The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Expressio Unius: Chris Matthews and Racial Awareness

That’s a bit of law latin, short for expressio unius est exclusio alterius.  It translates to “the expression of one is the exclusion of all others.”  If you get this concept you will understand how lawyers think and look at the world to a degree you have never achieved before.  Whether or not that would be a good thing or not is a tougher call.

Like let me give you an example in practice.  There is a story I was told about New Haven when I was just beginning law school there that I love to recite:

“New Haven’s town center are these massive grassy flat spaces, they call the greens.  Originally they were actually graveyards.  These fire and brimstone christians who built New Haven wanted us to remember that death was part of life, so they built a graveyard in the center of town.  But after a while they discovered that was not very sanitary, with the fish markets nearby and all that.  So, they moved the tombstones.”

Now every time I tell that story, I am in complete deadpan and I stop and there is a moment’s pause.  Then the listener gets what is missing, and says, “but not the bodies.”  They usually think that is pretty funny and about half the time make a pointed reference to Poltergeist.  That’s expressio unius.  By explicitly saying one thing, I imply the other is not there.

So then we turn to Chris Matthews’s now infamous comment that during the State of the Union, he forgot that Obama was black.  The problem isn’t that he stated he forgot Obama was black.  The problem is expressio unius.  By saying he forgot Obama was black, he implies that the rest of the time, he remembers.  The rest of the time when he looks at Obama, he can think of nothing else.  He is race obsessed, if not actually racist.

Which kind of puts this sort of comment into perspective, on the Tea Partiers: “they’re all white. All of them, every single one of them is white.

Or this one on Obama: “You know, Michelle -- and this gets very ethnic, but the fact that he's good at basketball doesn't surprise anybody, but the fact that he's that terrible at bowling does make you wonder."

Claiming ads were racist without cause.

It goes on and on.  Matthews can’t imagine that the opposition to Obama is not racist, because Matthews himself is not capable of thinking beyond race. 

Which is not to say Obama’s race is irrelevant in every context.  There are a few scattered idiots who hate him for the color of his skin.  And as we see with Matthews, a few idiots who love him for it.  And he is the first president perceived as black.  And there is even evidence that the mere fact that a black man has become president has inspired African American children all across America to do better for themselves.  Maybe he could even help defeat destructive ideas, like “education is just for white people.”

I have long said that race doesn’t actually exist and we should disregard it.  The only existence of race is in the mind of the racists; and the only justification for considering race is to counteract the effects of racism.  I’ll flesh that out more another time, but there you go.

And in parting, two links to videos.  One is Glenn Beck talking about the comments, having a pretty similar reaction to me.  I don’t normally listen to anyone on the radio—I want music, damn it, as I go through traffic, and I have only watched his TV show once or twice.  I jokingly call him twitchy, but he seems like an okay guy.

And then there is the Daily Show having waaaaay too much fun with all of this.  You know, a liberal has to really fuck up bad to get John Stewart on your case.