Friday, April 4, 2008

Abnormality Abounds

Discussing Sen. Barack Obama on the April 1 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews asked Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO): "Let me ask you about how he -- how's he connect with regular people? Does he? Or does he only appeal to people who come from the African-American community and from the people who have college or advanced degrees?"

First off, hat tip to the hardworking cats over at Too Sense for this quote.

Back to business. Y'all know when I first saw this quote a big smile came across my face. See, it's actually kind of hard to find something interesting to write about everyday, so when somebody just starts randomly talking out of their anus, well it makes me happy.

'Cause this is definitely anus-talk. Oh, there are dingleberrys and other shit all over Matthews' mouth after this comment. If that old bastard wipes his face with a napkin right now it's leaving skid marks.

Chris, my old, pale friend, you cannot insinuate on national television that black people are not normal. You really just can't do that. Dude, in case you got confused, this is 2008, not 1968, you're about 40 years too late to be making statements questioning the normalcy of Negroes.

So sad.

Matthews is a funny cat. He has vacillated between having a massive man-crush on Obama to making stupidly offensive statements. But, this is one of his more stupid utterances. I'm sure Chris would argue that people are taking his comments out of context, and being too sensitive, but dude, come on. Just admit that at your age it's hard to "transcend" decades of racial stereotypes and we'll try to understand what it's like to be contemporary of the Crypt-Keeper.

Now some folks will note that Chris also took a swipe at the college-educated crowd and will scream that this is a blatant example of Negroes playing the race card for profit. After all, Obama has carried all black people, but struggled to get those blue collar white folks, and it's obvious that he needs to do better there. They'll say that just like with that Lebron James/King Kong Vogue cover, black folks are always itching to be victims.

Ignore them, they are stupid.

The fact is, Chris said something offensive, period. He might not have meant to say it, but he did. When you define normality as being white with only a high school education, that's offensive. It's like defining normal as being heterosexual or able-bodied; it degrades groups that don't fit into that category.

It's not a huge deal, after all, most people's definition of normal excludes some group. But, let's be adults about this whole thing and admit that Matthews effed up and that it's a sign of a real problem in this country. As long as the default in this country is white and middle class, far too many groups will be ignored.

In this election alone how many times have we heard about the struggles of the "middle class" compared to the struggles of the "lower class." The media have decided that one group's problems, often the group most of them belong too, are more important or "normal" than everybody else's and they've covered the race accordingly.

Chris's comments just reflect and expand on that mindset because he managed to say that no matter what their economic status is, black folks can't be considered normal. Consequently, we can't be trusted to make objective decisions or see the big picture. Our feelings are unimportant and should be only be discussed when it fits the dominant storyline.

Move along you freaks.


WNG said...

'Move along you freaks' Oh shit, Big Man, what a way to start my friday. It's sad that I'm so used to hearing stuff like that that it takes me a minute to 'get it'. I've also been conditioned by a life in the arts to have a knee jerk adverse reaction to the word normal so there's that...but I have to say that yes, this was a pretty stupid f*k up on Chrissy's part.
I also have to say that it amuses me that there are people who take him seriously. I think that all those guys who host roundtable punditry are pretty much like lion tamers, they have the flash, but not the teeth - you know?

Big Man said...

I like Olbermann, although he doesn't even try to hid his bias towards Obama anymore. Hillary and her crew would have legitimate beef if his show wasn't already more of an opinion exercise then hard news.

Matthews isn't stupid, but, he's old and white. Sometimes folks can overcome those problems, most times they cannot.

WNG said...

I like Olbermann, I like Stephanopoulos, I watch Matthews, but I really don't take anything they say too seriously. I'm usually watching looking for general trends and what the reporters they feature are saying.
I'm trying to have a bad day here, but you keep messing that up with the funny: Matthews isn't stupid, but, he's old and white. Sometimes folks can overcome those problems, most times they cannot. Too funny!

Danielle said...

All I can do is shrugh sometimes. I wonder at certain moments whether I've become so used to the stupidity of some white people in America that I'm no longer phased.

I might have to look into this, but Chris matthews and so many clueless folk of his background don't even get me totally riled up.

It's a damn shame.

Truthiz said...

Poor Chris! The man is surely a master of "Anus-talk".

Truthiz, I hold him most responsible for Hillary's primary win in New Hampshere when he pissed off all those low-income and older white women who felt sorry for Hillary and came to her rescue. Hillary APPEARED to cry in frustration, when in fact, I never saw an actual tear!

Anyway, I seldom watch him anymore.

Stephanopoulos ain't bad.

But to the degree that I watch cable news shows at all (which is rarely), Olbermann is the man.

Raving Black Lunatic