The Rock Obama Cold Open – SNL

Posted in Arts, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2015-03-29 19:36Z by Steven

The Rock Obama Cold Open – SNL

Saturday Night Live
National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
2015-03-28

After the actions of Rep. John Boehner (Taran Killam), Sen. Ted Cruz (Bobby Moynihan) and Sen. Tom Cotton (Kyle Mooney) make him lose his cool, President Obama (Jay Pharoah) turns into The Rock Obama (Dwayne Johnson).

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EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Obama’s mother was worried about her daughter marrying a biracial man

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-23 00:36Z by Steven

EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Obama’s mother was worried about her daughter marrying a biracial man

The New York Daily News
2015-03-18

Celeste Katz

Long before Michelle Obama became First Lady, her mother had misgivings about her marrying a young man named Barack Obama — because he was biracial.

In a Chicago TV interview that aired during Obama’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign — and newly resurrected by Michelle Obama biographer Peter Slevin in a book due out next monthMarion [Marian] Robinson confessed to being “a little bit” wary about her future son-in-law being the product of a white mom and black dad.

But it could’ve been worse, according to Robinson…

Read the entire article here.

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Obama, at Selma Memorial, Says, ‘We Know the March Is Not Over Yet’

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, History, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-03-08 00:44Z by Steven

Obama, at Selma Memorial, Says, ‘We Know the March Is Not Over Yet’

The New York Times
2015-03-07

Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent

Richard Fausset


Doug Mills/The New York Times

SELMA, Ala. — As a new generation struggles over race and power in America, President Obama and a host of political figures from both parties came here on Saturday, to the site of one of the most searing days of the civil rights era, to reflect on how far the country has come and how far it still has to go.

Fifty years after peaceful protesters trying to cross a bridge were beaten by police officers with billy clubs, shocking the nation and leading to passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, the nation’s first African-American president led a bipartisan, multiracial testimonial to the pioneers whose courage helped pave the way for his own election to the highest office of the land.

But coming just days after Mr. Obama’s Justice Department excoriated the police department of Ferguson, Mo., as a hotbed of racist oppression, even as it cleared a white officer in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, the anniversary seemed more than a commemoration of long-ago events on a black-and-white newsreel. Instead, it provided a moment to measure the country’s far narrower, and yet stubbornly persistent, divide in black-and-white reality…

Read the entire article here. Read President Obama’s transcript here.

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Urging Persistence on Racial Gains, Obama Recalls Sacrifice in Selma

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2015-03-07 21:22Z by Steven

Urging Persistence on Racial Gains, Obama Recalls Sacrifice in Selma

The New York Times
2015-03-06

Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent

Julie Hirschfeld Davis, White House Correspondent

COLUMBIA, S.C. — For the nation’s first African-American president, it was a week of two documents that told the story of a country still grappling with its own history.

The first was a draft speech that President Obama was marking up with his distinctive left-hand scrawl to deliver in Selma, Ala., on Saturday to celebrate a half-century of civil rights gains. The second was a report he received accusing the police in Ferguson, Mo., of systematically discriminating against African-Americans.

More than once, Mr. Obama has credited the courage of protesters in Selma who were confronted by club-wielding state troopers 50 years ago for clearing the way for his own barrier-breaking election as president. But the path from Selma to the Oval Office has also led to Ferguson and back to Selma, a path littered with hope and progress and disappointment and setback…

Read the entire article here.

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The Joshua Generation

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-01 23:07Z by Steven

The Joshua Generation

The New Yorker
2008-11-17

David Remnick, Editor

Race and the campaign of Barack Obama.

Barack Obama could not run his campaign for the Presidency based on political accomplishment or on the heroic service of his youth. His record was too slight. His Democratic and Republican opponents were right: he ran largely on language, on the expression of a country’s potential and the self-expression of a complicated man who could reflect and lead that country. And a powerful thematic undercurrent of his oratory and prose was race. Not race as invoked by his predecessors in electoral politics or in the civil-rights movement, not race as an insistence on tribe or on redress; rather, Obama made his biracial ancestry a metaphor for his ambition to create a broad coalition of support, to rally Americans behind a narrative of moral and political progress. He was not its hero, but he just might be its culmination.

In October, 2005, two months after Hurricane Katrina, Rosa Parks died, at the age of ninety-two, in Detroit. Her signal act of defiance on the evening of December 1, 1955, her refusal to vacate her seat near the front of the Cleveland Avenue bus in Montgomery, Alabama—what Martin Luther King, Jr., called the ultimate gesture of “I can take it no longer”—was the precipitating act of the city’s bus boycott and the civil-rights movement. For two days, her body lay in state at the Capitol Rotunda, in Washington—an honor accorded only twenty-nine times before. Then, on November 2nd, in Detroit, there was a funeral service at the Greater Grace Temple Church. Thousands lined the streets to wave farewell and sing the old anthems and hymns. Four thousand packed the sanctuary. The service lasted seven hours.

“That funeral was so long that I can hardly remember it!” Bishop T. D. Jakes, the pastor of the Potter’s House, a Dallas church of thirty thousand congregants, said. “Everyone was there!” Jesse Jackson, the Clintons, Al Sharpton, Aretha Franklin, and a phalanx of preachers all paid tribute to Parks. Bill Clinton reminisced about riding segregated buses in Jim Crow Arkansas—and then feeling the liberating effect of Parks’s act. On the street, a marine played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes, and the congregants sang “She Would Not Be Moved.”

Obama, the sole African-American member in the United States Senate, had also been invited to speak. As he sat in the pews awaiting his turn, he writes in his book “The Audacity of Hope,” his mind wandered back to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina: the news footage from New Orleans of a body laid near a wall, of shirtless young men, “their legs churning through dark waters, their arms draped with whatever goods they had managed to grab from nearby stores, the spark of chaos in their eyes.” A week after the hurricane, Obama had accompanied Bill and Hillary Clinton and George H. W. Bush to Houston, where they visited the thousands of refugees from New Orleans who were camped out at the Astrodome and the Reliant Center. One woman told Obama, “We didn’t have nothin’ before the storm. Now we got less than nothin’.” The remark was a rebuke, Obama felt, to Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush Administration officials who had given him and fellow-legislators a briefing on the federal response to the hurricane; their expressions, he recalled, “bristled with confidence—and displayed not the slightest bit of remorse.” In the church, Obama thought of how little had happened since. Cars were still stuck in trees and on rooftops; predatory construction firms were winning hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts, even as they skirted affirmative-action laws and hired illegal immigrants for their crews. Obama’s anger, which is rarely discernible in his voice or in his demeanor, ran deep. “The sense that the nation had reached a transformative moment—that it had had its conscience stirred out of a long slumber and would launch a renewed war on poverty—had quickly died away,” he wrote…

…Long before he ever had to think through the implications, racial and otherwise, of running for President, Barack Obama needed to make sense of himself—to himself. The memoir that he published when he was thirty-three, “Dreams from My Father,” explored his biracial heritage: his white Kansas-born mother, his black Kenyan father, almost completely absent from his life. The memoir is written with more freedom, with greater introspection and irony, than any other by a modern American politician. Obama introduces himself as an American whose childhood took him to Indonesia and Hawaii, whose grandfathers included Hussein Onyango Obama, “a prominent farmer, an elder of the tribe, a medicine man with healing powers.”

As a young man, Obama was consumed with self-doubt, trying always to reconcile the unsettling contradictions of his history. His parents married in 1960, when interracial marriage was still prohibited in almost half the states of the union. As Obama entered adolescence, in Hawaii, his father had returned to Africa and started a new family, but, at the same time, the boy was careful around his white friends not to mention his mother’s race; he began to think that by doing so he was ingratiating himself with whites. He learned to read unease in the faces of others, the “split second adjustments they have to make,” when they found out that he was the son of a mixed marriage.

“Privately, they guess at my troubled heart, I suppose—the mixed blood, the divided soul, the ghostly image of the tragic mulatto trapped between two worlds,” he writes, with the wry distance of the older self regarding the younger.

Obama’s mother was an earnest and high-minded idealist, “a lonely witness for secular humanism, a soldier for the New Deal, Peace Corps, position-paper liberalism.” With Barack’s father gone, she emphasized, even sentimentalized, blackness to her son. She loved the film “Black Orpheus,” which her son later found so patronizing to the “childlike” characters that he wanted to walk out of the theatre. She’d bring home the records of Mahalia Jackson, the speeches of Martin Luther King. To her, “every black man was Thurgood Marshall or Sidney Poitier; every black woman Fannie Lou Hamer or Lena Horne. To be black was to be the beneficiary of a great inheritance, a special destiny, glorious burdens that only we were strong enough to bear.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Giuliani: Obama Had a White Mother, So I’m Not a Racist

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-02-20 16:10Z by Steven

Giuliani: Obama Had a White Mother, So I’m Not a Racist

The New York Times
2015-02-19

Maggie Haberman, Political Reporter

Nicholas Confessore, Political Reporter

Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York on Thursday defended his assertion that President Obama did not love America, and said that his criticism of Mr. Obama’s upbringing should not be considered racist because the president was raised by “a white mother.”

Mr. Giuliani’s remarks — made at a New York fund-raising event for Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin on Wednesday night and first reported by Politico — set off an uproar.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Mr. Giuliani said at the event. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country.”

Critics suggested that Mr. Giuliani’s description of Mr. Obama’s upbringing reflected a prejudiced view that Mr. Obama was different from other Americans…

Read the entire article here.

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Obama meets with 10 unsuspecting students for hourlong roundtable

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Campus Life, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-02-16 02:32Z by Steven

Obama meets with 10 unsuspecting students for hourlong roundtable

The Stanford Daily
Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
2015-02-13

Victor Xu, Desk Editor


Vicki Niu ’18 (right) was one of 10 students who participated in an hourlong roundtable with President Barack Obama on Friday afternoon. (SAM GIRVIN/The Stanford Daily)

Rio LaVigne ’15 signed up to meet several White House officials after the morning session of today’s cybersecurity summit. She did not, however, expect to meet President Barack Obama.

Earlier this week, a group of 10 students with interests in cybersecurity was chosen by various Stanford professors and academics to potentially attend a roundtable meeting with “senior White House officials.” It was not until yesterday afternoon that the meeting was confirmed. And it was not until after Obama’s speech, in a back room of Memorial Auditorium, that the students figured out that they might be meeting the president.

“We walked into the room and pretty quickly noticed there was a nametag in front of every seat except one,” LaVigne said. “The table’s a horseshoe shape, and the one seat that was missing was the one in the very back in the center. It was like, ‘Hmm, okay. That’s interesting. I wonder who’s going to sit there. Someone who doesn’t need a nametag?’”…

Read the entire article here.

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My President

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive on 2015-02-11 23:46Z by Steven

My President

Abernathy: for gentlemen of culture
2015-02-09

Brian Kamanzi
Cape Town, South Africa

Barack Hussein Obama.

Let me start this off by an admission. The man is my hero. But, let me assure you that this has little to do with who he actually is. This isn’t about his foreign policy or about his commitment to his promises. It’s about how many of us see him as if we are holding a mirror in front of our faces.

Barack Hussein Obama.

He has a poise and a presence that he carries whenever he is called to address the world. He is one of the few black men in history to have an audience of this magnitude. His is a tone that with the sheer sound of the steadiness of his voice, brings me a sense of pride as if he somehow represents me. There is a sense of expectation when he speaks. The stream that often follows his announcements speaks directly to this. We want him to be more decisive. We want him to challenge the global economic structure. We expect him to be the voice of black consciousness in the White House. I know I’ve caught myself passively-actively drowning out the details of his positions; ones that I would not hesitate admonish a white man of his stature for uttering.

In fact, I am uncertain I am able to separate this man from what I want him to be; from what I hoped he would be. I keep my eyes closed when I look at him. Perhaps in fear that he is an obstacle of what I’d call “progress.” Perhaps in fear that he, much like me, is a contradiction unto himself…

Read the entire article here.

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First Black Elected to Head Harvard’s Law Review

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2015-02-06 21:01Z by Steven

First Black Elected to Head Harvard’s Law Review

The New York Times
1990-02-06

Fox Butterfield

BOSTON, Feb. 5—  The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.

The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago’s South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.

“The fact that I’ve been elected shows a lot of progress,” Mr. Obama said today in an interview. “It’s encouraging.

“But it’s important that stories like mine aren’t used to say that everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don’t get a chance,” he said, alluding to poverty or growing up in a drug environment…

Read the entire article here.

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U.S. to Collect Genetic Data to Hone Care

Posted in Arts, Barack Obama, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-01-31 23:23Z by Steven

U.S. to Collect Genetic Data to Hone Care

The New York Times
2015-01-30

Robert Pear, Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON — Saying that “the possibilities are boundless,” President Obama on Friday announced a major biomedical research initiative, including plans to collect genetic data on one million Americans so scientists could develop drugs and treatments tailored to the characteristics of individual patients.

Dr. Francis S. Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said the studies would help doctors decide which treatments would work best for which patients.

White House officials said the “precision medicine initiative” would begin with a down payment of $215 million in the president’s budget request for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

Precision medicine, also known as personalized or individualized medicine, “gives us one of the greatest opportunities for new medical breakthroughs that we have ever seen,” Mr. Obama said at a White House event attended by patients’ advocates, researchers, and drug and biotechnology company executives.

Among those in the audience was Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and chairman of the Senate health committee, who said he intended to work with the president on the issue.

Mr. Obama said the new initiative could save lives, create jobs, foster new industries and help people overcome “the accidents and circumstances of our birth.”

“If we’re born with a particular disease, or a particular genetic makeup that makes us more vulnerable to something, that’s not our destiny, that’s not our fate,” Mr. Obama said. “We can remake it. That’s who we are as Americans, and that’s the power of scientific discovery.”…

Read the entire article here.

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