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Is This What They Meant by "Post Racial America?" Harry Reid and the "Negro Dialect"

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    Cynthia McKinneyby Cynthia McKinney
    To paraphrase Kanye West, "Does Harry Reid Like Black People?" All the top Democrats say he does, but are they really good character witnesses, given the Party's confront affronts to African Americans? Former Illinois Governor Blagojevich claims he's “blacker than Barack Obama” - but does that mean he likes Black people, either?
    Is This What They Meant by "Post Racial America?" Harry Reid and the "Negro Dialect"
    by Cynthia McKinney
    “Extant racial disparities have not been addressed by Senator Reid during his tenure as Majority Leader.”
    Nevada Senator and Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid is in the news again. This time, for remarks he made to a journalist writing a book about the 2008 Presidential campaign. In the book, Game Change, Reid reportedly characterized President Obama as a "light skinned" black man "with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.”
    Many of us remember Harry Reid's stellar performance when the issue arose of President-elect Barack Obama's replacement in the U.S. Senate from Illinois. About that, I remember Kanye West's George Bush comment and ask the question, "Does Harry Reid Like Black People?" Clearly, his most recent remarks indicate that he must not have been around very many. And that speaks very poorly for the country's most powerful Senate Democrat, responsible for preserving the special relationship that exists between Black voters in this country and his political party. The Democratic Party would long ago have been relegated to the margins without the strong, loyal support of America's Black voters. The fact that Black voters continue to receive short shrift in the very policy decisions produced by Senator Reid is more than disappointing to me and should also be disappointing to those bearing the brunt of the policies put forward by Congressional Democrats in tandem with the Democratic White House. Extant racial disparities have not been addressed by Senator Reid during his tenure as Majority Leader, a position impossible for him to even hold without the reliable votes of Black Americans.
    Surely, Black and Latino voters overwhelmingly put Senator Reid in a position to work with President Barack Obama in the White House and address long-standing issues important to our communities, ranging from health care, jobs, education, and the economy. Instead, Senator Reid has gone along with bailouts for bankers who are about to reward themselves with yet another round of excessive bonuses using the people's money; unquestioned continued finance for the military-industrial complex including contracts for the ignominious DynCorp, Halliburton, and Blackwater and despite President Dwight D. Eisenhower's prescient warning about it; and expansion of wars that sap our country's moral stature and its treasure represented by our young men and women whose talents are being diverted to kill and maim people, or to be killed or maimed, themselves.
    “Senator Reid has gone along with bailouts for bankers who are about to reward themselves with yet another round of excessive bonuses using the people's money.”
    Senator Reid has not distinguished himself in any way as a problem solver for the people of this country nor has he done anything to stem Washington, D.C.'s growing alienation from the very people it is supposed to serve.
    But let me not stray too far from "Negro dialect."
    Back in those halcyon days when Rod Blagojevich was governor of Illinois, it fell to him to appoint President-elect Barack Obama's Senate replacement. Media speculation was rife and the stakes were high. Because Barack Obama was our country's only Black Senator, the desire among many was to see Governor Blagojevich appoint another Black to that position. And among others, apparently, it was their deepest fear.
    When Governor Blagojevich decided to appoint Illinois's former Attorney General, Roland Burris, to the slot, Democratic Party leaders had the temerity to suggest that they would not seat Burris because he had been appointed by Blagojevich, enmeshed in a scandal at that time, accused of trying to sell President Obama's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. So Senate Democrats whipped themselves into a frenzy vowing to reject Burris, who would become the country's only black Senator, until Illinois Representative Bobby Rush stopped them in their tracks and reminded them that they probably didn't really want to do that. To his credit, Governor Blagojevich was quoted as saying, "Don't allow the allegations against me to taint this good and honest man." Recognizing their utter folly, the Senate Democrats backed down.
    Interestingly, before the Blagojevich appointment, reports surfaced thatSenator Reid had actually called the then-Governor to press him to not appoint either Jesse Jackson, Jr., Danny Davis, or Emil Jones to the vacant seat. They all just happen to be Black. The appeal was made, according to the Chicago Sun-Times report, because Reid feared that they would lose to a Republican candidate. The request was curious because President-elect Obama had just defeated a well-oiled Republican machine led by Republican insider, John McCain.
    “Senator Reid had actually called the then-Governor to press him to not appoint either Jesse Jackson, Jr., Danny Davis, or Emil Jones to the vacant seat.”
    The Sun-Times goes on to report that Reid offered the names of two White women as acceptable substitutes for the governor's consideration instead of the Black males whose names had all been floated as possibilities. A Blagojevich spokesman pointed out the clear conflict of interest for Reid, who was refusing to seat Burris, but had called to support two White women for the post. The Sun-Times goes on to report that William Walls, a community activist with the Committee for a Better Chicago, called Reid's opposition to the blacks an act of racism. It quotes Walls as saying on FoxNews, "'The U.S. Senate is an institution that is primarily white and has been forever and some people are more comfortable with people of their own kind. Harry Reid seems to be one of those people.'"
    Senator Reid, however, continues to feed the Walls perception. Unfortunately for Senator Reid, eyebrows are now raised over reports that the Senator called Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg to ask Bloomberg not to support a potential Harold Ford, Jr. challenge to incumbent New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Harold Ford, Jr. is also black, although in his Tennessee Senate campaign he did claim that his grandmother was White--much to the shock of some family members who publicly disputed young Harold's statement.
    In his celebrated 2004 Democratic Party Convention address, Barack Obama said "There is no Black America," yet President Obama's Commerce Department will be circulating census forms that list "Negro" as a race option, invoking to many images of "Jim Crow America."  Finally, in an Esquire Magazine story hitting the news stands on January 19, Blagojevich said that he's "blacker than Barack Obama." Question: Is this what life is like in post-racial U.S.A.? Sounds like the same old stuff to me: them that gets are the ones that's got. And we understand who's on the wrong side of that equation in any dialect.

    Cynthia McKinney is a former congresswoman from Georgia and Green Party candidate for president. She can be contacted at 

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    Kindler and Gentler Bigots

    That's all Harry Reid and the majority of White Leadership in the Dummocratic Party are.  Similarly, they are kinder and gentler variety of Right Wing stooges.  Why fret over Reid's comment, which is true?  "If you Black get back, if you Brown stick around, if you White you alright?"  Reid was simply saying Obama was light enough to "stick around."  What Reid said was no more "shocking" (ooooh!) or repugnant what what the Vice President said, when then candidate Biden called Obama "articulate, bright, and clean." in contrast, apparently, to you Blacks who use Negro dialect.  Crackers don't want to deal with no militant negro, and lord help them if his pigment is of the darker variety, Marcus Garvey is one who comes to mind.
    The propaganda successes of the Dummocratic Party have convinced stupid Blacks that the "moderates" let alone liberals don't harbor a racist bone in their body.  And the quisling Black Misleadership class chimes in too.  No one has defended white folks sleights and disses as much as Barack Obama, who now, unsurprisingly, defends Reid.
    This "story"-- as if there is one,-- is also a prime example of the dangers and vacuousness of "political correctness."  Let the crackers say what's on their mind.  Let them bring out the nooses and the crosses and the rest of that shit.  Fighting the false pretensions that racism doesn't exist requires constant vigilance, and to that extent the hate sites, skin heads, Kluxers, and now most (not all) Tea Baggers are doing an admirable job reminding us of same. Stop with the nuance and equivocations, the kindler and gentler bigotry.   I don't need White folks smiling in my face only to have to recline in their country club sanctuaries to debate amongst their white counterparts that I'm either too Black or not Black enough or the "right Negro," as they decide the height of my glass ceiling.  
    America will become post-racial when helll freezes over.

    Dark Skinned Wrath

    Excuse me folks, I am a mother of three dark skinned daughters and a son. These three young people have been emotionally assaulted and rejected using similar words Harry Reid was used to describe President Obama. However, the overt emotional assaults on my kids have come primarily from the fellow young people raised by black community (African Americans). It is a known fact that few African American men consider any dark skinned black woman pretty. Due to demand for light skinned African men, some African American women do tolerate dark skinned black men as a last resort. They however treat these men with contempt by bossing them around until the relationship fall apart! For any black person, the damaging subtle rejection from the white community manifests itself when looking for a job or a loan to finance something. No matter how good the credit score may be, a dark skinned black person ends up with a higher subprime rate meant for people with bad credits! Bill Clinton’s utterance to late Senator Edward Kennedy: "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee", indicates that Republicans don have monopoly in racism! After all, Clinton is the man who was rubber stamped by all African Americans as the "Black President"! Like other Democrats, Clinton is a master at using those money hungry Black elites against other blacks! Bill Clinton is the man who had the power to stop the Rwandan genocide, but did not lift a finger to do so. Within a matter of less than two years, Clinton administration able to support and arm Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the character who engineered the Rwanda genocide, to expand his murderous rampage to the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to help the western corporations loot the natural resources of the republic! Rwanda, a country that does not have any natural resources, is now the hub for most multinational corporations due to very profitable proxy war Paul Kagame has been waging in the neighboring Congo. 5.4 millions Congolese have lost their lives since 1998! This is a horrific genocide the world does not want to talk about because of COLTAN and other minerals are at the bottom of it. Coltan is used to power the cellular phones and other machines used in the west. 80% of the world supply of Coltan comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is why Africans deserve to be butchered or displaced without a word from any corner of the world!!! One of the reasons United States’ economy is not doing well because of the war it has been waging everywhere since 2003. However, nobody has tried to find out how Paul Kagame of Rwanda was able to overcome the 1994 Rwandan genocide and maintain military presence in Congo since 1998 without collapsing!!

    Correct on all points

    Eugene Robinson wrote an opinion piece on entitled, "A truth, crudely put."  It's one of his better pieces, better than his typical Obama rationalizations.  Although I remember Gino joining in on the dissing of Rev. Wright and getting a hard on re:  "Obama's Race Speech." (hardy, har har).  I commented there that how in the hell do you talk about  "Post-racial" when there is INTRA racial conflict, the color distinctions you speak of.  It goes in in the US as it does in Cuba, Argentina, Europe, Israel, and other socieities.  Part of the nonsense and poison operative in Rwanda was some dumbass Blacks buying into White folks' thesis that they were better than another group of Blacks.   If there is intra-racism amongst Blacks how in the hell can we not expect racism in general?  Is not some of this shit learned behavior, what's deemed "acceptable?"  Years ago I recall hearing about an EEOC claim in Atlanta that involved a work-place conflict involving a light-skinned and dark-skinned Black.  How many dark-skinned women get tv play or movie face time?  The same phenomena applies to darker skinned Hispanics.  For every George Lopez there are a thousand Jay-Los.  You'd think Hispanics were pretty white girls with tans and accents?  Ingrid Bergman on the Food Network and Soledad O'Brien?  Who's idea of "Hispanic" is that?  Euro and Anglo-Centric values and cultural standards continue to hold sway, most people are too mentally lazy to discern it.
    The irony is that pigmentation doesn't mean shit at the end of the day in terms of the committment to the struggle for Black uplift.  Most people are ignorant of Walter White,  a heroic Black man if there ever was one.  Negritude is a state of mind.

    If Kagame wasn't an American stooge he'd be hauled before the Hauge.  And the crackers may get around to doing it yet, perhaps when the use him and throw him away, like Noriega, Sadaam, and countless others.
    For the record I am considered one of those light-skinned Blacks that woman supposedly love and I vouch for everything you say regarding intra-racism amongst Blacks.  I've sat back and watch people treat me differently because of my skin tone, both Black and White, male and female.  (Perhaps it also has something to do with my ability to move in and out of "Negro Dialect") (ha).  Also for the record, not everyone thinks light and bright is alright from a beauty standard.  From my observations melanin stops the advances of aging and that means darker skinned woman will remain beautiful longer.   Personally I prefer hot chocolate to cafe au lait.  I'll take me some Gabrielle Union over Nicole Ari-Parker any day.  I'll take both of them, but you get the point.

    while reid is a legislative

    while reid is a legislative disaster well deserving of harsh criticism, cynthia, why all the furor about his comment that obama is a "light skinned" black man "with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.”?  isn't that an apt description of obomber?  and isn't it also true that, were it not so, obomber would never have been able to get nominated, let alone elected?  it is a telling comment that a "black" man who did not fit that description would never have been acceptable to white america or the capitalist power structure.   that reality is what demands criticism, not the honest statement of a bumbling fool of a legislator.
    you also seem to be criticizing reid for asking that ford not be supported.  why?  given who ford is and what he stands for [see margaret kinberly's column in this issue], the fact that he is black pales in comparison to his potential to cause harm to both black and white (and brown, and yellow) arerica.

    Ford ain't no fool

    Indeed, Harold (I'll be whatever the f**k you want me to be to win elections) Ford is a crafty politician, the consumate chamelon. Ol' Harold, actually the first Negro with proper dialect and skin tone, might show Obummer a thing or two. (Is ol Harold's move to NY following the Clintonista footprint?)  He is, afterall, their first Black butboy, the original Blue Dog Negro/Corporate shill.  Ford is emeritus at the DLC.  Ford has deep reaches and support w/n the corporate/diaster capitalist elites.  In some ways (perceptions) he's whiter than Obama and a Southern Bible thumper to boot.  I think of water-downed Jazz--Kenny G-- when I listen to Obama, I think of watered down classical music (muzack) when I listen to ol Harold.  Harold and Harry might even use the same barber.
    As for Obummer and Reid nixing Harold's "game," all is fair in love, war, politics and capitalism, (just ask former Tenn Vols now USC coach and Wall St. bankers).  The only "loyalties and restraints" are those limited by psychopathic behaviors, the breath and scope of ego,  i.e. NONE.
    Go Trojans!

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