama:

“[A]s Hillary bungled Caroline, Bill’s handling of Ted was even worse. The day after Iowa, he phoned Kennedy and pressed for an endorsement, making the case for his wife. But Bill then went on, belittling Obama in a manner that deeply offended Kennedy. Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”

The Clintons, charming aren't they?

mariner said...

Fred4Pres:

What really steamed Kennedy was that Clinton presumed to be Kennedy's equal. "Who's 'we', you Southern hick?"

HelenParr said...

And while we're dredging up racial things in Congress, let's not forget the former Grand Kleegle, Senator Byrd who not even 10 years ago flung the n-word on a Sunday chat show.

Fred4Pres said...

mariner, of course if Clinton said Obama frowned on behavior like this, perhaps Ted would have reconsidered.

Priorities and all.

Steven said...

African-Americans in major government roles, by degree to which their background reflect the American black experience.

1) Clarence Thomas. Descended from American slaves, dark skinned, grew up speaking the Gullah dialect in the Jim Crow South.

2) Condi Rice. Descended from American slaves, lighter skinned, grew up in the Jim Crow South, childhood associates killed in racist violence.

3) Colin Powell. Descended from West Indies slaves, not American. Grew up in New York City. Skin very light.

4) Barack Obama. White mother, Kenyan father. Raised by white grandparents. Lighter skinned. Grew up overseas and in Hawaii.

EDH said...

Really. Someone ought to give him lessons on how to descend steps presidentially.

Maybe he's just doing it... My Way.

former law student said...

I've said this before: Part of why Obama went to Chicago was to learn how to be African-American. And he could hardly organize the Af-Am community speaking like a siditty Hawaiian-Californian-NYC intellectual.

MadisonMan said...

Ironically, my TV is always on. :)

Mine is on only when the teen son is watching football.

PatCA said...

I think he does change his diction according to his audience. Paglia commented on that, and was turned off. I say meh. He's just trying to sound like something other than an effete Ivy leaguer.

bagoh20 said...

It's true, and the lack of leadership and executive experience was totally unimportant to millions when hiring the leading executive in the world. There is no way to clean that poor decision up.

Even if Obama turns out to be a great President nobody can say there was any real world reason to expect that and we just got lucky.

This is why Vegas and the state lotteries are so popular.

Meade said...

HelenParr said...
Obama is a world-class chameleon.

But could someone answer me this...

WTF is that little jog thingie he does when descending airplane steps? He holds his hands loosely by his belt as he sort of slouches down the steps. Really. Someone ought to give him lessons on how to descend steps presidentially.

HelenParr said...

Meade:
He's trying to imitate Walter Brennan?

Sure hope he speaks gen-u-wine frontier gibberish.


Harumph.

EDH said...

Meade,

Wow, flashback!

I used to pick-up on that exact mannerism and imitate Walter Brennan when I was like 3 or 4 after watching The Real McCoys.

You can ask my mother, I'd be stomping around the kitchen like that, along with thumb-pulls on the imaginary straps on my imaginary overalls. LOL!

Revealingly, I'm the same age as Obama, but unlike him I got over it a long time ago -- like Marxism when I was a sophomore in college.

Meade said...

Helen, EDH,

Ha ha! Spending all that time finding and linking to those clips had me (actually both of us) questioning my sanity. But your responses made it all worth while. Thanks.

Paul said...

Leaving aside the "light-skinned" comment and the verboten use of the term "Negro" (which is the 5-kiloton version of the "n" word, as opposed to the 25-kiloton version), I think Reid is also in trouble for noticing that the way most blacks speak is different than the way whites speak. For example, if you phone someone you don't know and within 15 seconds realize he's black, that apparently means you're a bad person. Harry Reid was observing that, hearing him speak, no one would know Obama is black, and that's considered rude.

Beth said...

I think he does change his diction according to his audience.

Many of us code-switch, according to audience. It's no big deal.

vbspurs said...

I think Reid is also in trouble for noticing that the way most blacks speak is different than the way whites speak.

As bad as what Reid said is, and believe me, it is -- just ask Trent Lott and Don Imus about a white man talking about racial stuff, don't you think it could've been, oh, so much worse?

"Negro dialect" is clearly a bend-over backwards to sound overly PC (which usually accomplishes the opposite).

It reminds me of my hairdresser who, upon being asked by me if she dealt with many black ladies paused, and gingerly said, "No, I don't do ethnic hair". ETHNIC hair.

Let's think of alternatives for Negro dialect!

"Ghetto patois"
"Crips-and-Bloods-speak"
"Jive-spewing"
"Buck talk"

These are all enough to produce a small aneurysm from Janeane Garofalo, and I think we should be grateful to the good Senator he restrained himself.

Although why he just didn't use "Ebonics" is beyond me.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

They judge each other by skin color, playing light-skinned black people against dark-skinned black people.

Actually, the very first time I noticed that Barack Obama was light-skinned was when I was watching a VH-1 special two or three years ago. It was one of those, "I love the 80s/90s"-type shows, where you get commentary from comedians.

A black comedian referenced then Senator Barack Obama, saying that black people would adore him because he was "High Yellow".

(Pronounced closer to "yella", incidentally. That makes it more comical, somehow)

That was the very first time I had ever heard of the term "high yellow", despite having taken an African-American history class, and having at the time, several black friends, whom I promptly quizzed. As you can imagine, they all knew the term, but didn't really want to explore the topic with me.

I don't think Harry Reid is talking of black people when he said it was beneficial for Obama to be "light-skinned". I think he was talking that white people would be more comfortable with him because of that.

It's the old Lena Horne-Hollywood thing raising it's ugly head in our time.

Cheers,
Victoria

CatherineM said...

FLS - I am surprised you would acknowlege he "learned" how to be black.

I hate it when he puts on his Jeremiah Wright cadence (that's what I call it - sounds like - tax paul-ice-ay!" He physically mimics him to with the leaning into the mic and then drawing back for effect. It's no differnt than Hillary doing the "I ain't noways tired," routine. It's condescening, but people think it's real.

You know a guy raised in Hawaii who went to prep schools and the Ivy League doesn't speak like Jeremiah Wright unless he thinks it will get him votes. Makes him look real. It seems to.

DrKeithCurrie said...


Please Don't think this way. Let us think we all are human.

AllenS said...

It never ceases to amaze me, how the Clinton's have absolutely no class.

Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lyssalovelyredhead said...

Beth said: "Many of us code-switch, according to audience. It's no big deal."

Back when I was waiting tables (I'm from New Jersey originally, but have lived in Tennessee for a number of years), I tried to "code-switch" by putting on a southern accent for my more accented tables. I had always gotten terrible tips from people with heavy accents, and I hoped that would help.

It didn't. But I'm sure politicians are better at it.
**********

Re: The Clinton quote about Obama getting coffee- granted, we don't have any context, but are we sure that this was a reference to his race, and not his youth and inexperience? That seems more plausible to me.

Chase said...

Here is the truth that everyone wants to dance around:

Harry Reid is Mormon, part of the generation that did not accept blacks as full members of the Mormon church. He is an old school Mormon with race issues.

That is also why Reid said he didn't like or respect black Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas but then when he was challenged couldn't give a coherent reason as to why.

Harry Reid is definitely an old-school racist, and his constituents and the rest of America have every right to judge him accordingly.

OSweet said...

I blame Julian Bond.

former law student said...

You know a guy raised in Hawaii who went to prep schools and the Ivy League doesn't speak like Jeremiah Wright unless he thinks it will get him votes.

If sounding black were the key to getting votes, Rev. Al Sharpton would be President today.

Obama's trying to establish rapport with his audience. Re code-switching: one of my grad school classmates was a beautiful Bostonian, without a trace of a Bahstan accent. She explained she had been teased unmercifully when she went to college, and learned how to sound enough like the locals to pass. But after 30 seconds of talking to her mother on the phone her accent would come rushing back.

kight said...

In 1987, there was a great but short-lived TV show called Frank's Place about a Creole restaurant in New Orleans.

At one point, Frank is invited into a black social club and some of his patrons are surprised, because they don't allow in "brown" men. But Frank said he went to Yale.

Then, he was told he was not light skinned enough, and he was told about the paper bad test. If you are darker than a paper bag, you are out of polite Creole society in New Orleans.

Somehow this incident reminded me of that era.

CatherineM said...

FLS - did I say that doing his schtick is the only quality that got him into office? It may have helped with some people - the same people who cheered Hillary's "no ways tired," schtick - but that's a small segment of the population. What is more interesting to me is that it didn't turn more people off as it did me.

Namazu said...

I'm not sure dialect is the right word, but it wouldn't pass here in Philly. However, the real scandal is that someone old enough to be using the term 'negro' is still in the Senate instead of playing shuffleboard. Good riddance and please take more old farts along with you.

Robin said...

So what I would call insulting the people to whom you are speaking by using a comical fake accent is called "code switching"? I suppose that does remove a bit of the sting.

Aurelian said...

Victoria

The light skinned thing never left. In the east where I am from the term is "redbone" and I am about as redbone as you can get. Let's see: Jamaican, Sioux, English, Irish and I was told there is a Spanish Jew in there somewhere. Maybe it is not in general usage but it is a key yardstick in the black community when cutlural evaluations are taking place.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

For the racially-and-politically-challenged, John McWhorter's piece in TNR provides a healthy clarification.

I don't even agree with all of it as I believe it doesn't go far enough in acknowledging that the perception of prestige is a more objective and less potentially "offensive" thing than he implies. But it's a good start.

Just trying to help.

MattJ said...

I've never been a big fan of political correctness, whether it is used against people I agree with or as in this case, used against people I don't agree with. Can someone spell out exactly what was wrong with what he said? We all agree that his description of Obama was accurate, right? He is in fact lighter skinned than the average African American, and he does speak with effectively no accent, just like most politicians and newscasters. He does change his dialect to suit his audience; as a transplanted New Yorker who grew up in the South, believe me I do it all the time, whether I mean to or not. I generally have no accent, but let me to talk to an older southerner with a deep accent for five minutes, and all the "ya'll's" and "ma'ams" and "sirs" start shooting out of my mouth.

I assume the problem is that you are not supposed to say that a lighter skinned African American has a better chance to win a nationwide race than a darker skinned African American. I agree that it is politically incorrect to state that, but do all of the critics commenting here actually believe that that statement is incorrect? And does it really come anywhere close to being as bad as effusively praising Strom Thurmond, of all people? I have to say I don't see it.

bagoh20 said...

When you decide that you identify yourself by race or ethnicity you are forced to see others that way.

White people in general have the least clarity about such identity, resulting in them being the least racist in general, unless they have been educated otherwise as our higher institutions continue to do. It reminds me of the way my high school continued to teach slide rule despite the fact that they let you check your answers with hand-held calculators.

Time to give it up - it's not science, it's racism.

Quaestor said...

Legitimate progressive, did you say, Victoria? Be enlightened -- there are no legitimate progressives, at least no self-identified progressives.

Those who profess the "progressive" agenda in this country are only another kind of reactionary. Witness the tactics they use to silence or marginalize critics and dissenters: If you disapprove of ObamaCare, you're a tea-bagger, a knuckle dragging Neanderthal and a racist. Dare criticize any of the missteps, mistakes, errors and outright malfeasance committed by this Administration and shriek "Racist!" issues from progressive lips.

Progressives tolerate no obstruction, no opposition. Only by meek compliance (or a skin color other than white) can anyone escape the fatal brand.

El Presidente said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Presidente said...

Harry Reid is so dumb that even Clarence Thomas is embarrassed for him.

Bill4500 said...

How come this is only being reported now? What does it say of the two "journalists" involved that they had this story and sat on it for well over a year until they could personally profit from it?

G Joubert said...

Let's be honest here. That Obama's father was from Kenya, and that slaves were west Africans and Kenya is east Africa, and that east Africans and west Africans have totally different DNA don't really matter much. During the Jim Crow era Obama and his father would've been regarded as black ("negros"), and would've been subject to just as much discrimination and segregation as any other black person.

Inspector Clouseau said...

What is far more disturbing than Reid's comment itself, is that elected officials, paid with taxpayer dollars, would spend valuable time criticizing Reid, or any other politician who just happened to say something offensive, inappropriate, or stupid, instead of tending to the important business of the nation. And this applies to members of ALL political parties.

And why do they do it? To advance the long-term positive and material interests of the nation? No. It is pure and simple grandstanding for their political purposes.

They ALL should arguably be voted out at the next available opportunity. As for we citizens, we should never underestimate the power of laughter, and ignoring people.

Quaestor said...

So when the "Negro dialect" issues forth Obama's trying to establish rapport with his audience, is that so, former law student?

I recall Hillary Clinton tried the same thing and was roundly (and deservedly?) condemned for it. Was it because of her skin color? Or was it because the dialect was an affectation? Obama wasn't raised speaking what Harry Reid has called "Negro dialect." So when the President uses that speech it's no more authentic than when Hillary made her bid for rapport. (Unless one believes that skin color dictates a certain, shall we say, distinctiveness of speech? Is that the way you think, former law student?)

Let's try a thought experiment, shall we? Suppose Chancellor Angela Merkel pays a state visit to Dublin. Would she gain rapport with the Irish by lacing her speech with boyos and begorrahs? Of course not, no one but an idiot would try to loft that lead balloon. Use of affected dialect to gain the confidence of one's listeners is condescending at best and can be construed as deceptive. It is always ill-advised, and in political speech such affectations appeal to the lowest rungs of tribalism.

P.S.
How did you happened to choose the appellation former law student, former law student. Flunk out, did you?

Fen said...

So Harry Reid is a closeted racist.

What about all the other enlightened sophisticates [like our own Ann] who voted for Obama because of his skin color?

Fen said...

And why do they do it? To advance the long-term positive and material interests of the nation? No. It is pure and simple grandstanding for their political purposes.

They've been doing it [to conservatives] to invoke racial politics. This is just a bit of blowback. See, as a Dem, Reid shold be immune to damage because, ya know, Dems "care" so much about their plantation slaves.

El Presidente said...

There is a huge difference between a Negro Dialect and an African American Dialect. People should not sing "African American Spirituals" because there is a disconnect between the Negro culture of slaves and recently released slaves and the very recent "African American Culture." Close your eyes and think of a Negro dialect you will picture Mark Twain's Jim. Close your eyes and think of an African American dialect and you will picture Cliff Huxtable. Words do have meaning.

exhelodrvr1 said...

MattJ,
The issue is that generally Democrats can make comments like that without much criticism, but the media will hammer Republicans who say similar things.

Fen said...

"The issue is that generally Democrats can make comments like that without much criticism, but the [b]Democrat[/b] media will hammer Republicans who say similar things."

/fixed

former law student said...

Unless one believes that skin color dictates a certain, shall we say, distinctiveness of speech?

Imagine William F. Buckley, Jr. on his first day on the job at the Sears Tire Center. How long before he started talking like one of the guys to fit in?

But skin color does set up speech expectations, as my ABC friends have learned on visits to China. ("You look Chinese -- why can't you talk Chinese?" is the near-universal reaction.)

Quaestor said...

Former Law Student:

That snapping, crunching sound you hear is my rhetorical trap springing shut on your foot. QED.

Cedarford said...

former law student said...
"You know a guy raised in Hawaii who went to prep schools and the Ivy League doesn't speak like Jeremiah Wright unless he thinks it will get him votes."

If sounding black were the key to getting votes, Rev. Al Sharpton would be President today.


Not so, white Rev Al is a race-baiting scumbag as given as Jesse was to brainless rhyming slogans...he is smart and well-spoken.
As Biden would say - "A bright guy, unusually articulate.."

=====================
G Joubert said...
Let's be honest here. That Obama's father was from Kenya.... During the Jim Crow era Obama and his father would've been regarded as black ("negros"), and would've been subject to just as much discrimination and segregation as any other black person.


If we are actually honest, Obama's father came here and went to Elite schools inc. Harvard on the the white man's dime. Went around fucking and leaving various white women. Impregnating 2. And all Daddy Obama's classes were integrated.
All in the days of "Jim Crow".

Then back to Kenya to hobnob with the white and black ruling elites.

Other than the excessive drinking and philandering - a life not much different than his son's life at a similar young age.

Iapetus said...

"WTF is that little jog thingie he does when descending airplane steps?"

An imitation of Harry Reid imitating Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry perhaps? Actually, I think it's mainly to keep his balance since he rushes down the stairs pretty fast. Sort of a basketball player thing. I'd advise him to slow down before he does a Gerald Ford on those steps.

gk1 said...

I wonder why the democrats want to have old Dingy Hanging around anyway? Arguably he has singlehandedly help put the democrats into the wilderness with the obamacare bill he is pushing through the sausage grinder. The conspiracy minded of us are wondering if this recnt story is part of skid greasing operation to get him to quit before getting tossed out on his ass in November?

Fen said...

I wonder why the democrats want to have old Dingy Hanging around anyway?

Its a tactic the Dems learned when they ballot-switched at the last moment (Lautenberg/Torricelli):

Reid will expend all his remaining political capitol and, like Chris Dodd, be allowed to retire with all his perks and stolen loot... before he gets caught up in a criminal investigation.

Nice country. We deserve more than this.

Matt said...

Fen
So you're enlightened because you voted for McCain or Ron Paul?
Don't be dumb.
I guess if Hillary would have won you'd say people only voted for her because she was a woman. If this is true then what about those who want Palin so badly?
There actually exist a good number of the voting public who vote for a candidates platform. There are also those who vote for the other party because the party in power sucks.
Such was the case in the last cycle. The fact that Obama was black was in no way an advantage. You've have to be even more dumb to think so.

Oblong said...

The reason we're not getting an uproar from the left is that what Reid said wasn't a criticism of Obama. It was a criticism of those very left wing people.

holdfast said...

What about the negative message this sends to darker-skinned blacks - Obama can be president, but you can't? No wonders Michael Steele is upset - he is at least a couple of shades darker than Barry.

Fen said...

Matt: So you're enlightened because you voted for McCain or Ron Paul? Don't be dumb.

Never said that, you did. So don't be dumb.

Slowly now, so that even a libtard can get it: Democrats who consider themselves sophisticated and enlightened voted for Obama because of the color of his skin. Mote-in-their-eye Racists.

I guess if Hillary would have won you'd say people only voted for her because she was a woman.

Wrong again.

The fact that Obama was black was in no way an advantage. You've have to be even more dumb to think so.

*snicker*

If Obama was white he would not be President.

G Joubert said...

Cedarford said:

If we are actually honest, Obama's father came here and went to Elite schools inc. Harvard on the the white man's dime. Went around fucking and leaving various white women. Impregnating 2. And all Daddy Obama's classes were integrated.
All in the days of "Jim Crow".

Then back to Kenya to hobnob with the white and black ruling elites.

Other than the excessive drinking and philandering - a life not much different than his son's life at a similar young age.


I am not advocating for or even defending Obama, Sr. or Jr. I am saying that these distinctions between east Africans and west Africans wouldn't have mattered a tinker's damn back in the heyday of Jim Crow and the KKK.

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