MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews was attempting to be effusive in his praise of President Obama’s State of the Union Speech a few nights ago when he declared that Obama was “truly post-racial” because he “forgot that Obama was black” during the speech. Here’s a clip of Matthews’ comments (2:11):
Matthews has gone on to defend his statement, and in an interview with The Grio, Matthews said, “I thought I was saying something wonderful and positive about America.” Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic, cleverly points out the corollary, when he writes that “I just remembered Chris Matthews is white.” And, of course, that’s the point. Matthews’ perverse version of ‘colorblindness’ – in which forgetting blackness and assuming whiteness are the standards – is one in which white privilege still prevails.
Once again, white media folks can only think from the white perspective and the white racist framing of society. White middle class everything seems to be the standard.