Ta-Nehisi Coates has a good take on Bill Maher and his latest stunt, an Alexandra Pelosi produced video showing Obama voters in NYC bragging about not working and getting food stamps. An excerpt:
Alexandra Pelosi goes to a welfare office in New York and proves that she can be as dickish to poor black people as she can to poor white people. Pelosi’s commentary is worth listening to. She evidently is declining to understand the critique, preferring instead to undermine it by proving that her sneering knows no bounds. But cruelty is cruelty and the fact that one’s condescension is of the rainbow doesn’t make one any less condescending.
Pelosi thinks she’s surprising by her willingness to unleash her quick wit against poor black people. But there is nothing noteworthy about offending “both sides,” a feat that can be managed simply relieving yourself on a crowded street. Moreover, very few black people who’ve spent time in the white world will be shocked to learn that liberals are just as capable as conservatives as regarding them as objects to be invoked at their leisure.
That a person who would use journalism to render whole geographies as cartoons, would journey to friendlier environs and pull the same vapid trick should be expected. If your work doesn’t actually acknowledge people as full human beings, there’s no real reason–short of naked racism–why you wouldn’t deploy the white toothless hoarder as a weapon, with the same zeal that you would deploy the black layabouts and drag-behind.
And here’s what Coates wrote about the Pelosi-Mississippi segment:
Andrew’s fielding complaints about this Alexandra Pelosi video. I’d like to pile on. What’s most annoying about this sort of Michael Moore journalism isn’t that it’s “unrepresentative,” but that it oozes condescension. The violins, the camera angles etc. all portray a snarky ”laughing at you, not with you” style of humor. Maher then proceeds right into the “voting against your interests” thesis, which I’ve always thought was a case of asking the wrong question. It proceeds from the notion that the pursuit of money is the only real “interest.” This is an approach suited to liberals mostly interested in venting their frustrations. It’s all so paternalistic and incurious.
So, now that Maher is a racist and a misogynist, will Obama’s Super PAC return the million dollars?