Project 21 Members Continue to React to Reid’s Racial Remarks

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 4:  Senate Majority Lead...Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – Image by Getty Imagesvia Daylife

This afternoon, Harry Reid met with reporters in Apex, Nevada. The reporters, like members of the Project 21 black leadership network, wanted to hear if Reid was truly sorry about his comments about Barack Obama as reported in a new book, if he still believes that a not-so-articulate and dark-skinned black man has inherent liabilities in running for president and if he would resign his leadership post as Trent Lott was forced to do under similar circumstances in 2002.

Reid did not address any of these concerns. He did claim he was one of the most formidable civil rights champions in Nevada history. He also dropped names of high-profile people – including NAACP chairman Julian Bond, Attorney General Eric Holder, Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar and unnamed black leaders in Nevada – who called him to tell him he was being given a pass because he’s such a swell guy.

Obviously, as he and they imply, the Reid record proves he couldn’t possibly hold racist feelings. But this generalization still leaves grave concerns that Reid’s implied senior moment may have actually been a Freudian slip revealing his true feelings.

To follow are comments from Project 21 members still looking for answers from the leader of the Senate:

Mychal Massie (chairman of Project 21): “It’s obvious that Harry Reid has been declared too big to fail. We all know this ‘some of my best friends are black’ defense would never fly if it was a conservative. It hasn’t, and there’s a good reason why it shouldn’t for any politician. Yet Reid’s phone is ringing off the hook with the likes of Julian Bond telling him everything is alright. It proves that keeping a liberal in power is more important than moral propriety.”

Deneen Borelli: “President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and other prominent black politicians have accepted Reid’s apology. Even Al Sharpton seemed to have fallen in line rather quickly and is reciting the liberal talking points to protect Reid. Clearly, with health care hanging in the balance, Obama cannot afford a prolonged controversy involving Reid.”

Geoffrey Moore: “It is funny how Reid only apologized when caught, and still is not addressing the content of his comments. What is even funnier is how so many of the people who would be assailing a conservative in the same situation are rushing to defend him. This is about more than some racist comments – it brings up the issue of how a white, male senior citizen member of the political elite can be the judge of what is authentically black. Or Negro, to use Reid’s own words. I’m still waiting for an explanation on what a Negro accent is.”

Jimmie A. Hollis: “Unless one has been living on Mars for the past 50 years, most – if not all – people know of there is a double-standard. Conservatives and fair-minded independents are rightly expressing outrage, but liberal outrage – and liberal black outrage, in particular – is selective. There’s too much at stake. I need to get some emails out to Senator Reid. I could use a high position in Washington, and I am a light-skinned man who has been said to speak ‘white.’ If Reid had told me this a few decades ago, maybe I could have been president!”

Kevin A. Martin: “Harry Reid isn’t sorry for what he said. Harry Reid is sorry he got caught. What Reid has done is provided us with a window of how I feel liberal truly feel about blacks – that they should be seen only at the polls and protests. And the civil rights industry is flocking to his side as leverage for future political favors.”

A Project 21 press release about Reid’s comments can be found here.

This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.

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