Tag Archives: Harry Reid

DREAM Act & Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Not Moving Forward as Part of Defense Bill

By Guest Contributor Maegan La Mala, cross-posted from VivirLatino

After an emotional buildup for many towards the 2:30 pm EST hour Tuesday, when the U.S. Senate voted, 56-43, against a motion to proceed on the National Defense Authorization Act. This shut down the possibility of the DREAM Act and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell being presented as amendments to the Defense bill. All Republican senators voted against cloture and two Democrats, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both of Arkansas.

Up to the moment of the vote, I watched U.S. Senators, all white old men, talk about gays in the military. Republican Senators like John McCain danced around their homophobia by saying they didn’t want to add DADT because the military hadn’t had a chance to do polling about the impact on combat readiness if there were out lgbt folks in the armed forces. Other Republicans looked at the DREAM Act in one of two ways : a ploy by Senate Majority Harry Reid to get the Latino vote and/or a version of “amnesty” for some undocumented.

Despite my expressed concerns about the DREAM Act and it’s attachment to a military bill, it was my knowledge of the many young people fighting to legalize their status, that had me upset after the Senate vote yesterday. I can’t imagine the moment of heartbreak after so much work, struggle y corazon, after putting their freedom on the line and at times their health and well being.

Pero as with comprehensive immigration reform, and all other struggles, a vote in the legislature, a bill, a law is not what will bring about justice. It is not the end all and be all in the lives of freedom fighters. In fact, quite the opposite. It needs to be utilized , yes but as past of a larger strategy to move pa’lante.

There is a push now to have the DREAM Act presented as a stand-alone bill by Harry Reid. Whether he will do it or not, especially whether he will do it before elections in November is about what/who he fears more. Does he fear the Latino vote not turning out for him because he didn’t do all he could do? Or does he fear Republicans who will cry “amnesty” and see young brown people in pursuit of their own future as a threat?

Image courtesy of ThinkProgress

Open Thread: Harry Reid, Trent Lott, and Politically Expedient Racism

by Latoya Peterson

Over the weekend, the news broke that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made some ill-advised comments during the campaign in 2008:

Reid apologized to Obama and a handful of black political leaders after a new book reported that he was favorably impressed by Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign and, in a private conversation, described the Illinois senator as a “light-skinned” African-American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

Obama, who tries to steer clear of the political thicket of race and politics, accepted the apology and said he wanted to close the book on the episode. Republicans were eager to keep it open Sunday, comparing Reid’s remarks to those that cost Trent Lott the Senate leadership in 2002 and questioning why there was different reaction now.

Things I hate about this controversy:

1. The tit-for-tat mindset is clearly at play.  Obviously, each comment had different intentions and meanings. (Adam over at Tapped explains this well.)  However;

2. Anyone who is surprised at racist comments from democrats hasn’t been paying attention.  Yes, the comment was racist – and true, which sucks.  It’s clear that many of our lawmakers know exactly how racist our nation is – and are willing to verbalize how they can use racism to their advantage.  No one is on that white guilt shit – there have been too many statements about Obama that reveal the general perception of blacks in the United States.  It makes it all the more frustrating that people feel the need to pretend that the people who shepard our laws into existence are not racist when clearly they are.   It’s just part of the spin game.

3. I hate The Politico for this:

Democrats are preparing to throw the race card back in the laps of Republicans as part of a counter attack designed to help save Harry Reid’s political career.

4. I’ve read entirely too many articles saying “GOP Chairman Michael Steele, who is black…” like we don’t already fucking know.

5. As far as I am concerned, this is all a bunch of bullshit, because as soon as someone figures out what is going to happen to Reid, people are going to keep pretending that race isn’t still an issue in America, when we know it is.

I ranted a bit on Jezebel; drop your thoughts in the comments.