In an old white man made a politically incorrect statement on national TV news, Chris Matthews has managed to steer some of the attention away from President Obama with his on-air revelation that for an hour he forgot what box the President would check off on his census forms as he delivered the State of the Union address.
For those of you unfamiliar with the name Chris Matthews here’s a sample offering of the gold he dishes out weekdays on Hardball which airs at 5:00 PM EST on MSNBC (cut the check, MSNBC…a plug is a plug):
Those of us familiar with the show aren’t the least bit surprised that Chris managed to mouth this off with a straight face. These sorts of comments are very typical of him. Chris seems to have an affinity for speaking without being bogged down by the tedious task of thinking first. His heart may have been in the right place, but his tongue obviously opted to go in another direction.
I can imagine how many of you reacted to this clip:
1. First, you take a second to try and make sure your ears aren’t deceiving you and ask yourself, “What did that muthafucka just say?” Then you put that cup down to raise your middle finger.
2. If you’re white and know better, you put your head down in shame and ponder why God didn’t step in and turn his mic off before he could finish his statement.
3. As you hear him continue to go on you begin to wonder just why you didn’t turn to CNN this time.
4. You then recant his words in your head and that’s when you get even more pissed that this old cashew had the audacity to bring up Barack Obama’s race in the context of a discussion about race.
Wait, before you start pointing your fingers and plotting on how to throw your red cups at me hear me out.
Or better yet, hear his do over:
Now this…this is better. He gets one point for realizing he probably didn’t say the smartest thing the first time. I wouldn’t remove his dunce cap, but I appreciate the clarification.
Chris Matthews once said he got a “thrill up his leg” listening to Obama speak. Clearly he’s a fan albeit an aloof one.
I’m irritated by Chris’ choice of words, but upon further reflection and hearing him trying to clarify I get what he’s saying. The only problem is there aren’t that many people of different persuasions in his world to help elevate him and his audience in discussions pertaining to race.
Whether we like it or not (I personally despise it) the media is still controlled largely by out of touch older white men of privilege. That means their reality is likely the only one they know and despite their cute little statements of this non-existent utopia called “post-racial America” they haven’t really tried to get a real understanding about the racial politics of this country.
So, they don’t know that they’re inclined to irk the hell out of people by saying things like “I forgot President Obama was black.” They’ll never get the chance to either if they’re burned at the stake because we collectively continue to dilute ourselves into thinking maintaining political correctness equates progress.
That’s not me being a white apologist; it’s me hoping that we have a period where people with good intentions but limited understanding can speak freely therefore allowing themselves to be corrected accordingly. There’s only so much enlightenment a person can enjoy if they only speak this way in the comfort of their homes.
But, let me just say while I do want some people to open up and get it out of their systems with the hopes that eventually ridiculousness will die down there are only certain levels of idiocies I can tolerate.
“Negro dialect” I can stomach. Sudden amnesia, uh, whatever, I suppose.
Bullshit like comparing people using free lunch in schools to stray animals? Not so much.
Now that’s the type of shit people ought to get burned for.
I don’t excuse Chris Matthews. I won’t dare try to defend what he has to say. My only point is I get the feeling if political correctness had died down years ago there’s a chance that some of this sort of talk (at least in the media) might have subsided by now.
I could be wrong, though, and I’m sure you’ll let me know if you think so in the comments section. Hint, hint.