It would seem that to Drudge and The Weekly Standard this is poor taste, a point of controversy, and worth particular emphasis on their respective websites. To point. Drudge has as its lede following Obama's Morehouse address "I am a Black Man" under the President's photo. The Weekly Standard chose to place in bold for emphasis what they see as an impolitic and provocative phrase--"as a black man like you"--in their quoting of Obama's speech at Morehouse.
The President apparently did not learn from the public whipping he suffered by the Right-wing media when he committed a similar misstep in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting.
Let the complaints and predictable howls begin. The Tea Party GOP and their echo chamber will cry that "if a white president said 'as a white man like you'" that there would be charges of racism. The most dim bloviators on the Right will assert that "historically black colleges" are bastions of "hate" that discriminate against white people.
Never mind the fact that historically black colleges actually offer scholarships and special funding for white students because of a belief in the merits of racial diversity.
Thus, Obama must be a "black racist" who "hates white people" as Right-wing cheerleader Glenn Beck and others have suggested.
Since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, racial attitudes have worsened in the United States. In particular, white racial resentment and anti-black sentiments have hardened and increased among Republicans. This is not Barack Obama's fault.
From his "celebrated" "A More Perfect Union" speech on race in 2008 which signaled Obama's full separation from any sense that Black Americans have a unique set of justice claims that remain unfulfilled and largely ignored in this country, to his two terms in office, where he has supported a set of neoliberal, center-Right policy positions, the president has been largely agnostic on the race question. Instead, Barack Obama has relied on the symbolic power of his presence in the White House to be a stand-in and substitute for any significant progress against the inequalities and injustices which remain along the colorline.
As I suggested on Ring of Fire Radio in the days before the 2012 election, if the White Right hates Barack Obama that much, what do their rank and file think of everyday black and brown folks? What hate and contempt looms in their collective heart, either as overt bigotry under the banner of the Confederacy, the slogan of "we want our country back!" or in subconscious and implicit prejudice and bias?
The United States was designed and intended as a White Republic. Black folks, our presence and humanity, have long been viewed, and written into law, as being incompatible with "American." The citizenship and belonging of Black Americans--and other people of color--is contingent and permanent. It formed the basis against which Whiteness and the imagined fraternity of white men was created during the Founding and through to the middle part of the twentieth century when Jim and Jane Crow was demolished by the Civil Rights Movement.
The inclusion of non-whites as full partners in the American democratic project is still a work in progress. Obama's election represents a symbolic victory in that battle--although not a strategic one. Even such symbolic concessions are too much to accept for those who will follow the white identity politics Pied Pipers in the Right-wing echo chamber who will lead their lemmings in feigned upset and complaint that Obama dared to remind people that he is black (again).
Appeals to white victimology and "black racism" should be obsolete. They lost the Republican Party two elections. Nevertheless, the Southern Strategy and the ghosts of the Confederacy in Red State America and the Tea Party GOP continue to demand their offerings.
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