Alex Massie

Huckabee’s Moment

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It's striking how refreshing Mike Huckabee's reaction to the Jeremiah Wright frenzy is. We're so used - and too many conservatives have demonstrated this again this week - to the grinding tedium of knee-jerk My Party Rules, Your Party Sucks* political discourse that it's almost astonishing when a leading figure (from either party) can come out and say something like what Huckabee said about Reverend Wright:

And one other thing I think we’ve gotta remember. As easy as it is for those of us who are white, to look back and say “That’s a terrible statement!”…I grew up in a very segregated south. And I think that you have to cut some slack — and I’m gonna be probably the only Conservative in America who’s gonna say something like this, but I’m just tellin’ you — we’ve gotta cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told “you have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you can’t sit out there with everyone else. There’s a separate waiting room in the doctor’s office. Here’s where you sit on the bus…”

And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.

Mercy me: some common sense, proportion and empathy. How very unfashionable.

*To be sure, this is not a call for Broderesque centrism, rather for an end to witlessness. Fat chance, of course...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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