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A Schism in the Black Community

I read with great interest The Post’s A1 story today on the schism within the African American community over just how tough President Obama should be questioned and scrutinized, particularly by black members of the press. Krissah Thompson related what happened to TV talk show host and author Tavis Smiley when he dared to criticize Obama during last year's Democratic primaries.

“The push-back was ‘brutal,’ Smiley recalls. Angry listeners called him a ‘sellout,’ an ‘Obama hater’ and ‘Uncle Tom.’ Surprised and hurt, Smiley left Joyner's show.”

I remember when that all went down. And I had the same reaction then as I did reading that paragraph: I feel your pain, Tavis.

During the primaries, I treated then-Sen. Obama as a serious candidate for president of the United States. After Obama's victory in the Iowa caucuses, African Americans, some of whom questioned whether Obama was black enough or could understand the black experience in America because he was not a descendant of slaves, rallied around him. And woe unto me if I said anything remotely critical of him.

Like Smiley, I've been called a "sellout" and an "Uncle Tom." One person who saw me on MSNBC wrote in an email, "I think you and your colleagues, do the Black community a disservice, when you over look the positive aspects of what a Black president would mean for this country and the world, you also diminish the position that you hold as a Black journalist at a paper like the Washington Post. [sic]" Another wrote, "You disappoint me young brother."

The vitriol hit its peak during the first blow-up over the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright last year. One over-the-top emailer wrote, "What kind of step-n-fetchit, house boy are you? You are DISGRACING Black people....God curse your house with tragedy, calamity, and poverty for the rest of your slimy, miserable days, you minstrel show clown."

I've been called a "traitor" and "self-hating." One viewer wrote, "To me, you appear to be a little self-hating, in that you are a black man, and the words that come out of your mouth are obviously not filtered through a genuinely felt lens." Another said, "Can you please do all of us a favor and bleach your skin white as white can get. [sic]"

I've also been accused of forgetting where I come from. A cab driver who listened to an interview I'd just done with Andrea Mitchell yelled at me through the window, "Mr. Capehart! Don't forget your history!" One gentleman wrote, "Enlighten our black people when you are on cable news shows instead of bringing down Rev. Wright and Obama, let me remind you that you benefitted from the Civil Right's movement not just being a Capehart. [sic]"

No reminding needed.

The pride among African Americans in having one of our own as president is understandable. As Gene Robinson noted in his column last week, it just makes you feel good to see him not only represent you as a black American, but also represent the United States of America as he's done in Europe. But it does him no good and does the nation a disservice if he is not made to answer tough questions about his policies and decisions. Black reporters fought hard to get into positions from which they can hold the president to account. That cannot change now that the president himself is black.

By Jonathan Capehart  | April 6, 2009; 7:47 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

welcome to obammy's plantation. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. If white's had voted 95% for their race like the blacks did, obammy wouldn't be potus.
Only a few blacks haven't drank the Koolaid. Obammy is ruining the USA.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | April 6, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Charlietuna...um, whites DID vote %100 of the time for their own race, for a solid hundred years. How many black candidates where there from 1776-1876??

So, the ONE TIME blacks voted for someone of their own race says a lot more about your willful ignorance than it does about the black community as a whole.

Posted by: kreator6996 | April 6, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

And the substance of you point is?.... So what, you are a big man of integrity solely because some afican americans didn't like your comments? Where is the substance of your views? But that's not the point is it? Are you applying for a job, uncle?

Posted by: bsumpter3 | April 7, 2009 3:14 AM | Report abuse

You need to get over yourself, Capehart.

Man up and find something substantial to contribute. Self-justifying posts like these are counterproductive.

Posted by: yammy517 | April 7, 2009 4:29 AM | Report abuse

Mr.Capeheart,
I not only voted for President Obama, I walked door-to-door for his campaign. I certainly criticize him when I see the reason to do so. I am white.

There may have been black criticism of the president before this, no doubt has been, but I haven't heard it. Then,
while viewing a TV round-table this past week, I heard an African-American panellist question some intelligence regarding Afganistan, making the point that "we've been through this before with Iraq." I nearly fell out of my chair.

My reaction to the above says more about me than about the journalist who made that remark, especially since I had long been familiar with his work and expected nothing less than brutal honesty from him. Except as relates to President Obama, apparently.

From my point of view, far from weakening Mr. Obama's position, such criticism only affirms that he really is the president, who happens to be black, not just the first black president. The presidency is the top, folks. There is no such thing as a token president.

Posted by: martymar123 | April 7, 2009 6:02 AM | Report abuse

An interesting phenomenon is at play here. American Jews who criticize Israel, while still supporting her, become the targets of similar denigration and abuse from so-called 'mainstream" Jewish organizations. In my mind, a couple of factors are at play here in both situations:

First, is fear. Both groups either still feel so threatened or are still so insecure in their position within America, that any attack on a symbol of their strength and pride immediately results in a defensive action and attempts to muzzle the source. (And folks, whether you believe it or not, American Jews, despite thier social and financial poition, do not have a feeling of total equanimity in America as you might want to belive. There is too much history for that. Read a bit about it before you blow off some foolish remark about Jewish power and influence).

Second, and related, is the desire, consciously or unconsciously, to maintain the role of victim. African-Americans and Jewish Americans (and Israelis) who are victimes of greater society can play by another set of rules. Palestinians and Moslem society in general also seem to play this role. It may be justified, but it is not wise nor healthy for the group in the long run. Being a victim means you can justify anything you want and are immune from scrutiny.

When the wounds are healed, then maybe all of us can start to act like mature adults and work together for a better world unafraid of criticism or disagreemnent.

Posted by: freundbd | April 7, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Capehart, you and Tavis are sellouts, and tokens. Washington Post, come on. I like you though. When you are on Morning Joe, please get a backbone and speak up when you know Joe is wrong. He has no respect for Mr. Obama. He NEVER SAYS, PRESIDENT OBAMA. Everyone is afraid of him on that show. At times I understand you have to ask tough questions of the President, otherwise you wouldn't be on raci$t Joes' show, or you wouldn't stayed employed at WP. Most people know Joe wants Mr. Obama to fail.

Posted by: efree1731 | April 7, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

That is the way the doughnut bounces. As things are shaping up Obama will be the first muslim black American president and the last president of the United States of America. The problem is he is not just a Chicago political hack. He has already taken the first steps to hell. The question is not a Socialist but is he a National Socialist as Lenin, Mussolini and Hitler. With stroke of the pen he can change the address of the FBI to Prinz Albert Strasse 3 and re incarnate Reinhardt Heydrich. Himmler was a clown and it was not Rhoem or he that Hitler feared but Heyrich. British MI6 set up events in Praque. [o

Posted by: hondolane13 | April 7, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan so you have been criticized for saying things about President Elect and President Obama. You did your job and you and some people didn't like it so what.

I don’t have a problem with people expressing their opinions but the article by Krissah implied that there is a "deep schism" in the black community yet offered no facts. They quoted a few, maybe three including Tavis and Johnson.

Tavis has a prior beef with Pres. Obama. He comcomplained that Pres. Elect. did not attend his "summit" but Tavis neglects to mention that Michelle was offered. It seems like some people want glory.

I have some friends who do not think the President should be critiqued no matter who it is.

If this story had more facts it would be taken seriously and for you to say that you also received criticism does not undo the sloppy story that was printed.

Facts – there were no facts – we need facts. Just saying something doesn't make it so.

Posted by: rlj1 | April 7, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

A Schism in the Black Community

I would not say that it is a schism in the Black Community in regards to President Obama. But I would say that the mindset of this country is catering to an agenda to cause a separation mentality of the black mindset which only poses controversy for whatever reasons that they can. When in retrospect, President Obama is a man of his own whom harbors concerns and shows much love for a country of all people, races and nationalities. Something that this country needs to embrace and get away from the separation mentality that has been embedded is so many mindsets from the duration of time. A change is on the horizon and for a world to continue to try and separate out of whatever reasons sanctioned it is so sad. People, please get a life, our country is trying to successfully go to the next stage and it will, despite the angry mindsets that will constantly work to stunt it’s forward ability. God Bless America!

Posted by: Nisey01 | April 7, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

A Schism in the Black Community

I commend President Obama on his ability to represent America in a fair and just manner which reflects much love and concern for all people as a whole. It is the mindset of those which means no good to further destruct our God given world. This land was bless to all by the Creator and the entire world belongs to each and everyone of us despite the mindsets and evil ways of the past whom may have thought otherwise. Our land will be healed under President Obama for he means well for all. Our country needs to seize their damaged mindsets and allow a peaceful world to manifest. For should they not they will further destruct it, so show some love and unity, change your ways from the bottom up. God Bless America!

Posted by: Nisey01 | April 7, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Hondolane13:
What planet are you from? Please return as soon as possible.

Posted by: elkofan | April 7, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Most in the Black community want to see our President succeed in his bold new policies to bring real change to this country, others are content to shine the shoes of those who advocate the status quo.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 7, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

It would be racism if the media treated President Obama any differently from the way they would have treated a white president. He should be asked the same hard or impertinent questions that a white person in his position would be asked. That is true equality!

Posted by: phillyreader | April 7, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. The President has a 91% approval rating among African Americans, but somehow there is a schism/divide among black folks regarding the President?

Tavis received hateful comments because he was drinking haterade. Tavis designated himself and his events as representative of black America in the same way that Sharpton and Jackson used to and got his panties in a bunch when candidate Obama chose to handle his business instead of wasting time at a conference that has never produced tangible results.

I see Capehart on Morning Joe, and he appears to have taken the comments of a few nuts and internalized them. Any person in public life will have comments that are on the edge and its unfair to take the comments of a few and create some kind of social divide.

Posted by: loved1 | April 7, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Did it ever occur to you that one of the main reasons we see more black pundits is BHO is our president. Before BHO, the only time black viewpoints were elicited was when they were talking about crime or hiphop or some other dysfunctionality.

You are not on these TV panels just to poll-parrot what a pale pundit would have said--you are there to enlight the larger community about mainstream black thought.

Tavis, Juan Williams, and Tara [whatever her name is] are hopeless disgraces, real Uncle T-, well, you know--you however still are redeemable. Let's do much better from now on, hermano.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | April 7, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. The President has a 91% approval rating among African Americans, but somehow there is a schism/divide among black folks regarding the President?

Tavis received hateful comments because he was drinking haterade. Tavis designated himself and his events as representative of black America in the same way that Sharpton and Jackson used to and got his panties in a bunch when candidate Obama chose to handle his business instead of wasting time at a conference that has never produced tangible results.

I see Capehart on Morning Joe, and he appears to have taken the comments of a few nuts and internalized them. Any person in public life will have comments that are on the edge and its unfair to take the comments of a few and create some kind of social divide.

Posted by: loved1 | April 7, 2009 3:53 PM
++++++++++++
What you said.

But to be honest, the reality is, except for paid television Uncle T's, the black support is about 99.999% Despite what that ridiculous article in the Post said yesterday, there is no schism on BHO.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | April 7, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Overall this wasn't a very good article ... "Schism in the Black Community"? what schism? It's not clear in your article ... what you've written here is that some have said bad things about you. Please do better, make a point and justify it if you want to be taken seriously.

Posted by: kb_square | April 7, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Right on kb_square !!! Mr Capehart has written another empty piece. What is his point? Grow a pair Jonathan , not everyone can like you

Posted by: astrofit | April 7, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I fail to see how your receiving complaints about your views on Obama proves a "schism" in the Black community. You seem to suggest that opposing your opinions makes you right just by your having them. This article leaves a lot to be desired.

Posted by: nbynum1 | April 7, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Schism in the black community?

Doubtful. Where, exactly are they going to go?

Posted by: pgould1 | April 8, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

People should not confuse the confusion of the 21st century talented tenth with that of the mass of black people. Capehart is not very often "down with the masses" in any literal sense, so how would he know, with the air being so thin up there on that ivory tower of his

Posted by: gmurray68 | April 8, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart: Your point-of-view will is on target and will be well-taken by thinking readers.

Posted by: robertmcgregor | April 8, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Along with Blacks questioning Obama's "blackness", (a peculiarly internal racist remark) much of the perfectly valid criticism of Obama was quick to be attacked as "racist". This absolutely racist nonsense was overwhelmingly delivered by Blacks, and no on ever called them on it.

Surely this undeniable racism on the part of Blacks had nothing to do with an unheard of 96 percent Black vote for Obama.

Posted by: spamsux1 | April 8, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The overwhelming enmity in the comments to this article help illustrate exactly what you and Tavis Smiley face.

Equality of treatment should be the objective for black and white presidents, black and white journalists, and blacks and whites everywhere. It is not counterproductive to seek them by calling out the instigators of inequality. If that is not an appropriate means to an end, then what is?

Posted by: TheThinkingMansMan | April 8, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capeheart, only ask the questions that you can answer. No one takes you as seriously as you take yourself. You and Tavis need to hook up and do your dance.

Posted by: harolynmcgee | April 8, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Here are a few thoughts. One "sic" may present one as highly educated; on the other hand, the repeated use of "sic" may present one as petty. My "problem" with Smiley is not that he dared question Obama but rather that his "question" most reasonably appeared to be: "how dare Obama not recognize how important I am?" To judge or "hate on" Smiley based on his having asked that question seems pretty fair to me.

Posted by: charleswilliams4450 | April 8, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I believe Capehart and Travis have the right to not support Obama as everyone intends to. They are just practicing the first amendment of the Constitution: Freedom of Speech. If they don't agree with Obama it doesn't make them an self-hater or an Uncle Tom just because they both share the same skin color. All people have their own opinion about everything it doesn't mean to label people racist. Furthermore, I believe President Obama is a great president who can make some powerful changes in America but I don't believe that he has all the answers to change America for good. Although, Capehart shouldn't denounce president Obama because of his blackness which is irrelevant to how he runs America. People shouldn't pressure Obama just because he's black or any other race then white. I personally don't agree with the authors perspective but I support their freedom of speech. On the other hand what people say doesn't matter because Obama's president so to hell what critics think!

Posted by: bowieanika | April 8, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Po ole Charlietuna!

Do you think he doesn't know that Americans have been voting 95% or 100% for their own race since Americans been voting?

Has there ever been anyone but a white man elected to POTUS before Obama?

As for Jonathan...Yes, black journalists have to be journalists, but they need to also pay close attention to the masters of stepnfetchit....you know, those who believe their are superior.

Just make sure if you have a criticism, it is a legitimate one.

Note in this very publication on this very day, Gerson has omitted certain facts, manufactured a claim, then dressed Obama down for it..

Michael Steele was made RNC chair because republicans absolutely failed to take Obama's measure, and believed any black RNC chair would be the perfect foil....when they should have known the foil to Obama was to change their rigid bubbaness.

Posted by: dutchess2 | April 9, 2009 5:47 AM | Report abuse

I’m black, but I have to say this: IS the black community actually concerned with policy period? That question isn’t as crazy as it sounds. For the most part ever black person I met was simply used to the whole “Government is against us” attitude. The specifics of governmental policy just weren’t something that was discussed. In this, the history of movements like the Black Panthers shows its negative effects. The generalist nihilism that came for the “Big Bad Government” attitude pushed even the faintest questions about regulation and taxes cuts off the dinner table at night. What was discussed is either what the government did or didn’t do for us as blacks – in general. So the question for me isn’t as to whether black journalism should ask tough questions concerning policy, it is as to whether they would even know HOW to ask those questions.

Posted by: gabrielwittgenstein | April 9, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

A historic event took place in our country when Obama was elected president. However, almost every black person I have spoken to about the election said they voted for Obama because he was black. It did not matter past the point of his skin color for many and if you think those in the projects are worried about policy you are worng.
Many of them are there and have been their entire life and want nothing more out of life than what they are currently getting.
The other sideof that coin is that there are those out there who are black and doing great for themselves and getting out of the projects or were never in the projects to begin with and don't want to be there.

A lot of black people want to remember the civil rights movement and they should, many want to remember slavery. Don't dwell in the past. That is over. We live now, not then.
I seriously get bothered by the fact that we still have to deal with anger over the whole slavery issue. Slaves were set free under the confederate flag and before the civil war started.
You never hear the black community up in arms due to the way they were treated in the North by all the factories and overseers who beat them and forced them to work in horrible and even staving conditions and when one could not longer work, he was just replaced by someone else.
I don't know if histrory has been changed and watered down so much that none of this is even taught anymore or what, but there seems to be a hate the south attitude when many were treated much better down here in the South as opposed to the ways they were treated up North. After the civil war, the Northern factories did not stop starving and beating their black employees either.
However,
many blacks who were considered to be slaves in the South chose to remain in the South and even fought on the side of the South during the civil war. I think if you are going to fuss it should be with a little truth of history instead of so one sided.
Not to mention, Africa that so many in the black community want to be proud of coming from were the initial people that sold their own kind as slaves to begin with, maybe folks in Africa back then were not so great, either or was that something hidden and kept secret from the black community.
Obama should have to answer all the tough questions anyone else would have to answer. I personally do not think he has a clue how to run a country except for running into the ground.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO A GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE AND BY THE PEOPLE.
Government seems to be taking over everything.

Posted by: sandyeld | April 9, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Sandyeld – stating that he has “no clue” how to run a country AS HE IS DOING IT is an oxymoron. It doesn’t make any sense. But lets make a bet. If in 3 years from now this country is still sanding, what are you willing to do to repent? Let me put your position in perspective: every time a leader has been elected in this country, the less informed critics of that leader – the ones who can’t formulate a credible detailed attack – has always claimed that such a leader doesn’t know what he is doing. “He’ll run the country in the ground” generates blinds anger, but nothing more. Empirical evidence counts for a lot, and so far, all you have is your febal opinion.

Secondly, what blacks have you been talking with? How about the fact that almost equal amount of blacks – as well as minorities in general – voted for Clinton. African Americans have long since aligned themselves with Democrats in rejection of Republican Southern Racism. So why is that FACT different now? The only reason why you would even question someone’s voting intentions (did you ask Blacks the same question in regards to Clinton? Gore?) IS because of your own awareness that the candidate is black.

Who are YOU to question anyone?

Plus: 65 million people is a lot people for it NOT to be government BY the people. Do you actually read anyting or do you just make this stuff up?

Posted by: gabrielwittgenstein | April 9, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

President Obama should be afforded the same subjective levels of questioning by journalists as non-white politicians and past presidents.

41 million black Americans don't have the group power (as individuals, a group, or institutions) to "dictate" what should be. We can at best only "advocate" or "ask" 200 million whites (and those non-blacks that share our minority status) permit us a more equal voice, a more equal perspective.

Mr. Capehard probably does what most other minority professionals must do. He strives to balance his minority membership, voice, and perspectives within the constraints of our mainstream (aka 200 million white majority) society.

Malcom X and MLK understood this reality. Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, and recently Reverend Wright understand this constraint. President Obama knows all minorities (including blacks) must play this accommodationist game.

This is why the former two were murdered. They were starting to change the cultural rules of engagement. This is why the latter three are marginalized (aka labelled "black leaders" versus "leaders). This is also why Obama became, achieved, President.

He played the accommodationist game near perfectly, and without compromising (selling out) his blackness, whiteness, multiculturalness -- all of those group-think ideologies (memberships) to which we prescribe.

So now he enjoys all of the power and privileges of such. He also must now deal with all of the negatives that come with minority success:

1. Added scrutiny.
2. Unfair critiques.

I suspect President Obama understands on the deepest levels and broadest geopolitical sense the contraints (and opportunities) he operates within. I suspect he understand he will be dammed no matter what he does or doesn't do -- for such is the hidden agenda of added scrutiny and unfair critiques.

Nonetheless, President Obama has shown himself to be adept and savvy at playing this accommodationist catch-22 game. So far none of his predecessors, be they white male leaders or marginalized black leaders, have played this game as well or successfully -- not JFK, not Malcom X, not MLK, not Jessie, not Al Sharpton, not even Hillary.

So, if I were Obama, I'd say: "Bring it On! Ask your tough questions. Critiqe me. I can handle it -- the good, the bad, and the ugly!"

Posted by: GroupThink | April 9, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

IMHO the problem is not the "Black Community" it is a "journalist" who identifies him/herself as a "Black Journalist". What????!!!! Just ask the questions and stop bringing race to the table. Smiley does this all the time and when he got called on it he cried foul. Stop it already. Act your age. Bring something to the table besides your color. President Obama does and it's so refreshing. BTW...I'm a black female.

Posted by: vjfevp | April 9, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Group Think wrote: "So now he enjoys all of the power and privileges of such. He also must now deal with all of the negatives that come with minority success:
1. Added scrutiny.
2. Unfair critiques."
_______________________________

I don't disagree in general with the phenomenon that you are describing, but in the case of the POTUS, added scrutiny and unfair critiques to the max are a normal part of the job. Some get more than others, but so far Obama has received less than most. That was certainly true during the election. I think nearly every McCain and Hillary supporter would agree. So maybe Obama is the exeption to what you describe.

Posted by: Compared2What | April 9, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I did not realize President Obama was black -- are you sure?!?

Posted by: jeanhess627 | April 9, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Compared2What

I will reflect ... for I see your point of view.

Posted by: GroupThink | April 9, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

There is no "schism in the Black Community", the issues are between Capehart, Obama and other "coloreds" who want nothing to do with the Black Community. Capehart identifies as much with Black folks as Obama--NONE AT ALL. At least Obama has a valid reason not to relate to Black folks--He's NOT BLACK! Obama was born and raised by a white family, white cultures, white values, period. Nothing wrong with that, and the initial premise of Black folks is correct he has demonstrated that he is "not black enought"--Obama's Cabinet has the least number of Black appointments in 50 years. His administration has the least number of black folks in positions of top management; the "blacks" that are appointed are as close to white as possible-in biology and academics-all of his black appointments are graduates of WHITE universities. Obama is the best friend that the white supremacists could have to support the notion that blacks are inferior, he doesn't appear to have confidence in blacks that are dark skinned and graduates of predominately or historic black institutions.

Posted by: jalexis55 | April 10, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The article about a "schism in the black community" was a manufactured story. How did the writer and the people quoted in the piece come to their conclusions? Did they do a survey of black community members in the last few weeks? Was there a random poll conducted of African Americans from all over the United States? I saw no statistical data in the article. Just because Tavis Smiley and a couple of other so-called media types say there is a "schism" does not make it so. Who are the other people quoted in that Washington Post article? What are their credentials? What research was use to draw their conclusions? Barack Obama is the President of the United States - that's everyone, not just black folks. It would have been inappropriate for Candidate Obama to attend Travis Smiley's function. I thought it was gracious for him to try to send Mrs. Obama. Travis Smiley REALLY needs to get over this.

Posted by: cm-atl | April 11, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

A Schism in the Black Community

I commend President Obama on his ability to represent America in a fair and just manner which reflects much love and concern for all people as a whole. It is the mindset of those which means no good to further destruct our God given world. This land was bless to all by the Creator and the entire world belongs to each and everyone of us despite the mindsets and evil ways of the past whom may have thought otherwise. Our land will be healed under President Obama for he means well for all. Our country needs to seize their damaged mindsets and allow a peaceful world to manifest. For should they not they will further destruct it, so show some love and unity, change your ways from the bottom up. God Bless America!

Posted by: Nisey01 | April 12, 2009 5:01 AM | Report abuse

As a daughter of a civil rights activist who participated in the March on Selma and knew Dr. MLK, Jr., personally, I too am greatly troubled by the man so many think is the answer to all their troubles. Obama is not who we marched for, and there is no shame in the press pointing that out. I remain deeply troubled over the way he stole his nomination from Hillary Clinton. I don't see why we should have elected our most inexperienced man in the US Senate when we can clearly see he is keeping us at war which he claimed he wouldn't do. There are still significant issues about his eligibility for POTUS. He hasn't produced more than a 1 page summary of his medical records, his college entrance applications, or explined why he went to Pakistan in his youth when Americans were not allowed to travel to Pakistan on a US passport. Obama is hiding much, and it's up to citizens and the press to find out why. That's what freedom of the press is all about.

Posted by: BettyM47 | April 12, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

mr. capehart, my problem with black media types like yourself and mr. robinson is not asking tough quetions about policy and the american people, but the willingness for you and your peers to go on shows like msnbc and speak about black issues without ever questioning msnbc and other media outlets about their refusal to allow minorities to have their own shows. cnn has done a good job in diversifying its programming, however nbc and its family has been awful in allowing minority shows to comment on the policies of the day. the nbc family allows minorities to come and comment on segments framed by whites, but does not allow a minority to have their own show where they can frame the issues of day and how they affect the minority community.

so i respect your hard work in reaching the pennacle of your career, but i do not respect the gossipy nature of evaluating this president as i see on most news stations. for example, instead of evaluating the policies put forth and the effects on the economy and families you and your peers would like to know "is the administration doing to much" - a question straight out of the republican play book.

i fight against the hip hop crowd for debaising the richness of the black community by bringing it down with drugs and violence, but i also think some black intellectuals debaise the black community by commenting on the black situation without highlighting the fact that we have a black president yet there are no news shows that are led by a minority. so if you are going to comment on minority issues you have to hold white television exec's feet to the fire also instead of just dogging minorities like rev. wright.

lastly, please stop the gossip and let's have an honest discussion about the pros and cons of the issues and policies this administration is putting forward

Posted by: damonherron | April 13, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

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