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Chris Matthews Discusses "White Ethnic" Vote

Chris Matthews Discusses "White Ethnic" Vote

Now that the dust has sort of settled from Junior Super Tuesday, and 24-hour cable news is no longer playing in my head while I sleep, one thing I heard Tuesday night just won't go away. I heard Chris Matthews of MSNBC talk about the "White Ethnic Vote" a group he described as white Americans who do not have a four-year college degree.

The use of the term "ethnic" to refer to someone's level of education boggles my mind. I am all for "whites" celebrating their specific immigration histories, and identifying themselves as something more than the nondescript term "white."

I just don't understand what Chris Matthews was talking about when he called whites without a college degree "white ethnics." Why can't he just call them whites without a college degree? It dangerously implies that whites, without higher education are different than other whites, and somehow, because they are less educated, they are more like minorities, who he thinks are also less educated. Why are we obsessed with demographic politics in the first place?!

The term may be an off-the-cuff slang term tossed around by political strategists, but the lazy and stereotypical characterization does not need to be repeated or perpetuated on national television. This isn't the first time Matthews has gotten in trouble for his irresponsible reporting style. He had to apologize for saying on air that "the reason she's [Clinton] a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around." The thing is, I really like watching Hardball. I just wish he wouldn't be so unnecessarily ridiculous. Do any of you find Chris Matthews' use of the term "white ethnic" offensive?

Join The Conversation
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Terry--omg I just say your comment..very funny :) But he wouldn't cross the street if he saw a white ethnic 'cuz he's racist or anything, he just thinks it's better to be safe than sorry...
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Oh gosh...okay just because this group of people (whites without four year degrees) exists, doesn't mean it makes sense to categorize them this way! This is so offensive!! I don't get why he doesn't just call this group, "white trash" or the "trailer-living class," you know that's what he really wanted to say. At least then he would only be offending the "white ethnics!" He probably thought that adding "ethnic" on the end of anything would make him sound more culturally sensitive...but he just sounded like a total idiot.
rcferdin rcferdin 9 years
It is out of line. To define uneducated people as ethnic is racist.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
You know he totally locks his car doors at a red light when he sees a "white ethnic" on the sidewalk.
a1stbornunicorn a1stbornunicorn 9 years
unthought out and definitely offensive.
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Thanks The City Girl. It's just wrong, and totally unnecessary!
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 9 years
At first glance, I didn't immediately realize how it was offensive. I think it's probably because ever since yesterday afternoon, when a certain talk radio show in Southern California discussed a new bill my boss is proposing, my office has been flooded with calls from that precise demographic, so I've been having to deal with these (mostly) uneducated, irate, and offensive callers all day. So I think that due to my annoyance, I didn't catch on right away. But LibertySugar, you were really articulate in explaining pointing out how it is, and now I see the dangerous implications/suggestions behind this term. So yeah, it's just wrong on so many levels. . .
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Ha! Baby Huey. x_juicyfruit, that is exactly what I think!! So strange.
Zahara-Pitt Zahara-Pitt 9 years
Baby Huey strikes again
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
How very strange. Of course it's offensive. Just because one doesn't have a college degree, it makes them less of a "white?" Less intelligent? What? I don't know if he worded it all wrong if it was what he meant to say; either way, it's strange. What about all of us who are in college? Who are aspiring to get a degree, and who are deeply interested and involved in this political race? Are we unintelligent, too? :oy:
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I find this interesting, but I dont find this offensive, then again I am not a white ethnic. Nor an ethnic. Wait, isnt white an ethnicity? I'm so confused! ;) No, but seriously, I could see why uneducated whites and/or ethnics would be offended, but I seriously doubt the uneducated watch this channel. Arent they watching Fox?
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
What a ridiculous term. It sounds more like something Bill O'Reilly would say.
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
That is offensive. It very much sounds like he is implying that minorities are uneducated in general by his use of the term. I hope "White Ethnic" does not enter the nation's lexicon as an identifier.
annebreal annebreal 9 years
Yeah I could care less about the white part of the equation - it's that being "ethnic" equates "uneducated"?? First of all, that's a major red flag for a racist point of view, secondly...since when does not having a college degree make you uneducated?? It sounds to me like he should've been much, much, more specific rather than using an insulting sweeping generality. I mean, is it so hard to say the white working class or the white blue collar worker? Or the white high school dropout, if that's what he meant?
Leenie11 Leenie11 9 years
I find Chris Matthew's entirely offensive, for more ridiculous quotes from Chris check out this article:
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Hi everyone. Shopaholichunny, I absolutely do not think that minorities are uneducated. All "demographics" have different levels of education within. That is why I found the comment so offensive! By tying the word ethnic with education, I felt he implied an inaccurate stereotype. Good luck with your degree. :)
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
I don't quite see why the word "ethnic" should be erased from everyone's vocabulary. That word has many practical uses, just because one person used it in a negative way doesn't make it a bad word. Should we not use the word douche anymore either?
kaenai kaenai 9 years
I really think the term ethnic should be erased from everyone's vocabulary. Regardless of what it was originally intended to mean, it's now used (often quite offensively) to mean anything that isn't white middle- or upper-class. Frankly, I think it's preposterous, and this particular use is simply ludicrous at its core. That said, I have no doubt that this will become a buzz-phrase that will plague the American lexicon for years. As for the question asked, I find Chris Matthews offensive. Period.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
No there are plenty of "ethnic" people who are ver very intelligent and well educated and there are also clearly a ot of ignorant reporters on American Tv stations. BLECH!!!!!
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
I understand what he's trying to say about the white ethnic group, but It's too broad and yes, offensive. There are white people with no college degrees who work hard at respectable jobs. There are also whites with no higher education who cook meth in the country, but they are by no means in the same category.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
Yeah I don't understand it either and it just sounds offensive but Liberty not all minorities are uneducated! I'm Filipino and my family came here to America and we are all educated! My mom has a master's degree and she's a chemist, my uncle and aunt are doctors, my uncle owns a huge nursing home, I'm going to school for criminal justice/psychology. etc. So yeah...
imLissy imLissy 9 years
Usually I think people are too sensitive about stuff and too politically correct, but "white ethnic?" WTF??? That doesn't make any sense at all! Stupidest made up term I ever heard.
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