Harry Reid, Liberalism, and Race

Harry Reid is developing a well-deserved reputation for playing the race card. Last month, he
equated opponents of his secret health care bill with those who opposed ending slavery. It was a highly objectionable historical analogy based on extremely flawed logic. Those who are fighting to stop ObamaCare are upholding the ideal of freedom -- from government intrusion, confiscatory taxation, and oppressive debt.

Reid, liberal Democrat and Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, has now admitted to a 2008 comment calling Obama "a light-skinned" African-American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." Joe Biden said something similar during the presidential campaign when he opined that Barack Obama is "articulate, bright, and clean."

Liberals wear their racial obsession as a badge of moral superiority. We are seeing the prideful dark side to their championing of racial justice. It is noblesse oblige, the arrogant belief that minorities owe them so much -- their very lives and livelihoods -- that makes liberals feel entitled to have their stereotypes and prejudices overlooked. The beneficence they have bestowed upon the seething masses of dark-skinned people places liberal racial morality beyond question. Dark skin does not matter to Reid or his colleagues, of course, but both are sufficiently enlightened to observe that it matters to the less sophisticated. Conservatives, "tea-baggers," and those rural white folks who cling to their guns and Bibles are the ones we need to be concerned about, not the self-knighted liberal intelligentsia.

Perhaps not. Barbara "call me Senator" Boxer accused Harry Alford of the Black Chamber of Commerce of racial betrayal for not agreeing with the NAACP on cap-and-trade. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said that the opponents of the liberals' health care reform are "white Aryan support groups." Jesse Jackson said that Rep. Arthur Davis is not a black man because he voted against the health care bill. Maureen Dowd accused George Bush of racism because he appointed "white men" to the Supreme Court. Nancy Pelosi accused Americans who showed up at the health care town hall meetings of being Nazis and racists. Long before President Obama turned the Prof. Gates incident into a racial issue, he made the still-too-little-known statement in his autobiography, "white folks greed runs a world in need." He no doubt learned that little rhyme from his racist mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

The truth is that Harry Reid and his liberal cohorts are the very definition of racists. They do not see "minorities" as individuals, but as part of a faceless group of victims. Joe Biden and Harry Reid give us a clear picture of how liberals view black Americans: none too bright, not very clean, have very dark skin, and speak Ebonics or jive -- except for Obama and a few others. That is called racial stereotyping. Liberals deny that they do this, but out of the abundance of their hearts, their mouths speak.

Conservatives, on the other hand, see people as individuals, not unwashed and victimized masses. They do not look upon black Americans as a group to be rescued, but as individuals to be respected -- or not -- based on character and ability. This view of life makes them far less susceptible to the racial obsession which drives liberals to politically correct madness. When Trent Lott made his infamous Strom Thurmond remark, most Republicans -- including then-President Bush -- refused to stand by him. They were unwilling to rationalize or justify racist speech and behavior. Although in my view they overreacted, they do not suffer from the delusion of liberals, who see themselves as the privileged paragons of racial sensitivity.

Blacks will eventually wake up to the truth and break free from their emotional bondage to liberal Democrats. Unfortunately, with a media dedicated to their indoctrination, they will not do so sua sponte. Black business leaders, ministers, writers, and commentators must begin to point out the hypocrisy of liberal racism and paternalism. Individuals and families within the black community must reject liberal and government largess and messianic political pretensions. The focus of black progress must become earning respect instead of playing the victim.

Liberals have assigned the victim role to black people, and Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others have taught many to play it well. It is time to reject that role and say to Harry Reid and others who live in their liberal alternative universe, "You can no longer buy our silence or support by throwing us a few bones. We no longer want scraps from your elite table. We no longer want your affirmative action or your victim status. We want the earned respect and honor that comes with being Americans who work, produce, and contribute to our society."

Then Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Sheldon Whitehouse, and others will find that they can no longer use black people like pawns on a chessboard. Their paternalistic bigotry will no longer be overlooked. The resignation of Harry Reid as Senate Majority leader would be a start.

E.W. Jackson, Sr. is an American who happens to be black. He is an author, minister, retired attorney, and President of STAND (Staying True to America's National Destiny -- standamerica.us). E-mail: stand@standamerica.us.