Friday, January 29, 2010

“I forgot he was black tonight for an hour”: Racist Comment?

Okay, let me get this right, Chris Matthews host of Hardball on MSNBC said after President Obama gave his State of the Union address that, "I was trying to think about who he was tonight. It is interesting that he is post-racial. I forgot he was black tonight for an hour." Then went onto say that Americans forgot he was black tonight because of the breadth and scope of his speech and "seduction". Am I missing something? Imagine if Rush, Hannity, or any other Conservative pundit had called Obama "post-racial" or "forgot he was black". The kicker was the chuckle from Olbermann, who was off camera, as Matthews made his comments. Besides "Post-racial", what is that?

As I admitted in my previous blog entry, I was not able to watch the speech live but I did go back and listened to it. I apologize that I did not gathering in Obama's lack of blackness as Matthews had. I saw a President attempting to run to the middle all the while shouting back at the past. I saw a President attacking the Supreme Court for a decision that had nothing to do with foreign corporate campaign financing as the President wants us to believe. I saw a President desperately trying to keep his poll number alive.

Not once did I think, "Man, President Obama is not black." The trouble I have with Matthews statement, especially after his town hall meeting two weeks ago, is that he evoked race into a situation that did not require it. Everyone in the world knows that the President of the United States is black. Perhaps Matthews felt this way because President Obama, as Sen. Reid points out, does not always speak in a "Negro dialect". Actually, I wished Obama had used the "Negro dialect" last night because his speech lacked emotion and conviction. I saw a man angry with America. Americans have spoken loud and clear that they do not want Democrat health care reform via the town hall meetings, the Tea Party movement and the vote in Massachusetts.

Perhaps that anger is bubbling over after the recent defeats of Democrat strongholds as Americans are growing tired of big government which grew under the Bush administration. President Obama promised hope and change to which he has not delivered on. I agree with President Obama that change "will not happen overnight" and "it will not be easy" but when it is done in the secrecy of the Oval Office I take offense and question his sincerity. I am willing to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt and hope he will guide America to a brighter future. What I see instead is a man bent on growing government and spending money that our grandchildren's children haven't even earned yet. Obama has been given everything in life and now adversity presents itself; he does not like it. Maybe that is why Matthews "forgot he was black"?

Ta'Nehesi Coates attempted to gloss over Matthews words in her article by saying, "I think it's worth noting that Chris Matthews wasn't trying to take a shot at anybody. But I think its most worth noting that 'I forgot Obama was black' – in all its iterations – is something that white people should stop saying, if only because it's really dishonest." Coates added, "Chris Matthews didn't forget Barack Obama was black. Chris Matthews was white" (http://www.thegrio.com/politics/chris-matthews-to-thegrio-no-regrets-on-forgot-obama-was-black-remark.php). Why are we focused so much on color of a person skin and not on their skills and/or experience? Barack Obama is our President, for better or worse, and he, like any other President, ought to be challenged when the direction of the country is not right or when being deceived.

Why do we allow Matthews to go unchecked in his comments? Where is the outrage from the White House or Jesse Jackson or Rev. Sharpton or even the black community? Is it perhaps because Matthews is a mouthpiece of the left that he gets a pass?