Chris Matthews is a sick man. He is ill, and it is for that reason I do not like to talk about him. Discussing Chris Matthews and his obsession with race at this point makes me feel like a jerk. It is not nice to pick on people with mental problems, but his commentary in the wake of the Obama administration’s IRS, Associated Press and Benghazi scandals illustrates the dangerous racial game he and his ideological allies are playing.
“The problem is there are people in this country, maybe ten percent, I don’t know what the number, maybe twenty percent on a bad day, who want this president to have an asterisk next to his name in the history books, that he really wasn’t president. … They can’t stand the idea that he’s president, and a piece of it is racism. … It’s the sense that the white race must rule, that’s what racism is, and they can’t stand the idea that a man who’s not white is president. That is real, that sense of racial superiority and rule is in the hearts of some people in this country. Not all conservatives, not even all right-wingers, but it always comes through with this birther crap and these other references and somehow trying to erase ObamaCare, erase his record in history, and a big part of it is bought into by people like John Boehner, who’s not a bad guy, but he knows the only way he can talk to the hard right is talk their language, (Chris Matthews, MSNBC. May 15).
Where does Matthews get this 20% number? Since when is it okay to just pull numbers out of your butt and label 20% of the population a bunch of racists? And he’s not talking about “all conservatives” — just everyone who John Boehner talks to on “the hard right”? Translation: “My producers told me I shouldn’t flat-out call conservatives racists, so this is my half-hearted attempt to placate him.”
Now, the NAACP’s Julian Bond:
“I mean, here are a group of people who are admittedly racist, who are overtly political, who tried as best they can to harm President [Barack] Obama in every way they can … They are the Taliban wing of American politics and we all ought to be a little worried about them,” (Julian Bond, MSNBC. May 14, 2013).
Since when has the tea party “admitted” it was racist? It hasn’t. Ever. Because it’s not. Perhaps I should go on the radio tomorrow and talk about the time Julian Bond “admitted” to being a child molester — or not, because I don’t just make up things to hurt people out of thin air.
Do you remember the time Chris Matthews was called out by a Winston Churchill scholar for misquoting the famous Prime Minister, and Matthews’ response was to say: “How can you prove someone never said something?” I do. So I will now take this time to ask the following question: How can Chris Matthews call conservatives racists when it is a well known fact that he once said he only voted for President Obama’s white half? How can Chris Matthews call conservatives racists when he once told a reporter at a Center for American Progress event that 15% of all Democrats are still proud of LBJ’s segregationist past?
See how that works, Chris? See how despicable it is to make up racial lies and slime individuals or whole groups?
I am generally a patient man and I am slow to anger. I do not hate anyone because life is short and I have no desire to fill my heart with such a toxic emotion. With that said, when Chris Matthews, Julian Bond and others like them go on television and say that I oppose President Obama because of some weird desire for “racial superiority,” it tests my patience and it tests my ability to filter my untreated emotions into something pure.
By putting out such hateful ideas into the world, Chris Matthews creates the very animosity he claims to abhor. How does the man with little patience who is quick to anger respond to Chris Matthews? My guess is that when Matthews and Julian Bond liken white people to the Taliban, they actually end up creating a few racists in the process. If you beat someone over the head with accusations of racism — no matter how long and how hard they protest the lies — at some point they will unconsciously say: “You want a racist? I’ll give you a racist,” and the hate will begin flowing through their veins. And when that happens, a chain of events will occur that will only end badly for all parties involved.
I hope Chris Matthews gets the help he needs. I truly do. But at the same time, the world should know that in the mean time he is poisoning the intellectual well for his community of viewers. Ideas are not always the sole propriety of the individual. They can be shared. And so, the first question Mr. Matthews should ask himself when he finally gets better should be: “How many people did I contaminate and how can I make it right?” He has a lot of work to do and not much time to finish it in.