Their first example? A Los Angeles Times article about Senator Obama's college days:
In [political science professor Roger] Boesche's European politics class, [classmate Ken] Sulzer said he was impressed at how few notes [italics mine] Obama took. "Where I had five pages, Barry had probably a paragraph of the pithiest, tightest prose you'd ever see. … It was very short, very sweet. Obviously somebody almost Clintonesque in being able to sum a whole lot of concepts and place them into a succinct written style."Ann Althouse looked at this website and noticed something that occurred to me as well:
"The Obama Messiah Watch" is ostensibly a fun little feature, highlighting the foibles of people who just love Obama so much. But what Noah fails to talk about is the likelihood that he's picking up evidence of racism. What accounts for amazement to the point of adoration at the fact that a man possesses excellent skill at something like note taking? Is it not that he can do it and he's black? You can laugh at Noah's nuggets of gratuitous adoration, but you ought also to look at them critically and think about the implications.Commenters responded to these thoughts:
I don't see why liberals consider Obama black. He had an African dad and an caucasian mom. That makes him "mixed" to me. Yet the media universally considers him black. On what grounds? That a single drop of negro blood makes one a negro forever? Didn't we outgrow that when we outgrew Jim Crow?LaShawn Barber talked about this problem as well, discussing the soft bigotry of using the word "articulate" to describe blacks in general, and Obama in specific:
Has "Halfrican American" been taken?
It's worth it to click through to the LA Times to mine for gems like these:"Obama enrolled in two of Mitchell's courses: Making Weeples From Seedpods 101 and The Empowered Minority Paradigm. "Barry was good with a hot glue gun and he was an empowered minority paradigm or a paragon or a polygon or something like that," said Mitchell. Teacher and student barely knew one another but a picture of Obama was printed in the newspaper so Mitchell got drunk on grappa and left a message on Obama's answering machine asking for money.On a more serious note, Howell said Obama already showed glimpses of things other people can't be certain they've actually seen, like when you're on the beach and it's really hot and sunny and you think there might be a tanker or a trawler or something way out on the horizon but it's hard to tell so you say to yourself it's probably just a mirage and you ask if there's anybody else who wants to go for a walk. "Clearly the guy had a presence or a gain switch or a squelch circuit because, boy, that guy was really a guy, or something." he said.
Harold Wilson, the Mandingo Professor of Applied Miscegenation Studies and Physician’s Waiting Room Magazines at Occidental, said Obama had natural rhythm and could shuck and jive with the best of the crowd that hung out at the breezeway pitching quarters, throwing dice, taking numbers and hitting on the full-blooded white chicks by making loud sucking sounds and calling out "Hey, Baaaaaybee!"
Oh my God. Obama is black? Crap. Guess that means I'll have to vote for the wealthy White Southerner then. Honestly, I thought Obama was one of the Kennedy cousins, based on the media treatment he gets. I was positive that he was white, or at least Irish.
It's nowhere near November 2008, and I'm already sick of hearing about Articulate Obama's race. (If I hear another pundit call him well-spoken, I'm going to puncture my own eardrums with a dull screwdriver...)
I have the sneaking suspicion we're about to be guilted into voting for him - "Vote for Obama or you'll prove the US is a big racist nation." The mau-mau will be "sure, you say you just oppose his thoroughgoing liberal positions, but that's just cover for your racism." We're being set up in a similar manner with Mother Hillary, BTW, just in case you missed that... "If you oppose Hillary, you must hate women, children, and mothers, especially working moms. Hillary is a mommy, you know..." I actually respect Hillary though I disagree with a lot of her politics, but if her campaign goes the way I think it is, she'll un-earn my respect pretty quick.
And on the Barack Obama articulate meme, Bill - I cringe when I hear it, and not just because some of my best friends are black, and I don't have a problem with *those people*, not that there's anything wrong with that. You condition us white male oppressors to self-police our speech for phrases that supposedly signify overt or unconscious racism, then you shouldn't be surprised when we cringe when a bunch of liberal pundits start mouthing things we would get reamed out for saying.
-by Al Maviva
Ashamed? Heck, as a white male, I am excluded from all discussions of race and gender, except to stand up for Self-Criticism and shout "I am guilty".
P.S. sniggering, niggardly, and renege, negotiate, etc. are all now Forbidden Words For White People.
For the children!
-by PogoI don't see why liberals consider Obama black. He had an African dad and an caucasian mom.Well, we all know who the most successful Asian in the history of golf is, right?
-by AnonymousWorking on the theory that there's racism everywhere, readers are questioning my use of the word "sniggering"!Oh God, bad flashbacks to the day a professor at Med School called me racist for using the word niggardly. :((
(He got a reprimand from my Dean, and was ordered to apologise in class, which he didn't do...)
About The Slate Obama anti-fawning:Yet these regular features mean something. This one invites us to partake in the adoration of a man. "Bushisms" offers endless examples of another man's supposed stupidity. But Slate is committing to the repeated presentation of Obama as godlike for accomplishing tasks that require skill within the range of mere mortals.Insightful comment, Ann.
To me, it's like the Jaywalking segment on Jay Leno.
At face value, it's just a funny running gag on how stupid people are, even when picked randomly in the crowd. But if you analyse it deeper, it's a highly editted segment which ONLY shows mass retardation by your average American on the street.
You think the French have segments on their television, showing how ignorant the average Frenchman is? No.
And the reason is beyond just "we have a better sense of humour about ourselves".
Of course, laughing at dewy-eyed elegies to the Hero of the Moment is also very cool -- so not only is it "sniggering" at the Obama-Canonisation, whilst still allowing one to see Obama only in a positive light, but it's also the "Cool Kid Remove" syndrome, which invites you to be a part of the cool cynicism by extension.
Barack Obama, the “He speaks so well!” up and coming U.S. senator, no doubt has a bright future ahead of him. But why, I’m trying to figure out, are we reading about his presidential aspirations a mere two years into his first term as senator?
I have a few ideas. First, Obama is “articulate.” No big deal, right? Well, for a black person, it seems to be. At least that’s how I perceive it. Back in 2004 when I was still working a day job at a heavily Democrat-voting organization, the word “articulate” was uttered frequently as white co-workers described Obama’s big speech at the Democratic convention. It wasn’t so much what he said, as I discovered when I read the text of his speech, but how he said it.
*UPDATE: Hilariously, in the news Senator Biden said this about Barack Obama:
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”As opposed to all those hideous, dull, filthy, and mumbling blacks he's used to, apparently.