Oprah: President Obama Disrespected Because He’s Black, Racism ‘Has to Die’

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By Chris Hoenig

Oprah: President Obama Disrespected Because He’s Black, Racism “Has to Die”It’s a question many Americans seemingly have tried to avoid answering, like a truth they don’t want to confront: Does race play a role in how people view President Obama? According to Oprah Winfrey, the answer is definitely yes.

“There is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs, in some cases—and maybe even many cases—because he’s African-American,” the media mogul told the BBC during an interview about her movie, The Butler, and modern racism in America. “Has it ever crossed my mind? It’s crossed my mind probably as many times as it’s crossed your mind. Probably, it’s crossed my mind more times than it’s crossed your mind,” she answered when asked if she ever thought that the President was treated any differently because he’s Black.

“Just the level of disrespect. When the Senator yelled out, ‘You’re a liar,’ remember that?” Winfrey asked, referring to South Carolina Republican Representative Joe Wilson’s breach of decorum when President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress in September 2009.

That disrespect is shown to the President and his position is a bigger indication that America is not yet in a post-racial society, according to Winfrey. “As long as people can be judged by the color of their skin,” she said, “the problem is not solved.

“It would be foolish to not recognize that we have evolved and that we’re not still facing the same kind of terrorism against Black people en masse as was displayed with the Scottsboro Boys. It’s gotten better, [but] are there still places where people are terrorized because of the color of the skin, the color of their Black skin? Yes.

“There’s a whole generation,” she continued, “there are still generations of older people who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism. And they just have to die.”


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You can watch Oprah’s full interview below (jump to the 4:00 mark for her remarks about President Obama):

The Impact of Race in Politics

Even before Winfrey’s interview aired, another journalist brought up the issue of race in politics using a different example. “People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a Black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts—but not all—of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all,” wrote Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, bringing up the kind of moot points (McCray’s comments about being a lesbian came 20 years ago) that show American discomfort with diversity in politics.

In a recent ABC News poll, only 23 percent of Americans thought having more diversity in Congress would be good for the country, further demonstrating that uneasiness.

Conservative pundits jumped on Winfrey’s comments. Radio host Rush Limbaugh took to the offensive on the airwaves, pointing out that race was not a stumbling block to Winfrey’s own success. “If Black people in this country are so mistreated and so disrespected, how in the name of Sam Hill did you happen? Would somebody explain that to me? If there’s a level of disrespect simply because he’s Black, then how, Oprah, have you managed to become the—at one time—most popular and certainly wealthiest television personality? How does that happen?”

Winfrey, however, has faced her own racist incidents—including being profiled while shopping, an issue that has made headlines recently because of lawsuits against Barneys New York, Macy’s and Alexander McQueen.

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54 Comments

  • linda wilson

    I disrespect Obama not because he is black white or mixed it is because he is NOT a good president. I disrespected Clinton too and he isn’t black. I just want a good president. This has nothing to do with color and people need to stop blaming race as a reason for him being a bad president. Im so tired of hearing about racism especially when there seem to be more black racists than white. When black people do bad things to white people its not a big deal but if someone does something to a black person all hell breaks loose and its national news. For crying out loud and I bet this makes me a racist right?? No I am not!!! I love all people!! We are the same under our skin color. Everyone has feelings and everyone deserves love!!! Im just wish I lived in a world where the word race didn’t even exist. Who cares what color our president is??

    • Luke Visconti

      I know he cares what color he is. I’d say a good 30 percent of the electorate would never vote for a Black President regardless of politics, so those people care. I’d imagine another 20 percent of the American public voted for the re-election of the President specifically because he’s Black (I doubt that many were inspired by his performance, but even more were not pleased with Governor Romney’s performance during the campaign), so they care too. Of the remaining 50 percent, I doubt more than 10 percent truly don’t care. Our country is consumed with race, which is why we get so many comments from people who are clearly not regular readers.

      So, you disrespect Presidents Clinton and Obama. No word on W.? Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • In 2004 Bush got 62 million votes and Kerry got 59 million.

        In 2008 Obama got 69.5 million.

        President Obama got significantly more votes than either white guy in 2004. If thirty percent of the electorate won’t vote for a black man how do you explain his higher vote totals?

        Another way: If Obama got 69.5 million and McCain got 60 million that makes an electorate of around 130 million. 30% of that is 39 million. Take those 39 million out of the electorate and you have 91 million. If Obama got 69.5 of the 91 million, he received 76% of the supposed non-racist vote. The largest landslide victory margin I could find in U.S. history was Lyndon Johnson over Barry Goldwater in 1964 where he got 61% of the vote. President Clinton only got 43% in 1992 and 49% in 1996.

        Why would you suppose that President Obama would or should get 76% of the vote when you consider that no one has ever come close to that and that President Obama is Progressive and about 75% of the country is conservative or moderate?

        President Obama is a great speaker and a very smart and attractive politician. But really, how much more of the vote would he have gotten if he was white?

        • Luke Visconti

          I think you described what happened, but your percentage on conservative or moderate is wrong. Perhaps your definition is somewhat out of date. The country overwhelmingly voted against the cascade of rape candidates, poor-people-don’t-matter commenters and big military cowardly chicken hawks (who took deferments during Vietnam and/or whose sons didn’t serve). I also think the far right never trusted Governor Romney, who implemented Obamacare in Massachusetts when he was governor. Low motivation = low voter compliance. I’ve voted in a couple of elections where I voted for some offices, but didn’t vote for all of them. Bush/Gore was one. Couldn’t stand either man. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • Zach Garcia

        Luke you are a left wing anti white which is funny because you are Italian and you seem to hate your own latin group of people. I dont agree with Obama because he is a racist he attacks white males like yourself everyday with his laws and policies. There are plenty of Black people that would not vote for a white or a mestizo or asian candidate based on their skin color, but do you call them racist. Luke it is people like you that make racism an issue, instead of looking at the man for who he is or what he is capable of doing, based on his skills or value, you automatically say well hes not white so we need to give him a leg up. Obama is a terrible president he does not unite the nation like a president should he divides, and you sir are one of the lowest people on this planet, you allow Oprah to call for the death of people, and you agree with killing people. You sir are a snake oil dealer

        • Luke Visconti

          If you have a problem with my making racism an issue, why are you lurking around on this website? Are you trying to get a job with the Koch brothers’ Internet-posting publicity group? As far as the President goes, I’d rank Obama below Reagan and Clinton, but above both Bush administrations, Carter, Ford and Nixon. George W. Bush had more diversity in his cabinet than the current President. I doubt either man (Bush or Obama) could run a modest-sized business without supervision, and our country’s been suffering from a lack of real leadership for a long, long time. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

    • I disagree, maybe you have been watching to much Fox News, but our last president was addressed as “President Bush” not just “Bush” listen to news broadcasts now and news broadcasts from 10 years ago.
      If “In a recent ABC News poll, only 23 percent of Americans thought having more diversity in Congress would be good for the country” is true, race has everything to do with it. I am a retired programmer.
      I have worked in diverse companies and in companies who not only had way fewer females and minority workers than their white male counterparts but those women and minorities did not get the same pay or credit than their white counterparts.
      The companies who strove to be diverse were few and far between but they were not only better to work for, they got better productivity and a higher quality of work from their employees.

    • Kikkenyouinthekeister

      If you travel abroad as much as I do then you know that America is disrespected even by many of our allies. They note the level of disrespect heaped upon American President Barack Obama.
      I am appalled as an American to see the level of disrespect by hatemongering Whites who continually fail to understand the bigger picture and what’s truly at stake. Journalism in America has died along with American Politics.
      It pains me to acknowledge the fact that America’s best days are behind her as she languishes on her deathbed suffering from the Cancerous skin disease of RACISM and discrimination a tool used institutionally and individually to deny her own citizens based on Race, Ethnicity and Skin tone the same equal rights afforded “Whites” it is a system that must die in order that we maintain and sustain real humanity before the World.

      We as Americans must right the ship we’re on and chart a better course for the betterment of out future because if we fail to do what is right in the name of righteousness we as a Nation shall fall.

      No Nation past or present regardless of Military and industrial might can live in a bubble wrap of hypocrisy and survive. If you disagree with President Obama Politically that’s one thing but If you simply disagree with him because his skin color differs from yours and you have made it your mission to hate change yourself before it’s too late.

    • Linda, for you and all the people like you, pay attention to the studies that are done about racism in this country. Read them. They show that Blacks are discriminated against when it comes to getting a mortgage, getting insurance, applying for a job, getting medical care, getting appropriate medical care, being disciplined in school, etc. Whites receive preferential treatment in all those areas and more. It is not opinion or conjecture. It is concrete, documented evidence. Unfortunately, in my experience, when I have discussed that evidence with people like you, they listen then say “Yeah, but…” and they cite as counter-evidence some lame personal anecdote. If you pay attention to the facts, even when they contradict your beliefs, you will know the truth.

    • You said nothing of President Bush’s who oversaw the forthcoming economic disaster (along with the rest of the insiders). It is naive to think that one man runs this country. However, the blatant disrespect for the office is baffling to me and typically the empowered race is not aware of their biases due to blind spots created by their experiences For example: Most white Americans think that hard work gets you to a point of success. Go to college, get a job, buy a house, etc. But there is a great number of our population that can’t afford food where they can concentrate in grade school or high school due to economic hurdles, let alone getting into college.Most of white America knows nothing about this because they have been empowered by the shear color of their skin because they are the controlling race. Start there fixing problems and you’ll have something. Most people who Blame an individual have no clue as to the System Dynamics that is really the culprit and until this country realizes that our problems are NOT due to an individual but due to our blindness to a Capability Trap, we’ll never get anywhere.

      • Kelli Miller

        I disagree with you simply by your inference that “my color” determines my success or failure. That is a ridiculous simply because poverty does not only apply to a certain color. The cycle must be broken, within the family system, and that usually involves hard work, not excuses.

    • Livyn Okorocha

      While I agree with you on the question of the president’s competency, I think the more appropriate question that Oprah should be asking is “why does racism still exists in the US?”
      I don’t like this administration policy and in fact is worst than the previous. I am black but I didn’t vote for Obama both times because I thought he had no experience, he only wanted to make history. Unfortunately, I think he will go down as the worst president in the history of US. I fault the voters who don’t objectively vote based on facts. The facts about these candidates are there if they would take time to educate themselves before going to the polls to vote. I am like you, I don’t care what the color of the skin a candidate is, get me an intelligent candidate with common sense solutions for the myriad of problems this country is faced with and he/she will get my vote.

  • Judy C. De Armond

    I grew up in the 1960s, and embraced the idea that finally progress was being made for equality for all! We lived in a small town outside of Bowling Green, KY–our school was integrated when I was in 7th grade. The day they started school with us, just before lunch, I encountered the 3 black girls in my class (Brenda, Rose, and Shirley) combing their hair in the bathroom. I introduced myself to them and welcomed them to our school. Shirley then said “I’ll try to remember your name, but all you white folks look alike” (a phrase similar to what I’d heard growing up about ‘all black people look alike’)–we became instant friends. We grew up together, graduated together, and by popular vote Rose was elected our basketball Homecoming Queen our Senior year. I graduated from the local university (where I’d participated in demonstrations and ‘sit-ins’ for equality) and I NEVER encountered racism after that UNTIL I moved to Atlanta, GA in 1995. It seems that the blacks in Atlanta scream ‘racism’ whenever they don’t get what they want. I am an Emergency Department Registered Nurse, and when I didn’t provide drugs on demand that is the ‘racism’ that seems to be most encountered. I get the impression, after 19 years in the Atlanta area, that some still employ throwing the ‘race’ card down when they don’t get their way. It’s sad still that people tend to exploit themselves when they want something…not necessarily because of their ethnicity, but because they want something and that seems to be the easiest path to get it. Sad, but seems we’ve made no progress.

    • You cite your personal experience. Here is mine, Whites play the race card much more than Blacks. I have encountered it over and over in the work-place and outside of it.

      • Luke Visconti

        Of course they do. If the race card wasn’t played by white people almost all the time, economic demographics would be much different. The subprime crisis occurred because banks sold subprime loans to people who qualified for prime loans (or did not qualify at all); Blacks and Latinos were two to seven times as likely as whites to be sold inappropriate loans (variation dependent on income level). Yet, unlike the 40-year-old “War on Drugs,” no white people went to prison for the mess. Speaking of the War on Drugs, white people are far less likely to be incarcerated, and they receive far shorter sentences than nonwhite people for drug convictions. Fifty-six percent of prisoners are Black and Latino. Every lackluster city that’s invited me to speak at an economic-development event share one thing in common: a completely segregated public-school system, where wealthy (by comparison) white children have one set of results—and poorer Black and Latino children have results that make them unemployable. The race card defines our country—and it’s only relatively recent progress that’s alerted white people in general to the presence of the race card. Just like “political correctness,” the term “race card” is almost always used by white people who are uncomfortable when they first feel what happens when there’s real competition, respect and justice. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

        • Luke V. I could not agree with you more when you stated that” “the term “race card” is almost always used by white people who are uncomfortable when they first feel what happens when there’s real competition, respect and justice”.
          In addition to the ‘race card’ – qualifiers are made to dispel the ‘blackness’ of an individual when it is realized there is real competition or even a superiority of knowledge / education.
          I’ve made comments on an have received replies stating ‘your not black’ (yes verbatim). I responded “Oh you mean ‘you are not black’, I am (I’m) however” when i’ve given responses that were ‘too intelligent’ which defied their limited sense of reason. It’s disgusting – and would be comical if such accompanying actions weren’t carried out in education, work places, etc.by ‘like-minded’ simpletons. It something that needs to be grossly exposed to the point of ad nauseum by them.

          • Oh boy, you took the words out of my mouth. As I stated in my first message, there is total disbelief if I own something, buy something, go somewhere, write something, experienced this, because those are things that I’m not expected to be, do, know, or say. A look of wonder comes over the face. I call it, “But, how could that be?” I did an essay on it for college once. The coworker who couldn’t believe I could take my yearly salary and figure out how much I made in an hour. The coworker who wanted to know how I knew how to calculate the distance of lighting after hearing the thunder. The one who wanted to know how I could afford to purchase a washer and dryer. The coworker who marveled at my standard English business writing skills. The supervisor who told me I couldn’t afford to buy the vacuum she already owned. These are small exchanges, but piled up day after day, you are constantly reminded that you are viewed as literally some alien being rather than a human one. And it’s reflected against the president – he’s not American, he wasn’t born here, he doesn’t like America. One columnist wanted to know, just who *is* this person anyway??? No, clumsy, stupid, inarticulate, senile, criminal, philandering, womanizing president before us has ever been questioned about his loyalty to this country, nay his very being as President Obama. Some people are overt and some are naïve to believe that color is not a factor. Like the well-qualified applicant to a job I once held at a bank. Everyone was excited over that resume. All the single women swooned over his potential as a very desirable mate, with his Harvard and Princeton education and work experience. And then he showed up. Um, somehow, suddenly, they couldn’t quite put their finger on it, but he just, somehow, didn’t quite fit in. Really? After you saw the color of his skin, but rhapsodized about him until you saw him? I sat and watched this little display of overt discrimination based on color. Yeah, don’t tell me the race card is not played. You know what they could have said and it would have been more honest – he was simply too qualified to work there.

    • You are absolutely right about those who abused their own personal needs and call out racism BUT as the stories listed previous there are numerous stories which the facts support racism throughout this country.

  • Simona Milton

    President Barack Obama is the president of the United States of America. He is an American, he is not a liar, he does have a heart for our country. The presidential office has never been so disrespected as it is now, racism? Racism like hatred lies in the heart of a person, not so visible….? President Barack Obama may not be the best president of our history (I feel he ranks very high, personally), but he definitely is not the worst. I do feel he is really trying. Let us Pray (those who do) that President Obama will finish Strong! That will be good for all of us. If you are having trouble with that, ask yourself why not? God Bless these United States of America!

    • We can’t even know how great he could be because he has the worst house of reps I have ever seen. They do not want to even compromise for the good of the country, because it may be perceived as to the good of the first black president. Racism has everything to do with it. I have said that from the beginning. Even Luke thought the country would prefer a black man to a white woman. I do not think Hillary would have met such a wall of no. President Obama’s skin color brought out the worst in politics. Go back and look at the tea party rallies, they were peppered with racist posters. The president does not want to play the race card, yet there is no other explanation. It is deeper than democrat or republican.

  • In reading the article, Rush Limbaugh’s comment is flawed in that America has never had a problem with viewing Black Americans as entertainers. Even when Blacks were not able to get television roles, white Americans had no problem watching the little Black boy tap dance on the corner. They want to be entertained, especially by Black people. They want to see us playing up to their stereotypes. In the case of Oprah, she is well educated and made a lot of money playing up to the opinionated, outspoken, Black woman stereotype. But being president is a whole different ball game. There are many people who hate the fact that a Black holds the highest office in the land. And that is pretty sad.

  • Comments here are all over the place. The whole, yeah, but you have a job or you are successful, so how could there be racism, is a real load. I’ve always had jobs, but I only got promoted so far, while white counterparts went all the way. I’ve always had jobs, but I was paid less than white males for the same job. I’ve always had jobs, but I was the only minority in the workplace. I’ve always had jobs, but another person (white) who scored much lower on the civil service test was promoted years before me. I’ve always had jobs, but I have been subtly (and not so subtly) insulted at them by white coworkers (only yesterday I was told repeatedly by a superior (when talking about purchasing a vacuum cleaner) that I couldn’t afford the “high-end” one she bought 12 years ago. I’m employed, I earn an income, I save my money, have excellent credit and can afford that vacuum, but she couldn’t see that.

    Less someone think I’m too “sensitive” that kind of attitude has happened to me many times – how could I afford this, how did I know that, how could I have done that, how could I have gone here or experienced that, or lived in there, or worked at that place, or held that position, etc.

    So, no, we’re no longer in chains but we are reminded about the color of our skin everyday – even Ophrah. Or as I had to tell another white coworker, who pointed how to me how things have improved for black folks so what was our problem what did we want – I want it all I want complete and absolute equality. When I don’t get that promotion or told that the apartment is already rented, I want to know with absolute certainty it had nothing to do with the color of my skin or my gender; that I was considered fairly and equally and didn’t get it because there was a better candidate. And until that happens, I’m not satisfied. And, no, I don’t go around accusing people of discriminating against me. But as sure as I’ve been born, I know I have been.

    And, yes, the president is disrespected – his integrity, birth, citizenship, religion, image, children, wife, and family have all been disrespected, unlike none before him.

  • I am 62 years old and can remember all the way back to when President Kennedy was elected. At that time the big issue was the fact that he was Catholic. However, once he was elected, people generally did treat him with the respect due the office. I have never seen the level of disrespect that exists since President Obama was elected, and I do feel much of it is racially motivated. I am amazed at what he has been able to accomplish given that he has a Congress that has tried to block him at every turn. I have a sense that it would not matter what law or program he proposed, Congress would try to defeat it just because the idea was his. I have never seen as much bitterness and hatefulness in our government as I have seen since 2008, It is both shameful and sad. Much of the media has not helped the matter either with the inaccurate reports and vitriol they have contributed to the discussion. Given what he’s been up against, I do feel that President Obama has done a pretty good job. It would have been interesting to see what he might have accomplished had the legistative branches of our government actually tried to work with him.

  • Race definitely plays a significant role in how we view others. Based on Rush Limbaugh’s perception, racism no longer exists because of the achievements of people of color like President Obama and Oprah Winfrey—that’s absurd! Ms. Winfrey’s observations are correct. However, that does not mean that we should stop trying to change the racial climate within this country. After all, we are a nation of immigrants and being open to new and creative ideas only make us better. For those closed-minded individuals, who cannot accept diversity, just wait until you become the minority—you’ll sing a different tune like the Rush!

  • The disrespect for the office of the President has been decades in the making. From comments about Reagan’s senility, to Clinton’s self-inflicted womanizing, and the constant barrage of questions about how dumb Bush was, the lack of decorum is nothing new. When we continue to view these comments as acceptable, we make it easier for folks to release the worst of their nature. Quite a bit of this starts in the entertainment industry. Comedy and satire has moved to advocacy, and news programs are now dominated by opinions and commentary rather than reporting. Everyone wants the biting quip for the soundbite, and nicities are ignored. The environment needs to change. Civility and respect for all will be the ultimate solution.

  • Valerie Heath-Harrison

    Yes, the level of disrespect for President Obama is greater than I have ever seen for any sitting president, even Clinton and Bush. And, yes, much of it is due to racism. Sadly, I know this from personal experience as I have a family member who can’t see past the color of our President’s skin. No matter what President Obama does, this person makes constant judgement based solely on race. It is an ongoing battle between me and this person. I will not back down, but I’m afraid I will never be able to change this person’s mind or heart.

    When Barack Obama was elected, I was elated. I thought that America was finally living up to its stated ideals that all people are created equal and deserve equal opportunity. I have been horrified to see the level of vitriol spewed by the ignorant, crass, and hateful. It is embarrassingly apparent that this country has a long, long way to go.

    President Obama could have been — could still be — so much more effective if Congress would truly work with him. Unfortunately, we know that’s not going to happen as the stated goal of many as soon as he was elected was they wanted him to fail. What an ugly state of affairs brought on by ugly-spirited people.

    Will we ever rise above and get to the place that Dr. King envisioned all those many years ago? I sure hope so, for the sake of our country and our collective soul.

    • I completely agree with you Valerie! “President Obama could have been — could still be — so much more effective if Congress would truly work with him…” It’s absolutely unbelievable and – a sad and tragic state of affairs. And it is something that although blatantly apparent would be outrightly denied. With respect to your family member, I certainly hope you’re not wasting a millisecond more of your precious time trying to alter their race-based judgements. It’s impossible having an inteligible argument (as you’ve experienced) with a half-brain.

      • Luke Visconti

        And they can get away with not working with him, with being downright anti-American (the birther nonsense, for example), because of an overt appeal to bigots. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • I agree with you all, Congress don’t care about America they will drive the country to the ground, just to make sure that President Obama don’t succeed, because he is a black man. They would hurt their own white people to see the President fail, they don’t realize or don’t care that there is a lot of poor white too. I will say one thing Congress have open a lot of eyes, because if we didn’t know before we know now, they only care for themselves

  • Thank you Lee for your comment. If someone has never experienced discrimination of any kind how can they speak about. It is blatant disrespect to talk that way to the President now matter what color you are. The that slurs and the accusations that are being thrown at him would not stand if he was white; you would have been hunted down and persecuted! Let me ask this question? How did we get in this mess in the first place? And where was Obama when the pot was brewing? See when it took a black man to try to even the score; it’s a problem! The rich just simply do not want the poor to obtain any type of validation; because that would cause them to have to give up something! It’s not only about color; but what’s right or wrong! If you want to criticize our President; be sure to tell the whole truth and nothing but!
    Because he sure did not start this mess!

  • Oprah is speaking truth to power. The truth is the level of disrespect that President Obama has endured at every turn is America’s shame. African Americas who have achieved greatness in this country have done so in spite of racism, in spite of the institutional nature of racism inherent in every school, corporation, and industry in every state, town and hamlet of this nation. Has it gotten better? Yes. But does it still continue? Yes. As Orpha so eloquently stated the purveyors of the old regime just have to die. And I will add my hopes that these same people didn’t procreate because the cancer will just continue to be spread by another generation.

  • Dr. Gale Frazier

    Racism is the cornerstone and bedrock of the United States. It progressively worsens when African Americans and other people of color begin to challenge the status quo. The tide is changing and certain individuals have a major problem dealing with this psycho-sociological readjustment. When the “house that Jack built” began to fall, those who were the gatekeepers and vanguards realized they could no longer constrain or contain us. Because of this, they attempt to sabotage and/or slow down imminent progress. These types of behaviors are quite predictable and pervasive. Ultimately, they will destroy themselves–stay tuned.

  • If it wasn’t so tragic this would be comical. Being the President in the US means you are going to get made fun of by every talk show host and talking head. that’s called free speech. When it was Bush/Clinton/Bush no one said a word. Now that it’s Obama it’s racism? If anything he has gotten a pass from the left-wing media NBC, CNN, Letterman. Bush was treated 100 times worse.

    Sadly this is not an Obama issue but a total lack of respect of all the people in government, regardless of what side you’re on. Sadly their daily performance of both parties does nothing to change the point they are all behaving badly and betraying the public’s trust.

    Does racism exist, yes, are there people in this country who hate him for his race, yes. When you screw up as badly as he has in the past 18 months do you deserve criticism, YES.

    • Luke Visconti

      Please. President Obama has a 40 percent approval rating; President Bush fell to 22 percent by the time he left office. In case you didn’t notice, “in the last 18 months” he was re-elected quite handily. And nobody’s saying all the criticism is racist, but there can be no doubt that certain elements of both the Tea Party and the Republican Party are using racism to stir up their constituents. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

    • You are right that many of our elected officials are made fun of (and many of them rightly so) and not accorded the respect that many of them should have; but it is hard to make an argument that race is not a factor when it comes to Obama, when you have people making effigies of him hanging by a noose, depicting him and his wife and children as monkies, darkening his and his wife’s skin and putting afros on them on the cover of national magazines, etc. The comments are definitely race-based. Nobody made fun of the fact that Clinton, Bush, and Regan were white. It never factored into any of the innocent “fun” making.

      • Luke Visconti

        None of the other Presidents were questioned about their birth certificate, either, a disgusting line of questioning that was bigoted, cowardly, anti-American and vile. It’s just as repulsive as the voter-ID laws and the self-righteous little bigot advocates who leave their electronic scat about that topic as well. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Here’s a video of President Bush’s first inauguration:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVT4o0-be1E

    Ask yourself an honest question: If President Obama’s limo had been egged and people called him a cheat or a thief, would you chalk it up to racism?

    That’s what happened to Bush, but it obviously wasn’t racism. There is a long history of opposition and disrespect in politics and government. If the same group of people that opposed President Clinton’s healthcare initiatives now oppose President Obama’s healthcare initiatives, how do you confidently chalk up the current opposition to racism?

    Additionally, where is the examination of what Oprah said? She has explained that some people of a particular race are the way they are because they have been ‘bred’ that way. Like an animal is bred. She goes on to explain that our society will not improve until these people – who are only comprised of one particular race – die.

    Really? It would be tantamount to someone trying to explain that some black people are social antagonists because of the way they have been bred in the past and that our situation won’t improve until they are dead. Thankfully, a statement like that would be universally rebuked.

    So, what about Oprah? Comparing people to animals that are bred and explaining how they need to die to solve a problem is wrong, no matter who says it. And regardless of which race is demeaned.

    If this community can’t challenge Oprah’s statement, it doesn’t have any credibility on the issue of race.

    • Luke Visconti

      Interesting how comments come in with the same talking points. It’s as if there are PR people paid by certain constituencies to get posts on websites regarding certain topics. Considering this person used the word “community” in a way that excluded him/her, I highly doubt this person is a regular reader. Where did s/he come from? How did s/he get here?

      You’d have to be Rip Van Winkle to assert that the most unpopular President in modern history (President George W. Bush, 22 percent approval rating) was treated with less respect compared with President Obama (currently at a 40 percent approval rating) and Phineas Gage not to connect that difference to purposefully racist invective from certain elements of both branches of the Republican party (the Tea Party isn’t alone in this). President Bush’s opposition never had rallies that included the chant “kill him.”

      Oprah did not use the term “bred” as it is used in animal husbandry; she said “born and bred,” which means raised in a manner consistent with the area. As far as what that means compared with racism, you can use Google Insights to figure that one out; there are several articles about this, including this one: http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/09/how-racist-are-we-ask-google/?_r=0

      Fly off, troll, and find a website where the owner isn’t watching for you. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • Redcan makes a good point, and the video is worth watching. The “bred” comments were over-the-top, but Oprah did say, “they must die”, something she would never say about the flash-rob mobs, or the knockout game thugs.

  • I totally agree with Oprah’s response to the question. Yoy have a segment of the population who will never accept President Obama or any other President of color. The Black people who appear on Fox News who are used as tokens are trotted out to say demeaning things as well, are to me the worse of all. They are used to make the point that the disapproval of the President is not based on racial hatred, when they themselves are standing on the shoulders of civil rights icons, slaves who were brutally treated, people whose names we will never know and they have the nerve to agree with People such as Limbaugh, Hannity, Palin and so many more. President Obama is a long way from being perfect and there are several things I disagree with him on just as I did President Bush and Clinton, but I would never disrepect either as a man or a human being, and that is what the Republicans, Tea Party, bigots such as Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, most of the Congress, and countless others have done. He has been called some of the most vile names you can think of, he and his family have been depicted as monkeys, etc., The previous presidents were never subjected to such depraved descriptions. So, Yes I wholeheartely agree with Oprah, because you just cannot legislate Hatred into acceptance and Love, and yes some of these peope just have to die, and even then they leave their legacy of hatred and the feeling that they are far superior to any other group, race or culture on the face of the earth. It is very sad. I do not see this type of thing ever changing. It is getting worse.

    • Luke Visconti

      Here’s how it will change: Governor Romney’s largest demographic was people 65-plus. The President’s largest demographic was 18- to 29-year-olds. The Millennial generation will be more than 50 percent of the workforce by 2018. Almost half of the electorate will be nonwhite by the end of the decade. Despite all the hate we’re seeing, time is on the side of non-bigots, and I’m already seeing a change in the rhetoric—you’re seeing it here—with the big lie (that Bush was treated just as badly as Obama). What the Republican/Tea Party fails to get right is the tone—they’re too inward thinking and they say the big lie without understanding just how dopey it sounds.

      But in the end, the inevitable will continue happening: Governor Romney’s demographic, Baby Boomers (and I’m one of them), gets older and less relevant every day. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Luke, you perpetuate hate mongering with responses like the one to Redcan.
    Redcan makes a valid point: The root cause for opposition to President Obama is not solely racism, but an overall disrespect for the office of President of the United States. Instead of lashing out with a personal attack, why not speak to the point being made.
    Diversity inherently brings differing opinions, some of them being flawed, needing to be flushed out and discussed. As an influential voice for diversity, when you start demonstrating respect for others regardless of how flawed you think their opinions are, many will follow. Not because they deserve one’s respect, but inspite of it. The type of disrespect that you demonstrated by your response to Redcan, is the crux of the lack of respect for President Obama (and, in general, for one another in society). Love one another…you don’t have to agree with one another.

    • Luke Visconti

      I disagree with you.

      Standards apply to everything, including discussion. The level of disrespect for President Obama is unprecedented in recent American history—even when considering President Truman or President George W. Bush, who both had far lower approval ratings than President Obama. What’s the difference between Bush, Truman and Obama? Obama is better educated than the other two. What’s the other difference?

      This website is routinely targeted by organized efforts to post “whitewashing” opinions. Most recently, these involved disrespect shown to the President, which in public opinion is tied to race. In my observation, the Republican Party has recently moved to distance itself from this overt bigotry, but it’s going to take some practice to avoid miscues like the tweet celebrating Rosa Parks’ “ending” racism.

      Every single post published on this website is moderated. I refuse to post most personal attacks on me, threats of violence and most offensive descriptions. I let some in as an object lesson. People like redcan work at companies like yours, destroying the morale and productivity of those around them. If you’re smart, you’ll eliminate them just as rapidly as a person who comes to work and destroys laptops with a hammer—which costs less than destroying productivity. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • I find some your banter very amusing Luke. I am not republican or democrat let me say that right out so you don’t categorize me ignorantly. You do demonize republicans every chance you get though, you never mention that the democratic party formed the KKK to terrorize blacks and is very responsible for thousands of black lynchings in our history. You also fail to mention that the Reverend Martin Luther King was a republican and that republicans were the ones who spearheaded racial equality and abolished slavery. Do I agree with everything the republican party does? Some sure, but all? Do I agree with everything the democratic party does? Some sure, but all? Hell no. The republican party definitely have a much less evil history than your democratic party does. Would I ever associate or align myself with a political party that has such a horribly evil and checkered history as the democratic party does? Most definitely not. I prefer not to label myself into any party. I honestly do not understand your political alignment. I saw on one of your posts you compared conservatism to being in the KKK? Yet the party you have openly aligned yourself with are the ones who founded the KKK. What say you?

        • Luke Visconti

          You need to read up on American history. You only have it half right—the worst bigot to occupy the White House was Woodrow Wilson (D), who singlehandedly revived the modern KKK by endorsing it in the racist movie Birth of a Nation. However, during the civil-rights era, Democrats, with an effort initiated by John F. Kennedy but really brought to life and led by Lyndon B. Johnson (D), passed the first meaningful Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Upon signing the Civil Rights Act, President Johnson said, “We have lost the South for a generation.” The Republicans—in particular, Richard Nixon (R)—leveraged this by creating the “Southern Strategy,” which panders to racists and is still in full force. Ronald Reagan (R) leveraged it by starting his first campaign in Philadelphia, Miss. (where the three civil-rights workers were murdered). Governor Romney (R) leveraged it during the last election.

          You may think you saw a post where I compared conservatism to the KKK, but I’ve never done that. Further, I do not consider myself a member of either party and do not think either party has anything but its own survival at heart; the country is secondary (you can see this by the actions of certain members of Governor Christie’s staff in the recent scandal over retribution dealt out to the people of Fort Lee, N.J.). I believe more than half of tax revenue is completely wasted and we’d be better off by reducing the federal workforce by half. While we’re fantasizing, I think we’d be better off reducing the New Jersey workforce by 75 percent. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

          • Half right is better than not right at all. I appreciate the well thought out response Luke. I love a good debate among intelligent individuals. Maybe I misunderstood one of your previous posts early this morning when I happened to run across your website when I was poking around the web half asleep. I completely agree with you about the federal government downsize and our governments squandering of tax money. The amount of money they waste annually is beyond comprehension.

  • Stan Jefferies

    Wow! Bush wasnt disrespected??? They had photos of him hanging, they called him dumb at every turn, they had photos comparing him to a monkey, called him a racist, a warmonger, an inbred Texan, he was almost assaulted by a thrown object in the middle east and AMERICANS cheered, but you can honestly say he wasnt treated as badly? How soon we forget

    • Luke Visconti

      No doubt President Bush was treated with disrespect at times, but there is no comparison between how he was treated and how President Obama is being treated. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Why does your headline state that Oprah said ‘Racism must die’? She said that the white racists must die. Why don’t you put that in your headline? Would it be bad that Oprah publicly stated, and maybe encouraged that certain segments of the population ‘must die’ to appease her & our president? Is that a good thing for her to say with the fame, wealth and power that she has? Will that not possibly encourage violence? Is that OK if targeted against the bad “racist” folks as defined by Oprah?

    • You are one of the very few I agree with on this site Patricia. Well said. To say anybody should die because they do not agree with you whether it be racism, religion or their personal belief on anything is insane and evil. Not only is it wrong but it is just morally irresponsible for somebody in the limelight worshiped by many of the feeble minded in our society. For anybody to defend such statements is insane. Racism will not just simply die out with some racist old men. Her saying that is one of the dumbest things ever said in the history of mankind. In my state you have two good examples of the extreme on both ends. If you go to Knightstown Indiana and run into anybody that is a member of the Vinlanders Social club and you are not white. Odds are you will get assaulted if not killed. If you go to Gary Indiana in one of the very bad parts of town and run into any members of the G.I. Posse if you are white you will get the same treatment as you will get in Knightstown that the Vinlanders Social club will give you for being black. Both of these racist gangs have a young active membership. For Oprah’s well to do privileged very out of touch with reality self to think racism is going to die out in america because some old white racists need to die is one of the most absurd things I have heard in a very long time. I completely agree with you about what she says is encouraging violence.

  • PRESIDENT Obama was handed a crappy plate to clean…The fact that he was elected, twice mind you, and that folks are calling him Obama is a testament to the positive change American race relations haves seen…not so long ago he would have been called BOY!

  • He only got elected because he was black. 20% of America is African American. They voted in record numbers for Obama, Obama couldn’t be criticized without his opponent being viewed as racist, 20-somethings got excited about the idea of a black president (because its trendy).

    Did I also mention he won the Nobel Peace Prize for doing absolutely nothing except talk a big game. He won an award that has been given to people like Mother Teresa, Tenzin Gyatso (Daliai Lama), Gandhi (left unassigned), Martin Luther King Jr, ect. These people spent their WHOLE lives trying to promote peace, Obama gave a few speeches. He won it for being black.

    Obama would not have been elected if he wasn’t black, essentially he would have just been another average senator.

    • Luke Visconti

      You’re wrong. Only 13.1 percent of our population is Black (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html), and 12 percent of the electorate is Black. Interestingly our Black citizens now vote at a higher percentage than white people. Senator McCain via Sarah Palin ran a campaign that overtly courted bigots (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/palin-rally-kill-him). Governor Romney was more sophisticated, but the entire “birther” movement was a disgusting appeal to racists.

      As far as the Nobel Peace Prize, you’ll have to direct your criticism to the Norwegians, who are responsible for awarding the prize. http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/09/nobel.peace.process/

      My feeling is that they were so relieved that President Bush could not illegally invade any more countries (remember “weapons of mass destruction”? Never did find any in Iraq) that they went overboard and gave President Obama the Peace Prize. I don’t think it had anything to do with him being Black—there are almost no Black people in Norway. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

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