It’s always interesting to see the reaction of the black community when someone from the Left makes a racial comment as opposed to someone from the right. Note, I said racial, not racist. To point this out, what has the community had to say about new DNC Chair and former Presidential candidate Howard Dean’s comments to the DNC’s Black Caucus about the Republican Party’s ability to attract African-Americans?
At the conference, Dean said:
“You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room? Only if they had the hotel staff in here.”
Not only were those in attendance not offended, they clapped and applauded. I’m not sure I understand because I don’t consider myself a very politically correct person. I’m not one of those sensitive people who thinks everyone, especially white folks, need to watch what they say, but I was a little offended. It was clear to me that he was making a class judgment by assuming all the hotel staff there was black. He wasn’t talking about the executive offices; he meant the service people and we all know that.
Of course there were some black Republicans and others on the Right who took him to task immediately, but the response is only 1/10th of a percent it would be if a Republican had said something similar. I wouldn’t call him racist like others are calling him, because that is too serious a label to apply to an insensitive joke, but I would request an explanation. I’m sure he didn’t mean to offend, but I was a little offended, so clarify for me. And while you’re at it, let’s talk about your history of appealing to blacks and…Oh, that’s right, Vermont doesn’t have any black people.
Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s because he is a former Governor of Vermont who had no visible record of connecting with blacks on a state level or a national level that it rubbed me the wrong way. If it had been Clinton, I probably wouldn’t have even recognized it. But then again, I don’t think Clinton would have said something like that. He’s got too much political savvy and it appears that Dean, as good a guy as he seems and he does seem like a good guy, doesn’t. Let’s face it, we’re talking about the man who said he wanted to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks. Let’s not even talk about the scream.
I don’t believe in double standards. I disagree with those people who think its okay for black folks to say stuff about white people that white people can’t say about us. Neither do I think the fact that the Democratic Party gets 90% of the black vote provides an excuse for “black jokes.” Yes, it does give them more room than Republicans, but I’ll bet this administration can say they appointed more blacks to high positions than Dean has ever done in his entire political career.
Politics seems to really embrace this racial double standard. We saw it when Bush nominated Condi Rice for Secretary of State. Some of the statements and cartoons about her were completely offensive and racial if not downright racist. Some were so bad that black leaders took a stand and chastised those who made the derogatory comments. I wonder what black leaders, not standard Republican spokespersons, will have to say about this?
NewsMax.com: Inside Cover Story
The Washington Times: Howard Dean’s mouth
Townhall: Star Parker: Dean, Dems frozen in time warp
WJZ 13: Dean’s Comments Anger Steele
Washington Post: Another Dean Scream
Blogcritics.org: What Was Howard Dean Thinking?!