Crossposted at the Huffington Post
A friend of mine dug up a story from Media Matters that is from all the way back on February 12, 2007 that quotes radio and television host Glenn Beck as saying that Barack Obama is “colorless. You don’t notice that he is black. So he might as well be white.” Adding later the unbelievable (for multiple reasons) following lines: “But if somebody who is me — I say, ‘You don’t even notice his color. He might as well be white. He’s a white guy.’ Doesn’t matter. ‘To white people.’ Doesn’t matter. That’s racist,” claiming that someone can say Obama is “not black” and be considered just stupid, but not a racist.
These comments, made so long ago, are interesting in light of Beck’s recent comments on Fox and Friends, where he called Obama “a racist” and claimed that he (Obama) has shown himself “over and over again” to be “a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don’t know what it is…” While adding, interestingly enough, “I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people, I’m saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.” It seems to me that if someone shows us over and over again “a deep-seated hatred for white people” he should be considered anything but “colorless.”
So, Glenn, putting aside the non-racial issues I have with a sentence that begins, “But if someone who is me — I say” (excuse me?), and the interesting juxtaposition of stating that someone has a “deep-seated hatred for white people,” but then claiming that you’re “not saying he doesn’t like white people” (dislike in no way being a prerequisite for hatred), explain this to the rest of us, please. Is it possible for a “colorless man” or a “White guy” to have a “deep-seated hatred for white people”? Is this some sort of white self-racism…with a person who is actually black…except in the eyes of “Color Blind” Glenn Beck…where he is colorless? C’mon Glenn, explain this to the rest of us who just don’t have our finger on the pulse of the racial dialogue in this country the way you do.
Here’s the thing, if it wasn’t so obvious that these people (see: Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, et al., hosts and commentators alike) simply say things to make people look at them, to make people watch and listen to their shows, if they actually had positions upon which they stood and didn’t contradict themselves constantly, then it might be worth the time to entertain their views in the ongoing political discussion. But, as it is, as they are so willing to change course, not out of rational thinking, but instead in attempts to simply shine the spotlight more in their direction, to keep their shows in the public eye, there is no real reason to consider their views thoughtful or, indeed, well thought out.
David Doody is the founding editor of InDigest Magazine and the Blog Editor at Guernica.