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December 2012

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A public post to Michael Steele

G.O.P. Chairman Pressures Reid on Obama Remarks

The NY Times


Michael Steele, the Republican Party chairman, called Sunday for Harry Reid to step down as U.S. Senate majority leader in the wake of revelations of Mr. Reid’s remarks in 2008 about Barack Obama’s skin color and dialect.

A new book about the 2008 campaign quotes Mr. Reid as predicting that Mr. Obama could become the country’s first black president because he was “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” On Saturday, the senator issued a public statement apologizing for the remark. He also expressed his regret for the comment in a phone call to Mr. Obama, who accepted his apology. But Mr. Steele, who is black, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that an apology was not enough and “there has to be a consequence” for “anachronistic language that harkens backs to the 1950’s and 1960’s.” Asked by the moderator, David Gregory, whether that consequence should be Mr. Reid’s resignation as majority leader, Mr. Steele said, “I believe it is.”


I agree that Reid's language was anachronistic in one way. I don't hear the word "negro" much anymore (although I have been noticing it more recently).

As to "light-skinned" -- hell, that's the term I use.

And the fact that the brother could talk nice, but go to church when he wanted to? Hell, that's a big part of what people seem to like about Barack Obama.

So -- so far -- we're okay. Now the implication that America is not ready for a darker-skinned man with a rough hewn dialect might seem somehow incendiary except that it's right.

C'mon, Michael. You speak quite nicely yourself. That's no accident either.
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Also, starting a precedent of politicos stepping down for "anachronistic speech" would leave a lot of Republican senators wondering if they could ever open their mouths again.

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