For most people, the word “Chicago” evokes images of the Cubs, the Blues Brothers, and really, really thick pizza. But apparently, MSNBC hosts aren’t like most people. You see, for someone like Chris Matthews, the word “Chicago,” when used in relation to President Barack Obama, is — wait for it — a racist dog whistle.
“It’s all part of this Barack Obama as ‘other’ sort of blanket campaign that has been waged by the Republican Party for some time now,” said the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson during a Wednesday broadcast of MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”
“It may be gaining some traction now, though I wonder why now as opposed to a bit closer to election,” he added.
Matthews was more than happy to expand on this point because, apparently, the rhetorical thumping he received on Monday from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich left no impression on him.
“What about now, is this constant barrage of assaults, saying the guy is basically playing an old game of demagoguery politics, where you take the money from the worker bees and give it to the poor people to buy votes,” Matthews said. “That’s basically what they’re charging him with. Old big-style, big-city machine of 50 years ago.”
But here’s the fun part:
They keep saying Chicago by the way, have you noticed? They keep saying Chicago. That’s another thing that sends that message — “this guy’s helping the poor people in the bad neighborhoods, screwing us in the ‘burbs.”
Okay, we stand corrected. Here’s the fun part via New York Magazine’s John Heilemann: “There’s a lot of black people in Chicago.”
“Yeah, I think that may have something to do with it,” Matthews responded:
Actually, as NewsBuster’s Rusty Weiss notes, Heilemann’s “Captain Obvious” moment needs to be clarified a bit.
“According to the Census Bureau in 2010, the percentage of African-Americans in the city of Chicago was roughly 32.9%. The percentage of whites? 45.0%,” writes Weiss.
So, referring to a city where the population of white people outweighs black people is, um, racist and stuff?
Maybe — just maybe — the GOP is referring to Chicago’s history of political graft and the influence it may have had on the president and not the fact that, you know, “there’s a lot of black people” living in the Windy City.
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(H/T The Right Newz)