A new tell-all behind-the-scenes of the Democratic 2008 primaries has exposed some racially tinged comments made by prominent Democrats - namely Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former President Bill Clinton - about then Senator Barack Obama. Having not read the book, I don't know who Reid's comments about Obama's un-Negro appearance and speech to. However, Clinton reportedly told deceased Senator Ted Kennedy that a few years ago Obama would have been serving them coffee.
Somewhere somebody got the idea that racism and racist speech is limited to the GOP. Democrats owned slaves too. They also segregated blacks from whites, not just in the South but in the North as well. Even among some of the most liberal Democratst there are probably some remnants of long-held stereotypes about race. I'm sure if the authors of Game Change had dug deeply enough they'd have found similar comments by other political icons including the now deified Ted Kennedy.
Of course the GOP political machine is at work making political hay out of information published just in time to further stall Reid's efforts to get a healthcare bill passed. Out for revenge for what was done to Trent Lott, they'll play this for everything it's worth. Of course our race neutral president will stay out of the fray unless pressed by the media to comment or maybe he'll just have another beer summit. Or maybe he'll get smart and take a tactic similar to the one taken by Toledo's newly elected mayor when the former called the dark-skinned man who was then the city's fire chief King Kong. Although he did not publicly repudiate the mayor, the fire chief retired and took a job as Ohio's Fire Marshall for two years before running for and winning the office if mayor as an independent.
Maybe the lesson to be learned from all this is that neither political party is free of racism in one form or another, although the Democrats' record on supporting and passing Civil Rights legislation makes any comparison to Lott's wish for no change in the status of blacks in America to Reid's preference for blacks who he thinks look and sound white ludicrous. Political correctness has disallowed people their personal and private biases which are no one's business unless they are used to influence or make public policy. I think both Reid's and Clinton's records show this not the case whereas not many Republicans have voting and legislative records that show support for civil rights.
The mistake blacks make is thinking people have to like us to do what's right. Had we not thought this, the majority of us would not have turned against Bill and Hillary Clinton during the primaries because they expressed biases they've probably always had but that never stopped them from supporting Civil Rights and racial justice in tangible ways. If we jump everytime the media exposes some politician's private prejudices, they'll have us hopping like frogs. Better to accept the possibility that people who don't know you may have pre-conceived notions about us usually perpetrated by the media. No, white politicians are NOT our friends whether they're Democrsts or Republicans. Get over it! They're our Congressional Representatives, our Senators, our Mayors, our Governors, and our public servants - emphasis on public.