- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 10, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s description of Justice Clarence Thomas as one of “five white men” triggered a backlash Wednesday on social media from black conservatives.

Mr. Reid’s gaffe prompted a rash of posts with photos and the hashtag #AmIBlackEnough on Twitter and other sites, including the website of former Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida.

“Um, Harry, are you so blind to your own political prejudice that you overlooked the fact that one out of those five white men — isn’t?” said Mr. West.

Raffi Williams, Republican National Committee deputy press secretary, posted a photo of himself on Twitter and said, “Reid doesn’t think Justice Thomas is black enough. @SenatorReid I’m a Republican #AmIBlackEnough?”

During a Tuesday press conference, Mr. Reid vowed to fight the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision allowing business owners to opt out of the Obamacare contraception mandate for religious reasons.

“The one thing we are going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determine by virtue of five white men,” Mr. Reid said.

Radio talk-show host Wayne Dupree fired back on Twitter, “Someone ask @SenatorReid how white do I have 2 b 2 vote Republican old man? Tired of your racist tantrums!”

From Black Republican on Twitter: “If you’re White and Democrat, you can be both sexist and racist and get away with it! #WhiteDemocratPrivilege #AmIBlackEnough”

Yale undergraduate Amalia Halikias pointed out that President Obama has yet to comment on the incident.

“Watching @SenatorReid getting eviscerated on Twitter with the #AmIBlackEnough campaign. Pretty shameful that @BarackObama let it slide…,” she said.

This isn’t the first time Mr. Reid has put his foot in his mouth when it comes to race. In 2010, he apologized after he was quoted in the book “Game Change” describing Mr. Obama as speaking with “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

The conservative website Twitchy cracked, “Maybe Reid was just confused by Justice Clarence Thomas’ lack of ‘negro dialect’ or something.”

Mr. West added that he hoped Republicans would capture the Senate in November and “kick your white male butt out.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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