Despite Republican attempts to paint Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as a racist following his embarrassing, foot-in-mouth comment about President Obama during the 2008 presidential election, hundreds of Nevada’s Black leaders turned out at a rally this show their support for the Democratic lawmaker.
"As I believe Dr. King would have said … 'All is forgiven. Go forward you good and faithful servant,’” said Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weeks, one of the 300 or so African Americans who attended the rally.
Reid, who was not present at the gathering, is quoted in a newly released book saying that Obama had the potential to win the presidency because he was “light-skinned” and did not speak in a “Negro dialect.” While some have called the comments racist, others described them as ill-advised but a true commentary about America’s preoccupation with skin color.
For those who were there, the real issue was not Reid’s admittedly careless comment but his long record of support for issues benefiting African Americans.
For example, cited one attendee, it was Reid whose victory as a young lawyer forced a local police department to hire its first Black captain.
Blacks only comprise about 8 percent of Nevada’s population, but at this point, Reid can use all the support he can get. Recent polls show that he trails three Republican challengers.
President Obama is scheduled to campaign for him next month, three months ahead of the GOP primary.