"First of all, any white guy anywhere, rich or poor, who steps out in public wearing the mantle of 400 years of black suffering instantly shoots to the very top of the world asshole pyramid. Most white people grasp this instinctively. If they don't already teach it in kindergarten to make sure the rest get it, they ought to."
-- Matt Taibbi on AIG CEO Robert Benmosche's comment comparing complaints about Wall Street bonuses to lynch mobs which once hung black people in the South
Here's the full quote in all its grotesque glory:
(The uproar over bonuses) was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that -- sort of like what we did in the Deep South. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.
I can't help but wonder if "we" -- as in what we did in the Deep South -- was some kind of Freudian slip. Either way, as Taibbi says, this is a tone-deaf moment to rival Lloyd Blankfein's infamous claim that he's doing "God's work" and billionaire Charlie Munger's crack about how the foreclosed upon need to just "suck it in and cope."
Actually, it would be tone-deaf if these people were capable of shame, since tone-deafness indirectly implies that the person singing is actually trying to hit the note. Guys like Robert Benmosche aren't. They know full-well what they're saying and simply don't care. Admittedly, they've lived on Elysium for so long that they no longer know how to relate to the unwashed down here on earth, but they also don't give a shit about relating to us. We can all, as Munger says, suck it.
Read the rest of Taibbi's piece. It'll infuriate the hell out of you.
By the way, before anybody mouths off -- success shouldn't be punished in this country. Ongoing, breathtaking arrogance from the same people who imploded the global economy and who continue to believe they deserve to be deferred to and paid millions upon millions -- that's a different story.