In defense of my 'boy' Dylan Ratigan
There’s a lot of race stuff in the news today. You have the NAACP condemning racist elements in the Tea Party. (I’ll write about that in a bit.) Separately, in the wake of the Uganda bombings, President Obama told the South African Broadcasting Corporation that al-Qaeda is racist because it doesn’t “value African life.” And you have my good friend and MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan getting smacked around because people think he called Obama “boy.” Folks, time to take a step back.
Ratigan's alleged offense took place on today’s “Morning Joe.” The gang was talking about the debt crisis and Ratigan took up his riff on Wall Street’s control of the levers of power in Washington.
You got Barack Obama very aggressive on the campaign trail about how he was going to take care of the private equity tax loopholes.....and he didn’t do it. When it came down to it, when the Wall Street guys got across the table from him and said, “Oh, you’re going to change our tax, little boy? I think not.” Because I’ll tell you right now, when you’re a 75- or an 80-year-old billionaire from New York, who’s looking at any government in this country that’s trying to play with the tax code, you know who wins? The 80-year-old billionaire from New York, every time.
Please note: Ratigan was characterizing the patronizing view that Wall Street has towards Washington.
Any viewer of his show, or anyone who has read his essays last year on Huffington Post, knows how easily he’s enraged by the corporate takeover of the people’s government and how corporations view lawmakers -- from the president (no matter who he is) on down -- as staff to do their bidding not to control their excesses.
Should he have been a little careful when saying the word ‘boy’ anywhere close to the name ‘Obama’? Sure. The understanding that the word has been used to belittle black males from slavery through Jim Crow and even present day might explain why everyone on the "Morning Joe" set looked like they had their OMG faces on.
But I hope Dylan isn’t bullied into apologizing. I’ve known him for ten years. And when you know Dylan, you know that his heart is in the right place, even when his mouth might make you think otherwise.
| July 14, 2010; 1:08 PM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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