I usually have a healthy respect for the people who make the decisions at GOP Central, but bringing up the Trent Lott situation to discredit Harry Reid has got to be about the dumbest damn move I've seen them make in a while. Why would you bring up the fact that a recent leader of your party dreamed about the victory of a segregationist presidential candidate? Worse than that, why would you give people like me a reason to even write the words "segregationist" and "GOP leader" in the same sentence? Do you really want to revive the fact that your party was okay with segregation long after it was outlawed?
Micheal Steele is thanking his lucky stars today that he didn't come out any lighter himself - he will probably hit the tanning bed a few times to visibly darken his skin, in an effort to show a more distinct contrast between himself and Obama.
It kind of reminds me of a guy I did a loan for once, a former college quarterback for Ole Miss. He'd had problems getting a loan elsewhere, so I dropped by his house one afternoon to size up the problems. After getting the paperwork end of it straight, we went outside to see how the appraiser could possibly take a picture of the front of his house with all the big trees in the front yard.
While we were outside, he walked me around to the far side of the house to show me an improvement he'd made. Laying behind his A/C unit was one of those antebellum black jockeys, fresh earth clinging to the spike underneath its feet. I raised my eyebrows. He looked at me and said, "hey - I knew you were coming."
I made some good money on that loan. And refinanced the same house again in less than six months.
Is it realistic to expect ignorance and insensitivity to disappear because the laws changed? Are we secretly hoping for life to imitate the movies, where the people who rise above the circumstances of their birth only have to deal with three or four road blocks in a two hour span to get what they want?
I have written over and over - until America can get to the point where big lips, broad noses and deep brown skin are no longer seen as negative characteristics, our efforts at racial parity will continue to come up short. The Obama presidency was always going to be a test for white Americans, forcing many of them to wrestle with racial issues many of them have been able to simply ignore up until now.
In order to pass this test, they are going to have to study. Mistakes will be made. Which is pretty much where we are going to be for awhile as the re-education of America gets underway.