Thursday, October 1, 2009

Obama Hatred

First off, we want to apologize for taking such a long vacation. College is always too hectic, but hopefully now that we are finally establishing our schedules, we will fit blogging in as well.

Recently, there was an article in NY Magazine about groups in America organizing against Obama. Now, we have to simply recognize that this is to be expected, of course there are American citizens who are unhappy with Obama's policies, just like there were American citizens who disliked Bush's policies. That said, the examples given in this article are just stunning.

As New Yorkers, we realize that we are in a sort of political bubble. Not everyone in New York City thinks alike, but rarely do we come across individuals who would liken Obama to Hitler. The hatred and outright outrageous beliefs of these individuals must be read for yourself. Most shocking are the statistics, proving that these individuals are not the only ones who are still circulating conspiracy theories about Obama being born in another country, a muslim, and a socialist. Apparently, "33 percent of New Jersey Republics believed that Obama was not a citizen and 14 percent thought he was the Antichrist" (Weiss). It is unfathomable, that people are so blinded by their hatred for Obama to go to such extremes.

I couldn't get past thinking that this hatred is deeper than just opposition to Obama's policies. The fact that people have shown up at rallies with Obama "photoshopped as a half-naked African native in a hut with a grass skirt and a bone in his nose" (Weiss). These actions seem to be more than disapproval. Such comparisons are much like minstrel shows, or the many epithets that have luckily become very politically incorrect. Later in the article, a man claims Obama didn't write his autobiography, but then goes on to mention race, which clearly has nothing to do with who wrote Dreams From My Father or whether Obama was born in the United States.

Do you think individuals with these viewpoints are fueled by racism? What will this hatred lead to?


  1. Really interesting post- I just want to pose one question about this:

    do you think that the fuel for this kind of protest is the extreme polarization between democrats and republicans and that these people are manifesting that hatred for anything associated with the democratic party through racist means?

    Or do you think that racism is the fuel for this kind of protest and people have now found an outlet - the guise of political protest - to unleash this racism?

    I think it's a really important distinction and I'm not sure which it is, or if it is one or the other. But I do think that an answer would speak to the nature of people who do attend these kinds of protests - whether they are coaxed and persuaded into racism or whether this is an outlet for sentiments that are more inherently a part of them.

    what do you think Janet?

    - Jacob

  2. From my point of view—a view that believes racism is an eminent issue in modern America—racism is the fuel that drives these views against Obama

    I guess you could argue that if it weren’t about race the comparisons between Obama and Hitler would have a valid argument against the Obama administration rather than just the individual. That only racism can drive critics to believe Obama in a grass skirt reflects his policies and legitimacy as our president.

    And I don’t think these are mutually exclusive. But you can’t deny that some of the people spreading these sentiments carry racist or even prejudice views.

    It is very difficult to deconstruct these dichotomies but important to explore these ideas because it’s so simple to write-off race when in actuality it may be the driving force.

    Thank you so much for commenting! These conversations are great.