Move over, War on Women, there's a new war in town. On the August 18 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, contributor Michelle Bernard warned there is a "war on black men" in the United States, as evidence both by the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and persistent criticism of President Barack Obama from Republicans.
What's more, Bernard insisted, there would be a "genocide" of young black men unless the problem were seriously addressed to her satisfaction. Suffice it to say, Hardball host Chris Matthews at no point called out Ms. Bernard for her heated rhetoric. [see relevant transcript below the page break; MP3 audio here; video update forthcoming]
August 18, 2014
MICHELLE BERNARD: I think the greater story in this, in looking at what has happened to this young man, what happened to Trayvon Martin and what we see happening to so many kids, I think I'm going to summarize are it easily by what my son said to me. He's 11 years old, young African-American boy, he's outside tonight. And he looked at me and he said, "Is somebody going to shoot me?" you know? My daughter watched the news and looked at me and she said, "Why is it that they only do this to black people?" So there is a large question--
CHRIS MATTHEWS, anchor: What did you say?
BERNARD: I didn't have an answer for her. I don't have an answer that is palatable to be able to look my children in the face and say there are people in this country who not only do not like African-Americans, but they despise black men. There is a war on black boys in this country. In my opinion, there is a war on African-American men.
I think the fact that President Obama has repeatedly had to stand up and look at members of Congress and say, I am the president of the United States. Get over it. I think it enrages people.
We are seeing not just the economic effects, we're seeing the effects of a horrible public education system that discriminates against our kids on the basis of race and on the basis of their zip code. And things are getting much, much worse. It is an absolutely deplorable situation that the United States, which is supposed to be the greatest nation on Earth, sits back and allows black boys to be murdered.
MATTHEWS: I wish we didn't listen so well in crises, and listened a lot more at other times from you folks, I mean you two [Michelle Bernard and Eugene Robinson]. I don't mean blacks. I mean you two.
I just wish we listened more until Hell broke loose. It takes, finally-- Sometimes we do the right thing only when there is no other alternative. I think it was Churchill who said that about us, Gene. America does the right thing when there's no alternative.
BERNARD: I hope so because this is, it's going to turn into a genocide if it doesn't stop.