AS A WHITE PERSON, I'LL ACCEPT HARRY REID'S APOLOGY
I'm late getting to this, but really, the key point about this...
A new book about the 2008 campaign quotes [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid as predicting that Mr. Obama could become the country's first black president because he was "light-skinned" and had "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
...is that it's primarily an insult to white people. What Reid was saying, ultimately, was this: "There's a very, very narrow range of African-Americans who would be deemed acceptable to the majority-white American presidential electorate, and Barack Obama fits white voters' extremely restrictive criteria."
By comparison, blogger Patterico now argues that Reid's remark is comparable to a Bill Bennett pronouncement Reid once criticized as racist -- that
" ... you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down."
See the difference? Despite Bennett's attempt to seem repulsed by his own assertion, he's still insulting black people. Not the same as Reid's insult of whites at all.
And, of course, many right-wingers are comparing what Reid said to Trent Lott's assertion that America would have been better off if Strom Thurmond, running on a segregationist platform, had been elected president in 1948. Lott's remark was also an insult to black people -- unless you're arguing that he believed Thurmond's election in 1948 was intended to save white people from their own racist selves.
Reid said something harsh about my people. But I think his heart was in the right place, and I'm ready to accept his apology.