“Niall Ferguson has many things: a position teaching at Harvard, a column in the Financial Times — and a child’s understanding of race.”
— Touré on MSNBC, in response to Niall Ferguson’s FT column where he likened Barack Obama to Felix the Cat because they were both “black and lucky.”
Touré went on to make his case to Morning Meeting host Dylan Ratigan, which I found highly quotable:
Touré: I and many others find it intellectually immature and offensive to link the optical blackness of a cat, or a shoe, to the cultural blackness of a person. And I can’t believe the Financial Times saw fit to publish that. Are there no editors over there?
Ratigan: He’s just making a comment — he’s just he’s just he’s just he’s – it’s poetic license.
Touré: It’s not poetic license. There’s no there there.
Ratigan: He’s adding his own flair, his own flavor, his own je ne said quoi.
Touré: Yeah. Would you say George Wallace was adding his own flavor?
The whole exchange was a great example of cable news getting it right: Engaging discussion with a knowledgable guest and a host who provides just enough of a foil to make it interesting, plus great chemistry between the two. Video below:
The best takeaway from this:
Ratigan: People don’t know what to do with a black president. Some people do not know what to do with a black president.
Touré: Criticize him without it being around race.
There you go. Simple enough for even a cat to understand.
NYT’s Krugman Gets In (Felix) Cat Fight! [Mediaite]
Niall Ferguson: Why My Comparing Obama to Felix the Cat Is Not Racist [HuffPo]
Niall Ferguson Plays The Racist Card [Ta-Nehisi Coates]