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My Rant on Reid: Thank you Senator for your wrongs, I have learned a lot.

Like any mom, I’m always looking for a teachable moment. In school, at the dinner table or in the check out line. The other day, I was searching for one in the news (I know, crazy right??) The constant bombardment of coverage of Sen. Reid’s racial faux pas on every cable news network was so asinine I wanted to cancel my cable subscription in disgust (but the new season of Big Love just started. LOL!).

In case you’ve been in a cave, the uproar is over the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s recently published comments about President Barack Obama.  A new book quotes Reid, (D-Nevada), as saying privately in 2008 that Obama 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."

Now Reid is under fire for making racial insensitive comments, with many Republicans calling for him to resign. WTH?

Now apart from the use of the word, Negro, which makes him sound more like an Uncle Bens-throwback than a racist, the fact is, what Reid say, is indeed, true. In fact, most African Americans agree with Reid.

Let’s review. Is Obama light skinned? Yes.

Does he speak a straight-from-the-suburbs-Harvard-educated level of English ? Yes.

So what? So do 10 million other black Americans. We’ve just been stereotyped as infinitive splitting, participle dangling fools, so any black person with a standard command of the English language is viewed as an anomaly.  And truth be told, anyone of us can pick up a “Negro dialect” when we want to have one. That’s a trick black people have been navigating for years. Some historians assert it was a survival tactic we learned during slavery. Researchers have even documented our ability to “shift” in and out of our various worlds, “shifting corporate” to use our educated “work” voice in the office or around white people, and then “shifting” again to have a more relaxed vernacular when we’re among like folks. You know how we do.

BTW, have you read, Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America by Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D.? Great book! Here's the Amazon link:   http://www.amazon.com/Shifting-Double-Lives-Black-America/dp/B0009309DQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1263308132&sr=1-1 


Anyway, what was even more upsetting is that the majority of people in an uproar about this alleged insensitivity to Blacks are…wait for it….non-Blacks.  Oh yeah, and the black man who heads the Republican National Convention, but I’m not sure we’re still counting him these days. Are we?  

But deeply recessed behind the media hype and the blatantly obvious political agenda, I did manage to extricate a few critical lessons about life in America that I hope to pass along to my beautiful brown children.  


1.      Don’t tell the truth.  Telling the truth is not appreciated in this country. Especially when the truth involves race. We are absolutely, positively not ready to have an honest conversation about race in this country. I think the history of comments posted to some of my Momlogic blog posts speaks volumes to this little nugget. Did you see the 83 comments on my spanking in suburbia blog?? Even my mama was worried.  


2.      Don’t ever use antiquated words.  This is truly one to grow one. Keep up with the current politically correct or popular parlance.  Pick up a People magazine or watch Sports Center, for crying out loud. Nobody wants to get caught using words that only the Census Bureau and old politicians are still using.


3.      Don’t bother apologizing. Reid has apologized and apologized and apologized. His apology has been accepted by the President and countless other black leaders have continued to support him, but to no avail.  Apparently, the “I’m sorry” thing only works with athletes and cheating politicians.   


4.      Don’t say stupid stuff in books.  Books really stick around…and on shelves!!! And can make your “2000 and late” comment look like current events. Instead, go new media 2.0 and make your racial faux pas on the Internet. Then if anything goes wrong, you can always pay a reputable search engine optimization company to make sure your bad press falls off the Google search engines.


And there you have it people! Thank you Senator Reid for your wrongs. I have truly learned a lot about America.

2 Responses to “My Rant on Reid: Thank you Senator for your wrongs, I have learned a lot.”
  1. Julie says:

    You aren’t really one to be talking about “being ready to talk about race”. This website is completely segregating African Americans from the rest of the world. Every single entry on this website is filled with common sense information with a couple of “listen up black moms” here and there. We get it, your proud of your race. But if I dare made a website that was only offering advice to white moms, I would be racist. It would be a different situation if your advice was literally only for black mothers- but dental health, losing weight, and sleeping issues are things that affect ALL women.

    • Kimberly says:

      I urge to look deeper Julie. In our dental health story, there are stats specific to African Americans (that you won’t find on any ADA site) that show how important it us for us to improve our dental health. It’s an area where we lag our counterparts. And its not segregating, its empowering. There’s a difference. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Always welcome!

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