Obamas Talk About Racism, Right Freaks Out

The president and first lady gave an interview to People magazine in which they shared some of their experiences with racism, both overt and subtle. Judging from the reaction of the right wing, you’d think they came out dressed as Malcolm X and shouted “death to whitey!” rather than giving a few examples of implicit racism.

“I think people forget that we’ve lived in the White House for six years,” the first lady told PEOPLE, laughing wryly, along with her husband, at the assumption that the first family has been largely insulated from coming face-to-face with racism.

“Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs,” Mrs. Obama said in the Dec. 10 interview appearing in the new issue of PEOPLE…

“There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” said the president, adding that, yes, it had happened to him.

Mrs. Obama recalled another incident: “He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.”

Things have gotten better, both Obamas agreed, but there’s still more progress to be made.

“The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced,” President Obama said.

Naturally, his totally-not-racist enemies are flipping out over it. Look at the comments at this conservative website, like this one from Herman:

The “funny” part?

The Obama’s have succeeded because of their race. (Michelle Obama at Harvard Law School? Please)

Not in spite of it.

They are truly disgusting people.

Is there some reason why it would be surprising that Michelle Obama graduated from Harvard Law? She graduated high school as the salutatorian and was a member of the National Honor Society. She was a Princeton undergrad, which is certainly a feeder school for Harvard Law, and she graduated cum laude. She was by all accounts an excellent student. Wanna take any bets on whether Herman could get into Princeton and Harvard? But she’s black, you see, so she must not have earned it. Black people never earn anything, dontchaknow.

The right wing blosophere is alive with accusations of “playing the race card” and “race-baiting” and “using race to divide America.” These people really do want to believe, and want others to believe, that there is no racism in America other than those ungrateful dark-skinned people who won’t just shut up and pretend it’s all a meritocracy. As usual, they’re completely out of touch with reality.

Study after study after study shows that race is still a huge factor in how we evaluate people. When two people apply for the same position, try to rent an apartment or try to get a loan, even if their qualifications are absolutely identical, the black person is far less likely to be given the opportunity. But those facts are inconvenient, so they pretend they don’t exist and scream about reverse racism in order to cover up their own ignorance and racism.

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  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    When two people apply for the same position, try to rent an apartment or try to get a loan, even if their qualifications are absolutely identical, the black person is far less likely to be given the opportunity.

    Look, if they wanted to be first in line, even if they didn’t get their first, instead of using the government to force us Standard Americans to allow them in line or, worse, to take a step back so that they could stand in front of some of us, they should have planned their lives better, by having white parents like we did.

     

    Plus, they should stop being so angry and threatening all the time. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to cross the street to avoid some gangster thug with Skittles, or heard one threaten the police with “I can’t breathe!”.

  • Al Dente

    Naturally, his totally-not-racist enemies are flipping out over it.

    Some people will find any excuse to piss and moan about Obama.

  • voss

    Regarding Herman’s comment above, I think he may be presenting us with a good example of Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE).

    My recollection of FAE is that, when considering others, we attribute successes to external factors such as luck or (in this case) racial preferences and failures to internal factors such as a poor work ethic or some other character flaw. Conversely, when considering only ourselves, we attribute successes to our own efforts and failures to external factors like bad luck or “reverse racism.”

  • Michael Heath

    The moran Herman:

    The Obama’s have succeeded because of their race. (Michelle Obama at Harvard Law School? Please)

    Ed writes:

    [Michelle Obama] was by all accounts an excellent student. Wanna take any bets on whether Herman could get into Princeton and Harvard? But she’s black, you see, so she must not have earned it.

    Herman’s probably projecting Clarence Thomas’ attributes onto all black college grads. And in all fairness to Herman, Ms. Obama isn’t a conservative, so ‘ole Herm’s probably not capable of considering her qualities. That given the inability of conservatives to even confront reality, let alone respond rationally to reality’s facts.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Al Dente “Some people will find any excuse to piss and moan about Obama.”

    Yeah. Thanks Obama!

  • Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    The right wing blosophere is alive with accusations of “playing the race card” and “race-baiting” and “using race to divide America.” These people really do want to believe, and want others to believe, that there is no racism in America other than those ungrateful dark-skinned people who won’t just shut up and pretend it’s all a meritocracy. As usual, they’re completely out of touch with reality.

    Not only does the right deny reality when it comes to race, but they remain the chief cause of modern day racism. That’s in spite of their false claims they aren’t racists and they see no racism from white people. I do think this oblivious form of racism is less evil than the overt type, but it’s still evil and it still causes massive suffering.

  • caseloweraz

    The president and first lady gave an interview to People magazine…

    There’s the problem right there. Ev’rybody knows People is meant for white people. I mean, just look at the cover. Have you ever seen a black person on it?

    Oh, wait — http://www.hawtcelebs.com/lupita-nyongo-on-the-cover-of-people-magazine-may-2014-issue/

  • caseloweraz

    These commenters don’t even think about what they read; they just spout off in like-minded response to the groupthink.

    This sequence of comments, begun by “Sue B”, is an amusing example.

    1. What’s pathetic is that People would publish such drivel!

    2. they are in a death spiral

    3. Taking us with them

    4. Here’s to Hoping so.

  • caseloweraz

    Of course, Tim Graham (author of the Newsbusters article) is not much better. About Mrs. Obama’s story of another Target customer asking her for help, he wrote this:

    “Earth to Mrs. Obama: doesn’t the average Target customer know that the staff is always dressed in red? (My son is currently a Target employee.) Wouldn’t they know someone in a Nike hat and sunglasses isn’t on the staff?”

    Mr. Graham totally misses the point of the story. Apparently he never tried to find a Target staffer to ask for help. Or else he’s just spinning to follow the party line.

  • zmidponk

    @caseloweraz, Tim Graham should try talking to his son about his work sometime. Anyone who has worked retail for any length of time will be able to tell him the answer to that question is quite possibly ‘no’.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    notalwaysright.com is full of stories of customers mistaking all sorts of unlikely people for store employees.

  • wscott

    NY Magazine just did a great article on how both liberals and conservatives perceive racism.

    “Race, always the deepest and most volatile fault line in American history, has now become the primal grievance in our politics, the source of a narrative of persecution each side uses to make sense of the world. Liberals dwell in a world of paranoia of a white racism that has seeped out of American history in the Obama years and lurks everywhere, mostly undetectable. Conservatives dwell in a paranoia of their own, in which racism is used as a cudgel to delegitimize their core beliefs. And the horrible thing is that both of these forms of paranoia are right.”

    http://nymag.com/news/features/obama-presidency-race-2014-4/

  • dingojack

    Well to be fair, the Obamas could speak about Compton and Rayleigh Scattering and the Right would lose their tiny minds!

    >:| Dingo

  • Al Dente

    dingojack @13

    The sky is blue because that’s what God wants, not because of some nonsense about light waves and the size of air molecules.

  • Chris from Europe

    And now these shitheads try to blame the Obamas and de Blasio for what happened in NY. They should blame the police unions (i.e. themselves), for example.

  • caseloweraz

    It seems that “Rice-ism” might be the answer to racism.

    Connie L. Rice was on TTBOOK (To the Best of our Knowledge) tonight. Back in the 1970s, she protested the offenses of the LAPD — like the beating of Rodney King. Now she works with them. She (with the police chief’s approval) set up a 50-officer unit whose purpose was trust-building rather than arrest-building. The officers were hostile at first. But when they saw how her policies brought them acceptance in the “hoods” where they patrolled, they came around.

    Those who know L.A. might find this astounding: there has been no murder in Nickerson Gardens for three years. It’s one result of Rice’s policies.