Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Tavis Smiley Says He’s Not an Obama Critic: Hmmmmmm

tavis smiley says he's not a critic of barack obama

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President Obama’s Approval Rating Reaches an All-Time Low

barack obama, black politics

President Obama received some bad news this week:  A recent Gallup Poll found that the approval rating for the president has dropped below 40 percent for the first time ever.  A full 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the job the president is doing.   This revelation puts President Obama into George Bush territory.  Bush’s approval rating dropped below 40 percent in early 2006 and never recovered after that.

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Fox News Calls President Obama’s Birthday Party a “Hip-Hop Barbecue that Didn’t Create Jobs”

black politics, african american politics, hip hop barbecue

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

It appears that Fox News is at it again.   The same network that has commentators like Eric Bolling, who asked why President Obama was "inviting so many hoods to the hizzy" referenced his 50th birthday party as a "Hip-Hop Barbecue." 

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The White House’s Progress on Civil Rights: Laying Out Some Facts

 

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, YourBlackWorld.comScholarship in Action 

Below is a direct cut and paste of the White House’s most recent work on Civil Rights.  I obtained the information from this link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/civil-rights.  I was inspired to visit the page after receiving an email from Michael Blake, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement (he was on the panel with myself, Al Sharpton and Ben Jealous at the Measuring the Movement forum this year in New York City).  They are working hard to get African Americans enthusiastic about the 2012 elections and Blake is the man on the job.

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MSNBC Reporter Accidentally Tweets “Obama Killed”

 

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World 

Yes class.  This is why we double check and proofread our work.  MSNBC reporter Norah O’Donnell, in an effort to get the news out ahead of the competition, sent this message out on Twitter, citing NBC Chief Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski as her source.  You can imagine that she probably got more than a couple of tweet backs as a result.  The killing of Osama Bin Laden was the big news of the day, but some would speculate that the killing of President Obama would make for a more shocking headline.

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President Obama Meets with Participants in the 1968 Sanitation Strike

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“The President invited the living participants in the Memphis Sanitation Strike to honor their courage, and their fight on behalf of all workers for safe conditions, respect in the workplace and a better life for themselves and their families. As workers across the country continue to face challenges to their rights, the issues for which these men fought continue to be relevant  and the President remains committed to the causes for which they marched.” – from the White House

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President Obama, Appeasement, and The Birth of a Nation

 

by Frank IgweYour Black World 

"Appeasement is like feeding the crocodile, hoping that it will eat you last.” -Winston Churchill

As Hitler’s Third Reich expanded across Europe, and leader after leader sought to placate and temper his appetite for war by surrendering territory in the hope for peace, Winston Churchill took a stand, and stated: "Appeasement is like feeding the crocodile, hoping that it will eat you last.”You see, Churchill understood a basic truth that has been around since the beginning of time: A bully will continue to be a bully, until you take a stand and fight. Hitler’s aggression was built on a platform of racial superiority, of dividing the world into “in-groups” and “out-groups”, the chosen and “the others”, slaves and slave masters. He may have succeeded in his quest for world domination, and global ethnic cleansing had it not been for one courageous leader who said, ENOUGH!

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President Obama Releases His Official Birth Certificate

White House releases Obama birth certificate

Your Black World reports

President Barack Obama has officially released the long form of his birth certificate in response to the questions about whether or not he was born in the United States.  Originally, the president had only released the short form copy, which led to speculation that he was born abroad.

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Rep. Allen West’s Sloppy Words about President Obama

 

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black WorldScholarship in Action 

Below you can watch the video of Allen West, a black Republican, engaging in a highly-disrespectful attack on President Barack Obama. West seems to swim like a happy little pig in the attention he is receiving from Fox News for his willingness to undermine the credibility of another black man in ways that would be maligned if he were white. Because he’s black, it’s hard to accuse West of racism. But he can certainly be accused of being a tool for racists to promote an agenda built on sloppy, malicious rhetoric feeding on white American fears of black men in true positions of power.

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Az Governor Vetoes the “Birther Bill”

 

From CNN.com

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill late Monday that would have required President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove they were American citizens, born in the United States, before their names could have been placed on the state ballot.

The so-called "birther bill" got final approval in the state House last week. Now that Brewer, a Republican, has vetoed it, the bill will not become law unless legislators vote to override her veto.

"As a former Secretary of State, I do not support designating one person as a gatekeeper to the ballot for a candidate, which could lead to arbitrary or politically-motivated decisions," the governor wrote in a letter addressed to the Arizona House speaker.

 

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Republican Leader/Birther Puts Obama’s Face on a Chimp

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World 

Orange County Republican Committee member Marilyn Davenport is in hot water after distributing an email that features President Obama as the child of a family of chimpanzees.  In the email, which was widely-distributed, the long-standing committee member sent out the picture with the caption, “Now you know why – No birth certificate!”

County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh has called for Davenport’s resignation, saying that the picture was "dripping with racism and is in very poor taste." He also referred the matter to the GOP Ethics Committee.

Davenport, however, seems to think that the email has nothing to do with racism.  Instead of taking responsibility for her insulting actions, she described the email as a “joke” and wanted to find out who leaked the email, writing “Anyone brave enough to come forward?”

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What to Make of the Sharpton/West/Obama Divide? Dr. Boyce and Dr. Wilmer Leon Break it Down

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Quick note from Dr. Boyce:  After watching the recent blow up between Dr. Cornel West and Rev. Al Sharpton over the Obama presidency, I felt it important to bring some knowledge and common sense to the discussion.  So, I reached out to Dr. Wilmer Leon, who is one of the most respected experts in black politics and political science in the country.  Dr. Leon teaches at Howard University and is also the host of “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon” on Sirius 820/XM 169, “The Power.”

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Democrats.com Campaigns to Support Obama’s Budget for 2012

 

Dear Fellow Democrat,

On Friday, John Boehner’s House Republicans plan to ram through their rightwing TeaParty budget for 2012, which would destroy Medicare to pay for bigger tax breaks for billionaires.
But the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) fought for – and won – a separate vote on the "People’s Budget," which fights for the priorities we and most Americans support.

Tell your Representatives to vote for the CPC People’s Budget.

In a nutshell, the CPC People’s Budget:

1. Eliminates the Deficit by 2021 without devastating Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

The CPC budget targets the true drivers of deficits: the Bush Tax Cuts, the wars overseas, and the causes and effects of the recent recession. By implementing a fair tax code, by building a resilient American economy, and by bringing our troops home, it achieves a budget surplus of over $30 billion by 2021.

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Glenn Beck Booted Off Fox News: What This Says About America

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action

I admit feeling a bit of glee upon hearing that Fox News is going to part ways with Glenn Beck. After watching his ratings decline, the network decided that it’s best that Beck take his chalk board elsewhere and find something new to do with his time. The departure is likely good for America, for Beck became one of the most divisive figures in the country.

What can’t be overlooked in Beck’s break from Fox is the fact that the decision was likely a financial one. Fox was losing millions when advertisers decided to boycott Beck’s show, largely because they didn’t want their products to be affiliated with a man with such extremist viewpoints. According to ColorofChange.org, Beck has lost 300 advertisers, primarily because of comments he has made about President Obama having a hatred of white people. Remarks like this one, along with other conspiracy theories Beck threw at the nation every afternoon, likely led to his demise.

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President Obama’s Remarks at the National Action Network

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

AT THE NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK ANNUAL GALA

Sheraton New York Hotel

New York, New York

6:01 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Good to be in New York City.  Let me begin by acknowledging some very, very special guests.  Dr. Richardson, thank you.  Charlie Rangel, for your outstanding work on behalf of your constituents.  Mayor David Dinkins.  (Applause.)  Governor David Paterson is here.  (Applause.)  State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.  DiNapoli, excuse me.  This is another one that’s hard to pronounce:  Stevie Wonder.  (Laughter.)  Martin Luther King III.  (Applause.)  All the Keepers of the Dream honorees with us tonight, and the National Action Network.

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Survey: 2/3 of African Americans Do Not Believe that Barack Obama is a True Civil Rights Leader

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I gave a speech at a church in upstate New York shortly after Barack Obama was elected President of the United States.  During the service, the choir director took the liberty of changing the words from the song “We shall overcome,” to “We HAVE overcome.”  I also remember hearing a woman outside the speech proudly announce that she had just bought a new picture of President Barack Obama.  The woman said she was going to put the image right next to her pictures of Martin Luther King and Jesus.  Apparently, Obama’s election was a second-coming of Juneteenth for those who seemed to feel that a black president could do no wrong.

But there is a more fundamental question in all of this:  Should President Obama’s image be placed next to those who’ve fought for Civil Rights in the  past?  In recent survey by YourBlackWorld.com, 62.9% of the 734 respondents said they do not consider President Barack Obama to be a true Civil Rights Leader.  Another 28.5% said that they do consider President Obama to be a Civil Rights leader.  The rest claim they aren’t sure.  

According to reference.com, Civil Rights are defined as “rights to personal liberty established by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. constitution and certain Congressional acts, especially as applied to an individual or a minority group.”

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Racially-Derogatory Obama Pics Found on U. Kentucky Campus

University of Kentucky reports racist Obama signs

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World 

It turns out that pictures were found on the University of Kentucky campus with derogatory language aimed at President Barack Obama.  Police are investigating the incident, and a professor said he found one of the pictures hanging in the College of Law of all places.  If the police find out who put out the signs, they could be charged with third-degree criminal mischief.

As an alum of The University of Kentucky, the incident doesn’t surprise me.  When I was a student there in the 1990s, there were a multitude of racially-charged incidents.  In fact, I feared for my life with all the death threats I would receive after writing articles in the campus newspaper (someone even warned me that they spoke heavily of me at a local klan rally).  The school’s racial hostility was a great training ground for years later, when I would get death threats from Fox News viewers after sparring with Sean Hannity on television.

In 1996, the black students held a  month-long protest after a black female student (Tanya Clay) had a knife put to her throat simply because she’d written a letter stating that she agreed with my columns.  At the time, most of the white students hated me and many black people feared me (since my rabble rousing would get them into trouble), for the campus is relatively conservative. Rather than quickly denouncing the Clay incident and dealing with the issue, university administrators (including the black ones) chose to tone it down in order to avoid embarrassment right before the Final Four.  

The funny thing about the University of Kentucky (as with many other universities) is that they don’t realize that the racial apples don’t fall far from the tree.  The campus still, to this day, doesn’t do a very good job of hiring a diverse faculty, but they are always very good at finding great black basketball players.  If the school is not properly teaching students to respect diversity, then how can one expect them to learn it?

In the UK College of Law, the place where one of the derogatory pictures of Obama was found, I remember seeing a picture of all the Law School faculty on the wall.  The picture was placed next to another image of all of the janitorial staff.  The faculty picture was 100% white, the janitorial one was 100% black.  This says a great deal about the University of Kentucky plantation.

Sure, the picture I described was one that I saw in 1993, a full 18 years ago.  But the saddest thing about it is that not much has changed since then.  Perhaps one day my alma mater will wake up and smell the racism.   But then again, denial is always a simple solution.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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“Obama is Not Loyal to His Old Friends in Chicago”

 

It appears that Hermene Hartman, a black businesswoman in Chicago, feels that President Obama is not loyal to his friends in Chicago who launched his political career.  Here is an excerpt of an interview she did with Chicago magazine:

 

CF: What’s your relationship with the Obamas?
HH: It used to be good. It used to be superb before they got to the White House. I haven’t been invited, and I’m insulted.

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Rush Limbaugh Says that Obama is Not Really a Black Man

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action 

It appears that the “great” Rush Limbaugh doesn’t believe that Barack Obama is black.  On his show, Limbaugh responded to Obama’s suggestion during a meeting that some of the animus being shown toward him was driven by race (which we all know plays a huge role in the unprecedented attacks he’s been facing from his political opponents).  On his radio show, Limbaugh had this to say:

"Let me ask you a question. How many people really think of Obama as black? …One of Obama’s parents is black. Undeniable. But he was raised by a white mother, by white grandparents. He went to a highly exclusive private school in Hawaii with rich, white students and white teachers. He went to exclusive colleges that were practically lily-white. Barry Obama is from a very white, albeit radically left, cultural background. He’s not from the hood. He’s not from the movement…I’m telling you, there is a chip on this guy’s shoulder, and it is a factor in every policy decision that he makes."

What’s interesting is that Rush Limbaugh’s statement is a powerful reminder of the kind of racism he embodies with his typical rhetoric.  Somehow, Limbaugh was made to believe that being black means that you are “from the hood” or “from the movement.”  The truth is that being black can also mean that you were born middle/upper class, attended elite universities, or are a sociopolitical conservative.  By confining blackness to mean that a person must have had a specific background or be confined to a particular economic or social class, Limbaugh comes off as the standard sort of racist who remains hell-bent on disrespecting our humanity.

The bottom line for Limbaugh is that there is no one way to be black.  What is also true is that anyone with two eyeballs fully understands that many of the attacks on President Obama are most certainly being driven by race.  Even I have personally expressed my disappointment in Obama’s style of governance, but what’s happening now is that Obama is being “Michael Vicked.”  In other words, those on the right wing are taking what might normally be considered to be standard disagreements and making them into rallying cries for impeachment.  They’ve taken a patriotic American and defined him to be an enemy of the state and one of the most atrocious human beings known to man.  It’s one thing to disagree with President Obama and another thing to disrespect both he and the presidency through the utilization of lynch mob –style attacks on the White House.  Ultimately, America’s commitment to both greed and racism may come to destroy our nation.  I pray that day never comes, but with men like Rush Limbaugh making a living off of our nation’s pending demise, it’s hard to remain hopeful.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce Watkins commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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What Obama Needs to Say to Black America in the State of the Union Address

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Next week’s State of the Union Address to be offered by President Barack Obama comes at a time when our nation is especially divided, and our future as a country is foggier than it has been in recent memory. The event that will be on everyone’s mind is the attempted assasination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from an assassin’s bullet in the hospital right now. The Giffords shooting has slowed down the most extreme Republican rhetoric for the moment, but it certainly has not ended the animosity shown toward President Obama.

While President Obama must contend with the Republicans, he must also deal with a wide variety of special interest groups, all expecting something in return for their loyalty. With well over 90 percent approval ratings, no group has been more steadfast and committed to President Obama than the African American community. Therefore, as we seek to determine what our community should expect from the State of the Union address being given this week, we have every right to demand what is best for us.

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