Paul Tullis's Grim Tidings

Bitter musings on politics and policy

What does Harry Reid have to apologize for?

with one comment

It’s not entirely clear to me that Reid, in his remarks, was not adopting the speech of a person who might feel the way he described, rather than the way he himself feels. And if the latter, the only thing he might apologize for is the use of the antiquated term “Negro,” which some find offensive given its roots in the slave trade (among other reasons).

Implying that Obama’s response to Reid’s comment, as some have done by comparing them, should be consistent with his response to earlier comments by Trent Lott (Strom Thurmond was right to oppose civil rights, which are the cause of many of the problems we have today [to paraphrase]) and Don Imus’s (the Rutgers championship basketball team is composed of ugly prostitutes), is itself more offensive than Reid’s comment.

Reid was stating an unfortunate fact of the absurd degree to which race continues to define our society, and some people’s place in it. Lott was endorsing apartheid, which, even if he was joking, is repulsive (especially for a national leader). Imus was misogynistically debasing a group of accomplished individuals based on their appearance, using a significant, derogatory and racially-specific term to do so.

No contest.

Just found that Mark Kleiman said essentially the same thing before I did, not to my knowledge. I say this in the interest of disclosure, not self-aggrandizement.

Follow me on Twitter.

Advertisements

Written by ptullis

January 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. In years of covering the news I’ve heard a lot worse, but it was assumed to be confidential.

    freddonaldson

    January 11, 2010 at 10:54 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: