During the CNN Democratic debate, Anderson Cooper carried water for an inaccurate media narrative that blames President Obama for racial relations growing “worse” under his presidency, as if it’s Obama’s fault that some white people can’t handle change.
The media frame that racial divide got worse under Obama is racist, because it blames the black person and holds them responsible for white hatred.
When I tweeted “I can’t stand this media frame that racial divide got worse under Obama, as if the black person is responsible for white hatred” tonight, I was inundated with angry white people demanding that I not blame them because that is so unfair to white people. Which is to suggest that speaking up about systemic racism that automatically blames a black person for the choices of white people is not important, what is important is that we protect the egos of white people who don’t want to admit that they are part of the problem.
Then there was this:
@srjones66 Obama has set race relations back years. Always about race with him. Hate groups have exploded in popularity during his term
— #TeamMino (@TheMinoSays) March 7, 2016
This reaction is par for the course among white people with a chip on their shoulder. So many angry white people get very upset if they are held accountable for their hate aimed at Obama.
Yet they feel that it is totally okay to blame President Obama for their hate.
Which is another way of saying they are like children. They refuse to take responsibility for their hatred or to hold white people who are members of hate groups responsible for their own actions.
This is white privilege in action.
President Obama is not responsible for white people’s reaction to his authority and power. That is their problem and they are responsible for it. Obama has not created a divide, what he has done is on occasion he has given the power of the bully pulpit to the tragic experiences of young black males like Trayvon Martin.
How is elevating the profile of the way black people are treated in this country harming white people? It only harms them if they are a part of mistreating black people.
The media needs to start holding Republicans responsible for using and stoking white fear for political gain. They do this because they can’t afford to discuss the issues. But they are responsible for this. The first black President is not responsible for the white Republicans choosing to incite racial fear and hatred. Blaming him is actually proof that racism is far from dead in this country.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.