We don't necessarily discriminate.
We simply exclude certain types of people.
Colonel Gerald Wellman
Racism Doesn't Always have a Southern Drawl
…Lott was pandering to an old segregationist and a bunch of his white supporters when he said “we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years” if everyone else “followed our lead” and voted for Strom Thurmond for president. That’s classic Dixiecrat politics--comments designed to stoke resentment and anger and white superiority. Lott heard that kind of talk a lot growing up in Mississippi, and he slipped right into it at Thurmond’s birthday party in 2002.
It was almost like Lott didn’t even think about the outrageousness of what he was saying. His remarks reflect a view that he assumed his old white audience was, deep down, a bunch of racists who really believed we would be better off with Strom Thurmond running things all these years.
At first glance, as Democrats have been pounding, Reid’s comments seem completely different. He was analyzing Obama’s blackness, and he concludes Barack Obama isn't too black to get elected President. He wasn’t pandering to whites to make them feel superior or stoke the fires. Reid was merely trying to decide just how racist white people are in modern-day America.
But in his own way, much like Trent Lott did with his audience at Thurmond's birthday party, Harry Reid already had decided that question. He apparently concluded white America would never get behind an African-American with dark skin and a “negro dialect.”
Obama, Reid seems to suggest, was the right kind of black guy. It wasn’t a whole lot different, if you think about it, what Branch Rickey focused on when he signed Jackie Robinson with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
While Trent Lott was stoking the old-day segregationists, Harry Reid was practicing modern-day racial politics--gaming out he thought white people would and woudln't accept and what kind of prejudices and stereotypes many of them hold.
CBS, January 11, 2010