Harry Reid's apology to President Obama and the president's ready acceptance may have missed the point entirely.

In saying during the campaign last year that Mr. Obama was light-skinned and spoke in a "negro dialect" only when he wished, Senator Reid was in fact praising his fellow senator's electability. But he was certainly not praising the American electorate, whom Senator Reid seems to view as still so infected by racism that only a black who doesn't quite seem black could ever be elected president.

He is hardly alone in harboring such sentiments. Even today, liberal politicians and their allies in the media attribute criticism of President Obama's policies to their inability to accept that a black man is president. There is doubtless some fringe in America who may feel that way, but the overwhelming majority of Americans seem to feel otherwise. They are pleased to see African-Americans getting ahead, and the fact that Barack Obama is black was actually an asset to him in his quest for the presidency, contributing to voter's willingness to support a man with whom polls showed majorities disagreed on a range of issues.

Critics of Senator Reid have pointed to his use of the phrase "negro dialect," as evidence of racism on his part. Actually that phrase seems more than anything out of date, just like his view of America itself.

Brit Hume is the senior political analyst for Fox News Channel.