You know how MSNBC's Chris Matthews epitomizes liberal sensitivity to race?
There's a reason for that, aside from Matthews's deeply superficial empathy. It also comes from decades of living in the "black majority" District of Columbia -- or so he claims. (video after page break)
Here's Matthews during Tuesday night's MSNBC's coverage of the Republican convention condemning what he considers the racial undercurrent of Romney campaign ads alleging President Obama gutted work requirements in the 1996 welfare reform law --
You know, I think that people that don't recognize the code about welfare and food stamps are really being dishonest and I think if you look at our history, from Ronald Reagan who would talk about the young buck in the line using food stamps to buy T-bone steaks, or certainly Wallace, George Wallace or David Duke. They all talked about welfare. Welfare has been a classic tool to pry apart working-class whites from working-class blacks. It's brilliant because everybody sees it who wants to see it. Certainly blacks can't avoid seeing it 'cause they see the prejudice involved. Whites can deny it because it isn't technically racial or sectarian, but everyone knows what's going on here. Everyone knows this.
And now for Mitt Romney, who should be able to win on the arithmetic, on the unemployment rate, on the job creation, on a number of factors, growth in this country not being what it should be, for some reason has resigned himself to the fact he'll get no black votes and therefore he might as well work for the working-class white vote.
This isn't prejudice on his part, there's no evidence of that. It's really about engineering the country politically. It's a very bad sign of this ability to still be able to do it in our country. It's amazing, here we are in the 21st century, 2012, and what worked 60 or 70 years ago is still working today. Say welfare, people think black because politically they've been taught to say so.
But I go back to living in DC all these years. I've lived there 40 years, a black-majority city, and anybody who wants to get up early in Washington and drive down North Capitol (Street) and drive past Florida Avenue, sees nothing but youn-, but black people up at 6:30 in the morning going to work. That's where they're going, to work, and not at big-wage jobs and not to get a welfare check, they're out working hard all day and not coming home with a fantastic paycheck. So this notion of blacks live on welfare and whites live on work is a brilliant political ploy but it's not true, Rachel (Maddow). And you know it, I know it.
Sounds like Matthews spends considerable time thinking about this -- while driving. Which makes sense, seeing how he doesn't actually live in the District of Columbia as he boasts.
Media profiles of Matthews (Washington Post, NY Times) and his wife, former TV reporter and Marriott flack Kathleen (Politico) have reported that the Matthews reside in Chevy Chase, an affluent Maryland suburb.
Kathleen Matthews serves on the board of trustees of the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., which lists its trustees and their addresses online. Based on the addresses provided there, one learns that the Matthews live smack-dab in Chevy Chase Village -- one of the least diverse locales in the country.
According to census data at Maryland-Demographics.com, 1,953 people lived in Chevy Chase Village as of 2010. Of those nearly 2,000 residents, 10 were black. That's right -- ten. As in, one-half of one percent. Ninety-three percent of its residents were white, the remaining percentage other minorities.
Quite a difference between that "black majority" city where Matthews claims he lives and the rarefied swath of suburbia he actually calls home, don't you think?
Seeing how the man considers himself color blind, he's probably never noticed.
Incidentally, Matthews is also ignorant of the racial demographics of Washington, D.C., itself. Since early 2011, the city has not been majority black, as the New York Times reported in July of that year.