Fresh off of his apology from comments about President Obama's lack of a "Negro dialect," Reid is now claiming that he helped to racially integrate Las Vegas casinos. The problem is that numerous other leaders don't recall Reid being that involved with the movement to integrate Sin City, and Reid doesn't even mention it in his own biography.
In an essay posted on theGrio.com and on Reid's website he wrote:
The progress that has been made, just in the time that I have been in public service, to ensure diversity, equality and social justice in our nation is a testament to America's greatness. I worked hard during my time in local politics in Nevada to integrate the Las Vegas strip and the gaming industry.
The problem is that no one-historians and other politicians included-remember Reid being a player on the issue.
According to Aol News:
"I don't recall him being involved in any of that," said Neal, the first black state senator and first black gubernatorial nominee from a major party when the Democrat lost in 2002. He attended several meetings related to the federal settlement and was heavily involved as the state's top elected black official. "I don't think he would have an involvement" in the federal court decree. Historians who have studied the era were similarly uncertain to what Reid referred to. A 2004 doctoral dissertation [pdf] by sociologist Jeffrey J. Sallaz specifically examined the outcome of that federal decree and didn't reference either O'Callaghan or Reid. Instead, Sallaz laid out the history as a tussle between federal authorities and casino executives.
Reid got a free pass on his Obama Negro dialect comments, so it's ridiculous of him to make another misstep like this.This is what happens when politicians pander. Instead of pandering, Reid should just continue working to try to bring the issues of African Americans and all Americans to the floor of the Senate. As Reid points out in his essay, he has been on the right side of several issues of importance to African Americans:
Senate Democrats have remained committed to addressing these challenges to the African-American community. But more than just address these problems, we have set out to empower the African-American community economically - creating a system that fosters social mobility. The progress made last year alone is noteworthy. Senate Democrats supported legislation to jumpstart job creation for African Americans struggling to regain employment and stabilize the housing market by preventing foreclosures and improving access to home loans for African Americans. We've also secured health care for African American children and helped to make college more affordable for African American students - namely our work to increase Pell Grants. In addition, African-Americans have benefited from the consumer protections we've enacted to stop unfair and abusive credit card industry practices.In the social justice sphere, we passed a hate crimes bill last fall that is, in part, named for James Byrd, the African-American man from Texas who lost his life to a vicious hate crime. I also understand the importance of the difficult, but meaningful step the Senate took last year to formally apologize for centuries of racial discrimination and segregation of African Americans. This apology was one in a long line of steps to help rebuild the trust for government within the black community.
I'd be much more impressed if a respectable health care bill were passed, student loan burdens eased or sentencing disparities changed. Reid, who is not polling well in his upcoming re-election campaign, doesn't need any more slip-ups.
And I sense a tone of ignorance in comments from Reid's likely Republican challenger about the issue:
"He's making these comments because he understands that he has offended those in the African-American race, so he wants to give himself more credit than he deserves," said businessman Danny Tarkanian, son of legendary college basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. "
African-American race? What is that?
All in favor of Reid just shutting up about African Americans for the next few weeks, say, "Aye"!
The ayes have it.