Via Fox Nation, I see that NewsBusters is claiming that Chris Matthews invented the notion that the word "urban" is a euphemism for "black" or "non-white" in certain contexts:
The list of words MSNBC's Chris Matthews believes are racist if uttered by a conservative got longer on Wednesday.Other learned winger language experts who think Matthews made this up all by himself include the folks at Weasel Zippers, Michelle Malkin, and a motley crew of right-leaners whose tweets are collected at Malkin's Twitchy.
You can now add "urban" which offended Matthews when Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said it during an interview Monday....
"There's more of this dog whistle crap going on," said Matthews... "Here's Paul Ryan expressing his surprise at the pro-Obama turnout in an interview Monday."
In the video clip, Ryan said, "I think the surprise was some of the turnout, some of the turnout in urban areas which definitely gave President Obama the big margin to win this race."
... "Why did he have to go step on his own headline 'They won fair and square' by saying, 'Oh it was the black vote?'" Matthews preposterously asked. "Basically, that's what he was saying."
Really? So if a conservative talks about urban, suburban, and ex-urban voters just like anyone else might, he or she is being racist?
Do only blacks live in cities in America? There are no whites in Manhattan, Boston, or Philadelphia?
I can't give you a definitive history of this usage, but I know it goes way back. An organization called the Committee on Urban Conditions Among Negroes changed its name to the National Urban League in 1920; it's known by that name to this day.
In the pop music business, what had been known as soul or R&B began to be called "urban contemporary music" or "urban music" back in the 1980s, at least in the trade. If you don't believe me, ask that notorious liberal propaganda outfit Encyclopaedia Britannica.
(Although maybe I shouldn't be sarcastic -- after all, Britannica is based in Chicago! Obama's hometown!)
You can argue about whether what Ryan said was racist (this guy says it wasn't), but there's no doubt about Ryan's meaning. Or Matt Drudge's meaning when he incessantly uses the word "urban."