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The Week’s First Fake Controversy

You almost have to admire Steve Krakauer’s ability to turn this CNN interview with President Obama into a possible wise Latina moment. The president, in

Jul 31, 202088.9K Shares2.2M Views
You almost have to admire Steve Krakauer’s abilityto turn this CNN interviewwith President Obama into a “possible wise Latina moment.” The president, in Africa, thought out loud about being an African-American, and how he knows African-Americans who come to the continent and feel more American than ever. It’s because you’re “in some ways, connected to this distant land, but on the other end, you’re about as American as it gets in some ways. African-Americans are more fundamentally rooted in the American experience because they don’t have a recent immigrant experience to draw on.”
Krakauer was shocked, shocked:
The key line, of course, is “African Americans are more fundamentally rooted in the American experience.” Obama did not expand on this, and nor did Anderson Cooper ask a follow up. So did Mr. Obama mean that African Americans are more rooted in American experience than other Americans, or more rooted in American experience than the African experience?
The second one! He didn’t expand on it because he was talking about Africa. It’s hard to even imagine a more banal comment about the African diaspora. But how did Krakauer’s attempt to stir up angry right-wing comments go? Pretty well:
When the President of the United States makes such a blatantly racist comment your skin should crawl.
… what can one expect from a hopelessly elitist, hard-Leftist, white-man-done-owe-me-forty acres-and-a mule African-American mind?
He’s segregating into groups, and saying whites and Asians aren’t as rooted in America because there have been white and Asian immigrants reciently.
Obama is clearly saying that african Americans are more rooted than white people. It’s his wise Latina moment.
There’s really nothing Obama can do or say that doesn’t drive some elements of the right around the bend.
Paula M. Graham

Paula M. Graham

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