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?