I’ve been struck with a particularly aggressive blogging lethargy around this whole “Harry Reid is a racist” scandal. It just smacks of the grand “politics as sport” point-scoring tradition that keeps most reasonable Americans as far from politics as possible. And maybe I’m feeling a certain “reasonable” deficit these days. But as the inappropriate use of the word “Negro” is my beat now, here I go:
Yes, to use the expression “Negro dialect” is possibly one of the dumbest things Harry Reid has ever said on the record. But does it reflect deeper, more problematic views on race, in the way that Trent Lott’s pro-Strom Thurmond stance likely did? No. As Pareene so eloquently put it, this is an old white dude who thinks racism is bad but who doesn’t know how to talk about it properly.
I really can’t think about this anymore. Blargh.