Monday, November 15, 2010

"I just want to say to the Colored Man..."

Late one warm afternoon in October, on arguably, one of television’s most driest programs, a 90-year-old caller delivered an unforgettable jolt to an otherwise lifeless segment.  The topic on hand was Wall Street and its role in American society.   And, without so much as a warning, C-SPAN's 'Washington Journal'  commentator-Robb Harleston-found himself on the end of  one of the most sincerest, politely-controlled old-lady rants delivered on this side of  Moms Mabley

Now, you know that something not so horribly correct was going to come hurling out of the mouth of this golden-ager, the moment that she began her call with:

“I just want to say to the colored man…”

*blink* *blink*  [followed by a] *blank stare*

Suffice it to say that, if you are 'the colored man' that this 90-year-old someone is referencing at the beginning of her loaded call, you would think that all would not be good from this point on. 

As the caller went on to inquire as to why 'the colors' always seem to complain; instead of being grateful for the things that white people had done for them, Harleston-always the consummate professional- remained remarkably uneffected. 

[Here is the video for your lying eyes!]

[...and the script for your lying ears!]

CALLER: I’m 90 years old, and I just wanted to ask the colored man, why don’t colored people instead of saying what we did to them, why don’t they say what we did for them? They talk about the slavery, but since then, they have been given welfare, free medicine, free everything.

HARLESTON: Ma’am I think this is more of a conversation about the relationship between the administration and the people on Wall Street and not necessarily one that’s based on race.

CALLER: Oh, okay. I’m not a racist. That was my comment. Thank you.

The only thing that trumps this pugnacious, opinionated nonagenerian's comment was the tactful nonchalance; in which Harleston seamlessly ended that call.
But not before informing the caller that she was off topic.




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