Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Just Another Reason Why This Former Citizen of the Old Dominion Will Always Have a Soft Spot in His Heart for Gov. Doug Wilder

Doug Wilder, former Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia (and America's first elected African-American governor), says Sen. Reid owes all Americans an apology:
Twenty years ago this week, I placed my hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the constitutions of both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States of America. The people of Virginia had just gone to the polls and shown that a majority of voters were ready to judge candidates for the highest offices by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. Twenty years ago, that happened not just in any state - but in a state that once led the Confederate South and later led the fight to block black children from entering the same schoolhouses as their white neighbors.

The results of that election in November 1989 made me Virginia's governor, but the great importance of what happened wasn't what it did for me - the importance of that day was what it said about Virginians and, by proxy, the American people. Voters said, "Look to a candidate's qualifications and vision, not the color affixed to their skin at birth."

So it saddened me to read the words of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid when he ostensibly was trying to bolster the bid of Barack Obama for the White House. Mr. Reid suggested that as a "light-skinned" black man, Mr. Obama would be more palatable to the electorate as a potential president. The Nevada senator "praised" Mr. Obama's ability to turn off what Mr. Reid must perceive as a widespread "Negro dialect" when speaking to audiences who are not amenable to such a speaking style.

Voters certainly deserve more credit than some of the people they elect to high office give them.

My Comments:
Of course, some might argue that Gov. Wilder is, himself, "light-skinned", but I would argue that his so-called "Negro dialect" is quite "authentic", at least as it is spoken in the great Commonwealth.

Thank you, Gov. Wilder, for your service to the Old Dominion and for your faith in the American people.

(Hat tip: John J. Miller at The Corner)

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