Monday, January 11, 2010

Reid's race problem? Republicans call for resignation after racial comments

RNC Chairman Steele Holds News Conf. On Dems Health Care Reform Proposal

Republicans seized upon Senator Harry Reid's (D-Nv) description of Barack Obama as a light-skinned African-American with no "Negro" dialect by calling for the majority leader's resignation and comparing his statement's to those made by former Senator Trent Lott (R-Ms).

via The Los Angeles Times:
by Ashley Powers

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele, who is black, led the charge.
"There is this standard where the Democrats feel that they can say these things and they can apologize when it comes from the mouths of their own," Steele said on "Fox News Sunday." "But if it comes from anyone else, it's racism. It's either racist or it's not. And it's inappropriate, absolutely."

Steele, along with GOP Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona, said Reid's remarks justified the same outrage once directed at former Sen. Trent Lott. In 2002, the Mississippi Republican stepped down as majority leader after implying that the country might have been better off if Strom Thurmond of South Carolina had been elected president in 1948, when he ran as a segregationist.

"There's a huge difference" between Reid and Lott, Reid spokesman Jon Summers said. "Sen. Reid was one of the first people to encourage Obama to run for president and worked hard to help him win. . . . His point was that he believed the country was ready to elect an African American president, and he was right."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Mr. Steele's comparison of Harry Reid to Trent Lott is a serious charge.  Mr. Lott, resigned from the Senate after praising Strom Thurmond's presidential run as a third-party Dixiecrat.  It was during this failed presidential run that Strom Thurmond said the following:

"There's not enough troops in the Army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Nigger race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our schools and into our homes..."  (Strom Thurmond, 1948)


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