90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Obama And The Politics Of Race

President Obama and the politics of race in America. Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy joins us.

In this Nov. 3, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama listens to a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington.  (AP)

In this Nov. 3, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama listens to a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP)

For supporters, and many others too, Barack Obama’s race marked a triumph on election night, 2008. The United States had done something millions thought they would never see. It had elected a black president.

With this nation’s hard history on race, that was an incredible moment. So, what about race and the presidency of Barack Obama? How has it played out?

Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy has taken a big look. At how the President has handled race. At how the country has handled his race.

This hour On Point: President Obama, and the politics of race now.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guest

Randall Kennedy, professor at Harvard University Law School and author of “The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency.”

More

Professor Randall Kennedy talks with On Point. (Alex Kingsbury / WBUR)

Professor Randall Kennedy talks with On Point. (Alex Kingsbury / WBUR)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Root “African Americans fight a multifront struggle in pursuing their ambitions. Along with the difficulties that others face — bad luck, personal deficiencies, talented competitors — blacks face additional obstacles. On one front they encounter prejudiced Caucasians. On another they encounter Negroes who, attached to stunted conceptions of racial solidarity, habitually castigate as disloyal blacks perceived as “acting white,” being “oreos,” “selling out.””

The New York Times “August is not half over, and already it’s been a punishing month for Barack Obama: the debt limit fiasco; the Standard & Poor’s downgrade; the deaths of Navy Seals and other troops in Afghanistan. This powerful and ruminative book by Randall Kennedy, “The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency,” is unlikely to put the president in a more cheerful mood. “

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • JL

    Hey Tom, add this to your ‘Reading List’

    Congressional Black Caucus Members Criticize Obama On Unemployment
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/07/congressional-black-caucus-unemployment_n_892702.html

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Obama has to walk a difficult tightrope* on race but he could have and still can do more for his black base by doing more for his liberal base.

    *Do too much for blacks in particular and you’re a racist and lose white votes; not enough for blacks in particular and you’re a race traitor.

    To some, affirmative action has been a huge success and has allowed them to get traction in a racist culture, to others it’s a failure in that it seems to reward mediocrity to make reparations for past injustices.

    Social engineering with public policy is never pretty for everyone but some of it has done a lot of good over time. Would we have had a black middle class without it? The question is, when is the time to turn it off so as not to cause learned helplessness in the people it affects?

    • TFRX

      I’d like to pivot and ask:

      Where would the white middle class be without the GI Bill, Social Security and Medicare?

      I don’t think “social engineering”, as all of us have come to call it, is a phrase with any meaning any longer. It’s “every dollar the government stops or starts spending or taxing”.

  • Gregg

    Ughggg. Race has nothing to do with anything. Can’t we get past it and judge by the content of character? 

    • SteveV

      Race has NOTHING to do with anything? Come out into the world of the white blue
      collar worker, ask them candidly for their opinions on blacks and “affirmative
      action” and tell me what you hear. Of course we don’t hear this spoken very
      often. To express any opinion that criticizes blacks will bring the roof
      crashing down around you. We must all remain “politically correct”. Segregation,
      the war on drugs, on poverty, all very well intentioned but won’t be “solved” in
      our lifetime, if ever. I don’t like it any more than anyone else but then who
      said life is fair? Perhaps someday we’ll all be free to speak our minds, but not
      today.

      • Gregg

        Affimative action cannot exist without judging by the color of one’s skin. It’s racism.

        • Dpweber83

          That’s not true.  Affirmative action can be extended to, say, gender, which has nothing to do with the color of your skin.

          Try again, sweetie.  

          -dan
          Boston, MA

          • TFRX

            And blood, which is often tied to race.

            Any truth to the rumor that Rick Perry imitated George W. and Jeb and Felonious Neil in order to grab some of that sweet, sweet White Legacy Privilege to an Ivy League school?

            (Hate to step all over myself, but the above question is a joke.)

          • Gregg

            Well, it can be extended to religion as well. Snake handlers and Rastafarians are much maligned  and probably could make a case for pot in hospitals and snakes in classrooms but I live in the real world. But I must admit your motherly chide was correct. Tell you what, I’ll go for eliminating any mention of race on any government document (census and all) and you don’t even have to agree to keep gender a secret.

          • Jhsusak

            And you find gender discrimination equivalent to snake handler discrimination.  You’ve said enough.  We all know you.  We’re not happy about it.

          • nj

            He’s said enough, but that won’t stop him from saying more, unfortunately.

          • Gregg

            Just illustrating absurdity with absurdity. I learned it from Rush.

    • TFRX

      Race has nothing to do with the virulent hatred whipped up on the right about Obama for three years (since the D’s convention), everything they snoozed through which was of no concern if it was the same under Shrub?

      Racism, or the need to appeal to racists, has been a big part of everything. Unless you really think my name is John (President #45) Huntsman.

      He’s not talking or dogwhistling about race. And the right-wing media have already written him off, by the looks of the coverage they’re providing him. If you can find him.

      • Gregg

        No one I know cares a wit about Obama’s race. It’s his disastrous policies. 

        • TFRX

          You ought to know more people or stop figuring everybody else is like people you personally know.

          People have less pure motives and mindsets than you do.

          • Gregg

            I didn’t say racism did not exist, I just don’t hang with racist. I’ll decline your advice.

          • TFRX

            The intersection of “Race has nothing to do with anything” and “I didn’t say racism did not exist” is a very small place, especially on the right wing.

            I’d love to avoid spending time with racists. But even in suburban non-Southern nowheresville, I can’t. I’m also distantly related to a few.

            It’s no more avoidable than, say, going to mid-Illinois and having to do business with both Cubs and Cardinals fans. (Note: I’m not comparing either team, or any sport, to racism. Just a geographic exercise.) Except racists don’t always wear clothing to denote their sympathies.

        • Andy

          Disagree – look at the birther movement, the garbage about whether he loves this country, the garbage about his religious convictions, the pictures at protests showing him in “whiteface” – this sort of stuff would not be happening if  he were white.

        • http://www.facebook.com/roy.cuellar Roy Cuellar

          How are his policies disastrous as opposed to the GW Bush policies?

          As we look back lets consider that the housing crash, TARP, Globalization, Privatizing of the Military are all Republican policies and were in place before Obama.

          • Gregg

            I don’t agree with much of what Bush did but I long for the day of 5% unemployment, record revenues, only 2 wars, deficits less than 13 digits and the ability to have a rational discussion about race. 

          • twenty-niner

            Lets see:

            Tarp

            Republicans in Congress generally opposed TARP; it had overwhelming Democratic support.

            Housing Crash

            Clinton repealed Glass–Steagall and signed the
            “Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000″, which led to a massive derivatives bubble.

            Globalization

            Clinton signed NAFTA and gave China MFN status.

          • Zing

            Thanks for shutting him up

          • http://www.facebook.com/roy.cuellar Roy Cuellar

            OK, and as you say Clinton policies but not Obama’s … this poor SOB inherited a mess. Why he wanted the job is another issue. As for who can fix it all? There are not any Republicans out there which are electable. So what do we have for 2012?

    • nj
    • Mark S.

      Not until this country stops being a right-wing, racist cess pool … speaking as a lily white, late middle-aged white guy.  This is not the same America I used to live in.  Don’t like it much anymore…

      • Gregg

        Then move.

  • Irv West

    During the few quiet evenings when I worked in Selma during the civil rights movement, we would sit around and fantasize that one day there would be a Black person in a television commercial, Black people in congress, an intact Black family in a T.V. series, and so forth. We didn’t even consider a Black President in our lifetime.

    We have accomplished that, but now he must be held to the pure standards of performance. Here, he has failed.

  • J. Mezure Carter

    Unlike any other president of the United States, Barack Obama carries the burden of being all to everyone.  This position is impossible.  Those who depended on him to make changes could never be pleased with his efforts and those who dislike him never will approve of anything he does.  But I feel there is a more insidious problem with this problem presidency.  It is what one can call the three forms of political racism that thrive in this country.  Racism “light” is offered to us by those who are supposedly interested in the other, meaning anyone who is not considered white.  They work to institute laws to alleviate racism but end up only inciting more hatred.  Then there is a “subterranean” racism where people are in denial.  People who suffer this malady cover their true racist feelings by using euphemistic language that disqualifies them as bigots.  Finally there is “blatant” racism. These people feel it is their duty to keep United States as a predominantly white ruled country and they will do anything short of destroying the country in order to insure that purpose.  From them we find Barack Obama’s biggest stumbling block for they have for the past three years effortlessly sought to punish this country for electing a Black Man. My question is who will rule the day, the “light,” the “subterranean” or the “blatant” racist.

    • W Bradford

      Your understanding is so very right.
      Thank you Mr Carter for saying much i have felt.

  • Teja Arboleda

    As the country’s first mixed-race, White & Black president, the president has the opportunity to represent the fastest growing demographic groups in America -multiracial. The politics of race is predicated on race being created for politics and power in the first place. The acknowledgement of race as being a political construct is the first step toward removing race from our collective political mindset. If President Obama had selected more than one ‘race’ on the 2010 national census, that would have sent a strong message to the US and world that he truly exemplifies the fusion of identities that is indicative of this country. He chose Black, however, negating his mother and grandmother’s identity and his upbringing in the various places in the US and abroad, culturally speaking. If his mother and grandmother were still alive today, and stood with him at inauguration, how would they respond to him choosing only ‘Black’ as his identity on the political platform of the Office of Management and Budget? True, the president is perceived as Black, but like myself, has a ‘White’ and ‘Black’ parents, and international experiences that design him. He certainly didn’t have a typical ‘Black American’ experience, so I see the focus on him being Black as a political way in which to position him. Yes, in the race, race is important because as a nation we have lingering need to place ourselves in boxes. Must we continue to do this politically, when emotionally it’s difficult enough? The tough stance, but the right one, would be to use his mixed heritage as an advantage to bring us all together. For him, that’s White American, Black African and Indonesian experiences. This is the beauty of America.

    • Mia

      I think it’s fine that Obama identified as black on the census.  This is obviously how he identifies ethnically.  Race is a social construct.  I do not believe that he negated his mother’s identity by not saying he’s ‘biracial’.  He’s never hidden his mother or his grandmother.  He talked about them all the time during the campaign. 

      I think Obama has tried time and again to bring us all together but the opposition has been ferocious.  Again, as one of the commentators said, he has a hard row to hoe being all things to all people. 

      • Gary

        Race is not a social construct.  See:  Sickle Cell Anemia

        • Sarah

          Wrong. Sickle cell is not a “racial” disease. Race IS a social construct. From the World Health Organization:
           
          “Sickle cell anemia affects millions throughout the world. It is particularly common among people whose ancestors come from Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Cuba, Central America, Saudi Arabia, India, and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy. In the Unites States, it affects around 72,000 people, most of whose ancestors come from Africa. The disease occurs in about 1 in every 500 African-American births and 1 in every 1000 to 1400 Hispanic-American births.”

          • Gary

            No, race is not a social construct.  Ask any physician about race-based prescribing and diagnosing.  You have no idea what you’re talking about.  

          • Gary

            Race is merely an extended family of people that in-breed.  It is not a social construct to say that you are related to your parents, idiot.  And that they are related to their parents, and so on.  A race is simply a group of people that generally choose to reproduce with other members of the same group.  They are biologically more similar to members of their group, just as they are more biologically similar to their parents and siblings.  You literally have absolutely no idea whatsoever about what you are talking about. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/roy.cuellar Roy Cuellar

    Easily the majority of the grief this President gets from his critics is all race based. They never intended to give him a chance. It is a sad sentiment to America in the 21st century.

    • Geri

      O’bama’s color is irrelevant – his incompetence and inability to identify with common Americans will prove his undoing.

      • Zing

        Rush predicted what you point out.

  • Pingback: On Point — Race Pizza

  • Sarah

    One of the best discussions of the political and “scientific” uses of the concept of “race” to hold people down and to different measures of “humanness” is the PBS documentary series “Race, the Power of an Illusion.”

    President Obama is simply not “white” enough OR “black” enough to enable others to neatly pigeonhole him as “one of us” or “one of them.” This is his great gift to American politics and to people like my kids, who are not Caucasian. As a white mom of kids of color, I can tell you my eyes have been opened to the subtle and not so subtle racism that still exists in the US. President Obama offers hope to all people who are tired of being judged by their party affiliation, skin color, or religion, and who are simply looking for good RESULTS for the whole country. He ticks people off because he continues to insist he’s not into belligerence, “fighting back” when there need be no fight. And of course, if he did, he’d be that most-feared boogeyman, the Angry Black Man. He’s held to an impossible standard, and I commend him on the fantastic job he is doing, despite the feet stuck out in his path from both sides of the aisle, ready to trip him up.

    Those entrenched in their belligerence simply don’t know what to do when a person refuses to fight back with anger and instead calls us to be our better selves, get down to business, and solve problems by treating others as we would like to be treated if we were in their shoes. It’s not “pay back” time or “pay up” time, no time for retribution OR retaliation. Jesus, Gandhi, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., unfortunately paid the price for taking the better way, and my fear for our President is that he will, too. I pray not.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Obama would be more effective if he would fight back.  It’s a bad idea to bring an olive branch to a gun fight.

      • TFRX

        Then we get into the angstrom’s width of how angry our mainstream media allow a black man to get before they get their False Equivalency meters on.

        Once a Howard Kurtz or Cokie Roberts clutch their pearls and alight on the fainting couch over that, the narrative is set.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          When has he stuck to his guns, in the manner of Bush, Jr. or Reagan?  When has he been a master manipulator, like Clinton?

          • TFRX

            He does have a gift for making Republicans flip-flop on something that’s in a position paper or on video making right-wingers cheer and stomp their feet, simply by saying “It’s a good idea”.

            I await for his speech saying “I’m going to take Congress to the Grand Canyon, and it’d be a good idea if we walked to the edge and stopped.”

      • Jhsusak

        There are many of us who believe it’s the gunfight that’s a bad idea, not the olive branch.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Then don’t go up against the armed.

          • Jhsusak

            Or, even better, disarm them.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            How will you disarm someone without arms of your own?

          • Jhsusak

            Or, even better, disarm them.

      • Anonymous

         I can finally agree with you about something.

  • Steve

    Race in America. Let’s go.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    It will be a great day in America when we don’t regard Inauguration Day as great.  Don’t celebrate potential; celebrate achievement.

    • Charles A. Bowsher

      How sad for you.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        How so?  To what do you object in my statement?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Prof. Kennedy, please speak for yourself.  I see a president who’s floundering.  His skin color is Faded.

  • Tina

    Barack Obama was right to say that he is the President of all Americans.  However, ALL Americans need the racial inequities (unemployment, incarceration, false incarceration, poor education, etc.) that affect African-Americans the most to stop, cease, go out of existence.  He has failed miserably in that area; in fact, I’m not even sure that he has mentioned these inequities!

    • Tina

      I should have said:  “(higher rates of unemployment, incarceration, false incarceration, poor education, etc.)”

  • Rev. Darlene Kelley

    Thanks for a great show!
    Even if it’s not conscious–I can’t believe that undercurrents of racism have not played a part in the nation’s reaction to our president.  I have never seen a president struggle so much to get things done in Congress.
    If often feels like the Republicans and members of groups like the Tea Party are never satisfied with him–even when he’s doing something they’ve suggested.  The debt ceiling debate was a great example of this–no president has ever been put through such nonsense.  They want him to fail so badly, they’re willing to take the country down with him!  It’s outrageous.

  • TFRX

    Wait. “It was a closer election than people sometimes think” in 2008?

    Professor Kennedy is invited to compare the election coverages of 2004 and 2008, especially from Fox and the right-wing media machine, and tell us which was reported as a “mandate”.

    I would like to know how close he thinks these elections were, especially as reported, as narrativized, in our commercial press. Simply to set the stage for a very involved talk, it is a bit of history to not forget.

  • Mia

    I think it’s absurd that a president of the United States had to produce the long form of his birth certificate.  There are people today who say that Obama should produce his academic transcripts. I have never heard of such a thing and cannot imagine such voices calling for such things even getting media coverage had the president been white. 

  • Markus

    Are memories that short? The right went after Clinton at least as aggressively as they are doing with Obama. He was impeached afterall.
     
    Could it be that the vast majority of people who criticize Obama, myself included, are doing so because we think he’s taken a terrible situation and made it many times worse? Could it be that he’s confirmed the belief that someone with so little executive experience shouldn’t be the president?
     
    I’m amazed, but not surprised, at how many people are drawn to thinking of themselves or people on their side as victims.  But I’m not amazed or surprised at how the race industry, such as I see in academia, will defend itself by reinforcing what keeps them in business. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Please don’t turn us academics into an oppressed minority.  We’re not all the same.

    • Tina

      PLEASZZZE!  Clinton literally soiled the White House — there is NO comparison!  Clinton helped set up the Republicans quite nicely by his idiotic, narcissistic, addictive behavior — there is NO comparison!

      • TFRX

        “He came in here and trashed the town, and it’s not his town!”

        C’mon, we all know it’s you, Sally Quinn. We know Clinton was simply too low-born, low-bred and (even at his triangulating, fundraising, appointing insiders best) Not. One. Of. You.

        • Tina

          TFRX,  you are SO wrong about my identity.  I am extremely to the Left of the Democrats; I’m not high-bred Caucasian; in fact, I’m only Caucasian on one side of my family.  I AM a woman who found Clinton’s behavior degrading to his stature as occupant of the People’s House.  I also objected to his NAFTA plans, and my foresight on that proved right-on, for Americans as well as for the poor Mexican villages who saw their own economies wrecked when they based a new optimism on U.S. corporations who came in, changed their lives and local economies, and left them without their old ways, and without a new economy, either, very soon after the promises began.  Can you believe that a woman would find Clinton’s behavior reprehensible when judged on his behavior with Monica alone?  Well, that IS my position; as I said, he literally soiled the office, as have others, as you will no doubt point out.  

          • TFRX

            Sorry about mistaking your identity. I can believe a woman would find that behavior reprehensible, but given the media fluffing about the Hunting of the President and the incredibly flimsy charges that were amplified with steroids (remember every Democrat on TV being asked by every mainstream media type about whether Clinton broke the “letter of the law” and should resign?) to impeachment, I figured you for one of them.

            Given your language choices, I took you for another Villager-follower.

            My Sally Quinn crack has nothing to do with your actual policy concerns. As you probably know by now, being a Villager has nothing to do with policy.

    • Bb37221

      The supply-siders will never admit that trickle down economics does not work.  The right is convinced that only conservatives are entitled to tax breaks, government subsidies, and all of the other taxpayer largess that has flowed to the Koch Brothers and those like them.  Don’t forget that it was the conservative, anti-Clinton talk radio that labeled Bill Clinton “the first Black President”.

  • Kathy Morgan

    You ask how race has affected politics now that
    we have a black president?  One big way that I see–disrespect.  I grew
    up in a time when businesses used to proudly post photos of the sitting
    president in their storefronts.  I realize that respect for politicians
    has declined over the years, but it seems to have accelerated in a way
    that only race can explain with the election of President
    Obama–starting with his being called out as a liar on the floor of the
    Congress and running to having public figures demanding that he show his
    qualifications to have served as president of the Harvard Law Review.
     I can’t see any other explanation for this disrespect towards our
    highest elected officer other than racism.  I say this as a white woman
    appalled at these events.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Republicans refused to show a picture of FDR.  Disrespect isn’t a new idea.  Besides, the president works for us, not the other way around.

      • nj

        Yet another G. Camp comparison (FDR) that has nothing to do with race. One wonders at the determination to deflect from the subject at hand.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Yes, my point is that Obama is picked on by some because of race, but that’s no different from the many attacks that every president receives.

          • nj

            As the first and only black president, how could some of the attack on him not be different?

            Man…

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Presidents are attacked.  Agree?  Does the reason really matter?  My argument is that this is the nature of the office.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Presidents are attacked.  Agree?  Does the reason really matter?  My argument is that this is the nature of the office.

          • Mia

            It’s more than being picked on.  This congress is the most beligerant I’ve ever seen.  Calling the President of the United States a liar during the State of the Union?  Remember that?  Then this crazy opposition to everything he does.  The “debate” about the debt really frightened me.  They were willing to crash the entire world economy than be seen as cooperating with the president.  Whatever the reason- a crasser environment in general, racist motives, party motives?- this president has received a terrible beating and terribly disrespectful treatment in a way that has been unproductive and dysfunctional.   

          • Gregg

            What’s worse, a president standing before the nation and telling a lie or someone pointing it out?

      • Jhsusak

        I have to agree.  I have a Bush toilet brush.  I refuse to believe the majority of Republicans are racists. 

    • Kathy Morgan

      I don’t get it.  What do you mean “the president works for us, not the other way round?”  What does this have to do with current conversation?  Does the fact that someone works for you give you the right to disrespect them? Is that how you think of your relationship with your own boss?  Can he or she call you out as a liar in front of your co-workers if she or he so chooses?  Because you work for that person?

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        No, the president is not a king.  We don’t owe him our worship.  We have the right to criticize, and doing so is not just racism.

    • Doug Hein

      Great comment – I agree wholeheartedly.  I think other Democratic presidents have been treated badly (and probably hated) the Republicans, but there has been something demeaning about how Obama has been treated by his peers.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        How do you judge the difference in treatment?  Bush received furious attacks from Democrats.  We have active politics in this country.

  • A C R

    Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Co) recently said this: “Even if some people say, ‘Well the Republicans should have done this or they should have done that,’ they will hold the president responsible. Now, I don’t even want to have to be associated with him. It’s like touching a tar baby and you get it, you’re stuck, and you’re a part of the problem now and you can’t get away.” When I heard that, it occurred to me that Republicans flee from him the way whites used to fear swimming in a pool where a black person had been. They won’t even vote for something they supported before, if he comes out in favor of it. Republicans are acting like bullies, but really they are afraid.

  • Anonymous

    “a more perfect union” is the most important speech on race since “i have a dream”…

    barack obama’s understanding of, not only his trevails as a black man, but the tragedy behind the ignorance of people like his white grandmother, allowed him to reach out to everyone to include, not exclude…  

    that understanding and tolerance can be seen in his dealings with the GOP….

  • Bill

    One thing I always find interesting is Obama being called “black” when he is half white. Under the criteria used to call him black, it would be just as valid to call him white. But he’s not, and that shows the differences in how race is considered in this country.

  • John – Williamstown, VT

    I told a black friend I was disappointed that Obama, with a strong victory, didn’t do what Bush did – walk into the White House and start doing stuff.  It’s what most voters hoped for.

    He disagreed “You think they are attacking Obama now,” he said, “If he had done what Bush did he probably would have been assassinated by now.”  He thinks Obama is doing the job the only way he can – given the nature of race relations in this country.  I agree to some extgent.

    In seeking consensus the President has set a tone different from Bush but he has failed to meet or even directly acknowledge the lack cooperation in that quest.  He now needs to start doing stuff, through presidential signings, using the bully pulpit and other tools available to him.  Times are tough and it’s time for him to get tough.

  • Yar

    Racism is still pervasive in the US, my question is what it the
    best strategy to give Obama a second term?  With the
    unemployment as high as it is and the anger toward him by
    the republican party as great as it is, I have a
    radical idea to keep Democrats in office and give Obama a realistic
    shot at a second term.  Here is my plan, first Obama announces
    he won’t run for president in 2012, (if he runs and looses then he
    has little hope of ever getting elected again.) He could then back a
    strong candidate like Hillary Clinton, who then picks him as a
    running mate before the election. As long as the next President
    serves at least two years then VP Obama would be able to run again.

    • Mia

      Ha! Ha!  That’s great!  I have thought that opposition to Obama has been so irrational that perhaps the best thing would be for him not to run next term.  The candidates the republicans have been putting up so far are absolutely dreadful.  With this bad economy (partially created by the ‘job creators’ not paying their fair share in taxes and not creating jobs either, sitting on trillions) it’s easy that Obama will be a one term president.  We could end up with a true crackpot in the Executive without much stretch of the imagination.  I do feel that if racism is not felt by people like Michelle Bachman, Limabaugh and the lot when they make some of the statements that they do (all of them would deny being racist I’m sure) racist sentiment is indeed stoked and fanned by such comments.  I fear in a bad economy like this, maybe people will give in to more irrational responses.  I worry about racial tensions being heightened. 

      • Sarah

        All those people who bought up mega guns as soon as President Obama was elected are still out there. Waiting. I’m sorry to say that the lynch mob mentality seems very much a part of politics in Washington today. It’s the “blue dog”/bulldog Democratic voters as much as the tea partyers. For them, white is right. Right is white.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christa-Hillhouse/100000210347944 Christa Hillhouse

    PLEASE don’t make me listen to rush in order to listen to your program. ugh.

    • TFRX

      Hey, if I’m going to have to listen to Rush on a mainstream medium, I’d much rather have it described as “inflammatory” (as our host did–I’m paraphrasing) rather than a tepid KentBrockmanesque “one side of the issue”.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Rush Limbaugh is an A$$

  • Steve

    We hear and use the terms “black” and “white” so often in America that we accept them as specific, meaningful, and as having the same single meaning and significance to all of us. President Obama, this “black man,” has a “white” mother. What does “black” mean? This isn’t simply a rhetorical question, I’m serious. And there are answers. My point is, how you can have a fruitful discussion about “race” without tearing down and sorting out all of these terms: “black,” “white,” “mixed-race,” and the term “race” itself, its origins, history, and cultural constructs. I concede, however, that it would be a messy, exhausting undertaking.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      The important question is culture, not race.  Race is a term with limited actual meaning.  Culture, on the other hand, is defining.

    • nj

      In one important sense, “race” is meaningless, at least in some ways that it is often used. We know that all modern humans evolved from common ancestors in Western Africa a couple of hundred thousand or so years ago.

      The collection of outwardly visible attributes which comprise the typical, popular notion of “race” as mostly genetic adaptations to the differing environments in which we moved into as humans migrated around the planet.

  • Yar

    Bring up the movie The Help, and how reactions to the movie differ by race.

    • Steve

      I’m curious, Yar. What’s your take on the film? (I haven’t seen it because from the little I’ve heard, it sounds like typical Hollywood treacle, “racial” implications aside.)

      • Yar

        I liked it a lot, The blacks in the movie took a lot more risk than the reporter collecting their stories.   As a white male I was attracted to the strong idealism and youthful beauty of the character played by Emily Stone.  Octavia Spencer’s role of Minny showed she had the smarts to know the score in the community, and ability to work within as well as outside the system to survive. She was the glue that held the story together, she made it believable.   

        • Steve

          Thanks.

  • Bostongal

    I voted for Obama NOT because of his race, but because I thought he’d be a better candidate. Just like some in my family selected McCain because of his policies, not his race. 

    Criticizing the president does not make people racist.  Unfortunately, that is what has been painted.  Suggesting that the fact Obama didn’t get a white majority vote is because of racism is itself a racist view (against whites).  Blacks supporting Obama because of his race is also racist.  Supporting him because of his policies is not.

    How about we focus on his decision making…

  • Bb37221

    Unfortunately, much of the criticism of President Obama is race based.  At a time when the country needs Presidential anger to offset Congressional ineptitude, President Obama is attempting to avoid being characterized as an angry black man.  As said before, the country needs  Presidential anger.  The country needs HArry Truman-like anger in order to get things moving back towards growing the middle class.  As long as there is concern with the impressions of the wealthy white Americans there will continue to be a lack of productive legislation that is needed to reverse the flow of economic benefits from the top 2% to the majority 70% of middle class and former middle class Americans.

    • Mia

      I think he should have gotten over that.  He needed to to be angry.  He had so much popular support in the beginning the angry black man might have played well.  There are people who would never have supported him no matter what.  It’s too bad he didn’t take the risk of being perceived as the angry black man. 

      • Sarah

        Sorry, I’m white, and I don’t agree. The risk to him was HUGE. He’s not a foolish man, and he had two young children. He would have been a sitting duck for any nutcase with a gun.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Is Prof. Kennedy arguing that white opponents of Obama are either racists or racists in denial?

    • nj

      Your either not listening closely, or deliberately trolling, because it’s pretty damn obvious that’s not what he said or implied.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Some of his statements sounded like that to me.  Disagreeing does not equal trolling.

  • David D Ward

    I am white and I lived in The South for 42 of my 48 years. I can absolutely tell you that unfortunately, many are still fighting the Civil War, just without the cannons. Just look at the electoral map for Barack Obama’s election, the Blue/Red line could have just as easily been Blue/Grey. He is president of the entire nation, including those who believe more in the Confederate flag than in the U.S., and many of those absolutely cannot stand this.

    • Jhsusak

      Displaced yankee here.  Please believe that the south is so far from being representative of the majority of the nation it can take your breath away.

  • Tina

    How and Why does Rush Limbaugh have any public forum?  The First Amendment?  Is his insidious bile really what that was all about?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      What’s your opinion of Al Franken or Stephen Colbert?

      • Jhsusak

        They’re not racists and fearmongerers. 

        • Tony

          It’s good to see that your position is fair and balanced…

      • David D Ward

        My opinion of Al and Stephen is that I have never heard either of them utter a race-baiting comment, where Rush (and Glen) is full to over-flowing with them.

      • nj

        G Camp is in Hyper Deflection Mode today.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          If you insist that everything is about race, then I suppose that yes, I’m trying to deflect such a nonsense idea.

          • nj

            It’s pretty obvious that’s not what i’m saying, hence i’m lead to question your motive(s).

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            What you’ve said does imply that race is at the heart of any objection to Obama.

          • nj

            Show me anything i said where that inference could reasonably be drawn.

            Saying—as i have—that a significant portion of the anti-Obama opposition has a significant racial motivation or component is not to imply, suggest, or lead to the notion, which you’ve apparently pulled out of thin air, that “race is at the heart of any objection to Obama” which is not something that i said, implied, or agree with.

            I have clearly and repeatedly criticized any number of Obama’s actions, inactions, policies, reversals of promises, etc. on this forum and elsewhere.

            Because some people criticize Obama on legitimate, rational grounds having nothing to do with race does not mean that there isn’t a significant segment of opposition that uses race as an attack tool.

            Not really sure how i can be any more clear than that.

          • nj

            It’s pretty obvious that’s not what i’m saying, hence i’m lead to question your motive(s).

  • Wingswork

    There definitely is an element of race in the opposition to the President. I get chain emails from Republican friends about him being “arrogant”, “Uppity”, “elite”, “doesn’t love this country”, & shouldn’t be going to Martha’s Vineyard because it’s such an elite vacation spot. And I won’t even repeat the rude comments about his wife and her looks.
     

  • Kathy Morgan

    Markus, you are kidding, right?  As I recall, Clinton was impeached for lying to Congress–that is not showing disrespect, but a legitimate application of the law.  The only “crime” I see Obama having committed to earn such reactions from his peers and others is the crime of being a black man in the Oval Office.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The nation of one’s birth is a Constitutional question.  It’s legitimate to ask.  The question has been answered, so it’s time to let that one go.

  • Ben

    this conversation is ridiculous.  i am so tired of people pulling this race card whenever a black person gets some negative publicity.  mr. kennedy sounds more racist to me than many of the people he is quoting. 

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    The Professor makes scandalous charges of racism but when pressed he can offer NO evidence.  He just ‘knows’ it must be there.  Very troubling.

    • Cdrewnycgirl

      Well I can give you several  Rep. Joe Wilson  (R) of Colorado, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) of South Carolina. “TUSCALOOSA — Marsha L. Houston, a professor at the University of Alabama, was so happy Barack Obama won the presidency that she put up a poster of the soon-to-be first family on her office door after the election.
      First, someone ripped down the poster. When she put up another, someone scrawled a racial slur on it along with a death threat against the first African-American to win the White House.”
      TUSCALOOSA — Marsha L. Houston, a professor at the University of Alabama, was so happy Barack Obama won the presidency that she put up a poster of the soon-to-be first family on her office door after the election. http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2008/11/racial_slur_threat_against_oba.html

      “We’ve already got a raghead in the White House, we don’t need another raghead in the governor’s mansion.” SC State Sen. Jake Knots.
       Want more?

  • http://profiles.google.com/miriamhyde54 Miriam Hyde

     I couldn’t get on because another woman was going to say something similar. I hope she is as angry as me! Racism has not been more visible and violent since post-MLK days. I wish people – including your guest – would stop tiptoeing and just say it. Stop covering up racism with pretty words, innuendos and a whispered tone. Too many Americans have President Obama simply because he’s Black. Republicans vowed to destroy him on Inauguration Day. I truly believe anti-Obama feelings is the root cause of the Tea Party. A sibling, who used to work for the Democratic Party, has become as strong an Obama-hater as any “Southern cracker”. I am ashamed of the “Ugly America” we have become. JUST SAY IT. Racism has become the entree of choice for way too many Americans. P.S., I’m White, and I don’t always agree with things he says and does…

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      So Republicans don’t have any policy reasons for opposing Obama?  Perhaps you don’t remember the Clinton years.

    • Jhsusak

      I hope you’re wrong.  I choose to think this is more of a Fox News era problem than a racist problem.  Fringe elements and idiots have more of a forum, and overt hate sells soap.

  • Jhsusak

    The president’s election WAS a “millenial moment”.  It was a celebration and the fulfillment of a dream and represented a sea change in the world of thinking people.

    Let’s leave Limbaugh and Beck out of the equation.  Hate is their millieu, and racism is a convenient means of expressing it. Their driving forces are fear, rage and ignorance, they’re fringe and their actual faithful followers are few, far between and beneath notice.  Hillbillies are always decades behind as far as civilization is concerned, and they’ll just take another 50 or 75 years to catch up to regular people.

  • http://twitter.com/wwwcash Criostoir

    First I am an immigrant, white, Irish. here since 1986.

    My politics have evolved from serious conservative to serious liberal.

    Anyone who thinks that there is no race problem in the US is deluded.

    On Obama he was not ready to be President at this time in the financial cycle, he also appears to have a lack of stomach for a fight.

  • Karen

    President Obama is refined, intelligent and black.  He is multicultural and all American.  He is ahead of his time.  

  • Jcsg86

    Caller Bruce seems bothered by the race issue that pervades most of our society.  However, the first thing he said was “I don’t know if Kennedy is African American or not, but…,” so he himself perpetuates this matter.

  • Courtney Maciasz

    I think it’s interesting to see the divide between new, fresh, “minority” candidates who do not put emphasis on their race or sex as opposed to the old school candidates who ride on their race alone to gain votes in a community. Instead, this new generation of candidates stand on their policy platform and let the voters decide based on the issues.  This is in stark contrast to the Black Caucus, who put their race in front of everything else which, in my opinion, leads to a continuation of stereotyping and the flattening of the culture of the black community. Obama, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott… they all put their racial and gender identities behind them as they campaigned. I think this is the direction American politics is going

    • TFRX

      I’d like to think so, but something tells me we’re going to have to go through a pile of Allen Wests first.

  • Tjwsfz1966

    I think Obama’s biggest shortcoming is that he’s HALF WHITE!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Really?  Are you arguing for racial determinism?

  • Lynne Rosa

    As a disgruntled liberal, I have been recently critical of President Obama.  BUT, this conversation has put a new twist on the history of this presidency.  I’m rethinking my grumpiness, now.  Thank you Professor Kennedy.  L. Rosa

  • Mthom

    Obama is NOT a “black” president.  He has a white mother, as do most other whites.  While in the US, he lived in white neighborhoods and went to mostly-white schools, just as tens of millions of whites do.  No black ancestor of Barack Obama ever set foot on American soil to live a life here as a black American.  He has no connection at all to what it means to be a black American until he married, and even Michelle herself did not live the life of most black Americans.
    On the other hand, we do know what Obama is.  He is a white liberal socialist, a member of the “elite” who think they know what is best for us even when we prefer to make those decisions ourselves.  He thinks much more like Nancy Pelosi or Bernie Sanders than like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.  He is closer to Abbie Hoffman than Ronald Reagan.

    • nj

      This actually was making a bit of sense until, “He is a white liberal socialist…” which is one of the key memes of the right-wing smear machine.  There is just no rational basis to support this ludicrous claim that Obama is a “socialist.” 

      Then we get to, “He thinks much more like Nancy Pelosi or Bernie Sanders.” Which is hilarious, because Bernie supports the idea of someone running against Obama from the left.

  • Susan Serafin

    When Obama was inaugurated, I, an idealistic baby boomer, was elated, and on my walk to work in my mostly African-American neighborhood, everyone I saw was all smiles and we knew why. It was also the first day of the semester at the community college where I teach and when I greeted my new crop of students with my elation, I met only surly stares, except for one African American student. One student said her grandmother said he was the antichrist; another student said he’d has a visit from the FBI because of what he’s put on his website about Obama. This was a dash of cold water in the face and the heart that presaged things to come.

  • AC

    i have to admit, I didn’t care for Obama when he was running. I thought he came off a little ‘elite’ which it seems some still accuse -
    but – he’s actually grown on me quite a bit.
    Also, I am not independantly wealthy by any means & I go to Martha’s Vineyard all the time. I don’t get the problem with it…..

    • Ekharonne

      elitist? Remember the “uppity” comment by Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia who denied knowledge of it historical racial tinge.

      • AC

        i don’t follow politics too closely in fear of losing my sanity :)
        I guess i meant ‘intellectual’. Whenever I happened to hear him speaking, i felt like i met him a thousand times & at every cocktail party, holding his glass of wine, expounding on something as my eyes crossed….but that just goes to show you my problem with patience!!
        He’s grown on me because I think he handles himself with grace, even when he’s angry, & that to me says he’s not a hot-head which i respect that a lot – already have too many hot-heads around these days….

        • Steve

          Indeed: Hot-headedness, thy name is Tea-bagger.

      • Steve

        This isn’t directed at either AC or Ekharonne, or anyone else posting here, but I have to say there’s nothing more fun than a millionaire Republican who lives in a gated community, sends his or kids to private schools, and denounces the “liberal elites.”

        • Anonymous

          You forgot those private golf clubs.

    • Anonymous

      Elite? So are you not comfortable with people who are smart and well educated?

      I don’t know about you but I want my presidents to be smart and well educated. I don’t know, somehow the idea of letting someone like my neighbor being in charge of the largest world power seems kind of scary to me. He can’t even negotiate with his dog without losing it. 

      • AC

        how on earth did you infer that from my comment??
        sheesh, it’s so hard to communicate!!!

        • Anonymous

          You ask how? You’re the one who said he came off a little elite.
          This implies that you are uncomfortable with people with this kind of demeanor. Which then goes with the mindset of or should I say subtext of how a lot of Americans are uncomfortable with intellectuals. The very use of the word “elite” in the context that you have used it tells me that you might harbor some of this. It is also repeated in another comment when you mention cocktail parties. 
          “holding his glass of wine, expounding on something as my eyes crossed” 

          Please explain what you meant by this? It’s pretty simple to me, you either are comfortable with smart folks or you’re not.

          • AC

            there are all kinds of ways to ‘name drop’. sometimes i get bored with it. or I could just be getting old & impatient…or judgemental ( i diagnose a lot of these kinds of people as narcissists, tho i have NO training in psychology whatsoever!!)

          • Anonymous

            What are you talking about? Getting bored with what?
            I was asking you a very specific question about your use of the word “elite” and how people, such as myself can make assumptions based on the how you frame it.
            What does “name drop” have to do with this?

          • AC

            i’m getting more confused lol!!
            sorry, i tend to lump/categorize things – i was lumping ‘elite’ with ‘intellectual’ with ‘narcissist’ with ‘affectations’…
            i think you’d like my husband, he thinks the way i get places is crazy

          • AC

            ah! I just went back to the beginning!! I see you are sort of passively aggressively insulting me!! LOL, don’t want to brag – but I am very well educated, and graduated with honors from college. Still 4 more classes to go for my masters tho (sigh).
            That has nothing to do with my word choice of ‘elite’. I chose it due to the association to the President by others, hence the quote marks & the ref to it still existing, and then when you mentioned my other comments about cocktail parties, I assumed we had transitioned to that. I continued the transition by narrowing the ‘type’ of intellectual I had meant to be of the wind-bag kind – all the while assuming you understood that I see now with hind-sight that I was in the wrong to think this of Pres. Obama to begin with (as one of those pseudo-intellectual types). I assure you, I have nothing against good conversation, nothing at all…..I’m ok with ‘elite’ or ‘intellectual’ & just plain old ‘amusing’, wind-baggy tho – mehhhh :)

          • Anonymous

             I’m not trying to insult you. I was trying to figure out what you were trying to get at. You are kind of all over the place so it’s hard to figure out what it is you are trying to say. When I see people using the word “elite” I’m suspicious of what the subtext is. Because in most cases it’s about defining people or using it as political foil and in a negative light. There is a history of anti-intellectualism in this country.

          • AC

            That’s interesting. I guess I don’t know much about that. Is there something specific you can reference at all?
            Also it’s ok if you insult me -sometimes i deserve it, and watch out! I’m about to name drop (mostly because it’s Tom’s show tomorrow) and it sort of fits in with this round-a-bout discussion we’ve had, but it’s still my favorite quote:
            “A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.
            Benjamin Franklin
            (i’m huge Ben fan…)

      • AC

        i’d like to hang out tho & watch your neighbor have a tantrum. & watch his dog watch him have a tantrum…..

  • Lin

    I’m 15 and in my generation race is just something like hair color or eye color… it just doesn’t matter to us in the way you are talking about. Right now, maybe politicians are judging him on race but I really believe that the country is growing out of it.

    • Steve

      I’m 47. When I was 15, I shared your thinking. I was wrong then. I hope you’re right now.

    • Jhsusak

      Lin, I agree.  I’m very glad to hear you say it.

    • Steve

      Also, Lin, I think your metaphor of “growing out of it” could give the “race” discussion in America a meaning and purpose that it often lacks.

    • nj

      Reasonable people can only hope you’re right, but long-standing, entrenched attitudes can take a long time to change.

      For younger folks, it can be hard to understand and internalize what it has meant, both on a personal and a collective level, to be living in a country that was literally built on an institution that, for a large part of the country’s history, treated an entire class of people as property. And which didn’t allow women the rights of full citizenship. And which still discriminates based on sexual preference.

      Even when laws are passed to correct the legislative aspects of these injustices, the underlying attitudes, prejudices, fears, etc. don’t suddenly evaporate.

      • Steve

        All true, nj, and well said. But, in Lin’s defense, he or she did not say these damaging prejudices would “suddenly evaporate.” Lin talks of our country “growing out of it,” suggesting a gradual change over time, which seems both “reasonable,” as you imply, and worth working toward. At any rate, I’d say we’re all of similar minds here, if not ages.

        • nj

          I certainly wasn’t trying to imply that Lin had the expectation of a sudden disappearance of the legacies of various prejudices.

          It’s encouraging and refreshing that many of the current younger generation don’t seem to carry much of the prejudicial baggage we have been (and, to some extent, continue to be laden with) for so long.

          It’s just that, even though a lot of the prejudice hasn’t made sense to many of us, no matter what age, for younger people who haven’t seen, lived through, or experienced the worse of all those institutional atrocities, it can be difficult to understand the gravity and inertia of the legacy of those problems.

          • Steve

            Amen.

    • MODAVATIONS

      MY FAITH IS RESTORED YOUNG LADY.wHERE IS THE hAGUE LOCATED.nO ‘GOOGLING”NOW.

  • on vacation in Waltham

    Colin Powell is easily Obama’s equal as a thinker and a political candidate.  It’s too bad he did not run.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      I agree.  Powell also had significant executive experience.

      • TFRX

        Leading men and women dedicated to the mission.

        Just like the modern GOP in Congress.

        Oh, wait…

    • TFRX

      Being the good soldier only goes so far, even for a four-star general.

      Remember that speech full of lies to the U.N., whipping us up for the invasion of Iraq? (Yes, subsequent words from him have been different, once he was no longer in the administration.)

      I’m guessing he realized what it would take and who he’d have to truck with to get anywhere politically, and therefore he didn’t have the stomach to run against the Republicans, or the self-debasement to run as one of them.

  • Keenan

    For your listener who said race has nothing to do with it, I would like to inform that shortly after the election, a series of letters to the editor appeared in my local daily newspaper reminding people that President Obama is half white.

  • BBartel, Providence,RI

    The most important color to President Obama is the color green.  Money trumps all at the top of politics. 

  • Dave

    How could any one term president recover from what the Bush administration bestowed upon him (Obama)?  He can’t and I think Bush was aware of this when he set him up on his way out!  Racism aside, no president was going to successfully fix the problems from the prior administration.

    • Dave

      in one term that is.

    • Gregg

      Not fixing it is one thing making it worse is another. Things are worse by every measure.

      • TFRX

        *yawn*

        Most obstructive Senate ever. Record number of holds, filibusters. Everything’s a crisis with the WATBs who have somehow found a live hand grenade.

        • Gregg

          Obama held majorities for the first two years. Go back to sleep.

          • Anonymous

            But the Senate Republicans required more than a majority on every vote so that is meaningless.

          • Gregg

            Obamacare was passed without a single Republican vote.

    • Modavations

      At it’s worst Bush’s biggest deficit was 400bill.ish.When he left it was 150billish and heading down.In 2004 the unemployment rate was 4.5% and if you count under the table employment,it was zero.I agree he was a chump.Obama and Bush are the worst presidents in my lifetime.Jimmy C., you’re off the hook

  • Jersee

    President Obama inherited an absolute mess from the previous administration.  He is a very bright person with lots of great ideas for social reform — none of which can come through because of the criticism toward him — both racial and political.

    • Modavations

      He was not conscripted.He volunteered

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The best job of handling race as a president is to leave it alone.  Let it go away.

  • PatK

     I remember the presidential debates between Obama and McCain and I could hardly hear the words because I couldn’t look beyong the expression of superiority and even hatred on John McCain’s face. Obama’s attitude was one of reason and respect in contrast to McCain who constantly avoided eye contact and reactd to every one of Obama’s answers with an eye roll, a head shake and a sneer. I see this same attitude in Boehner and many others in Congress. I am ashamed of the Becks and Limbaughs in this country. They are ignorant slobs who cater to the uneducated.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      I don’t doubt that some in this country are racists, but John McCain isn’t one of them.

      • TFRX

        Yeah, I’m not gonna pin racism on McCain.

        But if one were Karl Rove one could not have asked for a better optic, a better sound bite, than that woman in the S.C. “town hall” saying “Obama’s a Muslim, an Arab”, and McCain saying “No. He loves his country, he’s an American.”

        McCain gets to hang on to his dignity. And the dogwhistling base gets to hear what riles them up.

        • Steve

          Dogwhistling base. I’ve never heard that one before. I’d better google it:

          Here it is: Dogwhistling: the use of political speech imbued with coded language that the general public can’t “decode,” but that a small insider audience understands completely. Dogwhistling allows the speaker to communicate often inflammatory, hateful messages to a like-minded few while conveying something seemingly benign to the larger audience. Dogwhistling always affords the speaker the option of “plausible deniability.”

      • Anonymous

        “I hate the gooks.  I will hate them as long as I live”  – John McCain

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          I don’t know the source of that, but if he said it, you’ll admit that there’s a lot of context involved.  It’s understandable, no?

          • Anonymous

            It is understandable, but still racist.

          • Steve

            Wow, Greg and John. Imagine OnPoint devoting an hour to things that are “understandable, but still racist.” That might clear the air a bit, or send us all screaming into the streets with pitchforks. Either way, let’s go.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Agreed.  McCain’s time in a prison camp surely affected his view of people who looked like his captors.  The quotation had no source information, so I don’t know if it comes from many years ago.  People are allowed to grow.

          • Modavations

            In a free country you can be a rascist.In my opinion the Prof.is a rascist and traficker in human misery

  • mary elizabeth

    The comments of Tom Coburn this week were indefensible.
      They  diminished  Barack  Obama to just another black man on the take, who without the largesse of the white man could not have succeeded.
    I look with admiration on Obama as having made the most of opportunities, working hard, writing books,  excelling in education, to come from a single teenage mom, overcoming bi-racial identity and becoming POTUS of the USA.  He repeatedly encourages hard work and independance.
    Affirmative action?  How many low achieving   white men and women have gained acccess to prestigeous institutions by family wealth  and connections.  
    Tom Coburn has deliberately misrepresented  the facts  to gain a few votes from those who are hungry for just such red meat. 

    • Anonymous

      Obama should never have attempted to be friendly to that idiot.  Or at least he should have realized it was a fool’s errand and learned from it and not wasted time trying to be bipartisan. 

    • Modavations

      What were his SAT’s.Please direct me to anything he wrote as Pres.Of Harvard Law Review.I think affirmative action is pernicious!!!

      • Anonymous

        You sir are the very definition of pernicious.

    • Modavations

      Go watch the whole thing.I saw it and it didn’t strike me as rascist.Isn’t he a heart surgeon?

  • Tony (Washington, DC)

    I disagree with the professor.  The vast majority of the opposition to Obama are his policies.  He attempted to transform America into this soclialist utopia in the same mold as his mentor, FDR.  As a black man, I admit there are a minority opposition to him because of his race.  I also must admit that a minority of blacks opposed Bush because his color.

    • TFRX

      Socialist utopia? FDR? Obama attempted to transform the USA in the same way?

      First, a little bit of socialism brought the rich in this country a bit of a breather from the violent rabble (i.e. a bunch who were impoverished, whether they were poor or middle-class-on-credit in the ’20s). The rich got a pretty good deal out of it: Some of this, some of that, and no violent overthrow like in other then-first-world nations.

      Second, seriously: Obama, socialist?

      • Modavations

        We didn’t need your help.The vast majority of the rich started with nothing!!!!!!!I’m not talking Kennedy,Jay Rock.,or the rest of the “trust fund” babies.

        • TFRX

          I’ll give a crap about what happens to you (if you’re as rich as you seem to say) when a recession happens to the rich.

          They survived the ’50s pretty well, the 80s and 90s and oughts very very well. And a little here and there to keep the rest of us from uprising violently is too much.

          I hope you’re rich. Otherwise your peasant mentality simply marks you as a serf, and you’d better scrape the ground when your liege passes by, lest you be whipped.

    • Anonymous

      Oh for the love of Joe Pesci… FDR died in 1945 so he could hardly be a mentor for Obama. This statement in and of itself speaks volumes to your warped sensibilities.

      Your next statement about Bush is also very telling.

      “Facts are stubborn things” – John Adams.

    • Steve

      In fact, FDR was so bad for America that we elected him to 4 terms.

      • Modavations

        He was a dictator in waiting and was the reason we enacted presidential term limits.He referred to his pal Stalin,as Uncle Joe

    • mikey

      I think that conservative confuse FDR and LBJ. Johnson started the “Great Society” where most social programs like welfare come from. FDRs “New Deal” stabilized the banking system through Glass Steigel, stopped the dust bowl with ag-reform, held banking hearings. FDR basically stopped the era of fraud as business. LBJ distributed wealth and FDR distributed opportunity and justice. Even Ronald Reagan supported much of Roosevelt reforms he opposed the overreach that happened under Johnson and extended to Carter.  

  • Doug Hein

    I hope that we can allow that race has mattered in the Obama presidency, and that he hasn’t done a particularly good job so far, because of the race issue and apart from it.  He’s weak as a leader, has made bad decisions about the economy, relies on the wrong advisors, and has seemed to desert the very people who elected them (many of these African American voters).  Now we’re at the mercy of the Republicans and the Tea Party and face 2012 without a viable Democratic candidate.  Obama had the opportunity to do so many things differently despite the race issue and seems to have blown it.  It’ a cop-out to see him as a victim.  That’s racist. 

  • Phyllis

    Having recently attended a Town Hall in Virginia Beach, VA in which the military man in front of me told his female companion: “We’ll get that n***** out of office and take back our country”,  confirmed my suspicion about what ‘take back our country’ means.  We have the myth that our country is a melting pot and diversity is valued, however a vocal portion does seem to fear “otherness”.

    • Steve

      Yikes, Phyllis. That’s serious, ugly stuff. I was in a blue-collar bar here in Massachusetts a while back, just after Gov. Patrick was elected, and several “rough-looking white guys” were sitting around talking calmly about how they thought Patrick seemed like a good man and was ready to do a good job as governor. My experience of this “rough white town” tells me that their father’s wouldn’t’ve been having the same conversation 40 years ago when these guys were kids.

      A few weeks ago, I walked into that same bar–which I don’t frequent, so nobody there knows me–and I was wearing my Obama 2008 tee shirt. I got a rolicking round of cheers from the handful of patrons and a “You da man” from the bartender. (By the way, all these guys were rough-looking white guys–everybody in this town is a rough-looking white guy.)

      There may be hope for us after all.

    • Modavations

      It means reestablish the principles of Free enterprise,personal responsibility and the right to choose one’s preferable,frigging lt.bulb

      • TFRX

        And nothing to do with that Black Democrat elected to the White House?

  • AC

    i don’t like the idea of myself as ‘racist’, but a lot of times I catch myself calling certain cultures or religious groups ‘very clannish’, even withing my own ethnicity… 
    Not sure what this makes me, other than a person who is really nosy and doesn’t want to be left out of anything, even when it’s not my business…..

    • Steve

      To be honest, AC, your point eludes me somewhat, but I like it anyway: “I’m not a racist, I’m just really nosy!”

    • Modavations

      In a free country you can be a rascist.We’re “light weights compared to Iceland,or Sweden

      • AC

        But then if everyone’s isolated inside their various ‘cliques’ & whatnot laughing/disdaining other cliques, then I’m bound to be excluded from one or more.
        I don’t lke that. I want to know everything, see everything, taste everything-learn everything available….life is short, you know?

        • Modavations

          Don’t say “whatnot”.Too Hillbilly

          • AC

            heavens! Is my slip showing?

  • Puppyluv

    Glass half empty or glass half full Obama is half white for god’s sake, grew up in a white family and in a state Hawaii where his skin color perfectly matched the natives there. I wish somebody would explain to me exactly what is black about Obama other than the fact that his totally absent, estranged father was born in Africa.

    • Modavations

      We’re all African American.We came from the Olduvi Rift area:ie Leaky and”Lucy”.Us white guys are just Meleninly challeged.Absolutely no difference genetically.

  • Modavations

    If Prez.Obama started with a 70% approval rating,were we all racist then?I think the disapproval stems from his economic failures,etc,and not by the professor’s perceived rascism

  • Modavations

    The founder of the Rep.party,A.Lincoln freed the slaves from the Dem.South.Dwight Eisenhower passed the first C.Rights Acts in 1957 and liberated the school in Little Rock from the Dems.LBJs law was filibustered(Strom Thurmond,Dem.S.Car.) by all 20(and 1 Rep.)Southern Dems.They were known as Dixiecrats.Both LBJs and Nixons C.R.Laws passed by higher percentages of Reps.to Dems(80 to 60%).The last Grand Dragon was R.Byrd.

    • Anonymous

      The racists mostly switched to the Republican party (like your example Strom Thurmond).  RINOs Lincoln and Ike would never win the South today and wouldn’t win in most GOP primaries.  I think the despicable Byrd only got as high in the KKK as Exalted Cyclops.

      • mary

        I think you are a racist.

        • Anonymous

          On what basis?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            She disagrees with you.

      • Modavations

        My “laissez faire”crew doesn’t give a hoot about race.We want everyone to be rich,so you’ll buy our products.Prof.Kennedy,Jesse,Al,etc,. have made a business of racism.Shame,shame 

        • Anonymous

          Lincoln supported spending on infrastructure like railroads and Ike built the highway system. 

          • Modavations

            I’m not against all govt.spending,just 75% of it.Everywhere I turn I see waste,waste,waste.Medicare loses 70 Bill.a year to waste and fraud.That’s about 12%.This is duplicated in every govt.agency.private business run at about 1% loss

          • TFRX

            Amazing that someone who doesn’t give a crap about race gets soooo much of this country’s history on it sooo wrong.

            That can’t be mere coincidence, can it?

        • nj

          Flagged for slander (Prof. Kennedy has made a business of racism)

  • Modavations

    There are two types in the world.Those who believe in the “State” and those who have faith in the individual.The “right”is America’s small businessman.We want absolutely everyone to be rich,so you’ll buy our products.The left thinks humankind is weak and needs help and intervention.They are the politboros of the world.As Orwell said in Animal Farm,all animals are equal,but some more so then others.

    • Anonymous

      Doesn’t the right think that humans are weak and need religion and the left trusts individuals to make their own moral decisions? 

      • Modavations

        No atheists in a Fox Hole.the reason that Eastern Religions are the all the rage is because Judiasm and Christianity arn’t hip to the “left”.I’m an atheist expect while taking off.or landing in a jet.

      • Modavations

        Even the Lefts concept of political correctness is intellectual fascism.You guys won’t evn let us choose our own lt.bulbs

        • TFRX

          The Godwin’s Law Trophy: We’ll just engrave your name on it. Saves the guessing every day.

    • mikey

      You are so right. It is not a matter of finding efficient tax rates, or an efficient role for government in society. We simply need to keep shrinking government or as Rick Perry says cut taxes all together. Look at countries with very small governments – Liberia, Somalia or Moldova. EVERY DAY IS A TAX HOLIDAY!!!! Talk about free enterprise! Just grab an AK47 and start whatever business you want. Don’t worry about all those annoying Communist conspiracies like running water, interstate highways, airports, courts, literacy or a sewage system. Get civilization off my back!!! 

      • Modavations

        Go check out H.Kong.No restrictions on bringing in currency.Even the bums are well coiffed

        • mikey

          Hong Kong taxes through indirect methods like land sales not income tax or VAT tax. During the Morning In America period of Reagan’s presidency the highest tax rate was 50% – 15% higher than our current tax rate. Historically we have extremely low tax rates. Taxes are beside the point right now. We have created a giant fraud factory called Wall Street through the Securities Modernization Act of 1999. I would like to see regulation brought back to the set of laws that worked in America for 60 years – Glass Steagall act. However, that will never happen as long as the Tea Party opposes all of Ronald Reagan era financial laws as communism.  Wall Street simply has to say “Government Regulation” and millions of Tea Party idiots will get behind whatever fraud they want to perpetuate.

    • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

      MODAVATIONS:  “We want absolutely everyone to be rich,so you’ll buy our products.”

      CEREBUS THE BARBARIAN:  “Cerebus doesn’t love you, he just wants all of your money.”

      Capitalism only began to make “everyone” “rich”–i.e. created a strong, prosperous middle class–by reversing old-style capitalist excesses by building strong unions, regulating companies, building social safety nets, and taxing the wealthy at high rates. Once we started destroying that system, the gap between the rich and the poor began to widen. Your model of capitalism is inherently cruel and selfish.

      As for caring so much for the individual, unless all individuals are free from material worry, free to pursue their education and secure their health without going into debt, and free from corporate slavery and concern over a poisoned environment, they are not truly free.

      Regressive (not “conservative”) philosophy boils down to a justification for selfishness and greed.

  • Modavations

    In the 1950′s the Black illegitimacy rate was 15%ish.After the Great Soc.laws the rate jumped to 26%.Moynihan wrote in the Negro Family(1965),that welfare was blowing up the Black family. To receive a check,no father was allowed in the home.Now the rate is 75%ish and in the ghettos,over 90%.While Dems.were probably well meaning in the beginning,they could have changed the laws and saved the black family.They didn’t and I think it was all for the vote.They created a voting bloc ,from a dependent class.Shame,shame.

    • mikey

      What always bothers me about these arguments is that most conservatives ignore all of the Welfare reform laws that have been passed since the 70s and 80s. The generational welfare problem was significantly changed with “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996″

  • Gregg
    • Gregg

      No one wants to touch this. Truth hurts.

      • nj

        Today’s subject: “Obama and the Politics of Race”

        Sorry, Greg, your story is only batting one out of three.

        Irrelevant, like much of what you post.

  • mikey

    You had several black commentators specifically saying that they would vote for Obama because he was black, yet somehow he had to overcome his race to win the presidency? You don’t think liberals voted for Obama because he is black? I am sure some people did not vote for Obama because he is black but he picked up just as many voted for him for he was. Everyone I know, including myself, voted for Obama because we were hoping for a candidate like Roosevelt, who might be able to reform the banking system. He immediately selected Tim Geithnar, Larry Summers and Ben Bernenke. The exact same crowd that got us into this mess. He got rid of all of our greatest economic reformers – Paul Volcker, Elizabeth Warren and Sheila Bair. I am furious with Obama. He didn’t take on Wall Street at all. I thought I was voting for Roosevelt and I got Hoover. He is unable to make a case for Democratic ideas. Instead he gives us “trickle down economics” light. 

    • Sarah

      I’m a liberal who voted for President Obama, too. And I’m disappointed in the lack of more progress (no single payer health care program, for example). But don’t be such a purist. The President can only do so much, and he is a pragmatist who sees the need to make compromises to get ANYthing done at all. If you and all other angry liberals would just take to the streets, a la the Egyptians, to protest the banksters, why, then maybe Congress would pay attention. Don’t blame the President for being human. He is not about to put the noose around his own neck when he knows people are out to lynch him.

      • mikey

        I am not liberal. I’m not anti-business. I’m anti-fraud. 

        Taxes are lower on the wealthy now than any year that Reagan was president except 1988. Before he had any opposition from the Republican party he appointed Tim Geitnar a registered Republican, Ben Bereneke a registered Republican and Larry Summers (father of the derivatives market) as his economics team. These are the people who created the recession through horrible economic policy! This was when he entered office and had incredible political momentum to reform Wall Street. 
        Paul Volcker the only fed chief to bring America out of a serious depression in the early eighties was sidelined for being too liberal. Did Obama decide to bring back funding to the SEC? I don’t remember him telling Wall Street “Fraud is not Business”. Derivatives were going to be put on an exchange but the minute Wall Street threatened he completely walked away from the proposal. 

        Obama has never been able to make a good case for any reform because he wants campaign contributions from the financial services industry as much as any Republican. Obama doesn’t negotiate he capitulates.  This is exactly what happened with Hoover and to some degree Roosevelt before he was faceing a revolution. They didn’t want to shake things up or take on vested interests. Until our financial system goes through serious and systematic reform to reinstate Glass Steagel and overturn the Securities Modernization Act of 1999 we are going to suffer. We can’t fix a system where bankrupting a business is as profitable as creating successful companies. America knows how to build a succesful economy we did it for 60 years after World War II. Why don’t we just go back to the laws that worked during those years. Obama won’t say that because Wall Street profits matter more to his election than main street jobs. 

    • Roy Mac

      Oh, come on!  The fact that McCain is a certifiable loose cannon with that nitwit Palin–who was going to accede when McCain kicked off at his advanced age–the goofball-in-waiting, didn’t affect your choice??  It sure as hell did mine!

  • mikey

    This guest had to jump through some linguistic hoops to make this argument. The “he didn’t win the white majority argument” is simply ridiculous. 

    Here are actual facts:
    1. Obama is the first president Dem president since Jimmy Carter to win the popular-vote majority. He didn’t just win, he did very, very well. 
    2. Rush Limbaugh is a conservative commentator. During Clinton’s time in office Rush accused him of murder-for-hire, said his daughter looked like a dog, called his wife a Lesbian and basically fed into every conspiracy theory he could find. Was this because Clinton was white? Is the test of race in American what Rush Limbaugh says. This is like using Farrakhan as the representative of black america.
    3. When was the last time any Democratic president won the white majority vote? The guest makes it sound like every Democrat was winning the white majority vote but it suddenly stopped with Obama. I’ll bet the last Democratic Candidate to win the white-majority vote was Lyndon Johnson. He again won a larger majority of the white vote for any candidate since Carter. So who was the last Dem candidate to win a majority of the white vote? Lynden Johnson?

    This guest makes it sound like he will only accept a post racial America when citizens of an opposite political philosophy and interests will vote for a black candidate.  

    • Zing

       I question the statements you attribute to Rush, even though they are debatable. I only know Rush despised Clinton.  But you have to admit that Rush is correct when he says Obama’s election was a racist act.  The stats speak to this truth.  And, since you admit listening to Rush, you must agree that he was correct in all his predictions for the Obama presidency.  

      • mikey

        First of all you can easily Google the murder-for-hire plot around Vince Foster or the show when Rush called Chelsea Clinton a dog. I certainly don’t need to reference that for you. Obama is a disaster because he failed to do the needed reforms to reverse the Bush recession and reform Wall Street. Remember the policies created the “fraud is business” climate on Wall Street, off book conduit accounting, falsified corporate reports, and destroyed common sense “government regulations” were championed by Rush. 

        If your a Republican and you like Reagan why not return to the level of regulation that was in place when he was in office. Why turn Wall Street into an economics experiment by destroying the SEC. Do you really want a banking system where deposits are not insured by the FDIC or banks are allowed to invest your savings in risky leveraged assets? Why not just stick with what works?

        • Gregg

          The late great Molly Ivins wrote that Rush called Chelsea a dog but he didn’t. Not even close. I am familiar with the charge and it’s bogus. It stems from his TV show and I was watching at the time. It’s not what happened. I have no idea what the murder for hire thing is about but Rush is a harmless lovable fuzzball.

          Lame.

      • TFRX

        I don’t know that anyone should be taking Rush Limbaugh’s word for what is and isn’t racist.

      • Hidan

        speaking of stat’s

        Many still show that the republican’s base often consist of racist or displays racist behaviors towards blacks, just one of the reason why many blacks don’t vote republican. Quite simple.

        Talks radio is even worst and promotes such bigotry and racism esp towards blacks.

        Stat’s also show that racism of blacks comes from the right in policy and deed far more than anything on the left. It’s quite dumb to vote for a party that has such a base.

        As for Rush predictions? complete trash.

        • nj

          “Zing” is just spamming about Rush’s “predictions.” This is about the tenth time they’ve brought it up in the last week or so. Best to ignore.

  • Gregg

    Has anyone here given ANY hard evidence of racism towards Obama? I agree with Democrat Kirsten Powers about it being racist to see everything through the lens of race as Ed Shultz did recently.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/08/21/kirsten-powers-maybe-ed-schultz-is-the-racist/

    I’ll stick with the words of a great Republican, Martin Luther King Jr.: “I have a dream that my four little children will one
    day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their
    skin, but by the content of their character.”

    • TFRX

      Wow. Yes, there’s not any hard evidence of racism toward President Obama. You got us.

      And MLK, Republican. Pfffft.

      As for Kirsten Powers, never heard of her. A quick search shows she spends a lot of time on Fox News criticizing Dems, so we got ourselves a Democratic Concern Troll.

      • Gregg

        Kirsten Powers is an honorable and knowledgeable Democrat. MLK was an honorable and knowledgeable Republican.

        Where’s the hard evidence?

        • TFRX

          Great claims require extraordinary proof.

          Yep, all those racist Dixiecrats who switched to Nixon’s Solid South just lurved them some Dr. King.

          • Hidan

            Did you Notice how Greg did not respond?

          • Pirozhkov

            we noticed how our dear vilage … `Michael’ aka “independent internet professional” has returned in a new shiny armor.
            He can change the name but not his style and poor command of English language. Mods beware.

      • Hidan

        Remember reasoning,facts and baseline logic does not work with these folks,

        As for Kirsten Powers she’s about as much of a democrat as Alan Colmes

        Hard evidences,
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirsten_Powers

        She is a regular guest host on Hannity and was rumored to be one of the top contenders to replace Alan Colmes when he left the Hannity & Colmes show in December, 2008.

        • Gregg

          What on earth are you talking about? Fox is chock full of Democrats, are they all illegitimate to you? Alan Combs is virulently left.

          • TFRX

            Alan “Coma” Colmes is not virulently anything. He is as threatening as a “yield” sign.

            (Neither is Juan Williams, nor Joe Lieberman, the Dems’ professional concern troll.)

            Spend enough time watching Fox and you’re very ill prepared for what a real fighting moderately-leftish sort sounds like.

          • TFRX

            Alan “Coma” Colmes is not virulently anything. He is as threatening as a “yield” sign.

            (Neither is Juan Williams, nor Joe Lieberman, the Dems’ professional concern troll.)

            Spend enough time watching Fox and you’re very ill prepared for what a real fighting moderately-leftish sort sounds like.

          • Andre Everett

            and no longer on Fox

          • Gregg

            He’s still on.

          • nj

            Not sure who Combs is, but compared to anything else on Fox, Colmes may be virulently left. “Hard-hitting liberal” as Fox puts it.

            Which is kind of like saying beige is a strong, vibrant color.

            Compared to even what now passes for the moderate left, Colmes is milquetoast, which, of course, is why Fox has him. If they can represent his tepid, timid offerings as “hard-hitting liberal,” anything further left of that is Communism.

            It’s laughable how distorted and narrow the Foxbots’ conception of the political continuum is.

    • Hidan

      Ask and you will receive of course this is a republican and we all know republicans aren’t racist. As for MLK is that before or after the Dixiecrat went to to republican party cause Folks like MLK wanted equal rights?

      Anyways enjoy,

      Orange County Republican Party Member Circulates Racist Email Targeted At President Obama

      http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/04/15/orange-county-republican-party-member-circulates-racist-e-mail-targeted-at-president-obama/
       
      Written under the words, “Now you know why — No birth certificate!”,
      is an Obama family portrait depicting his parents as chimpanzees.

      When asked if she thought the email was appropriate, Davenport is
      quoted as saying, “Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am
      not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I
      only sent it to a few people–mostly people I didn’t think would be upset
      by it.”

      Former Chairman of the California Republican Party Michael Schroder
      has demanded Davenport’s resignation saying it’s not her first brush
      with racist rhetoric.

      • Gregg

        Chimpanzees are racist? Do you remember Howard Cosell?

        • Hidan

          Think much? So let me get this straight. So comparing the Rick Perry comment of Black cloud to be referring to Obama is racist and beyound the pale but photo shopping obama’s face on a chimpanzees with a male and female Chimpanzee holding him stating it’s his mother and father and the reason he doesn’t have a birth Certificate is not?

          You ask for evidence and got it, funny how you see nothing wrong with it. seems you missed what other republicans clearly saw as wrong

          Republican denounced for racist e-mail

          http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/04/17/Republican-denounced-for-racist-e-mail/UPI-73041303071387/

          Another,

          Virginia Beach Republican Party chair Dave Bartholomew forwarded a
          racist email comparing African Americans to dogs. The email, subject
          line “my, dog,” consists of a racist parable about African Americans and
          welfare.

          http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/racist-email-flap-blows-up-virgina-beach-gop.php

          You sir have no creditability and a great example of the tea-party views.

        • Hidan

          Michael Schroeder, former chairman of the California Republican
          Party, also damned the image, calling for Davenport’s resignation or
          ouster.

          “My jaw dropped when I saw it,” Schroeder said. “I’ve never seen anything so offensive sent out by an elected official.”

          Yet here we have Gregg here seeing nothing wrong. But instead of denoucning it he attempted to deflect it with Howard Cosell.

          • nj

            I’d offer that Gregg is a master of deflection, but he’s actually pretty clumsy about it.

          • Gregg

            No dude, I’m staring it straight in the face and going where few will in this pathetic PC environment.

          • Gregg

            Well I was until the censor got me.

          • TFRX

            Go on: Say you’ve been witch-hunted. Say that white men who can’t shout n—–r in a crowded Apollo Theater is the worst free speech restriction EVAH.

            Then your delusion will be complete.

          • TFRX

            Go on: Say you’ve been witch-hunted. Say that white men who can’t shout n—–r in a crowded Apollo Theater is the worst free speech restriction EVAH.

            Then your delusion will be complete.

          • TFRX

            Go on: Say you’ve been witch-hunted. Say that white men who can’t shout n—–r in a crowded Apollo Theater is the worst free speech restriction EVAH.

            Then your delusion will be complete.

        • Andre Everett

          What Cosell said was “look at him run like a little monkey” talking about Art Monk RedSkins. i wouldn’t say that made Cosell a racist, just lost for words, I was watch the game, and I’m a colored guy

      • nj

        There’s this as well:

        audio:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URAAfREIRGA

        story:

        http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/08/01/doug_lamborn_tar_baby

        LAMBORN: Even if some people say “well, the Republicans should have done this, or should have done that,” they will hold the President responsible. Now, I don’t even want to be associated with him, it’s like touching a, a tar baby and you get it…you know you’re stuck and you’re part of the problem and you can’t get away.

        • Gregg

          Another phrase that has been twisted and assigned a dastardly racist intent. It’s a sticky situation.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar_baby

          Please supply me with a list of words that can no longer be uttered by white people. I realize it applies only to white people.

          Strong content warning

          • TFRX

            Yes, that’s the worst thing ever: White people don’t get to use racist words. Oh, the suffering?

            Why is it that that vaults to the top of society’s problems with Foxholers and Dittoheads? Is that the biggest problem you got? 

          • Gregg

            “Worst thing ever”? Where do you get this stuff? I am saying the opposite. I am saying race is NOT the issue you make it out to be. I am saying because of Barrack Obama we can’t even have an honest discussion about race. He has been a disaster for racial harmony. Utter disaster.

            Hidan gets all upset about a picture of Obama as a chimp and I supply pages of pictures of Bush as a monkey and it’s removed. I supply racist remarks about Obama by Harry Reid, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden. It’s removed.

            I’m still banned on my other computer. I have been the epitome of polite and civil. No more. I’ve had it. I’m outa here. You are a racially obsessed, partisan hack not interested in the truth as are many of your brethren. If you want a colorblind society then be colorblind. If you want open and honest debate then engage in it. Your brand of dialogue is exactly the problem our divided country faces.

  • twenty-niner

    Candidate Obama:

    “We will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by
    finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs
    overseas.”
    President Obama:

    “Despite President Obama’s pledge to retain more hi-tech jobs in the U.S., a federal agency run by a hand-picked Obama appointee has launched a $36 million program to train workers, including 3,000 specialists in IT and related functions, in South Asia.”

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/soa_webservices/226500202

    The list goes on…

    Black, white, it’s all the same, huge fail.

  • MODAVATIONS

    Go check out H.Kong.No restrictions on bringing in currency.Even the bums are well coiffed

    • Hidan

      Oh yes,

      bums in china are living the life. If only the U.S. was like China.

      Seems we found our Maoist supporter.

  • NYC

    Why is it that it seems that Black scholars such as Randall Kennedy, Julius Wilson, Louis Gates, etc,  are only brought out when discussing issues of race? Meanwhile, people like Sharpton are given their own show.. Academia is full of Black scholars who can offer reasoned opinions, but rarely see the light of day outside of their ivory towers.

  • TFRX

    Funny that NPR had someone on later today (All Things Considered?–not sure who and when). The guest said that President Obama couldn’t be seen as doing too much for the African-Americans, lest he be accused of being a one-race or one-consituency president.

    The funny part is that so many of the economic policies one might consider in order to help working-class Americans, especially at this point in the business cycle, and considering how poorly the poor fared during the Bush “recovery”, would help millions and millions of poor whites and blacks (hell, all races) alike.

    But those lower-class whites seem to have been convinced by Fox, Rush, and the helpless-to-fight-it mainstream press, that “the other” was getting “too much” out of government back when Shrub was president. So it’s politically a no-go: Sliced nose, meet spited face.

  • Steve

    Making predictions about what people will say 50 years from now? Black, white, yellow, red, brown… that’s just silly, and utterly beside the point.

  • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

    The clip from Rush “Take-the-bone-out-of-your-nose” Limbaugh is a great illustration not only of popular American racism but the regressive right’s sheer love of lowbrow anti-intellectual malevolence.  I suppose we will never be without such evil human beings as Rush and his dittoheads, but we could restructure society so that their ilk is restricted to the fringe rather than front-and-center in the culture.

    • CS

      Culture is produced in an organic way and resists structuring. The fact that Rush and others like him are in the spotlight says something about all of us even those who dislike Rush like you and I.

  • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

    Race isn’t everything, but it is something in the opposition to Obama, as our guest just said. If racial attitudes hadn’t evolved, Obama could not have won. However, that very evolution also helped sublimate racism, bury it under denials or excuses, and so make it harder to root out except in the cases of outright shameless white supremacists. Two steps forward, one step back.

  • Hilary Stookey

    In canvassing for Obama in many many States on the Eastern Shore from NH down to SC, for sure I heard the words black and the “n” word spoken to my face. No hesitation.  eg. “I want change. He’s black.  You think I’m going to vote for a Black before a woman?”  On telling someone the Sunday morning that Powell had just endorsed him, I was told ” oh well, these “n…..s, they all stick together.”

    Yes, this President did represent me, my family and our desires for the future.  I’m glad that enough of us “whites” had faith in him to carry that through. 

  • Boston mom

    YES, Obama really can do less than white presidents when it comes to race relations….and basically, EVERYTHING else.  There is more racism going on here with this president, and at such a crucial time, than people acknowledge. It’s such a shame. He gets criticized, but he is working within the confines not only of this economy but also working within the confines of people’s stereotypes and mindsets. This couple has been unfairly tainted from both Dems and Reps, and I still believe (and hope) they will go down as some of the best and most influential Americans in this time. He is being crippled, in part due to his race, and I am afraid Dems don’t grasp this. 

    • Boston mom

      Limbaugh is disgusting and foul. 

    • Andre Everett

      Dear Boston, you are so correct. As an American 1st and a black man 2nd I could not be prouder of our President. He and his wife are example of the greatness of our country and its diversity. My heart goes out to him and his family. Although he was elected by the masses, the masses are still not ready for a President of color. From day one the mission of the right was to see him fail, they never tried to hide that fact.  He’s not an American black man, how could he be. Who cares that his mother was a white woman and he, raised by his white grandparents.  We have educated man that understands the meaning of American and its people. Obama is a gifted man, and as Americans we better take advantage of him, in a good way

  • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

    “A nightmare come true” indeed!

    To me, the nightmare is that the presence of a black Democrat in the White House seems to have unhinged the right wing, and they’ve been slowly becoming unhinged ever since the 60s. Hell hath no fury like a privileged white male scared about having to share his wealth, position, and personal space with the darker-skinned masses. I very much fear we in America (and maybe elsewhere) are teetering on the edge of a racially motivated, faith-based, pro-capitalist civil war, a last gasp by crazed regressive whites to hold on to what they deserve to lose.

    • AC

      hey!! my husband is a white man! I tease him all the time that he’s a
      ‘nice, small town yankee boy’. He’s so nice, sometimes it’s annoying…

      Anyway, he doesn’t have any problem with Obama being president and
      complained about people who complained about it during election season,
      esp. since he really disliked President Bush. Notice he was choosing politics as his guide.
      I’m not sure what this
      comment is suppose to do? Incite fear in ‘white men’?  Are you actually
      one of those white men, looking for a band of similar-minded brothers? Or is your
      reference to the 60s meant to imply you’re older? If you’re not a white man, you’re tone seems very accusatory and comes across as hypocritical….

      If so, your mode of thought is outdated for an increasingly smaller
      world. If not, your mode of thought is outdated for an increasingly
      smaller world. Connect more variables and start re-thinking your conclusion -
      Basically, right now, I feel like your argument seems as if it is trying to incite anger for the sake of anger and is unproductive.

  • SteveV

    Would someone explain to me exactly what the black community would like the President to do for them. Details, please.

    • Andre Everett

      Nothing!

    • Anonymous

      JOBS, and if not JOBS I am pretty sure they would like government handouts in any form possible, but Obama hasn’t brought any JOBS to their communities so he must be working on the latter option!

  • Concerned white guy

    I wonder if the problems the president has with jobs isn’t race based to some degree.  Boards of Directors that are sitting on so much money are generally older people and more apt to have a racial bias.  They are also more Republican and just don’t want to see him succede, so they do not allow their companies to hire. 

  • ezred

    Why can’t people on the left accept that some people on the right just don’t agree with President Obama’s policies? It does not have anything to do with race!

    • Gregg

      That’s the question. They just can’t imagine: 1) The policies they have been sold don’t work, and 2) anyone would disagree with the claim they do, it must be racism. It’s very shallow thinking.
       
      They would never consider the vile and despicable racism heaped on Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Ward Connerly, et al to be a problem. It’s excused. It’s all about ideology, the left cares not about the plight of blacks.

       

    • TFRX

      Why do all the non-racists on the right accept the “energy” and “good TV” which make the Teabaggers catnip to our commercial media (even when Fox isn’t being their own PR whores), while at the same time tut-tutting about the “few bad apples”?

      It has everything with being racist, or needing to appeal to racists. Stop appealing to that base, and one is called out as “squishy”. Stop appealing to the “differents” supporting the KenyanMuslimFascioSocialist Obama, and the energy dissipates.

      • BUGS Bunny

        In YOUR OPINION they are rasist.
        You only say that because they are White.
        Anti-Racism is just a codeword for anti-White

        • Hidan

          Cause Racist aren’t really racist but pro-white

          • guest

            nonsense. there are racists of all colors. it is not exclusively white thing.

    • BUGS Bunny

      Because race is real and it matters.  Black people don’t have a problem understanding this and voting racially.  Why do you have a problem with it?

  • Rocky-fjord1

    How long can I suffer this? Who cares? Not a critical national issue.
    The conservatives, under the final leadership of a really inept person,
    ran this country into the very ground. They now practice the politics
    of obstruction. If the electorate move further right, we’ll be following the
    pattern set by Germany between the great wars. There’s such a thing
    as a dictatorship of a majority. Only look at yes, COMMUNIST China with
    its committee of six, to know that democracy is not a panacea, and it
    can get mired if the electorate are propagandized into abject stupidity.
    If you want to really analyse what’s going on in this country, let’s start
    with Ortega y Gasset’s Revolt of the Masses, and then analyse why this
    nation’s electorate can’t hold a candle to China’s committee of six?

  • Rocky-fjord1

    That’s right. Goebbels was a muffin too. Limbaugh is a traitor to
    America — let me be the first to accuse him! An enemy of human decency.

  • Rocky-fjord1

    Those who tout Truth never have it.

  • GlennGary

    You may love him or hate him or not really care about him, but one thing you have to admit is that it took a disaster like Bush to make Obama possible. Like it or not, he is just one more thing we can thank the Bush administration for. And really what did it matter, no one who is going to go counter to the interests of the one percent is even going to have a chance in US politics. Everything is spin, everything is brand recognition and manipulation of the public by tried and true marketing techniques. Everything is the Parnership for a Drugfree America funded by alcohol and tobacco interests. Everything is disinformation, everything is manipulation, nothing is benign or even disinterested. Even if you live an upright life and never leave your room eventually they will screw with you, and you will lose, maybe your pension, maybe your life for the want of health care, maybe your freedom, because you don’t take their insanity seriously.

    • F R H 4700

      Bingo, Bingo, Bingo AND FU**ing Bingo was his dumb a## nameo.

    • cast away

      Mr. GlennGary – Very well said.  You hit the nail on the head.  Keep it up, sir.

  • Dr Gover

    When I see small-minded politicians casting long shadows over our lives I figure the sun must be setting.

    It seems like the right in this country wants to perpetuate Myth America, cloaked in their myopic “old time religion”. I wish they would all take up snake handling. I have never appreciated ignorance, and I disagree in principal with a political party that relies on it to succeed. The shadow of ole W feels like an eclipse of the light of intellectual freedom…well, freedom itself as I think about it. The republicans know the damage his administration inflicted on America or they wouldn’t be trying so hard to blame it all on our President. There’s no talking with them, though, I guess. An old humorous comeback we used in college seems to characterize them – “My mind’s made up; don’t confuse me with the facts!” I obviously wasted the ten years I spent in college. Darkness and superstition seem to have beaten the crap out of every intellectual endeavor for a number of years now. Well, I need to go touch up a couple of the drawings on my cave wall.

    • Farstrider_2

      Thanks, Doc, and if you need a reason to pull youor hole in behind you, ala the Roadrunner, check out the cabal Rick Perry belongs to-they believe we are “in the End times”, and must seize control of the nation, culture, etc. to ensure the world will be ready! 

  • Gregg

    Mr./Ms. Administrator, I implore you to stop removing my comments without trace. I have been maligned and replied coherently and honestly with tons of evidence. This is a conversation about race, if you are interested in making Republicans look bad and disallowing any rebuttal then you are not being honest. A recent WBUR post claimed to encourage robust debate from all sides. Was that an empty claim?

    Please restore my reply to Hidan. 

    • BUGS Bunny

      I just started reading this, and I have no idea what he said, but if he wasn’t using obsenities you should grant him his freedom of speech.

      • Farstrider_2

        That applies to the government, in its’ conduct towards citizens. Not to companies, and the (usually free-riding) commentators on a privately owned forum.

    • Hidan

      Wish the mod’s would restore it as well, just to prove how full of it you really are,

      It seems to you Biden’s a racist but Marilyn Davenport member of the tea party is not. When some like Davenport is racist, it’s telling it straight

      It is my belief from what you have posted so far, that you too hold some of the views Davenport does which makes it so hard for you to denounce it. So instead of admitting that you hold such views you attempt to deflect it by drawing false comparison to somehow make the action justifiable.

      Will you denounce that photo stating that Obama came from chimps  or not? or go on claiming that there no proof of a undercurrent of tea-party and conservative racism?

      PS, the mods delete and ban liberal,/democrats as well, the mods will give more leeway to people like yourself for fear of being called liberal while cracking down on liberal who respond than pridefully claim BUR is balanced. What the mods don’t mind are attacks on gays,blacks, Latinos, Muslims, poor, men(when it’s anything to do with women issues)

      • Gregg

        No, I never said Biden was a racist. Please don’t put words in my mouth. I will try again briefly.

        I took exception to Biden’s view that a clean, articulate black man was an exception. Here:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgIFV7jXBFQ

        And Harry Reid here:
        http://biggovernment.com/mikeflynn/2010/01/09/harry-reid-obama-light-skinned-with-no-negro-dialect/

        And Bill Clinton here:
        http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0110/Teddys_anger.html

        I pointed out that a chimp is a chimp and decried the automatic racial association. I also pointed Out it comes with the territory.

        Here:http://www.ielmira.com/pictureserver/var/albums/8130george-w-bush-monkey-posters.jpg?m=1294271204

        Here:http://jasonjeffrey.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/george-bush-monkey-4.jpg

        And  here:http://0.tqn.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/K/1/bush_chimps2.jpg

        And finally, I do not understand your hate. I denounce racism in the strongest terms. I have sided with MLK on not judging by the color of skin as Affirmative Action does. I am in favor of ending ANY reference to race on ALL government documents including the census. And I am heartbroken over how Obama has ruined all hope of an open honest dialog on race.

        If the administrator removes this then I ask at least they leave a “comment removed”.
         

        • Gregg

          Just to be clear, I think any comparison between monkeys and anyone is distasteful and mean-spirited, the theory of evolution notwithstanding. I go by one set of rules for everybody and make no distinctions between any race as I believe we are all equal. And I do credit both Bush and Obama for not rising to the bait and whining about it. They’re big boys doing a tough job in a very rough atmosphere.

          • Pirozhkov

            Thanks for all you posts, Gregg. 

        • Pirozhkov

          Oh, I understand his hate to the very core. This person, Michael (banned and now posting under Hidan nick),  is well known here for his outlandish claims, inability to conduct himself or  present an argument and most importantly listen to what others have to say. He is the very essence of a troll. No more, no less.  I encourage everyone to simply ignore him. Mods please take an action!   

          • Hidan

            kamikaze troll strikes again, got anything on Race or just came by to say hi?

            Oh yea Plushkin  keep
            whining about others, it gets you real far there buddy.Speaking of being banned Plushkin ring a bell??

        • Farstrider_2

          How did the President, Mr. Obama, “ruin the dialogue on race”? 

        • Hidan

          How did Obama ruined all hope for an open honest dialog on race yet at the same time is given credit for not rising to the bait and whining about
          it?

          • Gregg

            Fair question, my bad. I was referring to the nasty ass Davenport email. I never heard Obama react to it in any way and think I remember Gibbs declining to do so as well.

            In the campaign Obama said people didn’t like him because he doesn’t look like other Presidents. There were other instances where he played victim, most notably when Bill Clinton accused him of playing the race card. In fairness, Obama has a press more than willing to feed the masses. Next thing you know an email from a wacko means the Tea Party has no legitimacy because of their hateful racist views, or something.

            Beginning with the town hall confrontations and culminating with the Tea Party (which isn’t even a party), concerned good decent Americans used the privileges of Democracy to peacefully assemble and make their voices be heard. They (we) have due cause.

            But we’re racist aren’t we? Obama is beyond reproach.

            How is open honest dialog possible?

  • Lynngaulin

    Of course race plays a role in the general population and affects the Obama Presidency.  If it didn’t Rush Limbaugh & his like would have no audience.

  • Paul Egan

    Zounds!  What a deluge of empty-headed commentary, but appropriate to the program’s subject matter.  One can be certain that Race and Sex will find an audience for discussion, but what has become of subjects such as character, honesty, intelligence, integrity, personality?

  • Anonymous

    Is it racist that something like 90% of balck voters voted for Obama while the percentage of White Voters that voted for McCain was far less? LOL 

    • BUGS Bunny

      Anti-racist is just a codeword for anti-White.

      • Hidan

        Cause Racist aren’t really racist but pro-white

  • Bugs Bunny

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

    The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.
    Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

    What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

    How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?
    And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.
    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

    What they advocate is genocide

  • Anonymous

    Africa for the Africans,Asia for the Asians,white countries for EVERYBODY!

    Maybe if Saddam Hussein had just flooded the Kurdish villages with non-Kurds and ordered the Kurds to “assimilate” with the non-Kurds to “celebrate diversity” he could have waited a few decades,wiped out the Kurds as an ethnic group,no one would have accused him of committing an act of genocide?

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

    • BUGS Bunny

      The Chinese are doing that in Tibet and there is an uproar about it.  It is only PC to eleminate White people.

      • Farstrider_2

        I can’t find anyone who is saying this, except you and Glenn Beck-unless you are GB?  And what is happening in Tibet is not at all the same-we white people are having fewer children, and that is about the whole of the matter.  No invasion, no plot-just simple demographics.

    • Farstrider_2

      Hmm, lets see-the Kurds were not abducted from their homes, sold into slavery, denied their culture, their religion, their langauge-how exactly was your comment supposed to apply to anything the adults were saying?  No codes, here, child, and no excuses for fear and bigotry either.

      • Xpoohx

        hmmm, seems your comment is mute, farstrider, considering slavery was abolished century’s ago in America, as was the denial of culture & religion & language…that is why those that were in Slavery or had their culture, religion & even language abused, stayed in America, instead of returning to their orgins!!!! That is why they continue to fight, die & keep those freedoms intact!!! The majority of America, do not want to live in a dictatorship country, if they did they would , again move back to their orgins

  • Dee

    I find the whole Republican response to Obama’s agenda so dishearten-
    ing and misguided. I don’t know why more Republicans aren’t jumping
    ship and are refusing to sign on to hatefulness and narrow mindness
    of the Party’s extremists in the Tea Party….It’s a national disgrace.

    Moderate members in the GOP camp are helping to sink their party
    by remaining silent on this whole matter…I imagine the soon to re-
    tired baby boomers won’t bother crossing the aisle (so to speak) to
    and vote for them when they showed a spirit of compromise…

    Not to mention the some 20, 30 and 40yr olds looking on in disgust-
    ed at Mc Connell’s extortioism and Michelle Bachman’s rage daily.

    And let’s not forget the minority groups who feel left out and behind as the latest Pew study showed?  Thank God Obama and the first
    family went to Martha’s Vinyard last week for their vacation…

    It has been heart warming to see the local response from the people I was esp. impressed to read in the Boston Globe how one woman was
    lined up to see the president and hoped to give him “a hug” as she wanted to show her support for the difficult job he has to do….

    How terribly human that was! Especially, when one considers how Re-
    publicans are ignoring the real problems the president & the country are facing and as Paul krugman in the NYT pointed out are tuning out and creating false and unnecessary crisies to serve their political ag-
    enda… Shame on them! Dee

    • Xpoohx

      Dee how does disagreeing with bad policy, become a political agenda?  Especially when history tells us the policies Obama is trying to promote have never worked and is the very reason our fore father’s fled their country, to create a new & free world & a constitution that limits government, & is the very reason, why people fight to come into this country?  As they want to live in a country of free choice, not one where government can rule over your entire life

  • Dee

    This piece (URL below) in the New York Times yesterday is esp for
    Tom and Professor Randall….Here is the hypocrite Mitt Romney who has been complaining on Fox News about Obama taking a much de-served vacation on Marth’s Vinyard while he applied for a permit to expand his 12 million ocean front property in Californa to accom-modate his five sons families and his 16 grandchildren ….Dee

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/22/romney-renovations-draw-media-attention/?ref=todayspaper

    P. S. I think he should give back a lot of money to Uncle sam as I sure he took tax loopholes for his business and like others in his class creat-
    ed few– if any new jobs…

    • Xpoohx

      So dee, I suppose you feel Obama should reimburse the American people for their tax money, he continues to use for his own & his families persoanal agenda’s?

  • Quincy Jones

    First, I want to get a Couple of definitions out of the way.Racism: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. White men can’t jump. Black men have big, uh, tools. Black women are gold diggers. Asian women are submissive. Discrimination: the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually.The fact that Obama garnered so little disrespect that a member felt it was okay violate the rules of Congress and shout at a sitting President when those rules have NEVER been violated for ANY previous office holder. I would argue that debates concentrating on the former are frivolous at best. Since racism is a belief, how can we in a free society discount any one’s beliefs just because we find them abhorrent? The latter is the source of the real harm inflicted on the oppressed group (Race is a social construct. Technically, a social classification of human beings based on arbitrary criteria). By swinging the discussion to the “harmful” belief instead of the harmful action, we give those who would discriminate the perfect out. An attack on some one’s beliefs is always defensible. Actions, not so much. Here lies the evil genius of the “race card” defense and the diversion of “they did it to Bush too” argument.  I suppose this is human nature to want to know why somebody does something, though. A child who breaks 2 dishes by accident is in much less trouble than one who breaks 1 on purpose. Motive doesn’t change what happened. This diversion is used to justify discrimination based on not just race but also social class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.I’m sure those discriminated against are not out to change the hearts and minds of people with “harmful” beliefs and attitudes. The fight is always about the equal treatment. The dirty word should not be racism but discrimination. We use this context to “prove” racism but it is ultimately irrelevant. E.g. “If that had been a (insert privileged group here) they wouldn’t have been able (insert discriminatory act here), but because he’s not (insert discriminated against group here) he can get away with it.”

  • Pingback: Randall Discusses The Persistence of the Color Line with MSNC’s Dylan Ratigan « Knopf Doubleday - Pantheon

  • Cleaver

    Only the naive really thought that Obama’s election would usher in a “postracial” era in American life and politics. Clearly, that is not the reality. And, yes, race has an influence on how Obama is seen and evaluated. Race — or, more accurately, racism — has an influence on everything in the USA.

    That said, I take strong exception to the pernicious notion, voiced this time by Randall Kennedy, that Obama, as an African American man, is for that reason constrained from exercising all the power and influence that go with the presidency.

    First, that is nothing but a sorry excuse for Obama’s egregious failures in policy and politics.

    Second, and more seriously, to claim that an African American president must pull his punches — even and especially in times that call for strong presidential leadership on behalf of ordinary Americans — is tantamount to claiming that an African American president is not necessarily up to the job.

    Obama, as it happens, actually isn’t up to the job of president. He’s in way over his head (even, it seems, in the eyes of the Wall Street “former” lobbyists who installed him in the White House to do their bidding; that’s why the smart Wall Street money has been moving to Romney). But let’s not allow Obama’s incompetence and Obama’s psychology to circumscribe the expectations of future African American presidential candidates, or to define what can be expected of this or any other African American president.

  • Hobiejeepguy

    Isn’t 95% of African Americans voting for Obama racism?

    • Anonymous

      Not at all. It’s discerning selection. Next question.

    • http://twitter.com/Svenn6 Svenn

      Very logical question.

  • Xpoohx

    Obama is not all black, he is half white, so you can quit using the color card, as that is not why people oppose him….they oppose him because he is setting bad policies and has yet to be honest or even listen to this nations people.

  • http://twitter.com/Svenn6 Svenn

    This is the common ground on which anti-Whites say we must all agree:What is non-White belongs to non-Whites. What is White also belongs to non-Whites. 
    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

Sep 1, 2014
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

One outspoken fan’s reluctant manifesto against football, and the big push to reform the game.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 29, 2014
Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

 
Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

More »
Comment
 
Drew Bledsoe Is Scoring Touchdowns (In The Vineyards)
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

More »
Comment
 
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

More »
1 Comment