Although I'm a progressive, I love watching Morning Joe. I love to listen to Joe Scarborough's superficial explanations and rants about the path our country is taking and then disassemble them before my wife, friends, and those I meet online. Yeah, Joe makes me look like a Rhodes Scholar. I wish we were friends, so I could wear my "I'm with Stupid" T-shirt and eat chicken wings with him at the bar.
However, I really watch the show to watch "Thoroughly Moderate Mika." Ms. Brzezinski is a very intelligent woman and very easy on the eyes. However, her opinions in regards to race in society are shockingly shallow.
It was quite evident that Mika was set on
creating a new Reverend Wright scandal based on President Obama's
opinion that the Cambridge, MA police "acted stupidly" in regards to
the handling of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Mika had bought Sergeant James Crowley's story (hook, line, and sinker) about what happened at
Professor Gate's home and was equally not ready to believe Gate's
account of what happened.
Mika, who is at the helm of Morning Joe as Joe Scarborough is away, kept hammering away at this story, trying desperately to squeeze out some sense of outrage and proving some racial bias on President Obama's part. Mike Barnicle who took over in the co-pilot's seat, seemed eager to help her along this path.
Well, their little plot backfired. Guests Eugene Robinson, Dylan Ratigan, Carlos Watson, and Harold Ford all took a more rational approach to the situation, saying that there were, in fact, legitimate questions concerning the behavior of Sergeant Crowley. Ratigan was able to destroy Mika's whole line of thought by giving statistics proving that racial profiling is still the norm in police work.
It is very obvious that Brzezinski has lead a very sheltered life, having grown up pampered and rich. Somehow, from this ivory tower she still fancies herself in, she doesn't believe that we all still have issues with race, whether we're a talk-show host, the President, a college professor, or a police officer. And, unfortunately, she thought she could make a comment by Obama that the police "acted stupidly" prove that he's something other than fair in regards to this matter.
I don't know if Mika understands what it is like to get pulled over for "driving while black," being followed by security in department stores, or being kicked out of a private pool club for no real apparent reason.
She also looks at racists as boogeymen that exist mostly in our fantasies. Well, yes there are some racist boogeymen, but many glaring examples of racism come from people who would never think of using the "n" word or would cross the street because they are afraid of passing by a black person.
Most racism is committed on a subconscious level by perfectly rational people who think they're doing the right thing. I'm sure this is the case with the Cambridge police officer.
No, I don't think the police are overt racists, but they did act stupidly and thoughtlessly. Rather than letting this issue divide us, we should learn from it and continue forward.
Shame on Mika for trying to create some sort of "smoking gun" moment against the President's judgment on this matter.