At the beginning of Monday morning’s episode of Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough said that he was sick and tired of the Ferguson protests because they are based on “lies” and that it is sad that slain teenager Michael Brown has become the face of black oppression because he was a “thug.” In front of a panel exclusively of middle-aged white people (eventually they interviewed an African-American man via video after Joe’s tirade), Scarborough ranted about how he was speaking for 95% of Americans out there who feel exactly the same way he does about the protests. In his typically smug way, Scarborough put himself up on a pedestal and made it seem as if he is the only truth-teller in all of media.
Scarborough started the show by loudly complaining about the St. Louis Rams players coming out of the stadium tunnel before Sunday’s game with their hands up, an obvious show of support to the Ferguson protesters. Joe said that police officers have every right to be “pissed off” at the Rams and their players. This then started a minutes-long spiel where Scarborough called Michael Brown a “thug,” said white people are also mistreated by the police and that the protests are centered on a lie regarding Brown’s hands being raised when he was shot.
Of course, Scarborough was saying this in front of three other rich, white people, so he was met with agreement and approval. Donnie Deutsch, the supposed ‘liberal’ on the panel, jumped right on board with the Scarborough express. Deutsch said that while he is “left of center,” he sees things exactly the way Scarborough does, and he doesn’t understand why these protests have continued. He gleefully tossed around the word thug numerous times. It should also be noted that Deutsch grew up in wealth and took over his father’s business, so he’s never had any experience dealing with anything but extreme white privilege.
Below is video of the entire segment, courtesy of MSNBC:
Eventually, political pundit Mark Halperin added his two cents to the conversation, because he obviously brings a lot of real-world experience to the conversation. The all-white discussion about race relations wrapped up with Scarborough stating that there might be some disparity in the black community, but it isn’t nearly as bad as the protesters, and essentially black people, are making it out to be. Finally, Scarborough ended the conversation by saying people shouldn’t be offended “because 95% of America thinks just like me.” When Wes Moore, a black author, was patched in via video, Deutsch added to the tone-deafness of the show by immediately talking about looting and rioting by thugs in relation to the protests.
Overall, this was just a disgusting display of racial insensitivity, as Scarborough felt it was his job to whitesplain to black people how they should act and feel. From his comfy perch in the MSNBC studio, he spoke down to not only those protesting in the streets, but to the entirety of the black community. He also had the gall to arrogantly declare that nearly everyone in this country thinks just like him but just doesn’t have the guts to speak their mind as he does.
Now and then, Scarborough may seem reasonable and say something contrary to the right-wing narrative. However, in the end, his true colors always shine through.