To compare Reid with Lott is disingenuous.
And in case anyone else shares this with you, the words "light skinned Negro" never, never, NEVER appeared together in Reid's statement. If one wants to question whether or not Reid is somehow a racist, they should at least start with a truthful and accurate quote. Let me help.
This is what the Wall Street Journal reported at
Mr. Reid, who supported Mr. Obama's candidacy, said in private remarks during the campaign that the country was ready for a "light-skinned" African-American president with "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
That's a world away from saying "light skinned Negro" and it's an entire universe away from Lott honoring a man who ran for president on a platform that included segregation.
Let me put this into a formula that anyone can understand: segregation = racism = hatred = stupidity.
-> Reid supported Obama then and supports him now.
His comments were the ill-chosen words of at least two generations ago and meant as a compliment. No one, including me, is arguing that they weren't wrong by today's standards of an advanced and enlightened civil society, nor were they within the standards of what we commonly refer to as political correctness. Standards of political correctness, I might add, most conservatives seem to rail against at every turn. In fact, I'm a little surprised there aren't actually cheers coming from the Right for his lack of p.c. Trying to have it both ways, maybe?
-> Thurmond wanted to segregate blacks.
It's a fact that it was part of his platform for president. Lott's words on Strom in 2002 were, "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either," (http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/12/09/lott.comment/)
It's clear that Lott liked Thurmond, was proud of him, and thinks America would have been better had Strom been elected president in 1948. A segregated America would have been better????? Job discrimination, lynchings, poll taxes, and segregation would have been better???? Is that not racism??? See http://www.gallup.com/poll/7444/gallup-brain-strom-thurmond-1948-election.aspx for how far we've come since 1948 and some insight into why Lott's comments were so egregious. I really can't fathom how someone in Lott's position could have made such remarks if he wasn't at least somewhat racist himself.
So, just how plain confrontational does the Right have to want to be to even begin to compare Reid to Lott? I think that's grasping at straws.