I forgot Chris Matthews was an idiot for an hour

For the benefit of anyone who missed it last night, Chris Matthews said “I forgot he was black tonight for an hour” after Obama delivered the State of the Union.

He meant well, but most of us have been looking beyond his race for quite a long time (and the portion of the right wing which can’t handle a black man in the White House never will).

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    Mill Messenger says:

    #liberal I forgot Chris Matthews was an idiot for an hour http://url4.eu/1FgLS

  2. 2
    Russ says:

    I understand Matthews was trying to say something positive, but the remark reveals that he has no clue about what Obama being president means to many black Americans, and to white Americans who have long fought for racial equality.
    The fact is that it is vitally important that Obama is black. The fact of Obama being black makes his presidency immediately and permanently a positive step of historic proportions for America. My first reaction to Matthews was that he reminded me of Stephen Colbert’s parody of the conservative lie “I don’t see color,” but my second thought was that none of us should ever forget for a moment that President Obama is black. Saying the words “president is” and “black” in the same sentence is profoundly meaningful, both for many of us individually and for our nation.
    It may be a matter of timing. As the first black president, Obama’s race is an enormous and beautiful symbol of the progress of America, of the partial fulfillment of the dreams and work of millions of us older Americans and of the new hope and aspiration of millions of younger Americans. (I’ve been part of an interracial family now for 31 years, and I cannot begin to describe the positive effects in the lives of those I love most dearly, both young and old, of America electing it first black president.)
    The second black president will still have positive effects in America, but his or her race will not carry the symbolic power that Obama’s does.
    As an aside, the first female president will have much the same effect as the first black president — her sex will be vitally important to the nation as a symbol of fulfillment and progress and as a beacon of hope for millions. And we’d better not, for an instant, forget that she’s a woman. (I’m hoping that when we finally get a president from a working class family — setting aside the complex case of Lincoln — we’ll see another important symbol created, but I’m not holding my breath.)
    Do we give Matthews props for being “honest” and “vulnerable”? Perhaps. But we must also hasten to point out how deeply unaware and insensitive his honest remark was, and how wrong his sentiment is.

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