September 17, 2005

Republicans and America in general = racist(s)

Chris Matthews on Hardball Thursday night proved that either he's just the typical insulated limousine liberal, or he believes that Republicans -- actually, Americans in general -- are big time racists:

[Newsweek's EVAN] THOMAS: I think people resent the idea that the president was somehow racist. I mean, the charge, which was made certainly on the left and by a lot of people, that somehow he overlooked the poor blacks of New Orleans, that-people-a lot of voters resent that charge and think that is just not true. I think it's probably-it's not true. But that-that I think accounts for some of those numbers.

MATTHEWS: But, you know, if you look at the numbers between white and black America, was race a factor in the lack of urgency in the response? Seventy percent of black Americans polled in our-in "Wall Street Journal"/NBC poll say it did a role.

THOMAS: Yes.

MATTHEWS: And only, what, 30 percent of whites agree with that. So, whoever is right, whoever is wrong, there's a difference, a total difference in perception here.

THOMAS: Yes. Well, of course, it's one of those racially divisive issues. Personally, I don't think that Bush was slow to respond for racial reasons, but I can understand why people would feel that way, because they were slow to respond. And you can always try to find...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Do you think the country was less upset? Suppose we did digitalized the faces of all the people who were in that crowd of the Convention Center, out in the street begging for help, and all those people turned out to be white people by some digital manipulation. Do you think the country would have had a different reaction to those people's plight than the fact that they were all black? Do you think the country would have had the same reaction if they were all white people?

THOMAS: I think so, yes. I do.

MATTHEWS: Well, I don't.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: That's just my view. That's just my view. I won't ask you, Norah. You're a journalist, or a straight reporter. I think the reaction would have been completely different if all those people were white down there.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I think there would have been a lot more sympathy from white people.

"A lot more sympathy from white people"...? Has Matthews even seen a fraction of the massive outpouring of aid, both public and private, going to New Orleans? Nevertheless, Matthews' belief is that America remains an invariably racist and bigoted country. Unfortunately, that means 'ol Chris is just like, well, see here.

UPDATE: Heather MacDonald has more. She notes:

While the race-mongers try to stoke blacks’ suspicion of whites, the public is showing that it regards all Americans, whatever their color or economic situation, as brothers and sisters. That people are giving so feverishly in spite of the competing images of looting by the flood victims and the reports of murder and rape is even stronger proof that racism has lost its grip on the American mind: the givers are refusing the bigot’s reaction of impugning an entire race by the loathsome behavior of a few.

She also has Carol Moseley-Braun's, defeated Illinois senator and first black woman in the US Senate, assessment of the Katrina response:

Braun compares the government’s Katrina response to anti-black lynching riots during Reconstruction. “Those who survive [Katrina] will have stories no less chilling than the stories passed down the generations from survivors who fled the night riders in the late 1800s”—in other words, New Orleans blacks waiting for evacuation were subjected to malicious massacre by the authorities.

But, of course, there's a problem:

The unstoppable charity towards New Orleans’s largely black survivors is so massive that even the racial demagogues cannot completely ignore it. Braun acknowledges that “the heart of the people has been touched by this tragedy in ways unknown a century ago.” So Braun is forced into an untenable distinction: the government is racist, but the people are not. This is quite a turnaround for the political and cultural elites. They have always looked to the government to protect blacks from the redneck American public’s racism—through the imposition of racial quotas in hiring, contracting, and college admissions, among other endeavors. Now it turns out that the public doesn’t need all that mandated affirmative discrimination: they see blacks as fellow human beings, not as some inferior “Other.”

Braun’s tortured distinction between a prejudiced government and a charitable people is, of course, absurd: if the public is color-blind in its compassion, its elected representatives will be, too. She offers no theory for why public officials would have held onto race prejudice while the public discarded it.


Posted by Felix at September 17, 2005 08:36 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Felix, does it ever end??????? The left is so ridiculous and predictable...you know what they are going to do and say and it usually is the most outrageous thing that you can think of because they still believe that people are not paying attention, that they are smarter than everyone else and thus should think and govern for the ignorant masses.....But thanks to blogging like this and 'conservative' mainstream media like fox, the weekly standard, and the American Enterprise Magazine, they don't get away with it without being held to the light of reason!

Posted by: schmitt at September 17, 2005 06:51 PM

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