Chris Matthews Decided The RNC Was The Perfect Time To Ask Michael Che Who The Funniest Black Guy Is
TalkingPoints- During MSNBC's coverage of the Republican National Convention Wednesday night, pundit Chris Matthews asked "Saturday Night Live" cast member Michael Che who he thinks is the "funniest black guy."
"You are so funny," Matthews told the "Weekend Update" co-hosts. Turning to Che, who is black, he asked, "What do you think, funniest guy – funniest black guy?"
Che and his SNL co-host, Colin Jost, seemed taken aback by the question, but the two comedians didn't miss a beat.
"You know what, I'm going to say Cosby so nobody gets mad at you," Che replied. "Now that'll be the headline."
A certain Kanye lyric immediately came to mind while I watched this most awkward of Dave Chappelle inspired "Ask A Black Dude" segments (where is Paul Mooney when you need him?) play out in real life...
"Racism still alive, they just be concealing it."
Now, I don't mean to say that a white guy asking a black dude to pinpoint the funniest person of his skin color is an outright racist question. It's certainly a strange one to be asking at a political roundtable and it's definitely a little weird that he corrected his original, socially acceptable question to one that was clearly inappropriate given the circumstances, but no - not intentionally discriminatory.
It is, however, institutionally racist that some crusty old Republican implied that the answer to "funniest guy?" and "funniest black guy?" isn't one and the same. What's next? Is he going to inadvertently suggest that the best athlete isn't black either? Trying to single out the funniest black guy is like trying to name the most astute Jewish lawyer or the most exotic Spanish dancer. The racial/religious identifier isn't necessary because everyone should know what demographic resides at the top of each respective craft. If I had to guess I would say that the top 5-10 funniest people on the planet are African American, and the fact that Chris Matthews doesn't know that is a sign of deep seated prejudice was learned at a young age. I'm not here to disparage him, because he doesn't - nor should he - know any better. He has, quite literally, been grandfathered into being the elderly, loose lipped conservative who's allowed to say whatever the hell he wants. That said, he did shed light on a bigger problem which is that the stereotypical qualities of the darker skinned aren't common knowledge in this country. #BlackComediansMatter. Mostly just because they will ALWAYS get the loudest of laughs.
If ever a picture has spoken 1,000 words...