All Articles Tagged "barack obama"
From The Grio
The families, and especially the children, of the commander-in-chief are almost always considered off-limits by the media and the political opposition, and yet, some conservatives can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to Malia Obama.
In the wake of President Obama’s statement that he would support the selling of Plan B, a birth control product, to girls as young as 15, Fox News host Andrea Tantaros speculated about the sex life of the president’s 14-year-old daughter.
“Are they gonna put her on birth control? Because he’s very concerned with contraceptives and pharmaceuticals that are going in the mouths of everybody else’s 15-year-old daughter,” she said, according to Media Matters.
Tantaros also lashed out at the Obama administration: “They consider 15-year-olds to be women. They want to tell grown women what to do. They know how grown women feel. They have no idea how women feel. They should stop talking about it, because they have no clue.”
Read more at TheGrio.com.
Black voters showed up and showed out at the polls this past November, so much so that analysts say the African American turnout actually surpassed that of Caucasians. And it’s a good thing we did show up, because according to an analysis conducted for The Associated Press and reported by CBS news: “Had people voted last November at the same rates they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly.”
Did anyone else just breathe a sigh of relief?
Here’s the analysis of the data:
America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home….
William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, analyzed the 2012 elections for the AP using census data on eligible voters and turnout, along with November’s exit polling. He estimated total votes for Obama and Romney under a scenario where 2012 turnout rates for all racial groups matched those in 2004. Overall, 2012 voter turnout was roughly 58 percent, down from 62 percent in 2008 and 60 percent in 2004.
The 2012 data suggest Romney was a particularly weak GOP candidate, unable to motivate white voters let alone attract significant black or Latino support. Obama’s personal appeal and the slowly improving economy helped overcome doubts and spur record levels of minority voters in a way that may not be easily replicated for Democrats soon.
Romney would have erased Obama’s nearly 5 million-vote victory margin and narrowly won the popular vote if voters had turned out as they did in 2004, according to Frey’s analysis. Then, white turnout was slightly higher and black voting lower….
Unlike other minority groups, the rise in voting for the slow-growing black population is due to higher turnout. While blacks make up 12 percent of the share of eligible voters, they represented 13 percent of total 2012 votes cast, according to exit polling. That was a repeat of 2008, when blacks “outperformed” their eligible voter share for the first time on record.
As Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University who has written extensively on black politicians, put it, ”The 2012 turnout is a milestone for blacks and a huge potential turning point. What it suggests is that there is an `Obama effect’ where people were motivated to support Barack Obama. But it also means that black turnout may not always be higher, if future races aren’t as salient.”
Whit Ayres, a GOP consultant who is advising possible 2016 Republican presidential contender Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida made an equally good point to CBS, noting that the last election reaffirmed that the Republican Party needs “a new message, a new messenger and a new tone.” Yet he added:
“It remains to be seen how successful Democrats are if you don’t have Barack Obama at the top of the ticket,” he said.
Do you think the black turnout will drop off significantly in the 2016 presidential election?
For several months in 2011, the world of hopeful romantics was tilted on its axis. Rumors swirled and swelled and were splashed across gossip sites and magazines “reporting” the end of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s then-15 year marriage. Pinkett-Smith finally addressed the hearsay head on with French magazine Gala: “Every year, one celebrity couple is under the microscope. This year, unluckily, it’s us!”
Well, it’s a new year, and an unlikely couple has taken The Smith’s unfortunate spot. A pair of gaffes by President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama has drawn new scrutiny upon their 20-year marriage and folks have been steadily weighing in.
The president’s “big” gaffe
During a recent speech at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in California, President Obama gave a “shot out” to California Attorney General Kamala Harris. “She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough,” Obama said. “She also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general … It’s true! C’mon,” he added.
The remark was swiftly derided in many circles. Writing for New York magazine, Jonathan Chait called Obama’s comments “disgraceful.” ”Women have a hard time being judged purely on their merits,” he wrote. “Discussing their appearance in the context of evaluating their job performance makes it worse.”
Yet for others, it was nothing worth noting. At The Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart scoffed at criticism of the president’s remarks, suggesting that detractors “lighten up.”
The president apologized to Harris anyway, the same night.
The first lady calls herself “single,” the press runs with it
However, it was a misstep by the first lady on the same day that turned up the attention on the state of the first marriage. Mrs. Obama described herself as a “busy single mother” during a recent television interview, but quickly corrected her mistake. “You know, when you’ve got the husband who’s president, it can feel a little single — but he’s there,” Obama told a CBS local station. She then described herself as a “busy working mom” instead.
New York’s Daily News referred to these twin slips of tongue as “double trouble for the First Family,” stirring up an air of negative innuendo around the Obama’s relationship. Some commenters on the highly-covered story even wondered how Mrs. Obama felt about his public compliments of another woman — especially in the context of misstating herself as being a “single mom.”
As much as I love to generate a juicy story on an otherwise slow news day, there’s not much to see here, folks. These slip ups don’t reveal anything about the Obama marriage other than that the participants in it, despite their fame, are regular folks who make ill-timed comments and may struggle to find a work-home balance just like the rest of us.
Read more on TheGrio.com.
Coincidence Or Intentional? History Channel Called Out For Resemblance Of ‘The Bible’ Series Satan Character To Obama
When many viewers tuned in to the History Channel’s highly anticipated 10-part The Bible series, they were shocked to find that there was something eerily familiar about the actor cast to play Satan – he looks strangely similar to President Barack Obama. While some argue that it’s a mere coincidence, others are calling BS because naturally, the Satan-cast actor, Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, looks nothing like President Obama, but with makeup and other enhancements, the resemblance is difficult to ignore.
This was first publicly pointed out by Glenn Beck, who disrespectfully refers to the President as “That Guy,” because he refuses to utter his name.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, executive producers of the series, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, however, believe that the claims are ridiculous. In a joint statement with the network, they expressed that neither they or the History Channel would ever disrespect America’s President in that manner.
“History channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors. It’s unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. History’s The Bible is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history.”
“This is utter nonsense… The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani (sic), is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor. He has previously played parts in several biblical epics — including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our president.”
“Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our president, who is a fellow Christian. False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of The Bible,” said Downey.
What do you think of this? Are people seeking to make something out of nothing or are they onto something?
There’s a reason celebrities tend to pick uncommon names for their kids. Contrary to the Oscar voter who said of Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis: “Her
parents really put her in a hole with that name,” unconventional monikers can lend a significant advantage.
Admitting his own “slightly unusual first name” has been a professional boon, writer Teddy Wayne suggests, in a recent New York Times article, that our culture expects artists to have unpredictable names. It’s the reason many recording artists adopt fake names (Jay-Z and Lady Gaga anyone?), and why there is an idea of what a “writerly name” is.
Wayne specifically refers to a 1983 report by Guilford College psychology professor Richard Zweigenhaft that finds “one of the benefits of having an unusual name for women could be a greater likelihood of creativity.” He points to another interesting finding in Zweigenhaft’s study: “Female college students with unusual names scored higher on 17 of 18 traits on the California Psychological Inventory, in areas such as ‘Psychological Mindedness’ and ‘Self-Acceptance’”—which may explain Wallis’ admirable self-possession at such a young age.
Non-celebrity parents are slowly embracing the unusual name trend. CNN reported “Sookie” (as in HBO’s True Blood heroine “Sookie Stackhouse”) and “Eithne”
among the Top 10 baby girl names searched on Parenting.com in 2012. Meanwhile “Brooklyn” (also the name of Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham’s eldest son) broke the top 30 on BabyCenter.com.
But in spite of the growing trend toward outlier names, many African Americans still experience disadvantages associated with having so-called “black names”—
which is likely what the anonymous Oscar voter was getting at with his rude remark about Quvenzhané’s name. Endless studies show blacks with names that don’t sound stereotypically white “have a worse life outcome than a woman named Molly or a man named Jake,” as bestselling book Freakonomics reported. However, the reasons for this phenomenon have less to do with the name than economic circumstances, which remain dire for millions of African Americans.
The neighborhood you live in and your parents’ education level, are among the factors that determine future success more reliably than a name. Black unemployment was last reported at 13.8 percent — almost double that of the national unemployment rate — while the wealth gap between whites and blacks has grown alarmingly wide according to a recent Brandeis University study.
Clearly, having a Barack in the highest political office in America, an Oprah among the wealthiest people in the world, and a list of global stars that includes a Kanye, isn’t enough to flip centuries of discriminatory policy and racist practices directed against blacks. That said, unusual names are not a “hole,” but a platform that can be leveraged to unforgettable success. We have no clue what that Oscar voter’s name is as he opted for anonymity, but while this grown man was dissing Wallis, the nine-year-old was making history—and isn’t that what making a name for yourself is really about?
Any unusual names that you particularly like? Please share in the comments.
Malik Obama, half brother to United States President Barack Obama has entered the runnings as governor in Kenya’s nationwide elections. While he’s unsure what sort of impact his blood relation to America’s first Black president will have on his campaign, he insists that he is his own man, the Associated Press reports.
“I’m going into it as Malik Obama. I can’t run away from my name and association with my brother, but I have the feeling that people somewhat want to see who the brother of Obama is,” the president’s half brother said during a phone interview with the AP.
Malik Obama’s campaign promises even appear to somewhat echo those expressed in his brother’s 2008 campaign. He is rallying for change.
“I hope that you all out there will support me and vote for me for this important position so that we can bring change to the county of Siaya,” 54-year-old Obama said recently while campaigning.
This is Obama’s first time running for political office and he is campaigning as an independent candidate for position as the first governor in Kenya’s western county of Siaya. His competitors are said to be part of well-funded political parties.
Kenyans will cast their votes today for regional offices. It is their first nationwide election since 2007. The country’s newly implemented constitution created 47 political divisions, referred to as counties, which will all be run by governors.
Siaya’s hopeful governor, Malik Obama and U.S. President, Barack Obama share the same father, but have different mothers. President Obama is also reported to have several other relatives residing in Kenya.
My father’s name is Edward. And if you should meet him, you’re to call him Edward. Not Eddie. Not Ed. Edward. He’s very particular about his name. Growing up his parents and family members referred to him by his middle name; but by the time he got to college and had an opportunity to “reinvent” himself, he insisted that he was no longer to be called DeWayne. He helped his family adjust to this change by simply refusing to answer them until they called him Edward. And it worked…for his family.
As a child, when my parents started allowing me and my sister to answer the phone, people who clearly didn’t know my dad would call, trying to perpetrate as his old college chums. This happens to everyone but we knew these people didn’t know my dad because they would say things like, “Is Ed there?” “May I speak to Ed, please?” No you may not because there’s no Ed here. Most of the time we’d correct them, “Do you mean Edward?” People were often taken aback by the fact those close to him, his family members, referred to him as Edward. One time when someone called with the “Ed talk,” I gave the caller my typical, “Do you mean Edward?” response, and he said smugly, “Yeah, same thing.” Uhh, no it’s really not. I told him that no Ed lived there and hung up.
But this, I’ve noticed is a thing with white people. Years later as an intern I was assigned the task of making a series of phone calls. And sure enough as my boss was telling me what to say and how to say it, she said “And if you notice that they have a name like William or Richard, you can say Will or Bill so you sound like someone they know.” I liked my boss but I couldn’t do that. Years living under my father’s roof had taught me that everyone doesn’t appreciate being called a nickname they never gave you permission to use.
I’ll never forget the time I saw President Obama called “Barry” in the newspaper. What the hell?! The man’s name is Barack. It’s a strong, African name yet this nationally recognized publication was whitewashing it, calling him Barry. For what?! When I expressed my disgust about the nickname, someone less ignorant told me that he’d been given that nickname very early in his life. Oh.
But he, like my father, decided to go by his formal name once he came back from college, feeling like he needed to connect to something bigger than himself. The name connects him to a history, whether he decides to run down his family tree or not. It demands respect. So yeah, I revert back to my original perturbance about the use of Barry. Why the publication would refer to the president by his first name, I don’t know; but if you must, call him Barack.
The latest person to undergo the nickname treatment is 9 year old Quvenzhané Wallis. During the Oscars’ red carpet, Ryan Seacrest announced that he and his E! coworkers had decided to call Quvenzhané “Little Q.” Oh ok. Did you ask Quvenzhané if she was cool with that? She’s a very outspoken little girl, I’m sure she would have been able to tell you if she approved or not.
And that’s the problem with these despicable nicknames, rarely is permission requested. They’re not given because the person has gotten to know the other and feel a pet name more appropriately suits his or her personality. The names are given because the person’s formal name, the names the parents decided upon, most times, before they were birthed into the world are “too hard to say.” Which is really a nice way of saying too “non-white” to be bothered with. I don’t recall anybody coming up with a nickname for Arnold Schwarzenegger. We just learned to say his name. And it’s no more difficult than Quvenzhané. It’s just more European. Really, this nickname thing is just lazy and further perpetuates the “ignorant” American stereotype. We know the least about other countries and cultures because it’s hard to learn about other countries when you’re determined to call Ting Feng “Lisa.” If you won’t even attempt to pronounce her name, why would she feel comfortable sharing her culture with you? Americans just don’t care. When white folks hear those foreign sounds and their brain just shuts down temporarily and only reboots as it searches for a more appropriate, more westernized moniker. It’s not cool. So, white people, black people with white friends, or black people who’ve adopted the habit of giving out unapproved nicknames. Cut it out. These nicknames are more than just annoying they represent a lazy, insensitive culture and we have to do better.
The morning following last month’s presidential inauguration, you may have scrolled through your Facebook feed only to find the above collage with a caption that read, “Based solely on historical contributions, should Jay and Bey be in this collage?” Call me a progressive-thinker, or maybe it’s because I spend a majority of my days with teens who have to explain to me what words like “trappin’” and “ratchet” mean, but I found myself wondering, “Why wouldn’t they be?” Meanwhile, co-workers and Facebookers truly surprised me with responses like, “They haven’t broken any racial barriers or anything,” and “Beyoncé and Barack don’t even belong in the same category.”
I beg to differ. And the question then becomes, what does it take to be considered “black history”? The significant contributions of those that today’s youth identify with may not be sit-ins for social change or marches breaking racial barriers, but does that make them any less a part of our culture? Yesterday’s Jackie Robinsons are today’s Jay-Zs in their eyes. When you think of black history, American entertainers and famous figures of today could be considered the black history of this generation’s tomorrow. If this is a collage about social change and politics, then maybe Bey and Jay should have a seat. But if we want to talk about African Americans who have made significant contributions to our culture, yes, they are in the same category as our POTUS and FLOTUS. They’ve built brands and businesses and broken records. Barack, Beyoncé and Booker T. Washington have more in common than you think: they’ve all made history and opened many a door.
Just hear me out. I definitely agree our generation is plagued by a frightening disconnect between sacrifices of yesterday’s leaders that are responsible for so many of the opportunities we often take for granted today. One of the reasons why I fell in love with President Obama’s message and mission is because I feel like he truly understands what so many of us fail to grasp: In order to make our youth understand and value the opportunities that have been presented to them, we have to meet them where they are at. How can we expect young people to truly appreciate their history and culture if we fail to acknowledge the idols who have made history during their lifetimes? President Obama got it right when he invited Jay-Z to do a voice over for his campaign ads. One of the reasons why his election was so greatly affected by the high number of young voters was because he understood that they would never hear his message for change if they felt he was someone who couldn’t understand their voice as well.
Let’s be honest, when black history month rolled around, for 28 days throughout our childhoods we saw the same names in rotation: Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and George Washington Carver, aka, “The Peanut Guy.” And while I could appreciate the paths they had paved, a part of me couldn’t truly identify with their struggle. “You have to know where you came from to know where you’re going,” sounded profound and all, but it’s only as an adult that I’m starting to realize how heavily our present successes rest on the shoulders of our history. When I was in ninth grade, all I cared about was making sure my Timberland sign showed on my boots. I cared more about what I was wearing to school as opposed to the fact the ancestors lost their lives so that I could even attend. When trying to relate anything to our young people from black history to birth control, you have to speak in their language and become familiar with what is important to them before you can attempt to teach what SHOULD be important to them. Acknowledging the contributions to our culture that today’s leaders in entertainment, politics and sports bring to the table doesn’t diminish or throw shade on the foundation that was built from those who fought and died for the belief in something better. We have to do more than throw on the Roots anthology and repeat, “People have died for the rights you take for granted.” We have to find a way to make it relate to the things they are going through today.
Closing that gap requires us to challenge our stagnant way of thinking that says that black history is something that began and ended and acknowledge it as an ongoing process that only continues to grow greater. And as with any culture, that means accepting it in its totality and not just picking the parts we’re personally proud of. What we shouldn’t do is make black history some outdated, pretentious social club that those born before 1960 have the monopoly on and act as though black history isn’t accepting any new members.
Before talking about how Sidney Poitier was the first African American to win an Academy award, try mentioning the fact that Tyler Perry is the first African American ever to launch his own major TV and film studio. Can we show the same love that we showed Jackie Joyner Kersee and Wilma Rudolph, to Serena Williams and Gabby Douglas? Maybe, just maybe, our kids will talk about Alicia Keys like we once talked about Aretha Franklin. And before catching feelings over the bible Barack Obama is using, take a few minutes to consider the fact that we have lived to see our first black president. There’s surely enough pride to go around. The fact that our leaders of yesterday have leaders of today to help bear the burden of uplifting our culture is not a threat but a credit to all of their sacrifices. And although we may not want our kids breaking out at the black history recital with a rendition of “Single Ladies,” it’s as much a part of our culture as “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Like it or not.
How do you define black history?
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog Bullets and Blessings .
Yesterday news broke that a top secret photo shoot was going down at the White House when the Washingtonian spotted a team from Vogue scurrying across the White House lawn with cameras, making their way into the First Couple’s home. It seems that First Lady Michelle Obama may be gracing the cover of the iconic magazine’s March issue.
It is being said that famed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz was responsible for capturing the magic on Vogue‘s behalf.
So far there’s no word on what the FLOTUS wore for the shoot, but according to reports, Vogue generally allows their subjects to choose from a variety of carefully selected clothing, shoes and accessories.
It hasn’t been revealed whether or not President Obama had any involvement in the shoot; however, his public schedule was open yesterday.
At this point, these are all speculations made by the Washingtonian and Vogue has declined to comment on them, but the idea of the First Lady appearing on the cover of Vogue‘s March issue isn’t exactly far fetched since she appeared on the fashion publications March issue back in 2009, which was also captured by Annie Leibovitz. When asked about the First Lady’s potential cover shoot, Vogue‘s Director of Communications, Megan Salt responded “We never comment on rumors about future editorial.” This news comes in the wake of previous circulating rumors that Beyoncé would be on the cover of the publication’s March issue.
Mark Knoller, CBS News’ White House Correspondent, however did confirm Vogue‘s presence at the White House yesterday via his Twitter page.
“Today at the WH. No public events on the president’s schedule today, though Vogue is bringing camera gear into the WH this morning,” he tweeted.
He also revealed that a Vogue rep. was also present on the presidential press plane earlier this week.
“Vogue also had a representative on the press plane to and from Las Vegas Tuesday.”
While all of this is exciting, all we can really do is wait for the issue to hit newsstands. I think that Bey would make a wonderful cover girl, but we’ve been seeing a whole lot of her lately. I would love to see to Mrs. Obama grace the cover again.
Photo courtesy of WENN
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.
According to the International Business Times, the New Yorker’s article on Rand Paul asking for President Obama to resign was just a joke. Apparently Andy Borowitz’s article was satire and he regularly writes these types of opinion pieces on current events — without letting people know they’re not real.
Well, at least this is relief Republicans aren’t that crazy.
I really wanted that headline to read: GTFOHWTBSYRAMF — the last letters meaning you racist a** mother f***ers but that’s not very ladylike so I’ll stop while I’m already behind on my swearing allotment for the day. But after you read this, you might want to yell out a few expletives too.
The New Yorker, in its Borowitz Report, has quoted the always-ridiculous Senator Rand Paul — a Republican from Kentucky, of course — who is now calling on President Obama to resign from office because Beyonce lip-synched the National Anthem during inauguration. According to him:
“By lip-synching the national anthem, Beyoncé has cast a dark cloud over the President’s second term. The only way President Obama can remove that cloud is by resigning from office at once.”
“We must remember that this happened on President Obama’s watch. If Beyoncé lip-synched the national anthem, how do we know President Obama didn’t lip-sync his oath of office?” he said. “If that’s the case, he’s not legally President. But just to be on the safe side, he should resign anyway.”
Yes, that’s a very logical way to look at this situation because singing and talking are exactly the same thing and I’m sure President Obama wanted to save his vocals so he could whisper in Michelle’s ear later during their first Inaugural dance. How does he not realize how crazy he sounds? And how is his party not ashamed? They need to put out a gag order on him.
At this point, I should remind you that Rand Paul is the son of Ron Paul, the originator of the “honest rape” theory that, speaking of cloud casting, overshadowed way too much of the abortion debate during the Presidential election this year. So yeah, the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree at all.
Like Beyonce, the White House has chosen not to comment on what has become the most unnecessarily crafted scandal in a slow news week ever — because why would they — but Rand says the refusal to comment:
“only serves the argument that this President has something to hide.”
I wish Republicans like Rand and his pappy would realize that they should actually be the ones who keep quiet on things that don’t actually matter. Isn’t there a deficit to be fixed right now?