January 12th, 2010
06:41 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 1/11/10

Editor's Note: After last night's AC360°, we received comments from many of you on Sen. Harry Reid’s comments about President Obama; “light-skinned" appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." Others wrote in with questions about the 'Ranch for Kids' story Gary Tuchman reported. He'll have more on the story tonight.


I am amazed and angered by the double standard employed by the Democrats and their accomplishments in the main stream media. So called "black leaders" have given Reid a pass while they roundly condemned Trent Lott. Regardless of the "context" both comments smelled of racism and Reid should do the honorable thing and step down, just as Lott did. If he doesn't, I am sure Nevada voters will do it for him.

As a black female I have been mistaken on the phone as a white female by many whites. I have been told that I do not sound black on the phone. Matter of facts sometimes it just slips out “Oh I did not know you were black" and my response is yes I am or I will joke and say something like really thanks for telling me that. I have accepted this as just a way of life after all I do not know what a black person sounds like on the other end of the phone.

I voted for Tom Bradley but we lost South central L.A. did not vote saying "He is too white." Obama had a spiritual mentor named Wright for twenty years who made anti-Semitic rants. I did not vote for Obama because of his racism. The comment of Reid is disgusting not because of what he said but because it is part of his speech so said it in public.

Part of Reid's statement- could be successful as a black candidate in part because of his "light-skinned" appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."-- This is pure racism, which so clearly portrays the double standard that exists between parties. It gains so much attention because it's a short, simple statement that says so much more about how this person thinks. It's incredibly powerful ignorance coming from such a well-respected man, which would be a Republican's demise.

I think the Republicans picked the wrong comment to make a point about a double standard. The standard includes history, intent, and the larger context of the words. Sadly what Senator Reid said is true. His use of the word Negro, while offensive to some, was the "correct" word when we were in our formative years. We are about the same age. I consider it a slip of the tongue rather than a conscious insult. That, too, comes with age. I also think that the statement says more about White people than Black people. The statement speaks to the prejudices of people who would be uncomfortable with an accomplished Black man, but for his complexion (close to theirs) and the well modulated tone of his speech patterns. I wish the Senator well as he continues to work for the good of all Americans.

Bill Bennett made a point about the comment that Obama goes in and out of the Negro Dialect when he wants to, but it's hard to know how Reid meant it. I don't know if he was accusing Obama of being disingenuous. I mean, we've all seen Obama make jokes, talk a little slang. I don't think he's trying to identify with black people so much as he's trying to be an average Joe. Basketball, cheeseburgers, bowling.

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