The New Yorker’s latest cover depicts Barack Obama dressed like and resembling Osama Bin Laden next to his wife, Michelle is sporting an afro, camouflage pants while carrying a rife. All the while an America Flag is burning in the fire place. Why is it alright for Michelle Obama to be depicted as an afro wearing militant with a rifle in her arms? Why does the New Yorker feel comfortable publishing a cover that depicts Osama Bin Laden and Barack Obama as one in the same?
The magazine stated that they are confronting the lies that are floating around about the couple. Are they really just promoting the fears that many White Americans have about the Obama’s to sell magazines? Many people believe that Mrs. Obama is unpatriotic because she has said she was proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. So what! News flash; many Black people feel that way. I saw several different video clips of Sen. John McCain saying that he never loved his country until he became a POW, why is it acceptable for him and not for Mrs. Obama? I see that many people believe that she should be proud because her ancestors came to this country in shackles and she now is a successful Ivy League graduate; she should be grateful that she is in this country. I have heard this view from various conservative commentators on all of the cable networks. Would it be acceptable to tell Jews that they should be grateful that the Holocaust occurred because without it Israel would not exist? Of course not, not only would such a statement be hateful and dismissive of the suffering of the Jewish people it would go against the humanity of this world.
I admit that I would not dream of being born in another country but; one would have to be blind if they believe that Black’s are even close to being treated equally in this country.
When I enter establishments I am frequently closely followed or ignored. Sometimes when I speak to people on the telephone they are very polite and helpful until they see me in person; then they are avoidant and unhelpful. I wear my hair in its natural state; according to a then editor at Glamour, my hairstyle is militant. I cannot count the amount of times a White woman has grabbed her purse when I sat on a bench or simply got up and left.
An Ivy League graduation does not prevent a Black man from being pull over by police because he is driving a nice car or is in a White neighborhood. According to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, in 2006, Blacks accounted for 53% of sub-prime loans; 30% of them qualified for traditional loans. A White man with a criminal record is more likely to get a job interview than a Black man without a record. Blatant discrimination is alive and well in this country; in replicated studies, in which White and Minority job seekers are given equitable resumes and sent to the same firms to apply for a job. These studies found that employers are less likely to interview or offer a job to minority applicants and to female applicants. No matter what study you look at, Blacks are still oppressed.
I do not want to start to try to figure out how someone can conclude that Barack Obama has any connection to Osama Bin Laden or Islam at all other than sheer ignorance.
People believe what they want to believe despite context, facts, or stereotypes. We cannot change people’s beliefs however; the media does not have to confirm negative racial views. Fox News’ “angry Black woman” segment about Michelle Obama was not surprising but, The New Yorker is thought to be an unbiased media outlet.
I must ask again, why is this OK?