Not that MSNBC ever wants to pay Fox Newsman Glenn Beck any lip service on his show, but on Tuesday night’s ‘Hardball With Chris Matthews,’ one morsel proved too incendiary to pass up.
As noted by the ‘Hardball’ host, there are two ironies transpiring on August 28: One, Beck is holding a Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C., on the anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Two, Tea Party activist/event organizer Bruce Majors is apparently educating his fellow party members how to avoid black people and how to deal with immigrants who work in the diverse capital.
Matthews proceeded to quote a part of Majors’ blog post, entitled “Safety and Mores”:
“DC’s population includes refugees from every country, as the families of embassy staffs of third world countries tend to stay in DC whenever a revolution in their homeland means that anyone in their family would be in danger if they went back. Most taxi drivers and many waiters/waitresses (especially in local coffee shops like the Bread and Chocolate chain) are immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries. As a rule, African immigrants do not like for you to assume they are African Americans and especially do not like for you to guess they are from a neighboring country (e.g. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia) with whom they may have political or military tensions. It’s rare to meet anyone who gets really offended, but you can still be aware of the issue.”
Matthews said that Majors also “outlines areas to avoid – certain subway lines and neighbors,” showing the Tea Partiers’ color-coded map of the district on screen, which traces a very tiny area that is considered safe to explore.
“It’s a regular big city, folks!” Matthews exclaimed with laughter.
Similarly, Pulitzer-winning journalist Eugene Robinson told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Monday that Majors’ guide was intent on “scaring white people.”
Matthews isn’t buying Beck’s claim that it’s pure coincidence that he’s scheduled to hold his “Restoring The Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial, of all places, and in August, of all months.
“He darn well knew what every kid growing up in school knows: that Martin Luther King gave the speech … in August of ’63. Everybody knows that, so how could he not know that he was touching on a touchy issue here coming in as a far-right winger addressing white folks who would advise them how to avoid black folks on Martin Luther King days?” he asked rhetorically.
Guide author Majors thus far has responded to Maddow’s attack, saying she distorted his view: “This girl should go back to Afghanistan and file more reports about how Obama’s predator drone killings (unlike Bush’s??) are just a delivery of essential city services, like she did last month,” he blogged.
Given the fact a political organizer felt the need to create this “safety guide” in the first place, what does this say about the Tea Party? Do you think Matthews and Maddow illuminated some racial issues the Tea Party needs to address? Or is simply left-wing spin?