Monday, January 11th, 2010

Negrogate And The American Conversation About Race

Okay, here we go: In re Harry Reid's negro problem, let's all take a deep breath and give it the kind of Pollyannish spin that we're going to need to make it through what is sure to be another difficult year. Is it a little galling to see the rush of Republicans lining up to demand Reid's ouster by comparing his remarks to Trent Lott's "Gee, it woulda been swell if we kept the drinking fountains separate like ol' Strom wanted" statement from 2002, particularly when you consider that the two remarks are diametrically opposed to each other in import and intent? (Gwen Ifill dispenses with this comparison fairly effectively in the clip above. Also note how VERY CLEAR Matt Lauer wants to make it that he is ONLY QUOTING when he says the word "negro.")

Sure. Of course it's galling. And a little depressing. And a little amusing. And a lot predictable. (It would actually be alarming if they didn't even give it a try.) But! New year, new attitude! Lets look at it this way: The election of Barack Obama did not, and I don't know of anyone who seriously argues that it did, solve the racial problems in this country. So let's have a thousand conversations like this one! Let's use this and every subsequent incident-which there will surely be-as yet another moment on the road to reconciliation. Every one of these lessons will help move us a little closer to our understanding of our fellow citizens as exactly that, and will give us a better perspective on the kind of respect we all deserve. I mean, now that we know Republicans are so concerned about equality and the proper ways in which to address it, we can move forward as one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Because, really, isn't that what it's all about?

I know. Still, give it a try!

14 Comments / Post A Comment

sigerson (#179)

So, Michael Steele agrees that Trent Lott should have resigned as Majority Leader? And so does Joe Scarborough and all the other Republicans? This is news.

HiredGoons (#603)

Yeah, that's where I got lost… but then I just hit off on my logic button, and it was fine.

riggssm (#760)

I alternated between amusement and anger at MSNBC's Morning Joe (Brewed by Starbucks). Rich white people talking with rich black people about racism is theater of the absurd.

Especially interesting to watch: the feigned outrage by Joe Scarborough. What an actor, that one! He should run for public office!!

riggssm (#760)

Just saw the wiki (as of 10:02 EDT) has been edited.

January 11, 2010: Said "negro dialect" 500 times on morning joe.

sigerson (#179)

I mean, I would just love it if some Republican said that Trent Lott should not have resigned and neither should Reid. Please?

brianvan (#149)

Obama is black? I thought he was from Hawaii!!

Rw (#1,458)

Watch it haole… LoL.

Rw (#1,458)

Old White People accidently using the word Negro… NON-Story. I realize the old white dude is the senate majority leader, but I'd be a liar if I said I was crushed or something. I'm Not really sure how I feel because I think there is a certain kind of truth for him and many people like Him in what he said. Strangely enough I have no inner conflict over this, there just so much more important shit going down right now that I just don't care what they do with him, I hope they just hurry the fuck up and don't drag this out for a month. Straw man from the Dems?

NeonTrotsky (#2,249)

That this makes the Republican Party the defender of politically correct speech is even more hilarious than when the GOP became the protector of Medicare over the past summer…

kneetoe (#1,881)

The Republicans have been all about absolute equality for quite a while now. Haven't you listened to their diatribes against affirmative action?

We need a good term for racial malapropisms. Like The curse of McCain.

If we threw out every government leader who either cheats on his/her spouse or uses racial epithets in private conversation, we would have probably 3 senators and maybe 12 members of Congress. These people are largely jackasses, on both sides of the aisle.

Rw (#1,458)

No doubt.

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