Issues

Media Freaks Out When Obama Uses N-Word While Ignoring Republican Racist Cash

President Obama in garage for podcast, by WH photog Pete Souza

The media is freaking out because President Obama used the N-word in an interview. No one seems as freaked out that Republican presidential candidates and Republican members of Congress took money from a conservative hate group, referenced by alleged terrorist Dylann Roof in what appears to be his manifesto. In the aftermath of the horrific killings, the same group threatened that there would be more white violence due to their inaccurate belief that there’s a double standard against white people.

Read: Samuel Alito Is The Insurrectionist Threat To Democracy On The Supreme Court

Found on Twitter, where President Obama’s use of the n-word is trending as the media freaks out:

During an interview on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast in his Los Angeles garage studio, President Obama said:

“Racism, we are not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior.”

Of course, the President used that word multiple times in his book “Dreams from My Father,” in which he wrestled with his identity as a half black, half white young person.

The kind of discussion the President is trying to have seems to be above the capability of our sound-bite driven media. I admit it is a tough discussion for any outlet to have, because so many people don’t want to hear it and there is so much risk perceived in a discussion on race, especially when it’s done by mostly white people.

However, as I have written multiple times over the last few days, we need to stop whitewashing the slave trade. So much of the racism displayed in the United States is mainstreamed and results in stereotyping. It seems to me that some of this results from our collective guilt and our refusal to face it.

In Austria, you are faced with the reality of the actions of the Nazis at every turn. Here, a visitor wouldn’t even know about our ugly history of murder, physical abuse, kidnapping, and more. Many people proudly fly the flag that stands for these acts of atrocities. You wouldn’t see that in Germany or Austria. (I am not suggesting these two horrors are the same, but that they share enough similarities to make the observation of how other countries have handled the crimes of their past.)

The President spoke about covert racism on Friday, as this interview was recorded on Friday but released Monday. On Sunday, Meet the Press gave us a glaring example of covert racism by airing a segment to address shootings in America and using only black shooters, just days after a white male shot and killed nine black people in their place of worship.

No one is dealing with the fact that a Bush report released in 2008 warned of rising white right wing violence. No one talks about the fact that most mass shooters are white so that the profile is of a young white man. Even after a spate of documented shootings by white police officers of unarmed black people, the media thinks “violence” and “gun” and they go to a black person.

We get our sense of self-worth from the reflection of ourselves in the world around us. The impact of this kind of covert racism upon the self-esteem and identity of black people is immeasurable. It’s unacceptable.

This kind of daily covert racism is why President Obama talked about race impacting his identity in his books. The world expects a person with dark skin to be one thing, but each person is their own entity. As President Obama wrote in his book Dreams of My Father, “Maybe we could afford to give the bad-a$$ed nigger pose a rest, save it for when we really need it.”

Most people struggle with their identity as a young person. They look around them for someone to identify with. They get these ideas from their cultural surroundings, their parents, friends and the media.

“If I thought to myself that when I was in college that I’d be in a garage a couple miles away from where I was living, doing an interview as president, with a comedian. It’s not possible to imagine,” President Obama said during the interview.

Imagine a country in which we called out white gun violence and identified white males with it as we do black men. Yes, that would be unfair to white men. Right. Because it is also unfair to black men.

This is just one of the ways that covert racism alters the world around us. The only way to stop it is to talk about it honestly, and to listen to the people who are experts on racism – that would be the people who experience it, not the people who, even unknowingly, perpetrate it.

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