Opinion: Dan Rather, From Buckwheats to Watermelons

My boss, Brent Bozell, told me that (in his opinion) Dan Rather is not a racist, but let's not consider his recent faux pas about Barack Obama and his failure to get the health care bill passed as an isolated incident.

It was not.

On Sunday, March 7th, Dan Rather said the following about the president…

"Listen he's a nice person, he's very articulate…"

When Rather got to "articulate", I knew we had trouble brewing.

"… this is what's been used against him, but he couldn't sell watermelons if it, you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic."

It's also clear that Chris Matthews knew this would end bloody when he attempted to cut Rather off and stave off any further damage. I initially thought Matthews' failure to post the segment (including what could be considered a racial slur against the President of the United States) an oversight, until I remembered that Chris Matthews forgot Barack Obama was black.

My bad.

With all due respect Mr. Bozell, who assured me Rather was no racist, Dan does have a history of making what some have considered insensitive statements.

In 2001 during the whole Democratic Congressman Gary Condit/missing intern Chandra Levy thing, Dan Rather was kind of upset that his network, CBS, succumbed to public pressure (a sin they wouldn't repeat with John Edwards) and forced him to report a scandal he selectively sat on for two months.

During an interview with Don Imus, Rather said…

"What happened was they (CBS management) got the willies, they got the Buckwheats. Their knees wobbled and we gave it up."

Granted, there are many definitions of the term "buckwheats" ranging from inflicting a slow and painful death to a racial slur named after the Little Rascals character.

Whatever the motivation for both events, Rather may not be a racist, but if not, we must question his competence in the art of the ad lib. As a celebrated, seasoned news professional, one would have to ask Dan after he made those remarks, "What were ya thinkin'?"

I look at it this way: Would Dan Rather have made either of those comments on Black Entertainment Television or addressing an NAACP Convention? I think not.

For Dan Rather to make those comments when he did implies that he felt safe in the company he was in, which may also say something about Chris Matthews and those guests (but that's a subject for another day).

To state the obvious, had any white conservative said the same thing, instead of omitting the segment's posting on his website, Chris Matthews would've been screaming how that conservative's words are representative of the thinking of the GOP and any less than a firing and lifetime societal banishment would be too little, too late.

In typical liberal media fashion, they feel if THEY ignore it, it will all go away. The problem is the New Media doesn't observe their protocol, so THEY did and it won't. However Chris Matthews will continue to use black people for partisan gain and Dan Rather will not lose what little job he has left.

I'm personally tired of this topic because it always ends the same way. If anything, it defines why there will continue to be a racial divide in America. Racism will never be eradicated when one side can, and will always, excuse the indiscretions of their own.