Obama’s Twitter Debut, @POTUS, Attracts Hate-Filled Posts

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-05-22 01:36Z by Steven

Obama’s Twitter Debut, @POTUS, Attracts Hate-Filled Posts

The New York Times
2015-05-21

Julie Hirschfeld Davis, White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON — When President Obama sent his inaugural Twitter post from the Oval Office on Monday, the White House heralded the event with fanfare, posting a photograph of him perched on his desk tapping out his message on an iPhone.

The @POTUS account — named for the in-house acronym derived from “President of the United States” — would “serve as a new way for President Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him,” a White House aide wrote that day.

But it took only a few minutes for Mr. Obama’s account to attract racist, hate-filled posts and replies. They addressed him with racial slurs and called him a monkey. One had an image of the president with his neck in a noose.

The posts reflected the racial hostility toward the nation’s first black president that has long been expressed in stark terms on the Internet, where conspiracy theories thrive and prejudices find ready outlets. But the racist Twitter posts are different because now that Mr. Obama has his own account, the slurs are addressed directly to him, for all to see.

Within minutes of Mr. Obama’s first, cheerful post — “Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really!” it began — Twitter users lashed out in sometimes profanity-laced replies that included exhortations for the president to kill himself and worse.

One person posted a doctored image of Mr. Obama’s famous campaign poster, instead showing the president with his head in a noose, his eyes closed and his neck appearing broken as if he had been lynched. Instead of the word “HOPE” in capital letters as it appeared on the campaign poster, the doctored image had the words “ROPE.”…

…Top advisers to Mr. Obama, who pioneered the use of technology in his campaigns, regard such hate speech as a relatively minor price to pay for the opportunity Twitter and other platforms provide to reach voters directly. Twitter, which has been criticized for not cracking down on so-called trolls who post abusive or inappropriate comments on the social networking platform, does not police individual users or initiate its own action against them…

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Obama tweets, and a million follow: ‘It’s Barack. Really!’

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-05-19 17:47Z by Steven

Obama tweets, and a million follow: ‘It’s Barack. Really!’

Reuters
2015-05-18

Roberta Rampton, White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama sent his first tweet from his very own account on Twitter on Monday, quickly amassing a million followers in five hours, the latest of many White House efforts to amplify his message with social media.

Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account,” Obama tweeted from his verified @POTUS account.

A Twitter spokesman could not immediately confirm whether Obama had set a record. According to Guinness World Records, the fastest pace to a million followers was set by actor Robert Downey Jr. in 23 hours and 22 minutes in April 2014.

Obama and his advisers pioneered the use of social media like Twitter and Facebook in the 2008 presidential campaign and have embraced their use in the White House as well.

As media attention has increasing shifted toward the 2016 presidential campaign, the White House has boosted its use of social media to break and shape news…

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In Twilight of Term, Obama Finds More Urgent Voice on Race

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-05-12 15:14Z by Steven

In Twilight of Term, Obama Finds More Urgent Voice on Race

Bloomberg News
2015-05-11

Mike Dorning, White House Correspondent

Angela Greiling Keane, White House Correspondent

Polls show racial polarization in the U.S. is at the highest in decades.

With his time in office waning, President Obama is speaking out on race and poverty in increasingly blunt terms as violent protests in U.S. cities highlight the unrealized promise of his election.

Searing images of a burning CVS pharmacy in Baltimore and armored vehicles arrayed along the streets of Ferguson, Mo., are a grim contrast to the elated, multiracial crowd celebrating in Chicago’s Grant Park on the warm November night in 2008 after the nation elected its first black president.

Many of the hopes of that night haven’t been fulfilled. Polls show racial polarization in the U.S. is at the highest in decades. Poverty is higher among Americans in general and blacks in particular. The gap between rich and poor has grown.

A president who throughout his two terms has been restrained in addressing racial controversies now is raising his voice and declaring he’ll make lifting up impoverished communities and the young men within them the cause of his post-presidency years…

…Obama, 53, began his career as a community organizer working on economic issues in impoverished black neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side. His life story as the child of a mixed-race marriage contributed to his political rise. A speech on race relations, titled “A More Perfect Union,” was a high point in his 2008 campaign.

Yet as president, with few exceptions, Obama has acted cautiously in addressing race…

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The First Black President: Barack Obama, Race, Politics, and the American Dream

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-05-07 19:37Z by Steven

The First Black President: Barack Obama, Race, Politics, and the American Dream

Palgrave Macmillan
October 2009
208 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780230618619
Paperback ISBN: 9780230621145
Ebook (PDF) ISBN: 9780230101197

Johnny Bernard Hill

The First Black President is a critical and passionate reflection on the political and historical implications of an Obama administration concerning the issue of race in America. I intend to argue that Obama’s rise to political power has forever changed the contours of race relations in the country as many hail the new age of a “post-racial” society. Yet, what I also show is that an Obama presidency could further complicate real racial progress and could set race relations back in the country for decades to come if not viewed in the proper context. I demonstrate that the Obama presidency must be celebrated as a historical triumph based on America’s racist past, yet the struggle for equality, justice and freedom must also intensify with recognition of its global consequences. The problem of race in America no longer just affects its own citizens but impacts cultures around the globe.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. We Shall Overcome: Obama and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Chapter 2. Obama and Race in America
  • Chapter 3. A Black Man in White America
  • Chapter 4. Obama, African Diaspora and the New Meaning of Blackness
  • Chapter 5. Race, Power and Technology in the New Millennium
  • Chapter 6. Obamanomics and Black America
  • Chapter 7. Why Obama will Change the World
  • Chapter 8. An Obama Administration and the Black Agenda
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In Ferguson, Obama missed his chance to transcend race

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-05-01 19:31Z by Steven

In Ferguson, Obama missed his chance to transcend race

The Orlando Sentinal
Orlando, Florida
2015-04-29

Charles Michael Byrd, Guest Columnist

Pundits habitually wonder what happened to the post-racial America they believed Barack Obama’s election would herald. The president, however, has never indicated his willingness to lead the country out of the race-consciousness wilderness.

Many thought his multiracial inheritance would trump his proclivity to further the stale politics of racial identity — that individuals are forever tethered to the philosophy of a specific voting bloc that countenances no competition of views.

Group-think compels us to create mutually exclusive racial groups to determine how many chairs we need position at the table of government largesse. We convince ourselves that the only way to track racial discrimination is by keeping racial statistics, although using race to monitor race prevents us from ever seeing beyond race…

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President Obama Condemns Both the Baltimore Riots and the Nation’s ‘Slow-Rolling Crisis’

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-04-29 16:56Z by Steven

President Obama Condemns Both the Baltimore Riots and the Nation’s ‘Slow-Rolling Crisis’

The New York Times
2015-04-28

Julie Hirschfeld Davis, White House Correspondent

Matt Apuzzo

WASHINGTON — President Obama responded with passion and frustration on Tuesday to the violence that has rocked Baltimore and other cities after the deaths of young black men in confrontations with the police, calling for a period of soul-searching about what he said had become a near-weekly cycle of tragedy.

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Obama condemned the chaos unfolding just 40 miles north of the White House and called for “full transparency and accountability” in a Department of Justice investigation into the death of Freddie Gray, the young black man who died of a spinal cord injury suffered while in police custody.

He said that his thoughts were also with the police officers injured in Monday night’s unrest in Baltimore, which he said “underscores that that’s a tough job, and we have to keep that in mind.”…

…He spoke as Loretta E. Lynch, the new attorney general, dispatched two of her top deputies to Baltimore to handle the fallout: Vanita Gupta, her civil rights chief, and Ronald L. Davis, her community-policing director. The unrest there and the epidemic Mr. Obama described of troubled relations between white police officers and black citizens have consumed Ms. Lynch’s first two days on the job and could define her time in office.

They have also raised difficult and familiar questions for Mr. Obama about whether he and his administration are doing enough to confront the problem, questions made all the more poignant because he is the first African-American to occupy the White House…

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Will Police Killings of Blacks be the Defining Crisis of the Obama Presidency?

Posted in Barack Obama, Interviews, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2015-04-28 01:40Z by Steven

Will Police Killings of Blacks be the Defining Crisis of the Obama Presidency?

NewBlackMan (in Exile)
2015-04-24

Mark Anthony Neal, Host and Professor of African & African American Studies
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Duke University University Sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of the classic Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America (now in its 4th edition) and Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal discuss #BlackLivesMatters and the Obama Presidency.

Watch the interview (00:06:45) here.

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Color Blindness and Racial Politics in the Era of Obama

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-04-21 01:46Z by Steven

Color Blindness and Racial Politics in the Era of Obama

Books & Ideas
2010-12-08

Andrew J. Diamond, Professor of American History and Civilization
Université Paris-Sorbonne, France

At a time when a supposedly “post-racial” America is becoming increasingly polarized over its first black president, historian Thomas Sugrue proposes a badly needed perspective on Obama’s attempts to negotiate between color blindness and race consciousness. Despite the depth of his historical perspective, he understates how destructive Obama’s religious moralism is for the cause of racial progress.

Reviewed: Thomas J. Sugrue, Not Even Past. Barack Obama and the Burden of Race, Princeton University Press, 2010, 178p., $24.95

Thomas J. Sugrue’s Not Even Past is one of the latest contributions to the exploding field of Obama studies. Sugrue discloses in the opening pages that he voted for Barack Obama, made a small financial contribution to his campaign, and even worked on the candidate’s urban advisory committee, but his objective in his own rendering of Obama’s breathtaking rise to the White House is “balance”. In a moment when the United States is becoming increasingly polarized over its first black president, with a rising crescendo of criticism on both the right and left of the American political spectrum, this is an ambitious project to say the least. But Sugrue, an eminent Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and a pioneer in the new urban historiography of race and power in the postwar American metropolis, is just the guy for the job, even if, in the final analysis, Obama’s detractors will no doubt have more complaints with the book than his supporters. And yet, if one gets the sense that Sugrue is at times pulling punches, he ultimately manages to produce an even-handed and illuminating analysis of the Obama story.

Not Even Past, which consists of three essays adapted from a series of lectures the author presented at Princeton University in 2009, stands out among the recent works on what Barack Obama means to the United States, in part, because Sugrue remains true to his métier. Joining a field crowded with works of a somewhat polemical and journalistic bent, Sugrue delivers a rich, lucid, and badly needed account of the historical events, political movements, and ideological currents that shaped the ground upon which Obama negotiated his racial identity, developed his political views, and positioned himself for an improbable run for the presidency. Yet, this is as much a story about the world that made the man than it is about the man himself. “It is the story”, Sugrue writes, “of a journey through one of the most contentious periods of America’s racial history, through America’s post-1960s multicultural turn, into the syncretic black urban politics of the late twentieth century, onto the contested intellectual and cultural terrain of race and ‘identity politics’ in the late 1980s and 1990s, and finally to a moment in the early twenty-first century when America still lived in the shadow of the unfinished civil rights struggles of the previous century while influential journalists, politicians, and scholars hailed the emergence of a post-racial order” (p. 16). These were treacherous waters indeed for black politicians and white liberals alike, both of whom had to navigate a course through the ideological cross-currents of color blindness and race consciousness. These conditions had the Democratic Party lost at sea for the good part of three decades. Obama’s journey to political and racial self-discovery is also the story of how the Democrats rediscovered their bearings in a country drifting ineluctably rightward…

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Obama on Racism circa 1995

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Barack Obama, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2015-04-21 01:17Z by Steven

Obama on Racism circa 1995

Horizons: Nancy LeTourneau’s big picture look at politics and life
2015-04-16

Nancy LeTourneau

It is always fascinating to find articles and video about Barack Obama from the past. Recently a group called 22-CityView in Cambridge released the video of a reading and book discussion on Dreams From My Father by Obama back in 1995. At the time he had graduated from Harvard Law School, moved back to Chicago, was working as a civil rights lawyer and had recently married Michelle.

The reading is from what I remember as the most racially poignant part of the book. It takes place when he was 16 and includes the incident when his maternal grandmother was frightened by a black man at her bus stop as well as an interchange Barack had about that with Frank Marshall Davis

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Obama’s Mother

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Biography, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2015-04-21 00:50Z by Steven

Obama’s Mother

Books & Ideas
2009-05-20

Gloria Origgi

The American presidential election was won by a woman: Stanley Ann Dunham. Born in 1942, she died of cancer in 1995, shortly after turning 52, and thus without having seen her visionary dream realized: the election of her son, Barack Hussein Obama, as 44th President of the United States.

The male name was imposed on her by Stanley Dunham, her father, who would have preferred a boy. As the only child of Stanley and his wife Madelyn Payne, Stanley Ann was nonconformist young girl and a solitary mother, convinced that she could raise her children in a way that would prepare them for a new world, globalized and multicultural, a world that certainly didn’t exist in her daily life as a middle-class girl in an anonymous little town in Kansas. Barack – or Barry, as she called him – is her creation, the fruit of a patient, attentive and loving education that was the commitment of her life, as she saw in her two racially mixed children the reflection of a better future, one in which the warm commingling of blood pacifies the false oppositions and odious attachments, the “unreal loyalties”, as Virginia Woolf called them, that reassure us in the desperate need for social identity to which our species falls prey.

When Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961, he was still considered in half the American states the criminal product of miscegenation, or the interbreeding of races, a heinous biological hybrid whose existence simply wasn’t taken into consideration while those who committed it were punished with incarceration. Today it is a hard-to-pronounce word that was coined in the United States in 1863, with a specious Latin etymology, from miscere (mix) and genus (race), to indicate the supposed genetic difference between whites and blacks. The question of miscegenation became crucial during the Civil War and subsequent emancipation of the slaves. It was fine to grant civil rights to non-whites, but to allow intimate relations between whites and blacks was another story. The term appeared for the first time in the title of a pamphlet published in New York, Miscegenation: The Theory of Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro, in which the anonymous author promoted the idea of racial mixing as the project of the Republican Party, which supported the abolition of slavery. By encouraging the interbreeding of whites and blacks, racial differences would be progressively attenuated until they disappeared altogether. It was soon discovered that the pamphlet had been created by the Democrats in order to frighten American citizens faced with the intolerable Republican project of encouraging racial mixing. The crime of miscegenation was definitively abolished in 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the anti-miscegenation laws to be unconstitutional in response to Loving v. Virginia, a case in which a racially mixed married couple was sentenced to a year in prison – with the sentence suspended for 25 years on condition that the couple leave the state of Virginia – for having been found in bed together under the same roof. The marriage certificate hanging above the nuptial bed wasn’t considered valid by the police – who, armed with rifles, broke down the entry door and beat the humiliated couple – because it was obtained in another county, one in which miscegenation wasn’t illegal. This occurred in 1959, and the couple had to wait eight years for the moral indecency of their ordeal and their own innocence to be recognized.

One must try to imagine that America in order to understand the courage of Stanley Ann, who was 18 years old and 4 months pregnant when she married the brilliant young Kenyan student Barack Obama Sr., the first African to be admitted to the University of Hawaii. He was 25. He’d arrived in Hawaii in 1959 thanks to a scholarship from the Kenyan government, which was also sponsored by the United States to help some of the more gifted African students get an education at an American University so they could return to their native country and become part of a new, competent, modern elite…

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