Chris Matthews: “It’s a Sickness by the White People. They Ought to be Ashamed of Themselves”

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


One of the stranger features of of this election is that 90 percent of the racebaiting has come from a pudgy white Democrat. Forget Toure, Chris Matthews has spent more time screaming about racism than he has talking about the economy.

There’s something strange and wrong when the MSNBC talking head most associated with false accusations of racism isn’t Al Sharpton, but Chris Matthews. And the wrongness just keeps on coming.

Matthews did not agree. “When you keep doing this stuff like — look at this Thompson, the kid of Tommy Thompson,” Matthews said. “I got nothing against Tommy Thompson, but he’s raising his kids wrong.” He said that Thompson’s son’s joke about sending Obama back to Kenya was inflammatory. Matthews also said that Donald Trump saying that Obama was “monkeying with the unemployment numbers” had a negative racial connotation as well.

What are the racial connotations of sending Obama back to Kenya? Obama’s father is from Kenya. Monkeying around is a common expression. And it’s appropriate in this context. This kind of racial nitpicking reminds me of this.

Biden can yell about chains to African Americans, but any mention of a politician who happens to be black monkeying with the numbers and the outrage wells overflow.

Finally, after playing a clip of Mitt Romney surrogate John Sununu saying that he wishes someone would teach the president “how to be an America,” Matthews admonished white people in general.

John Sununu is Arab so he’s also a member of a minority group. It’s odd that Chris Matthews doesn’t seem to know that, but these days Matthews, who was once vaguely credible, doesn’t seem to know anything except racebaiting.

“As a white person, I think it’s a statement against the white people to talk like this,” said Matthews. “It’s a sickness by the white people. Anyway, they ought to be ashamed of themselves.”

Matthews ought to be ashamed of himself for transforming him mental illness into racial tirades. Democrats claimed that Obama would come as a racial healer, but his surrogates seem determined to protect his power and popularity by trafficking in constant racial divisiveness.

And the strangest part of that may be how Chris Matthews transformed himself into Al Sharpton, constantly shouting about race while minimizing real racism. Real racism isn’t talking about monkeying with numbers. It’s what Libyans have been doing to Africans. It’s what Sudan has done to Africans. It’s what Egyptian Bedouins have been doing to Africans. And white pundits like Chris Matthews who have given up debating policy and gone full time into the racist trade ought to be ashamed of themselves for exploiting a horrifying problem for their trivial political ends.

  • tagalog

    It's very niggling of Chris Mathews to characterize the term "monkeying around" as somehow racist. I was raised hearing my family members and my fellow townspeople using that term in every imaginable non-racist context. In fact, I don't think I ever heard it used to characterize minorities at any time.

    Chris Mathews has passed the event horizon of a metaphorical racial black hole in accusing others of being racist for using innocuous terms like "monkeying around." It makes me wonder what he is thinking about when he thinks of race. Everything is racist apparently, so what kind of thoughts is he having when he uses some idiom?

    Wait, wait, I know: he'll think he's being called an "idiot" from this because of the use of the term "idiom."

    If we get any more commentators like Mathews, we'll have to put them on Guam, despite the danger of causing the island to capsize from the weight of the number of race-baiters. Tell them to keep their reparations money in cash, stored in their refrigerators in order to protect it.

  • http://oldschooltwentysix.blogspot.com/ oldschooltwentysix

    True believers on both sides of these disputes ascribe the worst of intentions to the other, and Matthews is one of the worst offenders. What value does he, or those similarly situated, add to the discourse besides red meat to those who are already gorged.

  • Chiggles

    "They"? Whaddaya mean "they," huero puto?

    • tagalog

      You know, "them," "those guys," pendejo.

      "Huero?" What are you, one of those racist types?

      Oh wait, I understand. For you, it's not racist if you make a racial comment in Spanish because Spanish is somehow a lesser language where things that would mean something if said in English don't have any meaning when said in lesser Spanish. I mean, Spanish, for you, it's just saying "blah blah blah," isn't it?

  • Mary Sue

    Ohnoes, "niggling", the race baiters will see that as racist too! O.O

    • pagegl

      They did a few years ago. A teacher at a school in DC completely wigged out shen she heard the term. Kinda indicates to me how well educated and qualified to teach she was.

    • R. Williams

      Lol, possibly that's how its meant, maybe? I'm not nitpicking but was the use of that word really coincidental to the topic? But that brings me to my point. I hear you guys point of view. It sucks to be called out as racist. But the reality is, if you don't like it, stop playing the game. It seems like offensive racial stuff is constantly put out there in coded fashion. But when called on it, folks play the innocent victim game. Take just a minute to think. Minorities don't like pointing out racist talk. If it were up to them they wouldn't have to deal with it. Its not a game. Its unpleasant for them. So it becomes unpleasant for the parties spouting it. So maybe stop blaming minorities for not liking it. Just stop doing it. Or do it but fully own it, and stop playing these nudge nudge wink wink games like people don't know when racial stuff is being put out there.

  • judahlevi

    Real racism is a collectivist like Matthews viewing other people only by the color of their skin and making derogatrory comments about them. This is racism.

    The Democratic party has the worst civil rights history of any political party. They were the party of the KKK. They were the party of the Jim Crow laws. They were the party that prevented civil rights legislation from being passed for 100 years after the Civil War. Matthews is a natural member of this party.

    Matthews is projecting his own values onto the people he criticizes because he believes everyone thinks as he does. He is absolutely wrong. Republicans view people as individuals, not by skin color. We believe each person is sovereign, not judged by other people who may look like them. We don't think for one second that the skin color of an individual defines them. Only Chris Matthews and his ilk does.

    • USAGIRL

      I find the commentary here fascinating. I've spent the last few months during this campaign season watching various news programs from FOX to MSNBC, CNN and even programs such as the Daily Show to assess how personal beliefs can potentially cloud or skew our ability to remain objective.

      Regardless of the programming, "racism" has consistently reared it's head. At times, this system has been boldly mentioned as with Chris Matthews and Jonathan Alter ; or eluded to in a coyish nature from others like James Lipton and Clarence Page. More often than not however, the opinions and verbiage have matriculated their way into the media and posts such as this VOID of the necessary, ALL ENCOMPASSING definition of the PRACTICE. Hence, the "ISM" that serves as the suffix for "RACISM", as with multicultural-ISM and popul-ISM. :)

      RACISM BY DEFINITION AND PRACTICE is the ABILITY/PROWESS of THE POWER HOLDING MAJORITY GROUP to methodically, institutionally, and physically hinder, deny, AND oppress other ethnic groups the opportunity and rights based solely on nonfactual prejudice beliefs that fuel and facilitate DISCRIMINATORY practices.

      I don't know Chris Matthews personally, every woman, nor every Republican therefore I can't speak on their behalf. Experience however has taught me that eventually, a persons true nature will be evident in their actions…. even if the actions don't coincide with their words or the masks they strategically parade in for public view. Rather you are a Democrat ,Republican, Independent, or Undecided :) ; the histories are intertwined in a collective history that is the USA. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the right to choose as a citizen of this great nation. We must own the atrocities as well as the triumphs.

      I sincerely hope that the somewhat respectful and transparent dialog continues. :) It is the starting point for healing that this country so desperately needs. In order to fix it, you must first understand the complexity and true nature of the beast you are attempting to tame.

      I wish you and your family the best and keep the dialog coming!

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "RACISM BY DEFINITION AND PRACTICE is the ABILITY/PROWESS of THE POWER HOLDING MAJORITY GROUP to methodically, institutionally, and physically hinder, deny, AND oppress other ethnic groups the opportunity and rights based solely on nonfactual prejudice beliefs that fuel and facilitate DISCRIMINATORY practices."

        Therefore "whites" are always guilty and must accept any abusive accusations. Got it.

        It's not very clear where your point is other than mentioning a few random thoughts in your head about racism. How about this, look up collectivism and critiques of socialism. Then you'll see why conservatives get so worried about this rhetoric that reflects abusive collectivism. Abusive collectivism concerning the race or perceived race of groups (people collectively) is commonly referred to as racism.

        Virtually all collectivism leads to abuse.

        • USAGIRL

          I find the commentary here fascinating. I've spent the last few months during this campaign season watching various news programs from FOX to MSNBC, CNN and even programs such as the Daily Show to assess how personal beliefs can potentially cloud or skew our ability to remain objective.

        • USAGIRL

          @ "objectivefactsmatter" and "jonster":

          To save time allow me to address you both….

          "Therefore "whites" are always guilty and must accept any abusive accusations.Got it"

          Hmmm, clearly in your mind upon reading the definition (whether you agree or not) you immediately associated the description with "white people". Your words, not mine.

          Interestingly enough however (with respect to the slave trade here in America) and the FACT that Reconstruction amendments were a necessary addition to the Constitution, in that case, you would be correct. At that time, the power holding majority group were white males. Once again your argument would have to be with HISTORY. and not with the definition that accurately describes it. Unfortunate, but true.

          The article itself referenced "Real Racism" giving examples of what Libyans have done to Africans etc. Our great country and it's past however was conveniently left out. I get it. In the plight to remain purely objective, we dare not include our historical tragedies because some of the perpetrators look like us. I inferred that I was a woman, not a minority woman. The idea that objectivity can't exist beyond color lines in 2012 is incredible.

          I'm quite aware of "collectivism" and "conservative" view points and why you worry about "rhetoric". I tend not to conform to a particular movement of ideology and labels. History shows us that allegiance to being a member begins to outweigh the effort to further the cause. Btw,Worry can cause health hazards so I hope it isn't excessive :)

          Jonster: In reference to the validity of the definition, when you consider the very FACT that Reconstruction amendments HAD to be added to the constitution to include another ethnic group that was suppressed; suffice it to say, HISTORY itself supports the definition. Thinking outside the box, (in lieu of regurgitating dictionary references), documentation of historical systems exhibited over centuries,and the teachings of Dr William R Jones and Dr. N.Akbar support the definition as well.

          To your point: "I find that minority groups are often the MOST racist (sometimes)."

          I could banter with you and ask what are your scientific findings in the same manner that you attempted to discredit the definition. I will refrain however because I am aware that you may not understand yet that in order to be "racist", you also would need to be a part of the group that uses "racism" as a system to deny access. Which by the way, your in depth googling of dictionary definitions support. You absolutely may be correct in YOUR EXPERIENCE that some minorities exhibit prejudice views. However, according to your rationale of what MAJORITY means, do minorities really have the power to deny access on a large scale? Technically one person could be the majority if they hold the dominating power to determine the outcome for the whole. Hence, the insertion of a checks and balances system within the constitution.

          By the way, as with every President, I don't agree with every policy. I do however respect the office whether it's President Obama, or George W Bush, and even Clinton. I'm guessing since Obama was somehow tagged at the end of Jonsters commentary that perhaps an assumption was made. I believe that Bush is the only President who held a Masters Degree and he was considered to be one of the most inarticulate Presidents in history. Case in point:
          "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
          "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." —Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004
          "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." —Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

          He was still elected ….well, sort of thanks to Florida. Romney hasn't denounced Sununu or Mourdock with their sexest and ignorant statements so I'm not sure what qualifications are being used now a days to consider someone "Presidential" :)

          Perhaps it boils down to the best actor for the job and who is more persuasive to convince a population to give them the opportunity to undertake the most stressful on the job training program in the world. With millions watching and criticizing. Mistakes are made in every administration. The difference this time is that no one else has ever looked like this one.

          In closing, I guess Sununu's statements in reference to Colin Powell contradicts Judahlevi's statement that "Republicans view people as individuals, not by skin color." That was part of the original point. One can't speak for many because we all bring different experiences to the table. That's the beauty of this country. Thankfully I'm a woman who can express that without being shot in the head for it. Not thus far…

          No need to respond ladies and gentleman. I absolutely understand and respect your right to express. If you are on the east coast during the storm, I wish you and your family safe travels.

          Peace and Good Will…..

          • USAGIRL

            @ "objectivefactsmatter" and "jonster":

            Please excuse typos for sexist (sexest) and it's (its) . Rushing….. :)

          • Mary Sue

            Look I know you've bought into the Gender Studies claptrap where they singlehandedly redefined the word racism. It was not a legitimate redefinition. Racism is and always has been the belief that one race is superior to another. Denying access is part of Institutional Racism.

            You seem like a smart person and I think you should question what you've been taught about what "racism" means, because the definition has been hijacked to wrest the advantage in the debate. Particularly since the public at large is unaware of this redefinition unless they wasted their money (or some grant/bursary) on Womens Studies type courses or just happened to have a crazy English, Math, or History professor that uses his occupation as an unwarranted soapbox. People can't talk sense to each other when they're using different definitions for the same word. And the public can't be expected to accept a hijacked definition of a word, sorry.

      • Jonster

        Where did you get your definition? Racism by definition and practice is the ability of the power-holding majority group to hinder and oppress other ethnic groups?

        Well, the dictionary disagrees with you:

        Racism:

        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.

        There is no requirement for a racist to be a “majority group.” Merely a belief that race determines one achievement – or a policy of hatred or intolerance. I find that minority groups are often the MOST racist (sometimes).

        And really – if Obama were white… would he have ever been President? Based upon his accomplishments before the 2008 election…. not likely. A Senator who only voted half the time… a professor whose students hated him… failed lawyer… a community organizer with no leadership experience… and someone who hung around violent people (Holder), slum-lords (Jarrett), rascist anti-American pastors (Wright), and known communists? On the contrary, he would have been treated very much like David Duke was treated.

        And based upon his performance AS president? Surely not.

        • USAGIRL

          "objectivefactsmatter" and "jonster":

          To save time allow me to address you both….

          "Therefore "whites" are always guilty and must accept any abusive accusations.Got it"

          Hmmm, clearly in your mind upon reading the definition (whether you agree or not) you immediately associated the description with "white people". Your words, not mine.

          Interestingly enough however (with respect to the slave trade here in America) and the FACT that Reconstruction amendments were a necessary addition to the Constitution, in that case, you would be correct. At that time, the power holding majority group were white males. Once again your argument would have to be with HISTORY. and not with the definition that accurately describes it. Unfortunate, but true.

          The article itself referenced "Real Racism" giving examples of what Libyans have done to Africans etc. Our great country and it's past however was conveniently left out. I get it. In the plight to remain purely objective, we dare not include our historical tragedies because some of the perpetrators look like us. I inferred that I was a woman, not a minority woman. The idea that objectivity can't exist beyond color lines in 2012 is incredible.

          I'm quite aware of "collectivism" and "conservative" view points and why you worry about "rhetoric". I tend not to conform to a particular movement of ideology and labels. History shows us that allegiance to being a member begins to outweigh the effort to further the cause. Btw,Worry can cause health hazards so I hope it isn't excessive :)

          Jonster: In reference to the validity of the definition, when you consider the very FACT that Reconstruction amendments HAD to be added to the constitution to include another ethnic group that was suppressed; suffice it to say, HISTORY itself supports the definition. Thinking outside the box, (in lieu of regurgitating dictionary references), documentation of historical systems exhibited over centuries,and the teachings of Dr William R Jones and Dr. N.Akbar support the definition as well.

          To your point: "I find that minority groups are often the MOST racist (sometimes)."

          I could banter with you and ask what are your scientific findings in the same manner that you attempted to discredit the definition. I will refrain however because I am aware that you may not understand yet that in order to be "racist", you also would need to be a part of the group that uses "racism" as a system to deny access. Which by the way, your in depth googling of dictionary definitions support. You absolutely may be correct in YOUR EXPERIENCE that some minorities exhibit prejudice views. However, according to your rationale of what MAJORITY means, do minorities really have the power to deny access on a large scale? Technically one person could be the majority if they hold the dominating power to determine the outcome for the whole. Hence, the insertion of a checks and balances system within the constitution.

          By the way, as with every President, I don't agree with every policy. I do however respect the office whether it's President Obama, or George W Bush, and even Clinton. I'm guessing since Obama was somehow tagged at the end of Jonsters commentary that perhaps an assumption was made. I believe that Bush is the only President who held a Masters Degree and he was considered to be one of the most inarticulate Presidents in history. Case in point:
          "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
          "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." —Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004
          "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." —Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

          He was still elected ….well, sort of thanks to Florida. Romney hasn't denounced Sununu or Mourdock with their sexest and ignorant statements so I'm not sure what qualifications are being used now a days to consider someone "Presidential" :)

          Perhaps it boils down to the best actor for the job and who is more persuasive to convince a population to give them the opportunity to undertake the most stressful on the job training program in the world. With millions watching and criticizing. Mistakes are made in every administration. The difference this time is that no one else has ever looked like this one.

          In closing, I guess Sununu's statements in reference to Colin Powell contradicts Judahlevi's statement that "Republicans view people as individuals, not by skin color." That was part of the original point. One can't speak for many because we all bring different experiences to the table. That's the beauty of this country. Thankfully I'm a woman who can express that without being shot in the head for it. Not thus far…

          No need to respond ladies and gentleman. I absolutely understand and respect your right to express. If you are on the east coast during the storm, I wish you and your family safe travels.

          Peace and Good Will…..

          • Mary Sue

            what you want to call "racism" is actually "racial oppression", ok?

        • Mary Sue

          They got it from the Womens/Racial studies portion of College, or a nutty professor that espoused such views in a class having nothing to do with any of that.

          • USAGIRL

            Mary Sue,

            Ok, let’s get to it.

            Your definition:

            “Racism is and always has been the belief that one race is superior to another. Denying access is part of INSTITUTIONAL Racism.”

            My definition:

            Racism by definition and practice is the ABILITY/PROWESS of THE POWER HOLDING MAJORITY GROUP to methodically, INSTITUTIONALLY, and physically hinder, deny, AND oppress other ethnic groups the opportunity and rights based solely on nonfactual PREJUDICE beliefs that fuel and facilitate DISCRIMINATORY practices.

            COMPARISON:

            The first portion of your definition parallels the last portion of mine. “….based solely on NONFACTUAL PREJUDICE BELIEFS.”

            Your second sentence incorporates the “institutional” aspect (as does mine), but DOES not cover the multidimensional facets. Institutional racism is a component of the beast driven by exclusionary policies and practices to protect the advantages of the dominant group.

            Case in point: Apartheid in South Africa and the Jim Crow laws of the South. Need I say more?

            I find it very interesting that the attempt to belittle trumped the urge to incorporate historical instances to support your claims. Instead, you chose to exercise a condescending tone.

            “Particularly since the public at large is unaware of this redefinition unless they wasted their money (or some grant/bursary) on Women’s Studies type courses or just happened to have a crazy English, Math, or History professor that uses his occupation as an unwarranted soapbox.” Yes, that is a wonderful display of how arrogance automatically mounts the throne of accuracy.

            Perhaps if I copy and pasted stats from a Harvard “nutty professor” that would suffice as a credible reference? Oh, I’m sorry, Harvard was “built from the proceeds of Antiguan slave labor on wheat plantations, which is reflected today by the three wheat sheaves in the HLS school crest.” By all means Ms Sue, go for it. No potential bias there.

            Fortunately Mary Sue, language and ideology evolve. ok? Thankfully, the “public at large” continuously alters in depth definitions as history and societal events paint the canvas with strokes of new information, facts, and experiences. Hence the addition of terms throughout time such as “Systemic Racism, New Racism, Historical Racism , Scientific Racism, Aversive Racism, Racialism, Internalized Racism , (ex: Famous 1954 study with Black girls and dolls),Colorism, Horizontal Racism, etc. Does it end?

            Here is the bottom line….You are entitled to your opinion. I’m sure your views and ideology are filled with just enough truth and good will to help you comfortably sleep at night. Congratulations. For others however, (who have witnessed the trauma, and death, face to face) there is an additional calling to dig deeper.

            Thus, allow me to share just one of many “class” sessions. A mother hears a relentless truck horn as she is preparing dinner. As she frantically approaches the door to investigate, she also begins to hear whaling. She reluctantly steps on the porch. There lies her son butchered in a sea of crimson on the back of the truck. Next, he is literally kicked from the bed of the truck to the ground. She falls to her knees as the southern drawl coquettishly gloats, “He fell at work”.

            The “public at large” was not aware of the incident. The grave however exists……

  • Jan

    Chris Matthews is a sick human being. He needs help; lots of help!!!

    • jose

      You are to kind to these types.

  • Jon_Babtist

    Chris may be imploding because somewhere deep down in his leftist addled brain is a vestige of patriotism.
    He cannot help but see what Obama and the hate America first crowd are doing to our country. Anyone who
    had so publically and unequivocally pinned their hopes on the exciting and inspiring captain of the Titanic
    might be going through some inner conflict that could manifest as bizarre behavior. When he looks around
    and the people in his corner are Axelrod, Rachel Maddow and Paul Krugman he must realize it is time for
    a drink.

  • BLJ

    Who is Chris Matthews?

    • gary fouse

      BLJ

      You don't wanna know.

  • jose

    This speaks volumes about NBC and the liberals in general. What he says it what they think of Americans ie "whites". I say to him eat sh** and die chris dummy monkey!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherry.elias.7 Sherry Elias

    Chris Matthews has become unhinged. If he thinks that conservative Americans don't want Obama re-elected because of the color of his skin, then he is the true racist. I have plenty of other reasons why I pray he won't be re-elected, least of which is the color of his skin. I don't see the color of his skin, but the content of his character, PERIOD!!!

  • Muffy

    Chris Matthews can no longer be saved. He is has gone so far off the deep end, he cannot climb back up, period. He does not give a damn about Obama's record, which is hilarious because when Hilary was still a shoe in, he trashed Barry's lack of a record. I want Obama gone on Nov. 6. He won't be gone until January, but you get the point. Nobody has played up Obama's race or half race more than the mainstream media and people like Chris Matthews and Co.

  • Mary Sue

    Chris Matthews ought to be ashamed of himself, and should see a doctor about that tingle in his leg.