Talking About Race

Was Dean correct when he said he is the only white politician who talks about race to white audiences? From Dean Faces Uphill Battle in Courting S.C. Blacks:

“Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) fired off a statement on his chats with audiences about marching with Martin Luther King Jr. Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) released a statement about growing up in the segregated South, watching black people get shoved aside for jobs, education and health care.

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio) appeared to be more upset than the rest. ‘We hit the roof when we heard that,’ said Jeff Cohen, Kucinich’s campaign spokesman. ‘I think Dean’s deluded. Representative Kucinich brings up racial issues that Dean hasn’t even touched. He talks about the racially biased death penalty at campaign stop after campaign stop. He talks about the drug war and the racially unjust ‘three strikes you’re out’ law.”

Lieberman only makes Dean’s point — as if talking about having walked with MLK is talking about race. Earlier Edwards said he talks about civil rights, which again makes Dean’s point. Edwards words it differently here, and does a much better job — here he’s starting to talk about race, not civil rights — but because of his earlier response it feels like someone explained it to him. Kucinich gets it, except I’ve heard Dean talk about these things.