You’re accountable for what you say

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Well, we have to add some qualifiers here. Some people are accountable for some things they say, under certain conditions, depending on who they offend.

And then there’s the question of what constitutes accountability. We recall when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a threat assessment saying right-wing extremists might recruit returning military veterans “to boost their violent capabilities”, offending all sorts of Americans. And when Judge Sonia Sotomayor was on the record saying that a female Hispanic judge would come to a better decision in court than a white male judge. And when President Obama said at a White House press conference, in spontaneous remarks, that the Cambridge, Mass., police had acted “stupidly” in their response to an incident in which he knew one of the parties but not many of the details. And so on…

But when those incidents happened, no matter who was offended, the response wasn’t exactly an apology.

Now that it’s come to light that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made some offensive remarks about Obama during the 2009 campaign, the major news media are all over the story about Reid’s remorse and Obama’s forgiveness.

Here’s just one, WaPo’s.

Reid is very, very sorry, they (and all the other media) say.

“Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) apologized Saturday for referring to President Obama in private conversations during the 2008 presidential campaign as “light-skinned” and as having “no Negro dialect.”

“I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words,” Reid said in a statement.

“I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans, for my improper comments.”

Dropping down a bit further in the story, we see this:

“The swiftness of Reid’s apologies underscored the sensitivity surrounding remarks involving the subject of race.”

It would seem that the swiftness of Reid’s apologies underscored the weight and gravity of party politics. (After all, Obama downplayed Sotomayor’s comments that had elements of both racism and sexism.)

Now look at how they end the damage-control piece. The very last lines, sort of an afterthought:

“In 2007, while a presidential candidate and senator from Delaware, the current vice president drew criticism for a similar remark about Obama.

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Joe Biden said.”

How quickly we forget some things. How sorry it is that politics and media determine what level of remorse is in order.

MORE ON THESE TOPICS | Barack Obama, racism

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Sheila Reports promises a perspective here that you may not be getting in mainstream media and the politically charged blogosphere. Don’t expect political correctness, because politics doesn’t determine what’s correct. This space is grounded in the natural law and moral order. And it expects civility, goodwill and an openness to truth and reason.

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