Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean -- who previously ducked questions about the propriety of racial attacks on Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele -- yesterday disavowed such campaign tactics.
"I oppose any effort to make an issue of a candidate's ethnicity in a political campaign, including in the Maryland Senate race," Mr. Dean said.
He issued the written statement after Maryland Republican Party Chairman John M. Kane prodded him to apologize for remarks he made Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
A couple of things here. First, a "leader" like Dean should not have to be "prodded" into an apology on anything. If you do something wrong, be a man and say so. To be fair, this is a problem across the political spectrum and not isolated just to Democrats. Second, I hate written statements. If it is important (and this is because racial attacks, no matter who is doing the attacking is wrong on every level), it should be done with a verbal statement to the press. Issuing a written statement, to me, is akin to ghost writing a memoir, it may be done all the time, but it is not personal.
But wait, Dean disavowed the statements, but there is still no apology--from anyone!!!
Mr. [John] Kane [Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party] yesterday said Mr. Dean's statement was "wholly incorrect" and demanded an apology. He called the remark "a pathetic attempt to excuse the racist comments and treatment leveled against Steele."
A day after the program, Mr. Dean responded by issuing the written statement, but declined to apologize.
Why not apologize? Again, this ia a coward's way of saying, "well it was wrong and they shouldn't have done it, but...."
But Dean couldn't just leave it there. He had to take the opportunity to bash Republicans:
His written statement also accused Republican officials of disenfranchising black voters.
"I also call on Chairman Mehlman to join me in condemning Republican secretaries of state who continue to make it harder for African-Americans around the country to exercise their right to vote," Mr. Dean said.
Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz said Mr. Dean was still dodging the issues.
"Whether it is answering a question about what his party stands for ... or whether it is repudiating racist attacks against Michael Steele, it seems Chairman Dean is incapable of speaking to the issue," he said.
See, Howard Dean is not really sorry for this episode. He may publicly disavow the remarks, but he has not issued any apology to Steele or any rebukes to the insufferable racists who issued the slurs. Instead of apologizing, Dean has to try to score political points. Mr. Diaz is right, this written statement is not truly a disavowal.
I don't expect an apology of any sort to come from a Democrat, because many of them may not feel as though what has happened is wrong. In an unrelated post, LaShawn Barber pointed out about racial distinctions:
Most "mainstream" blacks don’t see anything wrong with skin color distinctions in public ... long as blacks are the ones receiving the benefits of discrimination. It’s called human nature. Back in the day when government skin color distinctions harmed blacks, they called it what it was: repugnant.(emphasis in original)
Therefore it is OK for a black Democrat to call a black Republican a traitor to his race and other racial slurs, but the reverse is not true--because that would be racist.
Talk about your double standards.
By the way, the Dean written statement, no where to be found on the DNC website. Also, no other major media outlets are running the Dean disavowal. Hmm!
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