Wednesday night on “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert took on a recent column by “Washington Post columnist and cursed ventriloquist’s doll” George Will, in which Will “screwed the pooch,” by Colbert’s reckoning. The column averred that President Barack Obama has his race to thank for his consistently higher poll numbers than his challenger, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA).
“The nation,” wrote Will, “which is generally reluctant to declare a president a failure, seems especially reluctant to give up on the first African American president.”
“Yep,” Colbert agreed. “Somebody had to say it, the president is only winning because he’s black. I’ve always said the system is rigged in favor of African Americans.”
While he knows he won’t be winning any BET Image Awards for saying it (unless they want to give him one, he quipped), “Black people in this country have gotten one free ride after another, starting with the first one,” he said, flashing a photo of the movie slave ship, the Amistad.
He then went on to ask the white people in his audience (which, he admitted, was all of them) if any black person has ever thanked them for freeing the slaves.
“When I walk up to African Americans on the street and say ‘You’re welcome,’ they don’t even know what I’m talking about,” he complained.
The problem, as George Will sees it, is that Americans are afraid to fire Barack Obama because of “white guilt,” or so his column seems to say in what Colbert calls his “contractually mandated extended baseball analogy.”
Will said that a racial barrier was crossed when the Cleveland Indians hired a black player, Frank Robinson, to manage the team, making him the first African American manager in major league baseball. To Will’s thinking, another barrier fell, creating “colorblind equality” when the Indians fired him three years later.
“And nothing says racial progress like firing a black person,” Colbert agreed.
And while Colbert sees Will’s column as a masterpiece of “post-racial journalism,” he believes that his fellow conservative “screwed the pooch on this one.”
“George,” he said, “you can’t write a column about how the only reason white people are still voting for Barack Obama is because he’s ‘a black.’ Because if you could, my Aunt Rita would be writing your column after her third gin fizz every Thanksgiving.”
Watch the clip, embedded via Comedy Central, below: