Newsy ObamaNation Politics Race Matters

Long Island Paper Depicts Obamas as Sanford and Son, Calls it “Satire”

New York’s Long Island weekly newspaper, Smithtown Messenger, published a photo spread entitled “Before and After” of the past five presidential couples and the Obamas at the beginning and end of their respective presidential terms. The piece would’ve been clever had not the paper chosen to depict the Obamas “after” as Esther (LaWanda Pages) and Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx) from the early 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son.

After accusations of racism, publisher Phillip Sciarello defended the piece as satire but said the newspaper would run a retraction in its next edition.

The NAACP’s Long Island regional director Tracey Edwards described the piece as “despicable and disrespectful. If this was intended as satire, it misses the mark.”

Hazel N. Dukes, president of the state NAACP conference said in a statement on Wednesday, “it is simply shocking and outrageous that such a blatantly racist ad would run in any paper, much less an official paper of Suffolk County,” Dukes said. “New Yorkers of all races and ethnicity are disgusted by it and reject it.”

If satire is meant to be witty, even ironic, or at least exaggerate a bit of truth, Blindie thinks that the Smithtown Messenger definitely missed the mark -Esther is not Fred Sanford’s wife but his bickering sister-in-law and the only similarities between them and the Obamas is their race. The satire relies upon the stereotype that black people are of a depressed economic class, bicker frequently, and are generally comedic because of that.

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Newsy ObamaNation Politics TV

Obama Reminds Letterman He Was ‘Black Before the Election’

Obama became the first sitting President to guest on a late night talk show when he visited the The Late Show on Tuesday as part of his media campaign to support his health care plan.

The President addressed the recent claims in the press that opposition to his health care reform was fueled by racism saying, “First of all, I think it’s important to realize that I was actually black before the election.”

He went on to say, “whenever a president tries to bring about significant changes particularly during times of econmic unease, then there is a certain segment of the poulation that gets very riled up…FDR was called a socialist and a communist. JFK, there were all kinds of names hurled at him. Ronald Reagan when he came into office he was moving in a different direction and people were sure he was bringing the country down.”

Obama also received a heart-shaped potato from an audience member.

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Malia & Sasha Obama Newsy ObamaNation Politics

The Obamas Visit Yellowstone National Park

Photo: Reuters

President Barack Obama took a break from health care talks to do some sightseeing with his wife Michelle and two daughters Sasha and Malia.

The first family spent Friday night at a lodge in Montana where Obama went fly-fishing -no, he didn’t catch any fish – and Michelle, Malia and Sasha went white-water rafting.

The next day they took a helicopter ride to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and accompanied by his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng her husband Konrad and their daughter, the party drove through the park in a motorcade, took an official tour with Park Ranger Katy Duffy and even stopped at the Old Faithful General Store where the President and Malia deliberated over which flavor ice cream to purchase.

Next stop on Obama’s weekend tour -Grand Canyon National Park.

Photo: AP

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Newsy ObamaNation Politics

Obama Presents Medal of Freedom to 16 Notables, Including Sidney Poitier and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Photo: Reuters

President Obama presented the nation’s highest civilian medal, the Medal of Freedom, to 16 notables in the fields of theater, sports, science, humanities and politics on Wednesday at the White House.

Among the recipients were Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier, Archibishop Desmond Tutu, Actress Chita Rivera, physicist Stephen Hawkings, and tennis legend Billie Jean King,

“This is a chance for me — and for the United States of America — to say thank you to some of the finest citizens of this country and of all countries,” Mr. Obama said at the ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

It was both moving and poignant to watch the nation’s first African American president bestow an award to Poitier,who himself has broken through racial barriers, and Billie Jean King, who has made strides for both women and the gay community. However, the most priceless moment was when Obama got a face full of feathers as he placed a medal on 95 year-old Native American historian and educator, Joseph Medicine Crow.

Photo: Jim Young

The President met Medicine Crow during his campaign last year and was made an honorary member of the Crow tribe. Medicine Crow is the tribe’s sole surviving tribal war chief amd became the first of his tribe to receive a masters in anthropology in 1939.

Click in for the full list of recipients…

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Newsy ObamaNation Politics

Obama Celebrates 48th Birthday With Cupcakes For White House Reporter Helen Thomas

APTOPIX Obama Birthday
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

President Barack Obama celebrated his 48th birthday on Tuesday and shared the love with long-time White House reporter Helen Thomas, who was also celebrating her birthday.

Obama led a roomful of reporters in singing “Happy Birthday” and presented Thomas with cupcakes and a kiss on the cheek.

“Helen wished for world peace, (and) no prejudice, but she and I also had a common birthday wish,” Obama said. “She said she wishes for a healthcare reform bill.”

And what did the President do to honor his own special day? A lunch meeting with 57 of the 60 Democratic senators and independents. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama already celebrated his birthday over the weekend at Camp David with family and friends, playing basketball and bowling a 144.

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Newsy ObamaNation Politics

Obama Invites Gates and Cambridge Police Sergeant Crowley To White House For ‘Friendly’ Talk Over Beers


As promised, President Barack Obama invited Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley, who recently arrested Gates in what has been criticized as a racial incident, to the White House on Thursday for some beers and a “friendly, thoughtful” conversation. Oh yeah, Vice President Joe Biden was there -probably throwing in his two cents.

The four men convened in the Rose Garden in what is now being referred to as the “beer summit, “where they spent a lot of time discussing the future,” said Crowley.

“I think what you had today was two gentlemen who agreed to disagree on a particular issue,” Crowley told reporters.

Gates stressed that they must use the opportunity “to foster greater sympathy among the American public for the daily perils of policing on the one hand, and for the genuine fears of racial profiling on the other hand.”

Obama was apparently pleased with his spin control beer session, especially after inciting media outrage with the comment “Cambridge police acted stupidly” and said in a statement, “I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart.”

“I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode,” Obama went on to say.

The beer of choice for the group: Bud Light for Obama, Blue Moon for Crowley, Sam Adams Light for Gates, and a nonalcoholic Buckler for Vice President Joe Biden.

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Newsy Politics

Terrence Howard Criticizes Obama and Praises Reagan During Visit To Washington


Photo: Reuters

Terrence Howard blasted Obama for unrevolutionary politics and praised Reagan for helping black communities while in Washington D.C. last week. Oh yeah, he also attended the Children Uniting Nations 4th Annual National Conference Gala Dinner on Tuesday and sold some lemonade outside of the D.C. Ritz-Carlton to raise money for the child cancer charity Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation on Friday.

The Hustle and Flow actor told to The Washington Times Green & Glover, “I don’t think President Obama has been that revolutionary in reaching out to ethnic communities. President Reagan did a lot for the black community that people don’t realize.”

This isn’t the first time Howard has made some bold yet questionable statements. In 2007 the actor spewed forth this gem of a quote to Elle magazine about women and personal hygiene: “Toilet paper – and no baby wipes – in the bathroom. If they’re using dry paper, they aren’t washing all of themselves. It’s just unclean. So if I go in a woman’s house and see the toilet paper there, I’ll explain this. And if she doesn’t make the adjustment to baby wipes, I’ll know she’s not completely clean.”

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