Isn't it okay to say that Harry Reid is a racist?
In the clear cut sense, no we can't say he (as an individual) is racist because racism is a structural societal value that determines class, i.e access to the 'life goods" - education, money, power. It means that one buys into the belief in the superiority of one race (white) over others (everyone else) and that 'belief' is built into who gets to go to which schools, who gets the promotion, who cops can regularly harass, etc.
We can easily say that he is a part of a society that is racist and that, although, he is an ally to equality that the [racist] sentiments are a part of who he is.
(Head cocked, bright yellow bulb)
Isn't it true that he was talking to, and about, the people whom Senator Obama would have to appeal to their votes. So wasn't he a racist talking to... racists? Aren't we the ones who are more comfortable around light skin blacks than dark skin? Are we more likely to talk to and desire to emulate a person who speaks proper English rather than....negro dialect??? I just fell into "tongue in cheek".
What the hell is 'Negro" dialect Harry? Broken English? That's racist. We don't want the dregs of mis-education to be inherently associated with African, Black and other Americans of Color -- who knows who 'Negro' actually refers to, I've never met one. While you are probably not 'an advocate of racism' and may not really believe that your "own race is superior to another" -- you most certainly get a bit too close to "the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities" with the negro dialect comment for my own comfort.
But that's just the thing. I want people to stop pretending they aren't racist and say that they are and are trying to work on their particular contribution to keeping it alive behind the scenes. Then we could have a real (effective?) conversation about what racism is and the roles we all play in it, scrape it out of the hidden crevices and into the light where it will finally wilt from exposure. Then we wouldn't have to be properly chastised by the Liz Cheney's of the world...ugh...seeing truth coming out of her mouth stings...