WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) apologized to “Negroes Everywhere” on Monday, for a racially charged remark he made in 2008 about then-Senator Barack Obama.
In their upcoming book, “Game Change,” journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported that Reid referred to Obama as “a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.’ ”
In an appearance on CNN, Reid called himself a “friend to the Negro,” saying he has often played chess with Negroes, and even – on one occasion – “kissed a pickanniny baby.”
“Negroes need to know that I am on their side,” said Reid, who faces a tough re-election campaign in the fall, “especially the light-skinned ones.”
Reid said he has nothing against dark-skinned Negroes, except that “sometimes it’s hard to see them at night. Their big white eyes will pop up at you from out of nowhere – looks like they’re floating in space. Scares me to death.”
Reid said he’s happy to interact with dark-skinned Negroes during the day, except in the summer, “when the sweat running down their cheeks makes them look like runaway slaves – not the friendly kind from ‘Roots,’ but the mean slit-your-throat and rape-your-wife kinda slave.”
In a phone call, Reid apologized to President Obama, saying that he never should have referred to him as a “light-skinned black.”
“I told the President that if he weren’t married to such a dark-skinned woman, he could pass himself off as a white guy with a smooth tan.”