A Deeply Repentant Senator Begs For Absolution
“Beware of the Stranger who comes to the funeral ….
…. and cries louder than the berieved!”
Traditional Ibo Proverb
The Sunday morning TV talkfests were alive with hysterical chatter about the revelation that Nevada Senator Harry Reed told reporters during the Presidential election that he thought Barack Obama had a chance to win the presidential election because the Illinois Junior Senator “is light skinned and only speaks in Negro dialect when he wants to.” What the Senator actually meant when taken in context was that he thought Barack Obama – whom he considered superbly qualified for the job – could only transcend the racist animus and suspicion that millions of white Americans continue to hold regarding their African American countrymen because he wasn’t too black and talked like white folks. Well…duh? Is there anyone in the United states who is not an ignoramus or a damn liar that would dare dispute the transparent truth of Senator Reeds claim?
The loudest voice of protest from the African American community as I write is Michel Steele – the Republican puppet and shameless intellectual quisling who pretends to head the Republican Party, but whose protracted lips to posterior genuflection before Rush Limbaugh reveals who the real boss is. However since President Obama has already absolved Senator Reed by swiftly and graciously accepting his apology, mischievous Michel is in the untenable position of trying to be more royal than the king!
Furthermore, the fact that a militant black man and Yellow Dog Democrat like me ain’t mad at the Senator, the sanctimonious ramblings of a poot-butt Kneegrow shill for the party of white racist reaction strikes me the same way that the stranger at the funeral struck my wise Igbo ancestors. He bears watching with a jaundiced eye! The late Audley Moore – who was popularly known as “ The Queen Mother” Of the black radical movement of the 1960’s – was fond of saying that “Negro” meant “No, Nay, never grow!” And in the case of Mikie Steele that’s apparently so.
However the black community would be making a fatal political error if they go for this okey doke and allow themselves to be distracted from the real life and death challenges confronting African Americans and the world. The solution to these problems – availability of health care, strong government enforcement of anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, ending racist police brutality, serious regulation of financial institutions, working for peace among nations, strong funding for public education, increased support for the arts and sciences, saving the environment, eliminating nuclear weapons, stimulating a failed capitalist market economy, an intelligent approach to combatting the Islamic jihadists, etc – can only be found in government actions. In spite of a constant barrage of Republican propaganda to the contrary, the history of the expansion of freedom and prosperity in the US Republic confirms my argument.
Hence we Black Americans must vigorously resist attemps by Cynical Republican charlatans to involve us in any effort to remove Senator Reed from the US Senate – which would greatly benefit their backwards anti-black anti-worker agenda. We must judge him by his deeds as a legislator, and right now, as the man who guided the massive health care reform bill through the Senate in face of an unprincipled and reckless Republican resistance – something no Majority leader has been able to do in a century – he is batting a thousand!
Hence Senator Reed is a true hero for our times. And those hypocritical white wags who are attempting to draw a moral equivalence between Senator Reed’s statement – which was a candid statement of the racial attitudes of millions of white Americans – with the ex-Republican Senator and unrepentant Mississippi red neck neo-Confederate Trent Lott’s praise song for the late South Carolina Senator and racist hypocrite Strom Thurman, an argument in favor of the NAZI like ideology and apartheid practices that I grew up under in the old South, expose themselves as moral cripples beyond redemption!
Everybody knows who cares to know – including Colin Powell himself – this was exactly the same reason Republicans thought Colin Powell could win the Presidency: He is light skinned and didn’t sound black like Jesse Jackson! Any Republican who denies this is “a liar and a mink/their feet stink/ and they don’t love Jesus!” as the old Afro-American folk saying declares. Hence it would be wise for us black folks to stand by Senator Reed and pay the racist reactionary Republicans and their Negro Marionette “no rabbit as mind” as my wise grandfather Walter surely would have advised.
Harlem, New York
January 10, 2010