MSNBC’s Chris Matthews seems to think that only white people can be racist.
On Monday’s Hardball, he actually said, “Racism is the belief that one race - whites - should rule all others” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Also, things took a turn for the political yesterday when President Obama and his family attended Easter service across Lafayette Park in St. John's Church. The pastor, Dr. Luis Leon, called out some on the religious right who he says are standing in the way of progress.
"It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling people back. For blacks to be back on the back of the bus, for women to be back in the kitchen, for gays to be in the closet, and for immigrants to be on their side of the border."
Now the response from Rushbo, Rush Limbaugh in reaction to a caller who said President Obama inspired a racist attack from that pastor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH: That's an interesting take that the President inspires it, inspires racism. It may well be the case. So Obama’s presence inspires this guy to go all divisive, all racist and start jamming on the Republicans for wanting blacks in the back of the bus and women back in the kitchen when he can't name a single person who does. But the President of the United States, you may be right, may have inspired that in this preacher.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well actually, Rushbo, racism is the belief that one race – whites - should rule all others. Get your definitions straight.
Let’s get some definitions from a variety of sources.
Merriam-Webster defines racism:
1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2: racial prejudice or discrimination
1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
Racism is usually defined as views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior or superior.
Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. […]
Racism has existed throughout human history. It may be defined as the hatred of one person by another -- or the belief that another person is less than human -- because of skin color, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person. It has influenced wars, slavery, the formation of nations, and legal codes.
Do you see Matthews’s definition anywhere?
No, neither do I.
What a surprise that a man that calls others racist at the drop of a hat doesn’t actually know what racism is.
Even less shocking that he appears to think that only white people can be bigots.