Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A credit to one's race

Posted here, without comment -- well, not much, anyway -- is the transcript of a most remarkable segment of MSNBC's "Scarborough Country," featuring the quick-minded John Ridley vs. Jersey's own Steve Adubato, who has a nice head of hair.

SCARBOROUGH: It‘s unbelievable. And, you know, let me give you one more example of double standard, sort of these P.C. days. At a graduation ceremony at Howard University on Saturday, Oprah Winfrey said her grandmother told her she hoped, quote, “She would get some good white folks to work for her.” And then Oprah said to that class, “I regret she didn‘t live past 1963 and see that I did get some really good white folks working for me.”

Steve Adubato, my gosh, just fill in—-pick the race, and just fill in a white person saying that about any other race, and that white person would be off the air, would they not?

ADUBATO: In a heartbeat, Joe. Oprah gets away with all kinds of things because, first of all, she‘s not disgusting, Opie and Anthony, trying to make a joke about what we were just talking about. But Oprah making a comment like this gets away with it because she‘s the queen of daytime television.

I have to tell you something. I was looking at some of these blogs, Joe. There are white folks across this country and others who are disgusted by what Oprah did, and I believe she thought, because she was at Howard University, a black university, that she could get away with it.

And the problem is, in this environment and the Internet, everybody got to see it. She should apologize for what she said. There was nothing funny about it. If a white person said it, they would be condemned, as they should. She should be. And because she‘s Oprah, she shouldn‘t get away with it.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, though, John Ridley is laughing right now because he‘s got a white guy working for him every morning from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m.—John?

RIDLEY: Listen, Steve, I was with you two out of three. I was hoping to make it three out of three this time around. The only people who could be offended by this are white males who see the sun setting on their (inaudible) empire washing away.

ADUBATO: John...

RIDLEY: There was something on Media Matters today. You talk about double standards. There‘s a 9-1 ratio on news talk shows of white males to anyone else of another gender or color. The fact that the one black woman who really accomplished in media says, “You know what? It‘s a nice day and age because I was nice white focus who work with me.” How many times do I have to hear, “John, you‘re a credit to your race”? “John, you‘re not like the other guys”? “John, it‘s so nice to have you here because you‘re so articulate”?


RIDLEY: Steve, I‘m sorry...

ADUBATO: Respectfully, John...

RIDLEY: ... this is not her—this is not her trying to be funny.

This is her trying...

ADUBATO: Hey, John...

RIDLEY: ... to make a point about how far that she has come in the media.

ADUBATO: John, let me say this real quick.

RIDLEY: Say it real quick, and then we‘ll talk about double standards, and see what you can do about getting more people of color on the news talk shows, because I have two white guys on both sides of me talking about double standards.

ADUBATO: John, real quick.

RIDLEY: Yes, sir?

ADUBATO: Anyone who says you‘re a credit to your race, you‘re articulate, you understand what that means. That is totally inappropriate. That‘s disrespectful, but that has nothing to do with Oprah making a comment like that. Look, because she‘s not as egregious as the other clips we saw, John, doesn‘t mean that she can‘t step over the line and say something racially insensitive. I‘m surprised you can‘t admit it.

RIDLEY: I‘m saying, Steve—Steve, I‘m saying is, this is what we live with constantly. And when the one time that white guys hear this, they‘re freaked out. She said, “I have nice white people that work with me.”

ADUBATO: John, some of us are freaked out by any inappropriate comments that have to do with race.

RIDLEY: Steve...

ADUBATO: Whether it‘s Oprah or Opie and Anthony.

RIDLEY: Steve, the last time I was on this show, what did you quote to me? Dr. Martin Luther King, not Ayn Rand, not Nietzsche. You thought that the only thing I would understand is Dr. King.

ADUBATO: Oh, that‘s—wait a minute.

RIDLEY: It‘s all of these...

ADUBATO: John, I can‘t believe you just said that.

RIDLEY: It‘s these little things. Of course you can‘t believe I just said it.

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Falwell and that old-time religion

At The Guardian, now edited by former American Prospect editor Michael Tomasky, there's a terrific piece by Michelle Goldberg in which she reveals the segregationist roots of the Moral Majority salesman, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.

In today's Washington Post, Hanna Rosin offers up a generational look at the post-Falwell religious right. Among those she cites as the movement's next big things is the very scary Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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