Tag Archives: Maureen Dowd

Does President Obama understand “the slave thing”?

President Obama was descibed as “exotic” during the campaign by conservative commentator Pat Buchanan. The use of the word was meant to define him as different from real Americans, but he does have an interesting background. He is the son of a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya. He is a true African American, but does he really understand the black American experience? Does he understand discrimination? Does he understand how black Americans survived the Jim Crow south? Does he understand the “slave thing”?  I just have to wonder. Was he elected in part because he did not carry the baggage of slavery into the White House. Who does the president listen to? If he had a problem with Russia would he consult experts on Russia? If he had a problem with China would he consult experts on China? If he has a problem on race specifically black people who does he consult? Who knows. Axelrod or Gibbs? Why has this White House been so skiddish on the issue? Muareen Dowd wrote an excellent piece on this issue: You’ll Never Believe What this White House is Missing: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2010%2F07%2F25%2Fopinion%2F25dowd.html&h=d7caf 

This was a difficult week for the White House and some are asking did the Sherrod case provide a teachable moment? Yes, but one can only be taught if one knows something is lacking, and at this point what seems to be lacking is a diverse perspective.

Does America Want the president to become an “Angry Black Man”?

Today on Morning Joe they discussed an article by Maureen Dowd, Once More, with Feeling. In the article Dowd takes the president to task regarding his emotional or lack of an emotional response to the catastrophic oil leak on the gulf coast. She said “In the campaign, Obama’s fight flagged to the point that his donors openly upbraided him. In the Oval, he waited too long to express outrage and offer leadership on A.I.G., the banks, the bonuses, the job loss and mortgage fears, the Christmas underwear bomber, the death panel scare tactics, the ugly name-calling of Tea Party protesters. Too often it feels as though Barry is watching from a balcony, reluctant to enter the fray until the clamor of the crowd forces him to come down. The pattern is perverse. The man whose presidency is rooted in his ability to inspire withholds that inspiration when it is most needed.”* The question is what does America want from the president or as the writer references him “Barry”. If he was running around screaming and banging on a lectern he would be characterized as the “angry black man”. If he was weepy like the former President Clinton he would be characterized as weak, and the pundits would be saying we need a leader who shows strength not weakness. So how should he react? Sometimes when you attend a funeral you might notice a relative that seemingly sits still throughout the service and shows no outward sign of emotion. Then there’s the relative that screams throughout the service and wants to jump in the casket with the deceased. So you look at these two and you might think the emotional one cared the most, but what is really true is the quiet one was the one that was there for the decedent whereas the loud one never had the time or the inclination to help the deceased love one. To me the president is the quiet one and that’s the one that can get something done. Last week James Carville, CNN Resident big mouth, said “This president needs to tell BP, I’m your daddy”. No the president is not BP’s daddy but he is the elected leader of this country and he needs to keep operating in his lane and not become the weeping willow, loud mouth that the media seek.

*New York Times

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