10 thoughts on “Connecting Local and National Comments on Race”

  1. Back when the President was a candidate, albeit a viable one, every strategist was trying to figure out if he was electable. Remember how many commentators stumbled around for words to describe Obama? We were told how many times that he was articulate?

    A typical white male candidate is considered from nearly every angle on their electability, from their appearance, schooling, religion to family stability. The Reid comment comes off about as distasteful after the election as today it might sound if someone were musing whether Governor-elect McDonnell is too Catholic for Virginia voters.

    The Reid comment would have been better left unsaid, but in the context one can see where he was coming from. I suspect he put to words what many may have been thinking, right nor not.

  2. I think there’s a pretty big difference between Reid’s comment on Barack Obama (in which he stated a political reality, though he chose old-fashioned words) and Thomas’s comments on integration, in which he said,

    “I don’t really have an opinion today, whether it’s good or bad.” Later, he said: “I think it was something that needed to be done, but again, I’m not really for the government controlling what we [and he must have meant ‘we white people’] do so much.”


    “I don’t see why I would have been for [integration]. I can’t understand why in the world anybody [read: anyone like me] would have been for it back in that time” (meaning he didn’t know any white progressives at the time and can’t even fathom that there were any pro-integration white progressives.)

    The fact that Thomas apparently doesn’t know yet that “Negro” is out of fashion (“do they mind me calling them a Negro anymore? Is that improper also?”) isn’t so much objectionable as it is sad and indicative of a very sheltered and incurious life.

  3. I have no problem being critical of both of them. However, there would a huge firestorm had any republican said that nationally. Some local guy just won’t get the attention since local MSM avoids controversy.

  4. The coffee & Obama comment by Bill Clinton was more offensive and far funnier. Just imagine the media response if Bush had said it.

  5. MSM – MainStream Media, a sort-of acronym

    Locally, the Daily Progress and weekly local papers like the ones in Orange and Greene. They mostly report “good stuff” about local businesses – almost more like press releases.

    Point is, they won’t report some stupid thing a local politician said. The national MSM will work itself into a lather if a Rep said the same thing that Reid or Clinton said.

    No, I don’t think Reid should be run out of town for it – it was just a comment. But the coverage would be very different had a conservative or libertarian said it. Even more so for Clinton’s comment

  6. Well actually MSM usually means the media that don’t agree with the point of view of the person using the “acronym.”

    I often see comments posted to blogs or in response to news articles that consist of lengthy rants about how the “mainstream media” does this or that, or how it ignores certain topics even when those topics are the subject of the article that the poster is responding to.

    That’s not quite what you’ve done, but I wonder how you would even know of the local politician of which you’ve written if not for the local MSM. I don’t mean it in the pejorative sense with which you use the word, but I’d say that C’ville Weekly, The Hook, and even C’ville News are all somewhat “mainstream.”

  7. Quite frankly, I don’t see anything racists about the words of either man, anymore than the use of “Negro” in the United Negro College Fund or the National Council of Negro Women.

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