The Corner

Harry Reid, the Race Man

I’m not sure I could pinpoint this, but about 20 years ago the phrase “white men” became a putdown — an automatic epithet. I think this was about the same time “dead white males” came into vogue: you know, Shakespeare, Bach, and the rest of them crackers.

One funny thing about the phrase “white men” is that white men often use it, as a putdown. When they do, they seem to exempt themselves. “No, I don’t mean me. Not wonderful me. I mean those other guys, the bad ones.”

I thought of this when reading this item in the Daily Caller. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, said that the Hobby Lobby case was decided by “five white men.” As the article points out, one of the five justices whom Reid disdains is Clarence Thomas.

In all honesty, I wonder whether Reid regards Thomas as white, for political purposes. Thomas is a conservative. In Reid’s mind, could he be black? When he last ran for election, in 2010, Reid said, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, okay? Do I need to say more?” Not really. We get it.

You may recall how Reid described Barack Obama’s promise as a vote-getter. This was in the 2008 cycle. The majority leader noted that Obama was a “light-skinned” candidate “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” By those standards, would Clarence Thomas make it on the campaign trail? He is not light-skinned. I believe he grew up speaking Gullah, and that probably qualifies as a “Negro dialect.”

Anyway . . .

In no area is America weirder than in the area of race. You sometimes hear that race is a “social construct.” This argument gets a lot of sympathy from me.

I’ve told this story before on this site, but will again. One of the strangest political races I ever witnessed was a Detroit mayoral race. It pitted a woman named Sharon McPhail against Dennis Archer, the eventual winner. Now, McPhail was light-skinned (as Reid would say), and I believe she had freckles. About “Negro dialect,” I’m not sure. Archer was darker (as long as we’re doing gradations). And McPhail campaigned as the “black” candidate, trying to out-black Archer all the way. Her charge was that he was too moderate — not “black” enough.

I’m glad she lost.

By the way, the best part about Reid’s 2010 statement that “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, okay?” That was just before a Hispanic Republican, Brian Sandoval, was elected governor of Reid’s state, Nevada. And the Democrat he beat — was Reid’s own son, Rory.

It’s bad enough when the Senate majority leader abuses his position to vilify Charles and David Koch. When he goes racial, he is at his absolute worst.

A final word about Reid’s most recent stunt. Talking about Hobby Lobby, he said that “women’s lives” should not be determined by “five white men.” If the issue is men versus women — which is of course asinine — why add the word “white”? Why bring race into it? Because the phrase “white men” trips naturally off the lips of people such as Reid. Race is the special poison that weakens America — that sickens its brain — time after time.

Most Popular

Religion

The Christian America Paradox

You could call it the Christian America paradox: few things have contributed more to the nation’s culture and identity than the broadly shared Christian faith and worldview of its people, yet the very nature of a society that combines religious pluralism (as a matter of both legal right and social norm) with a ... Read More
Immigration

On a Willful Lie from the Press

This claim is omnipresent on social media and beyond: Trump lashed out at undocumented immigrants during a White House meeting, calling those trying to breach the country’s borders “animals” https://t.co/aQNeu29T6e pic.twitter.com/ogrFKaWyDZ — The New York Times (@nytimes) May 16, 2018 Peruse ... Read More
Culture

Comedians Are Catching On

The comedians are beginning to catch on. Over the weekend -- just one week after featuring a bevy of top-line Hollywood stars impersonating members of the Trump administration, as well as a cameo by a vengeful Stormy Daniels asking for President Trump’s resignation -- Saturday Night Live finally acknowledged ... Read More
PC Culture

The Nature of Progressive Insensitivity

Former vice president Joe Biden is back in the news yet again. For a second time, he seems surprised that poor residents of the inner city are capable of doing sophisticated jobs: We don't think ordinary people can do things like program, code. It's not rocket science, guys. So, we went and we hired some folks ... Read More
Culture

The Feminization of Everything Fails Our Boys

Let me share with you two troubling — and, I believe, closely linked — news reports. The first, from this weekend, comes courtesy of the American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry. In one chart, he highlights the dramatic and growing gender gap in higher education. In short, women are dominating: ... Read More