Words should warrant equal consequence

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 12, 2010

If Trent Lott is the political kettle, the Democrat’s pot certainly has black all over it.

Lott, the former U.S. Republican Senator from Mississippi was forced from his Senate leadership position in 2002 after he uttered what some called racist comments.

The truth is Lott was simply saying nice things about Sen. Strom Thurmond at his 100th birthday party. Thurmond had some 50 years prior run for president on a segregationist ticket. Lott’s comments were in no way suggesting segregation was a good thing, but were simply meant to bolster the spirits of a 100-year-old public servant.

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Lott’s political opponents, however, turned the matter into a witch-hunt.

Fast-forward to this year and suddenly the shoe is on a different foot.

This time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was the one caught saying something that would appear much more direct and much more racially tinged that Lott’s birthday wishes to an old man.

Reid, in describing then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, said he was a “light skinned” (as if pigment matters) African-American and “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

Obviously, the comments of both men were inappropriate.

That Lott made his at a widely covered event and Reid made his privately indicate that Lott’s may have been a slip of the tongue.

While Reid’s faux pas may indicate a much deeper belief, one that should lead to his resignation.

For the Democratic Party, the pot can call the kettle black, but if the kettle returns the favor, it’s racism. That’s not fair and if Lott’s misstatement merited his loss of the majority seat, Reid’s should too.