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Matt Walsh’s birthday present, an accusation of racism

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Conservative columnist and relative blowhard Matt Walsh turned 61 this month. As sort of a happy birthday, a subscription-based lawsuit database is taking a step away from analyzing who’s being sued in the Tampa Bay area and instead speculating that maybe Walsh is a racist.

In one of the releases to subscribers, the website points to a January column by Walsh in response to the president’s State of the Union Address entitled, “He just doesn’t get it.”

Of course, he doesn’t get it. He’s a black Democrat out to make all the rich, white men pay. Duh.

The entire premise of the op-ed is that President Barack Obama is a sort of Robin Hood dunce stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. The capitalist idea, of course, is that by doing so the POTUS is stifling economic growth.

This is nothing new. Turn on Fox News for five seconds and this argument will be rifled onto the airwaves at least twice. No, what’s startling here is placed in both of Walsh’s first two sentences.

“For a guy who graduated from Harvard and “taught” at the University of Chicago, Barack Obama sure didn’t “larn” much about economics or capitalism. In fact, you could say he didn’t larn nuthin’,” the column begins.

The obvious question here is, is the apparent mispronunciation attributed to the president and the dropping of the ‘g’ in ‘nothing’ a play on ebonics? Is Walsh implying that Obama speaks poor English? And what’s with the quotations around “taught”?

But perhaps Walsh was being intentionally obtuse (of course he was) to prove a point. Maybe his statement had nothing to do with race and more to do with fundamental differences between himself and the president.

Or maybe it is about race. When Walsh uses the word “learned” for a white dude, the lack of misspelling is all gone.

“The late Milton Friedman, a Chicago University graduate who actually learned something, explained that concept very clearly: ‘What government gives to one, it must take from another.’

Friedman, of course, hated the Keynesian economics all of those silly liberals seem so fixated on.

And let’s talk about who is the educated one in this conversation.

Barack Obama graduated from Columbia University. That’s an Ivy League college. Then he went to Harvard Law – also Ivy League. While attending law school at Harvard he served as the president of the Harvard Law Review. Then he went on to teach (no quotations) at the University of Chicago Law.

Where did Walsh go to college? He didn’t. Where did he learn all that fancy stuff about the economy? Probably Fox News and Adam Smith.  Not that there’s anything wrong with being self “taught,” but maybe don’t slam the president on his credentials when you literally have none. Huh?

So, was what Walsh wrote a racist slap in the face to the POTUS? Probably not as much as it was a dig on his economic ideals and political leanings. But it is still kind of like using the R-word in reference to someone who isn’t mentally handicapped.

So, happy birthday “Mr.” Walsh. I think I’ll send you a scary black man who drops all of his ‘G’s.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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