Saturday, January 09, 2010
Never Apologize for the Truth. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is, preposterously, being criticized for saying aloud what a lot of people were thinking during the very long campaign for the Democratic nomination for President, that Obama could well be elected because the country was ready to vote in a light-skinned black person who did not speak with a black accent. I, frankly, did not think the Nation was ready to elect any black person President, so was delited to discover I was wrong. I'm very rarely wrong about anything important, so have no problem admitting the rare occurrence.
To say that the Nation is ready to elect a black person who is not dark-skinned and doesn't speak Ebonics is NOT racist but ANTI-racist, you Republican morons and opportunistic frauds. It is no secret that many blacks themselves have problems with dark skin, and that many black women feel that "good hair" (straight, not nappy) is important. Many educated blacks feel not just embarrassed but indeed humiliated when a prominent black person is heard in major media speaking Ebonics.
Reid was an early supporter of Obama. He did not say that no black person of any coloration or speech pattern could or should be elected President. He merely implied that as a practical matter, a person of relatively lite color and perfect speech stood the best chance any black person could have. That is simple realism, and it sends a message that black people, especially black kids, need to hear: speech matters.
Black kids need to be told:
If you want to establish your 'street cred' at the cost of having everybody but morons think you an uneducated loser, go right ahead. It's mainly your future that you're throwing away, tho widespread black failure constitutes a serious drag on the Nation overall. If you want to be accepted as a sensible person who aspires to be part of the Nation like everybody else, you will have to speak standard English. You know how. You hear it on television and in films all the time, and have even heard it from black people for decades. Bill Cosby's TV family, the "Huxtables", spoke standard English; so does the real Presidential family, the Obamas. Millions of black Americans speak perfect English. More to the point, most of the most highly successful black Americans speak perfect American English.Harry Reid's utterance could end up doing a lot of good. The suggestion by Michael Steele that Reid should resign for something so ridiculously trivial is at the very least disingenuous ultra-partisanship. Back in the day, we used to say of some black people, "He's a credit to his race." No one would say that about Michael Steele. Steele is the political version of Stepin Fetchit, shuffling and bowing to The White Man. At least Stepin Fetchit was appropriate for his time, and he became a millionaire who blazed a trail for other black actors who demanded more dignity.
The problem for Steele is that he is a Stepin Fetchit in a time when The Man (in the White House) is black. He's an anachronism, kissing white ass to be admitted to the club, even tho the club is now headed by a black man.
Senator Reid is something of a p*sy-boy, in general, but I hope he finds his manhood and fites back against the patently phony indignation of Republican enemies of the state. Reid should on no account apologize for telling the truth about race, especially when that truth is as good as it turned out to be, something those of us born before desegregation, had trouble believing until the nite of Tuesday, November 4th, 2008.
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,373 — for Israel.)
Links to this post: