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Rage: Why Obama won't and can't give you what you want

Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you saw your black male colleague, especially if you're in a white-collar profession, show anger or rage in public? My hunch is never. There's a reason for that. African American men are taught at very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool, lest we be perceived as dangerous or menacing or give someone a reason to doubt our ability to handle our jobs. Think of the emotional corset women in leadership positions are expected to maintain to ensure they never cry in public or show TOO much compassion for fear of raising the same doubt and seeming weak.

I pose this question because over the last two weeks, I have watched and listened with increasing frustration to the criticism that President Obama hasn't shown enough emotion, enough rage over the ceaseless flow of BP oil choking the Gulf Coast. Sure, I, too, have asked the president to connect more with the American people over this disaster. To show a little emotion. But I have never and would never advise Obama to do what movie director Spike Lee advised last week on CNN: "One time, go off!"

We all know one of the reasons why Obama won't "go off."' He's just not wired that way. Despite the feisty interview he did with NBC News's Matt Lauer that aired this morning, overt expressions of rage (or any overheated emotion) are not in his personality. That's why Maureen Dowd has consistently dubbed him President Spock. And Obama's cool, "say what I mean and mean what I say" demeanor is exacerbated by his reliance on the TelePrompTer.

But he can't "go off." And I want to talk about why.

Doug Graham, a Facebook friend from Birmingham, Mich., sent me a note after my post on Obama's third trip to Louisiana last Friday. His words gave voice to my frustration and anticipated this piece.

What the media does not comprehend about Obama and his response on the Gulf Crisis is that he is responding in anger the best that he can!

Black men, especially educated black men, grew up with images of non-violent protests in the face of aggressive policemen, consequences of actually "displaying anger" like the Rodney King situation and are conditioned not to "act out" in crisis situations. Even in sports, you see "fits of rage" with black athletes, but even that is more controlled than, say, hockey, where if black athletes were to display that level of rage -- it would be called a riot!

If Obama were to display anger he runs the risk of Angry Black Man syndrome, becoming too scary or threatening to the public, immediately non-presidential!

Ah, the Angry Black Man. That boogeyman who haunts many African American men, particularly professionals, whether they acknowledge it or not. Who scares us into zen-like tranquility when fury is warranted, whether we are prone to it or not. "You always have to be at your best behavior, because if you're not you never know what's going to go wrong. You never know who's perceiving you differently," said Andy Shallal, the owner of Busboys and Poets, in a video for "Being a Black Man," The Post's 2007 Peabody Award-winning series.

SkipGatesArrest.jpg

The 2009 arrest of renowned Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates in his own home after he mouthed off to cops investigating reports of a break-in there is a prime example of what could go wrong.

Americans expect their presidents to be cool, calm and collected in a crisis. But we have to recognize that Obama already has this manner (or skill) mastered because it attaches to any black professional, especially those in positions of authority.

"Blacks at that level have to operate like that," Rev. Al Sharpton told me, "Whether you're Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas or Dick Parsons." That was an intriguing slate to ponder. Powell, Thomas and Parsons are three very different men. And yet the way they operate in their respective professions is very similar. "You grew up in the time when Sidney Poitier was the prototype of how you operate in a white world," Sharpton said, "cool and smooth."

"You and I are held to a somewhat different standard in the way we comport ourselves in professional environments," a black Democratic strategist with close ties to the business community said. "We are oftentimes held hostage to the myth of the 'angry black man' in ways that constrain us."

"As a black man, as a big black man, I know there are certain ways I can behave," an African American executive told me last week. "We don't have the luxury of making certain kinds of mistakes that would have us viewed as unintelligent.... You're carrying this burden of not having the luxury of messing up."

"You can't show anger, otherwise you are judged a certain way," said one prominent friend who would only speak about this on background. "It's already a societal thing where people find black men dangerous. So you can't be angry.... You learn early on there are certain lines you do not cross." Think about it. There's no African American version of, say, Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff with a widely known and celebrated reputation for F-bombs and confrontation.

Thomas's controlled-burn response to allegations of sexual harassment during his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings -- which he called a "high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves" -- was the closest we've come to seeing rage from a black man on such a prominent stage.

Of course, there isn't universal agreement on this. One prominent African American I spoke with was having none of it. "I don't think you can define [Obama] and his presidency in terms of his being a black man. I think you have to define his presidency in terms of his being president." When I asked him about the stated similarities in the operating styles of of Powell, Thomas, Parsons and Obama, he said, "That in and of itself distorts the notion of black."

Fear of unleashing the "angry black man" stereotype or not, none of the men I spoke with want Obama to emote just to please the media or anyone else. "I like being cool, and I like seeing him being cool," said one. "And he is what he is and we have to accept that. We cannot ask him to be what he wants to be for us and be in betrayal to...who he really is." The Democratic strategist said, "I don't need my president to feel my pain. I need my president to take on problems and solve them." This is where I, the men I talked with and the American people are all in agreement.

By Jonathan Capehart  | June 8, 2010; 6:24 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Capehart-get a grip. You are talking about the President of the United States! Are you thinking the police will arrest President Obama because he was mistaken as an angry man disturbing the peace?! Get a grip man (or atleast a better excuse...)

Posted by: edmondsonpr1 | June 8, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

If it's not one excuse it's another.

Posted by: shewholives | June 8, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that every criticism of this President somehow gets defended with the race issue?

Posted by: RambleOn | June 8, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

There's a big difference between an excuse and an explanation. Why would we need an excuse from Obama? Like he's done something WRONG or unseemly by NOT YELLING? How ludicrous is that?

I'd say the grip isn't Capehart's to get.

Posted by: leajones99 | June 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Is this a serious piece? Since the President is "multi-racial" doesn't this confuse matters. Please get off the whole race thing, people are people and express themselves differently. As President and anyone in a high office, we expect decorum and poise. Your piece is an old stereotype that no longer applies.

Posted by: sarno | June 8, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

We don't really care too much if President Obama is cool or angry... if he fills out his census as black or white or mullato...

How about a little concern for the suffering of the American people ? for the oppressed - think the Iranian protesters ? a little genuine connection with how people are hurting ?

Better yet... How about some competence ?

Posted by: pvilso24 | June 8, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't need to see Obama explode or keep cool.

Enough theater.

He has to enable job creation.

Enable, meaning get the hell out of the way of the private sector and free market.

His Keynesian socialist experiment has given us 16% unemployment and a tanking stock market for $868 billion "stimulus" thrown away.

A bumbling no experience socialist ivory tower community organizer.

Worst president in 100 years.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | June 8, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

What neighborhood did you grow up in Capehart? I grew up in Detroit, where the rage of blacks was scary. In 1967, they blew the city apart with riots, burning down the apartment project I lived acrossed the street from. Fights at school were an everyday occurrence.

I think you are an apologist, an Obama protector. Fact is, few people outside of the press care whether he gets emotional about events. They simply want a president that has the best interest of the United States at heart, emotional or not. This president has not convinced Americans that he cares about America, only that he wants to change it into something most Americans don't want.

Posted by: bbwk80a1 | June 8, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Sidney Poitier? Victim-hood doesn't play very well anymore.

President Obama was raised by a well-to-do white family and went to the best schools. He has no excuse to play Mr. Milk-Toast. Of course, he can always send his white Jewish mafia from Chicago to threaten and intimidate.

President Obama appears incapable of showing any negative emotion. I don't buy your arguement that he is just another emasculated black man minding his Ps and Qs.

Posted by: alance | June 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I glad someone pointed out the obvious, and I suspect an intentional trap being set by the Conservative Commentators. Of course If President Obama had yelled at the oil spill, it would only be leaking 10,000 barrels a day.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | June 8, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama was given a good childhood even though his father wasn't there and his mother was off doing her thing while his well off grandparents took over. He went to private, expensive schools and didn't know what it meant to be poor and on welfare. No excuse for him. Also, after reading Michelle Obama's college thesis, I saw a lot of anger. Looks like this anger you talk about seems to run in the family.

Posted by: 45upnorth | June 8, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that every criticism of this President somehow gets defended with the race issue?

Posted by: RambleOn
++++++
I was watching Morning Joe earlier and conservative Scarborough said almost exactly as Capehart wrote.

Posted by: creatia52 | June 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama was given a good childhood even though his father wasn't there and his mother was off doing her thing while his well off grandparents took over. He went to private, expensive schools and didn't know what it meant to be poor and on welfare. No excuse for him. Also, after reading Michelle Obama's college thesis, I saw a lot of anger. Looks like this anger you talk about seems to run in two well off individuals that attended liberal colleges and universities.

Posted by: 45upnorth | June 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Pulese!! Get over it!
Obama was raised "white"!!!
He is just incompetent!!

Posted by: thornegp2626 | June 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so only black men are taught to keep their emotions in check? Please. Anyone who wants to be treated with dignitiy and respect maintains an air of stoicism. That's a universal truism, sir, and has nothing to do with skin color. Second, I'm getting kinda tired of these Obama canards- 'no drama Obama'- I call B.S. It seems at least once a week he's jawing back at a heckler in the crowd or wagging his finger at someone. This guy is only 'joe cool' as long as he's in an echo chamber. Otherwise, he's easily flustered. Also, the 'Obama is a great orator' canard- What a joke. It's 2010, and he's still using his teleprompters to give high school commencement speeches. Any time this guy actually has to speak off the cuff, he sounds like a bafoon. 'uh, umm, err, uh...'

Posted by: pswift00 | June 8, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

African American men are taught at very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool, lest we be perceived as dangerous or menacing or give someone a reason to doubt our ability to handle our jobs.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

How is this different from any other man?

What ridiculous bunch of drivel.

Posted by: ZZim | June 8, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

leajones99, you have to remember that this is the nation where almost exactly 1/2 the voters went against Gore because he was too smart to be president.

As a nation, if we prefer the dumb guy for President we are certainly going to be unhappy with a President who rational and controlled.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | June 8, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

It's not just black men who have to keep their cool. So do black women... we get the angry label too.. or more specifically, "The Angry LaQueesha", finger snapping, head rolling, teeth sucking steerotype we have to fight against...

Tiring.

Posted by: sigmagrrl | June 8, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Dude,

This is PA-freakin-THETIC.

Obama can't "go off" cuz the white man would be keepin' him down if he did?

You, sir, are an idiot.

The President of the United States needs to demonstrate leadership, resolve, determination, and inspire people because of his competency. He absolutely doesn't need to act like he is on a Jerry Springer show.

You are remiss in advising him to "be more emotional, more "connected." He needs to be competent and visible. He needs to show through behavior that this problem is his priority--priority number one. Instead, his vacationing, golfing, concert-going, basketball playing, photo-opping, and other superficial wastes of time send a clear message concerning his real priorities--he wants to be "the man." He wants accolades. He wants worship.

One problem. He's earned none of those things. And since he's all about playing, the American voter will be sure to give him lots of time with which to do so real soon now.

Posted by: jshaver001 | June 8, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't give a rat's ass about any percieved racial aspect of this, in my business being cool, calm and level headed is highly respected. I need a president who can keep steady when everyone else is running around like chickens with their heads cut off, stay cool Mr President, that let's us know you've got this s**t handled...

Posted by: TraderX | June 8, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

geez, you all just don't get it, which quite frankly is too bad, because there are many of us that do get it.

Posted by: raindancer7 | June 8, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't give a rat's ass about any percieved racial aspect of this, in my business being cool, calm and level headed is highly respected. I need a president who can keep steady when everyone else is running around like chickens with their heads cut off, stay cool Mr President, that let's us know you've got it under control.

Posted by: TraderX | June 8, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

geez, you all just don't get it which, quite frankly, is too bad because there are many of us that really do get it.

Posted by: raindancer7 | June 8, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

geez, you all just don't get it which, quite frankly, is too bad because there are many of us that really do get it.

Posted by: raindancer7 | June 8, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I think the Obama haters are going to be upset with him no matter what he does - if he shows anger he is not Presidential, if is restrained he is unattached and does not care.

He bails the economy out and he is spending wastefully, if he followed the gop line and let the economy sink he would have been inept and ineffective.

I think it is time for the Obama haters to stop pretending they have some nobler cause and admit they hate Obama and why.

If they really cared about the deficit and the economy they would have been screaming at gop constituent meetings and Bush events for the previous 8 years.

My guess is that these people were all trapped in some vortex where they thought it was still 1953 and life was good.

Something happened in Jan, 2009 and they were released.

Shocked at how the world had changed they did the only thing someone emerging from a vortex after 56 years could - they screamed like the good folks in Little Rock and Tuscaloosa in '57 and '63 did.

And they screamed many of the same things.

Being such civic minded citizens, of course, they all deeply regret they never had the option to scream at republicans driving up the deficit (although they would have to change up what they were screaming a little) during Bush's years, but that darn vortex....

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | June 8, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

When I voted for Obama I didn't think his race would become an issue. I was wrong, this country is not 'post racial.' Proof of this? The birther movement, the people who say this Christian president really practices Islam and is a Muslim terrorist, the ugly, blatently racist signs the Tea baggers carry at their rallies, Barack the Magic Negro, the insistence that Obama is a fascist, socialist, communist traitor, and on and on. The intense amout of hatred and distrust of this man started about 5 minutes after he took the oath of office. Right wing radio has been spreading hate about Obama from the very beginning and the Republican admitted strategy has been to say no to everything to destroy him. I didn't like W Bush as his presidency progressed, but I reserved judgement of him in the beginning. The amount of vitriol expressed for this president from the get-go, who inherited a boat load of problems, is unprecedented in my lifetime. Something else is going on other that he is hated because he is a Democrat. Roosevelt was way farther to the left than Obama yet I don't hear him called a socialist or Communist. Race plays into the hatred of him whether the right wants to admit it or not.

Posted by: creatia52 | June 8, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

First, I'm not sure what you think is how it really is. Do people really want anger at the spill? I'm not sure, what good is anger without action. I think they want leadership, some empathy and support/encouragement to allow them to get to work on the clean-up and back on their feet.

Secondly, the angry Black man label does exist, but not for people like the professor (who simply over reacted in a surly childish way.

I wonder how we will ever be able to treat each other naturally if some can't be natural for fear of what some others might possibly think. MKL said it best... character is what people must be judged on...

Posted by: sally62 | June 8, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

LOL @ Capehart-get a grip. You are talking about the President of the United States! Are you thinking the police will arrest President Obama because he was mistaken as an angry man disturbing the peace?! Get a grip man (or atleast a better excuse...)

You D@mn skippy, let POTUS happen to be driving himself w/o his Security detail and he gets pulled over for whatever reason and he pulls an angry black man stance he'll quickly be assuming the position.

Posted by: snake_taylor | June 8, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Shocker....another race obsessed article in the Post. Get over it. A BLACK man (well at least 1/2) is President of the US. If a tea party activist had said he was looking to kick someones ass your paper would be doing dozens of handwringing cloumns on the violent rhetoric of the tea party. Waaaaaaa, I feel threatened by obamas violent words directed at the white CEO of BP. FYI, maybe the crime statistics in the black community have something to do w/ that impression of the violent black male. Just a thought. I am sure that makes me a racist in your eyes (what doesnt?)but not you capeheart for assuming all white people would look at a pissed off black dude as violent.

Posted by: j751 | June 8, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse


The media uses any excuse (even racism) to distract from Obama's incompetence. He's a playboy who wants accolades and fun, and people have to endure a speech nearly day from this buffon.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | June 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I am crazy but I alwasy thought that holding your anger is the professional way.
What the hell does it have to do with race?

That is what is wrong with america, we make excuses for every thing.

A person how blows his top no matter what race is wrong. So you think it is more wrong because he is a black man?


Posted by: tinch | June 8, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

capehart, you talking about men, especially strong professional black men is definitely an oxymoron.
this president should not change his demeanor to placate a particular group who would criticize and castigate him no matter how or when he reacted to any crisis.
their real reasons are quite obvious.
he is cool, intelligent and in charge those are some of the many reasons we elected him.unlike his predecessor, the flight suit wearing cowboy swaggering cheerleader.

Posted by: ninnafaye | June 8, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Dear Jonathan,

There's the Sonny Corleone move, and there's the Michael Corleone move. You want to be successful, be like Michael. Being like Sonny gets you killed. That's one of the lessons from the Godfather and it has nothing to do with race.

Women and children can be emotional. Men can't be emotional. I believe that's what Vito tells Michael at some point in the movie. If Pres. Obama learned that, he was taught well.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 8, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Pay close attention. What Joanthan is saying is regardless of what professional level black males have achieved, anger is still a negative that black male was taught to avoid. Example: T.O. is still a good football player; Why haven't a team signed him to a contract?

Posted by: dudna | June 8, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Well said, creatia52. I couldn't agree with you more. The right has been screaming full blast since the day Obama was elected with the media following their every move.

As for Capeheart, I also agree there is a fine line you have to walk as an African American in this country. For me, a black woman, I have to make sure I'm not too aggressive in my pursuits or too passionate about a subject or else I get labeled the "angry black woman". The stereotype for black women is on both sides and the media plays a big role in that as well. Even Michelle Obama isn't immune. Just read the message boards on any article about her and all you read is "she's angry" or "bossy" or "aggressive".

I read enough of the comments to see that most people will disagree with Capeheart, but until you live it, you have no idea what it's like.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | June 8, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse


I don't want to see anger in Obama, I want to see competency and leadership.

And it wasn't so much his coolness as Obama's lack of concern in going to the Gulf and being more hands-on with a disaster which is unprecedented and the outcome unknown. Oh, and it would have helped if he had cut thru the red tape for Jindal in April rather than June.

Is that too much to ask?

Posted by: janet8 | June 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the BP Oil Spill - this was the acid test of the tea baggers to prove their central issue really is the Ayn Rand fantasy and not just hatred for Obama.

And they have failed miserably.

Any Rand would oppose strenuously the federal government being involved in this at all. Not only because, in Rand's "philosophy" a rational business like BP, acting in its own interest, would move quickly to protect its investment. It is also something that is outside the scope of what government should do.

The tea bagger super hero, Rand Paul, has clearly espoused the Randian chapter and verse on the line between government and business.

So what is the big cry about Obama from the movement now?????

He did not get involved quick enough, he did not take charge and he left it up to BP to stop the leak.

Where is the "Rational Self Interest" when the rubber hits the road????"

What a bunch of hypocrites.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | June 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse


"African American men are taught at very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool"

Oh sure. Obama will kick ass, Gates yells Yo mama, and the inordinate percentage of blacks in prision just had little slip-up there.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | June 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It is true. Professional black men are conditioned to contain their emotions, particularly anger, in the workplace.

I have seen white men throw papers across the office in a fit of rage with no reprocussions. Had that been me, I'd be written up or fired.

I think guilt and fear have a great deal to do with whites not wanting to experinece black male anger in the way they can tolerate their own.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 8, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Billw3, it is a known fact that blacks and other minorities receive prison time for offenses that whites would receive probation.

As for Gates, how many police officers would still arrest a white man inside his own home after it was clear that a mistake had been made. People like you kill me, you rant and rave about the white fire fighters not getting a promotion but you can't see discrimination when its against anyone else.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | June 8, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

It is true. Professional black men are conditioned to contain their emotions, particularly anger, in the workplace.

I have seen white men throw papers across the office in a fit of rage with no reprocussions. Had that been me, I'd be written up or fired.

I think guilt and fear have a great deal to do with whites not wanting to experinece black male anger in the way they can tolerate their own.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 8, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama has no executive experience. "The Presidency is not the place for on the job training," said Joe Biden in the campaign.

Obama is a talker. Obama is not a do-er.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | June 8, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic strategist said, "I don't need my president to feel my pain. I need my president to take on problems and solve them."

===========================================

AMEN. I don't care if the President is cool or unemotional, I want a President who gives a damn and knows what the hell he is doing.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

This commentary seems to be more a musing regarding a stereotype than a reflection on the actual situation.

But in any case, people in general are not complaining that Obama is not mad. They are complaining, quite fairly, that he has not responded adequately to the situation.

It's been more than 40 days since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. The Gulf of Mexico is now totally polluted. The president has not done anything to remedy the situation.

He has demonstrated a woeful inability to take action.

Posted by: ttj1 | June 8, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The only "angry black" man I have seen is Michael Steele.

I guess he finally realized he was being pimped by the huge mass of ignorance, otherwise known as the Republican Party...

Posted by: alfa73 | June 8, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama -- at some point -- is going to have to show some leadership. He is losing folks who put him in office on a daily basis. WE DID NOT ELECT A DICTATOR TO HAVE TEMPER TANTRUMS AND TRY TO FIX ELECTIONS! We did elect someone who said they would be guided by integrity and ethics. We thought we were electing a leader -- but too often it appears that we elected a teleprompter and, a nice looking suit! Feigning anger is a high school play stunt!

It comes down to trust. Gibbs will come out and deny issues before he has the facts, then, they will wait months (Sestak) before granting or providing any answers. When the issue blows up in their face, they become very defensive -- they just look and sound guilty as sin! Then, there comes the Andrew Romanoff affair. Rather than being candid up front, the White House attempted the dodge and dart, until Emails were released. Then, Obama claims that he did not know what was going on, while Gibbs was announcing that the 'head of the party' did those sorts of things (I guess he meant -- violate the Hatch Act).

Posted by: wheeljc | June 8, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I never knew what to make of capehart;;
but now I say right on!

So Exactly it- he didn't right this with his public in mind- he wrote it from the hip.

White guys expressing anger come off as Kirk Douglass or Harrison Ford espressing righteous umbridge.

Put a little (or a lot) of pigment in the mix and people are think Mr. T or some neighborhood mugger that wants to jump on and invade your daughter (me included)

Of course, make no mistake- big non-white boys (and girls) know that white people are scared by this stereo-type and (we) take advantage of it at times.

Of course things can go horribly wrong: like when you try your angry non-white routine on someone who has played on a mixed-race sports team- they know we are just like them, and if you cut us we bleed.

Posted by: interactidiomas | June 8, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama was given a good childhood even though his father wasn't there and his mother was off doing her thing while his well off grandparents took over. He went to private, expensive schools and didn't know what it meant to be poor and on welfare. No excuse for him. Also, after reading Michelle Obama's college thesis, I saw a lot of anger. Looks like this anger you talk about seems to run in two well off individuals that attended liberal colleges and universities.


Posted by: 45upnorth | June 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

====================
How I wish that there were enough words in the dictionary to tell you how stupid this comment really is.

"Was given a childhood" really? Really? Your comments seem to imply that he was somehow given something that he was not entitled to. He was raised by his maternal grandparents!

"Runs in two well off", so when Michelle was in college writing her thesis somehow she knew that she would meet and marry Barack Obama??

There aren't enough words....

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Blacks need to forget race. Yes. Really. Dr. King, when he said "judge a man by his character and not his color", didn't mean for that to apply only to whites. It's meant for all of us. Else, why even say it? We're all cut from the same cloth. The sooner we realize that, the better off we're going to be.

Posted by: avatar666 | June 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Blacks need to forget race. Yes. Really. Dr. King, when he said "judge a man by his character and not his color", didn't mean for that to apply only to whites. It's meant for all of us. Else, why even say it? We're all cut from the same cloth. The sooner we realize that, the better off we're going to be.

Posted by: avatar666 | June 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Blacks need to forget race. Yes. Really. Dr. King, when he said "judge a man by his character and not his color", didn't mean for that to apply only to whites. It's meant for all of us. Else, why even say it? We're all cut from the same cloth. The sooner we realize that, the better off we're going to be.

Posted by: avatar666 | June 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Blacks need to forget race. Yes. Really. Dr. King, when he said "judge a man by his character and not his color", didn't mean for that to apply only to whites. It's meant for all of us. Else, why even say it? We're all cut from the same cloth. The sooner we realize that, the better off we're going to be.

Posted by: avatar666 | June 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

This piece is wasted on the mainstream. It's not even really relevant to all black men. It’s for just for those black men who work in corporate America.

The challenge is to battle all of the stereotypes so prevalent in America. Most black male stereotypes are negative and distancing himself from these is the challenge of every black male before being seen as just another professional.

The president is no different.

Posted by: rp10661 | June 8, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

So hilarious, meetingbook. Consider Bush's "executive experience" before he was appointed president: FAILED in oil. Profited from stadium welfare as a figurehead in a non-competitive enterprise (baseball is an exempt monopoly). Was governor of Texas, which thanks to the state constitution is among the least powerful governorships in the union.

Maybe he bungled Katrina; shoved 'small' gummint into Terri Schiavo's hospital room; started two wars he had no effing idea how to end; cooked the books to hell and back; gutted Justice, EPA, and SEC; and turned a substantial surplus into a third-world economy. But at least it wasn't the first time that ignorant jackass FAILED as an executive.

Posted by: redlineblue | June 8, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The "race card" is played again. Anyone surprised?

Posted by: fpcooper1 | June 8, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

This commentary seems to be more a musing regarding a stereotype than a reflection on the actual situation.

But in any case, people in general are not complaining that Obama is not mad. They are complaining, quite fairly, that he has not responded adequately to the situation.

It's been more than 40 days since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. The Gulf of Mexico is now totally polluted. The president has not done anything to remedy the situation.

He has demonstrated a woeful inability to take action.

Posted by: ttj1 | June 8, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse
===========================
List the actions that the president can take or should have taken to controll the spill.

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Did you really get paid for writing this foolishness? How do I get a job at the Post?

Posted by: FLvet | June 8, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Honestly when I saw the preview of that "kick ass" comment last evening I was angry; angry because he seemed to me to buying in to that show them you are angry nonsense.

The public in this country are like spoiled children. They want what they want until they don't want it anymore. Yelling and screaming about the spill in the Gulf will accomplish nothing. Telling the Gulf residents that you feel their pain will not bring the dead fishes back in their waters. Flying down there every two days will not make the spill repairs go any faster.

People need to realize that BP is as interested in getting this fix as we are. This is their source of revenue and every day they are watching it spill in to the ocean. They have lost any environmental credibility that they had.

No one is happy about the situation but we need to be mature enough to realize that until that well is capped, until there is no oil leaking we can not move forward.

The government does not have the ability to fix this situation at this stage. Conversely the government should make sure that when this is over that BP gets every drop oil out of our waters. Until then, we are yelling at the wind.

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

List the actions that the president can take or should have taken to controll the spill.

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 2:43 PM

==========================================

First, appoint Admiral Allen the lead over the entire Federal response, and give full cooperation to state governments. Since Governor Jindal has asked for specific help, give it to him.

Second order the Sec. of Energy to purge MMS of former lobbyists and improve the investigatory wing.

Third, declare the Gulf a disaster area and through Admiral Allen offer assistance to residents directly affected.

Just sayin' this isn't rocket science.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Capehart, please get over your professional, educated self. Black men in general have been taught from an early age the things that you attribute to the professional, educated, black man. Professional, educated black men do not hold the market on having to keep their emotions in check (for fear of being perceived dangerous or menacing). How do you think black slaves and generations of black men not of your ilk (professional and educated)have managed to survive?

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | June 8, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I would have cited Al Sharpton as an authority on projecting a professional demeanor.

Posted by: Three3 | June 8, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

What a crock. The black people I work with are as emotional, perhaps even more so, as any other race.
To say that "Obama says what he means, and means what he says", is another farce. There has never been another person that I have ever seen who can put so many caveats and qualifiers in every statement as Obama.
Nearly everything he has ever said, once you include the "maybes, possiblies, somedays..." become virtually meaningless rambling.
He does ramble with style, though.

Posted by: kesac | June 8, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I am a 60-year old white guy, and have lived in the Washington DC area for 37 years. I have nearly 45 years of work experience, probably with a higher percentage of blacks than whites, and can say that, based on MY experiences, Capeheart is totally off base.

His excuses are a form of racism, basically saying that 0bama doesn't want to offend "The Man", and therefore has to suppress his emotions. I would expect that Capeheart is projecting his own personal experience, assuming that it applies to all black men.

But when he quoted Al Sharpton as a definitive source for his theory, that was when I decided I couldn't read any more.

Pure racist propaganda.

Posted by: Nick_in_Alexandria | June 8, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

What I find more disturbing than Obama's lack of emotion (which he tried to demonstrate this morning on the Today show by unintelligently speaking of "kicking some ass") is his lack of leadership. Obama made his mark on the American public through his speeches and rhetoric. You can't talk to an oil plume. You can't organize a community to defeat an oil plume. You can't use diplomatic engagements to reverse course in an oil spoil. You have to lead. And this is where Obama fails the American public. While he can look presidential and he can speak presidential - you cannot pretend to be a leader.

Posted by: bmayhewbz@hotmail.com | June 8, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree with justonevoice.

What is the standard these unsatisfied critics are holding him to?

It is easy to sit in one's comfortable chair and throw a bunch of pie in the sky solutions out. It is a whole different thing to actually be confronting this disaster, something for which you have no knowledge or experience.

But you are also saying that there are solutions and Obama's team are too stupid to use them! Yes, of course that is what it is.

The entire Obama administration cares so little about the people and places involved that they are just rejecting solutions, what, out of spite?

That makes so much sense.

You should at least man up and say what your brilliant solutions are.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | June 8, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I see nothing wrong with this article. I liked it.

Posted by: bigmunchie | June 8, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Black male colleague in a white collar job? What is this guy going on about?

Posted by: EdSantaFe | June 8, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I think this is actually an insightful piece.

Of course, it is a generalization, and there are plenty of exceptions to the rule. But I know professional black men to whom the rule most definitely applies. So it's a useful thing to keep in the back of one's mind.

The comparison with executive women, and the odd ways they also must behave, is also telling. I know even more professional women to whom this particular rule has applied. (I think it's breaking down now, somewhat, but it's definitely applied in the past.)

Posted by: Itzajob | June 8, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Seems like Obama gets "enraged" every time he sees Benjamin Netanyahu or furious when someone tells him Jews build houses in their nation's capital of Jerusalem. I don't know where this reputation for supposed diplomatic skills and coolness comes from, personally I think he needs to wear a bib or take anger management classes.

Posted by: shownbjerg | June 8, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Capehart...and to the smarmy d-bags that sit on this board (fpcooper, avatar66, tinch. etc), I say this in all calmness - F Off - you don't live it, so you don't know it. So zip it...

Posted by: LABC | June 8, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Intelligent people do not feel obnligated to show anger; yelling and screaming; as anger is an unnecessary emotioin to express in a mnegative manner.

Being angry about injustice does not invoke images of shouting and yelling.

Ignorant people shout and yell. Intelligent people take action. President Obama is taking action and not yelling and screaming.

It is not a color issue, it is an intelligence issue, IMO.

Patrick

Posted by: patmatthews | June 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

First, appoint Admiral Allen the lead over the entire Federal response, and give full cooperation to state governments. Since Governor Jindal has asked for specific help, give it to him.

Second order the Sec. of Energy to purge MMS of former lobbyists and improve the investigatory wing.

Third, declare the Gulf a disaster area and through Admiral Allen offer assistance to residents directly affected.

Just sayin' this isn't rocket science.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse
=========================
bbface21 obviously it is rocket science.

1. Admiral Allen is in the coast guard. This is not a rescue operation. He is the liason in the Gulf between BP and the government. I think he is doing a remarkable job. He can only convey to BP what the expectations are. This is an industrial accident that only this industry has the ability to fix.

2. Purge the MMS of lobbyist? Really? Exactly how does that help the current situation?

3. Declaring the Gulf a disaster area means that the disaster and the costs will be at the government's expense. That is the only reason for the declaration to FREE UP MONEY! So you would rather that we pay the fishermen and the businesses in the Gulf? Then what? Send BP the bill?

See...it is rocket science.

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

This is so much B.S. Sounds like another black man crying "Poor Me" I have seen many men get angry, black and white, and found that to be a normal part of life. Now this jerk is whining that he isn't allow to get angry. Bull, sounds like just another loser looking for an excuse for failure. Much like Obama, when things screw up, it's always someone elses fault. We're supposed to forget he lied about everything from health care to taxes.

Posted by: Hopinghere2 | June 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

We don't care if he's emotional or non-emotional, we care that he's competent ... and he's not. Because he did not take immediate action (too busy with campaigning, etc.) the Gulf is a mess that will take years to clean up. Why did he need an environmental assessment to provide berms, etc. to Louisiana to protect their coastline? What could be worse than the oil?

In a January 2008 speech in San Francisco, Obama promised that his energy policy would "necessarily skyrocket" energy prices. Double your electricity payment, your gas prices?

Instead of protecting the environment (I thought he was a "green" president), he's using this fiasco to pass part of his agenda. Shameful.

Posted by: siridh | June 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

OK you American DONKEYS, what's right about this story EVERYTHING? There is such a fear of a Black Man losing his cool. It's something White America expects from a Black Man but you won’t get it from Obama. We have condition ourselves to retrain from losing our cool because if and when we do things could go terribly wrong. But let a White lose his cool and it’s just another day at the job. Hey it’s just the way this America is. So you others applying that it’s about RACE. WELL IT IS ABOUT RACE!!! So let the truth be TOLDED. A BLACK MAN CAN”T LOSE HIS COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: access11 | June 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

If it's not one excuse it's another.

Posted by: Smarg | June 8, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It is true. Professional black men are conditioned to contain their emotions, particularly anger, in the workplace.

I have seen white men throw papers across the office in a fit of rage with no reprocussions. Had that been me, I'd be written up or fired.
Posted by: concernedaboutdc

I think guilt and fear have a great deal to do with whites not wanting to experinece black male anger in the way they can tolerate their own

Posted by: creatia52When I voted for Obama I didn't think his race would become an issue. I was wrong, this country is not 'post racial.' Proof of this? The birther movement, the people who say this Christian president really practices Islam and is a Muslim terrorist, the ugly, blatently racist signs the Tea baggers carry at their rallies, Barack the Magic Negro, the insistence that Obama is a fascist, socialist, communist traitor, and on and on. The intense amout of hatred and distrust of this man started about 5 minutes after he took the oath of office. Right wing radio has been spreading hate about Obama from the very beginning and the Republican admitted strategy has been to say no to everything to destroy him. I didn't like W Bush as his presidency progressed, but I reserved judgement of him in the beginning. The amount of vitriol expressed for this president from the get-go, who inherited a boat load of problems, is unprecedented in my lifetime. Something else is going on other that he is hated because he is a Democrat. Roosevelt was way farther to the left than Obama yet I don't hear him called a socialist or Communist. Race plays into the hatred of him whether the right wants to admit it or not.

You know it's pretty bad that virtually all of the white posters mis-interpreted this article-EVERY ONE OF YOU. But the good news is you've made the author's point for him. Look, how the mentioning of race elicits a hoary "here we go again", "stop being the victim, "forget about race" Meaning, look how you whites immediately stopped thinking and let your minds roll into a reflexive position of defensiveness right.
Remember, a few years back when blacks wore t-shirts that went...It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand. Now, do whites get that point?
Most of the blacks reading this article will understand the point-we've lived it. I know, same as Capehart, that we can't get too demonstrably upset, it happened to me a doctor's office I was working at.

But, let me give you all another one-Serena Williams throwing a tennis tantrum some months ago. With all of the attention she received, only the fair-minded will remember John McEnroe and the fact that a tennis tantrum isn't new. But, for blacks an expression of rage is treated a some new condition.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

The majority of the people talking about Pres. Obama needing to show "anger" are white males. On Morning Joe there was a round table discussion of how Pres. Obama needed to show anger and then the discussion turned to "...perception of angry African American man..." it stuck me as odd not one person doing the discussion was black (male or female).

Pres. Obama does NOT need to show anger/disgust/etc. He needs to make sure he knows what's going on and have the people/materials/equipment/etc. available to do any job.

I don't remember this discussion about Bush needing to cry over 9/11 or show anger. Methinks perhaps this is a little racist.

Posted by: rlj1 | June 8, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

This is what the Dems mean by the first “post-racial” president, i.e., the universal excuse for every personal or policy failing is: “You can’t hold him accountable for [fill-in-the-blank] because he is black.”

Of course, this strategy exists outside the beltway as well. Just know that whenever you hire a black American, you’d better be happy with anything and everything they do because if you’re not, you’re a racist. Gee, now that certainly is a great incentive to diversify your workforce, isn’t it?

It’s neither racism nor free market capitalism that has relegated black Americans to a special privileged, protected and child-like category in American society. It’s affirmative action, liberal guilt, post-racialism and the way that some black Americans have milked them to game the system for personal gain.

And the grandest perpetrator of all is Clueless Comrade Barry.

Posted by: PauvrePapillon | June 8, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

#1. I don't believe Obama really is all that cool, calm and collected. I think he actually probably has a pretty nasty mean streak that he keeps hidden.

#2. All the people wanting him to "go off". Why? To show what? He will only further embarrass himself.

#3 True leaders lead by tackling problems and working in concert with others. Obama has no experience at this. Community organizers agitate and divide.

Posted by: thinker16 | June 8, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, Spike Lee was laughing when he suggested Obama should "go off." He knew that was an impossibility. And I saw the President get "feisty" with Matt Lauer-- feisty as a newborn kitty. I didn't even realize he was mad. The voice-over had to tell me. I don't think we should be worrying about Obama's emotional capacity. When he gets upset, he starts getting flippant; John McCain can tell you all about it.

Posted by: forgetthis | June 8, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Capehart--while I appreciate your opinions and honest assessments, they are obviously too far advanced for most of these dim-witted commenters who think that the election of one black president has magically erased 400 years of American-style racism. Luckily for the rest of us, the way they scream, shout, and spit bile on this and other online message boards is proof that they feel threatened, indicating that perhaps the status quo is finally shifting.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: distance88 | June 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

My husband is a big white man and reacts similarly to our Pres when he gets angry. He doesn't rant and rave but keeps his cool in order to come to a solution or a compromise to a disagreement. Different people have various ways of expressing themselves. Looks like James Carville along with all of the repugs have bad tempers but the drama is probably mostly for their constituents and their votes.

Posted by: jjanit | June 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Everybody reacts differently to emotional distress or unhappy situations, regardless of race.
It just happens that president Obama is naturally cool and collected.
In fact, I've seen through the years, that most white men get angry very easily and lose their composure.
People who get angry, yells and screams, don't get their point across.
Watch in the next weeks how president Obama, calmly and coldly is going to FINE the BP corporation with a stiff penalty.
And he won't GET MAD, HE IS GOING TO GET EVEN. End of the story.

Posted by: infinitus | June 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Replying to:
"I am a 60-year old white guy, and have lived in the Washington DC area for 37 years. I have nearly 45 years of work experience, probably with a higher percentage of blacks than whites, and can say that, based on MY experiences, Capeheart is totally off base.

His excuses are a form of racism, basically saying that 0bama doesn't want to offend "The Man", and therefore has to suppress his emotions. I would expect that Capeheart is projecting his own personal experience, assuming that it applies to all black men.

But when he quoted Al Sharpton as a definitive source for his theory, that was when I decided I couldn't read any more.

Pure racist propaganda." Posted by: Nick_in_Alexandria | June 8, 2010 3:01 PM |

Well, Nick, but I'm a 49-year-old white male who has lived and worked in D.C. for 29 years, and MY experience strongly supports Mr. Capehart's analysis. I see no projection or racism in the piece whatsoever. I wonder why you do!

I have seen plenty of white males yell and curse at subordinates in the workplace with no repercussions whatsoever, both in the federal government and the private sector. But let a member of a minority (or a woman) express frustration with a boss or co-worker, either verbally or non-verbally, and their chances of promotion go right down the drain.

All that said, I do agree that Jonathan should not have quoted Al Sharpton. I'm sure he could have found many, more reputable people to make the same point.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | June 8, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

drjcarlucci posted the following:

"His Keynesian socialist experiment has given us 16% unemployment and a tanking stock market for $868 billion "stimulus" thrown away."

Did the 16% unemployment situation occur starting January 20, 2009? Really?

You reprobate windbags are just that, talking heads full of total emptiness. Your propersity to bad mouth President Obama renders you completely incapable and or unwilling to find, recognize and state the facts as they are. Very sad in deed!

Posted by: erickaba | June 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

All those commenters who say Obama is incompetent or should "do something" - what exactly should he be doing? Swim down to the oil pipe and weld it together? Nobody knows how to fix BP's mistake! That is the problem.

Posted by: jake14 | June 8, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The hostility towards this article proves its accuracy. Talk to any marketing or PR professional and they will tell you categorically that an emotional black man in any venue is universally considered a social outcast.

Posted by: cpsone | June 8, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

All those commenters who say Obama is incompetent or should "do something" - what exactly should he be doing? Swim down to the oil pipe and weld it together? Nobody knows how to fix BP's mistake! That is the problem.

Posted by: jake14 | June 8, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I was one of those Black people that wanted the President to "Go Off" just as Spike Lee but after reading your article, I've changed my mind and now feel that President Obama will really run his critics crazy by staying cool and leading the best way he knows and not portraying the "Angry Black Man" as most of us want and give more fodder to those media idiots that think they know best.

Posted by: AfricanusX | June 8, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"Did I mention yet that my father was an African Muslim?"

Barry the incompetent boob Obama

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 8, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

keep cool people.this is some kind of revaltion that people get angry or keep their cool? racist BS

Posted by: pofinpa | June 8, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

As usual, there's a lot of mindless carping against Obama here rather than thinking through -- or understanding -- what Capehart is saying. I believe Capehart is right, and I also believe that Obama is naturally a cool, calm guy. I voted for him partly because he wasn't spouting pious sound bytes for the benefit of the cameras. Clinton "felt our pain" and Bush was "the decider" and so on, but it was all a big show. They knew how to pull out the ol' southern accent and supposed "charm". I'm sick of that. I'm an adult. I'm an educated adult, even, and I want my president to be even more adult and more educated. I don't want to see him play Big Daddy or Emoter in Chief. I've had enough of that playacting to last the rest of my life.

You Obama haters can go back under your rock. You have no better ideas and were hating Obama before he even took office. Apparently, you have no decency or American sense of fairness and honesty. You're carpers, complainers, often poorly educated and bitter, bitter, bitter that you didn't win the election. That's all. You have no credibility. If you did, you'd be willing to fairly assess the accountability of the last administration in being in bed with Big Oil. You won't even give a half inch, even though it's documented. As Chris Matthews points out, if you were honest, you'd be able to discuss the issue with a little less absolute black-and-white, good-and-evil duality. Nothing is so simple.

Posted by: cturtle1 | June 8, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

All that said, I do agree that Jonathan should not have quoted Al Sharpton. I'm sure he could have found many, more reputable people to make the same point.


Posted by: DCSteve1
===========================
I am no Al Sharpton fan. But in this instance he is the perfect example of what the article is about.

Sharpton for some is the epitome of the "angry black man." He is excited and excitable when he speaks. Jessie Jackson, same thing. Many non-blacks look at these guys and immediately think that they are trying to riot.

Better example: Remember Jerimiah Wright? This excited preacher said nothing different than the Jerry Fallwells or the Pat Robertsons of this world yet he was labled a racist America hating radical. What about his "sermons" earned this label?

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Those who choose to dismiss the racial context of the behavior of black male professionals have little to no understanding of how race and what some psychologists call aversive racism play itself out in America's socio-political environment. One's personal experiences in the area of race or racism does not amount to an ability to recognize the varied manifestations of racism (intentional and deliberate or aversive).It's systemic and institutional manifestations are often even more lost on them.

Posted by: JohnY1928 | June 8, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Most of you do not believe Mr. Capehart's view on "angry scary black man" syndrome. Did you read the part that women, white women have to stuff their feelings in white man's power workplace least she be too weak, emotional, unsteady, or indecisive to run a company. White female posters is this incorrect? Therefore why could not Mr. Capehart's view be valid?

In the work place, as a black female I repeatedly have to swallow my emotions where white female co-workers can react however they feel to the same stimuli.

It is a HEAVY burden, but one that is bared by people of color from the beginning until today.

President Obama CANNOT react as a normal human male, he must be above least another barrage of he is not qualified and see black men are barely above animals.

Unless you've live it, you just cannot know.

Posted by: love80sdance | June 8, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

But, let me give you all another one-Serena Williams throwing a tennis tantrum some months ago. With all of the attention she received, only the fair-minded will remember John McEnroe and the fact that a tennis tantrum isn't new. But, for blacks an expression of rage is treated a some new condition.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 3:40 PM
_________________________________________

Not to go off on a tangent, but Serena _threatened to kill the line judge_. That was WAY beyond what McEnroe (who I remember well, used to pay with his racket) ever did. The problem is that many blacks _just go off_ when they display rage. There's rage, and then there's "Imma kill you".

In any event, in every circle that I've been in, it is NEVER cool to lose your cool, be you white or black. And yes, I am black. And living in Baltimore, I see black rage every single day. If I were to take significant issue with this piece, it would be that black males are taught to contain their anger. We see instances of black males NOT containing their anger every day. They may have been taught, but for a lot of us, the lesson didn't take.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 8, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, Jonathan, but I'm not buying it. He's half white, raised and schooled with whites which makes him in lacking in black "bona fides". No matter how hard those of you who put him in this position try to defend him he's still woefully, and to our country's detriment, appallingly inexperienced. These little outbursts from him are embarrassing and far from presidential. I daresay his handlers are having a time trying to figure out how best to present him at any given crisis. Their attitude seems to be to forget the crisis du jour, and focus on how the public will positively perceive his managing of said crisis.

Posted by: grahamc1 | June 8, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

First, this article is racist propaganda. The pigmentation of Mr. Obama's epidermis is irrelevant to the issues at hand. Mr. Obama ran for the office he now holds and won the election. His lack of executive experience is what deters his effectiveness as an Executive. The color of his skin has nothing whatsoever to do with that.

Second, Rule #1 of Mr. Obama's Administration: "Never let a good crisis go to waste." Mr. Obama and his fellow-travelers live by the rules of their own ideological economy. In that economy, EVERYTHING is expendable for "the cause."

And finally, I DO NOT believe Mr. Obama is the least bit concerned that the Gulf of Mexico and The Redneck Riviera are becoming dead-zones. I DO believe Mr. Obama and his fellow-travelers are using the disaster as cover for the even greater man-made disaster of illegal immigration. Without those 30 million illegal votes Mr. Obama is political toast and he knows it. Mr. Obama's apparent lack of leadership is part of a tactic to keep this oil-disaster on the front burner while keeping the public's attention diverted from the man-made illegal immigration disaster. Through outright lies and clever obfuscation Mr. Obama gained the big bully pulpit of the Presidency. Mr. Obama and his fellow-travelers are now using that big bully pulpit to consolidate political power in themselves.

Posted by: ironmule | June 8, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart,
You usually make convincing arguments BUT this, I have a difficult time swallowing...or maybe Obama will force it down my throat!

You see, when WE AMERICANS say we want Obama to emote, we don't necessarily mean for him to be wagging his finger as his face grows redder and redder declaring with conviction while staring straight into the camera, "I did NOT have a quid pro quo relationship with BP!"... And excuse me, you of all person should be offended by ANYONE using RACE as an excuse for arrogance, elitism and simply NOT CARING because it does NOT serve his primary agenda: have the legacy of NOT BEING THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT (b/c you see, he is biracial. He is truly an embodiment of African American), BUT THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO HAVE DONE SOMETHING NO ONE COULD DO IN THE PAST DECADES - health care legislation and greening revolution of America!

So please, I could buy your explanation of yours and your fellow true Black gentlemen and their need to control their emotion and actions BUT in this instance, that explanation is mute...

Posted by: american17 | June 8, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

you tell 'em, Graham. An experienced, competent exec would have broken out his "Mission Accomplished" banner and some "bring it on" soundbites. As soon as Obama tells BP they're doing a "heckuva job", things will get better. I just know it.

Posted by: redlineblue | June 8, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

There's a reason for that. African American men are taught at very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool, lest we be perceived as dangerous or menacing

Does one need any further proof of the fact that mainstream writers honor not veracity but emotion; this is utter and complete nonsense.

Posted by: eladsinned | June 8, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that so many white responders implicitly deny their fear of the angry black man stereotype. Yet as alluded to in the article, we tolerate, even encourage, physicality and fighting in the lily-white sport of hockey. Yet at the same time, even throwing one punch that doesn't land is treated like felony assault in the mostly-black sport of basketball. Coincidence? I think not.

Oh, by the way, I am a 57 year-old white male professional. Yet I agree with Capehart 100%.

Posted by: damookster | June 8, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the call for anger. I have no problem with the President's demeanor, its his policies that are driving me to distraction.

Posted by: marknelso | June 8, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse


wmwilliams14 ask:
"As for Gates, how many police officers would still arrest a white man inside his own home after it was clear that a mistake had been made."

Odd question. Policemen don't much care for verbal abuse, no matter who from.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | June 8, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I see nothing wrong with this article. I liked it.

Posted by: bigmunchie | June 8, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"I don't need my president to feel my pain. I need my president to take on problems and solve them."

Amen to that!

My Dad, an old white guy in his 80's, a WWII vet, who typically votes Republican, remarked to me the other day on Obama's lack of emotion. It seemed to me that his comment was more a restatement of things he had heard on the news rather than any personal feelings of frustration. Obama's "cool" didn't seem to bother my Dad at all. As a matter of fact, I think it inspires his respect.

Dad often says, "I think Obama's doing as well as anyone could under the circumstances." And part of that is, I believe, keeping his cool. Dad was born and grew up well before those in the 60's learned to "let it all hang out." To him, I think the President's demeanor is
presidential and manly. Keep your cool, Mr.President!

Posted by: martymar123 | June 8, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, billw3, you really are funny. You see, from Gates or any other black men, it's considered verbal abuse. From a white man it's considered defending their rights, protecting their property, etc. etc. etc.

There is a double standard in what is expected from this president and all the presidents before him. I don't recall George Bush "going off" during any of the crisis during his term. Yet, people expect Obama to jump and scream at BP execs as if that alone will stop the leak.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | June 8, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Almost everything you've said here rings true and is common knowledge not only among African Americans, but to many (if still too few) other Americans who have some knowledge of African American history and a more than superficial relationship to African American individuals and the black community. That said, one major problem with the call for Obama to show more anger, particularly toward a corporate entity like BP, is that it reflects an artificial solution to the difficulties he faces with the oil spill, persistent unemployment, the enduring financial crisis and such. In fact, calls for President Obama to be more forceful tend to obscure the more aggressive and tangible policies he might pursue were he positioned or pressured to challenge corporate power much more seriously than he has already. Ironically, the most "aggressive" tone Obama has taken has been with the African American working class, which he has occasionally admonished to straighten up and fly right.

Posted by: avrambarlowe | June 8, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

See...it is rocket science.

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 3:14 PM

========================================

I think Admiral Allen is doing a great job and that my answers are far from perfect. My point is that leadership involves making decisions, taking charge, and making sure everyone's on the same page.

A good leader doesn't go on a cotton-candy news show and says he's going to find some "ass to kick." He just does it, and takes names with him.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

It's not only the angry black man, we all know about the mad black woman. If either of us happen to raise our voices at anytime, we're called ghetto and dumb and even worse. Black people have to hold a whole lot inside of us and when you do see one of us go off, it's terrible because we've held stuff in for such a long time. It's like a pressure cooker That's why we suffer so much more than other people with high blood pressure and other sicknesses--trying to hold in all the crap y'all white folks dish out.

Posted by: starr5 | June 8, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

It's not only the angry black man, we all know about the mad black woman. If either of us happen to raise our voices at anytime, we're called ghetto and dumb and even worse. Black people have to hold a whole lot inside of us and when you do see one of us go off, it's terrible because we've held stuff in for such a long time. It's like a pressure cooker That's why we suffer so much more than other people with high blood pressure and other sicknesses--trying to hold in all the crap y'all white folks dish out.

Posted by: starr5 | June 8, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Tell 'em, Capehart. White people won't understand but it is true. They are masters at hiding from the racial realities of this country.

Posted by: rcvinson64 | June 8, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

The color of my President makes no difference whatsoever. In a situation where the President of the United States needs to show some anger to get a point across or make things happen so be it. What difference is there if he is one color or another? President Obama has a very cool, detached, calculated manner. In some situations that just doesn't seem appropriate. Behind closed doors I am sure that President Obama has blown his cool. Get the job done. If he has to yell, do it.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 8, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, billw3, you really are funny. You see, from Gates or any other black men, it's considered verbal abuse. From a white man it's considered defending their rights, protecting their property, etc. etc. etc.

======================================

His point is that anyone who mouths off to a cop- black, white or polka dot- has a higher probability of getting themselves arrested.

That's what I never been able to understand about the whole thing. If you feel that you are being mistreated by the police file a complaint after he leaves.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I sometimes represent teens who have been suspended from school for various infractions. A couple of years ago a black mother brought her 16 year old son to my office. He was huge - prob. 6'5", and 300 lbs. and had been suspended from school bec. a black teacher who didn't know him at all, claimed he had threatened her. He swore that was not the case, that he had never threatened anyone. He had never had any discipline problems at school. When the teacher was interviewed further, it was clear she was terrified of his size (she wasn't large) and she admitted she was not sure what the young man had said to her (she said he was talking "under his breath"), but she FELT threatened. When I got the suspension revoked, this kid was in tears, and hugged me. Not exactly violent.
I agree with Capehart. It must be terrible to have everyone's first reaction to you be fear, and suspicion that you are about to mug them.

Posted by: smeesq | June 8, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I haven't read all of the comments but I have read enough coverage about Obama - to anger or not to anger - to think OMG! Please people get a grip.

America seems to be such a rage filled nation. Someone is always screaming at someone else and someone else again is standing on the sidelines applauding, (You, go, girlfriend!)

Instead of asking Obama to show MORE anger, how about the rest of you learn a little about the art of civil discourse or even just take a chill pill.

Seriously, it is SO unattractive.

Obama's cool under pressure is one of the reasons the rest of the world loves him so much. It seems like an indication that the US is getting away from that whole, We are the World and if you all don't like it, suck my ... well, you get the picture.

Yes. That is how you look to the outside and Barack Obama is a breath of fresh air and someone we are all much happier to see having access to the Red Button.

Posted by: clang1 | June 8, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

drjcarlucci must be a hate filled teabagger. Where was this stooge when his heroes were dismantling all semblance of regulation so that the private enterprise can bring us to this critical point. It's idiots like him that nearly destroyed our country.

Only time will tell is there are other hidden gems left by the neo-con tools who took care of their rich buddies and robber barons. Now we will be left holding the empty bag. Why do rethuglikkkons err teabaggers hate our country?

Posted by: numbers28 | June 8, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Not to go off on a tangent, but Serena _threatened to kill the line judge_. That was WAY beyond what McEnroe (who I remember well, used to pay with his racket) ever did. The problem is that many blacks _just go off_ when they display rage. There's rage, and then there's "Imma kill you".

In any event, in every circle that I've been in, it is NEVER cool to lose your cool, be you white or black. And yes, I am black. And living in Baltimore, I see black rage every single day. If I were to take significant issue with this piece, it would be that black males are taught to contain their anger. We see instances of black males NOT containing their anger every day. They may have been taught, but for a lot of us, the lesson didn't take.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 8, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse


OH, Please!-do you actually believe Serena Williams was going to actually kill....a tennis judge....at a tennis match...in full view of the audience...on TV. Really? You taking her serioosly, is part of the point both I and the author were making. So answer this, if you care to, why did you take her seriously?

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, Nick, but I'm a 49-year-old white male who has lived and worked in D.C. for 29 years, and MY experience strongly supports Mr. Capehart's analysis. I see no projection or racism in the piece whatsoever. I wonder why you do!

I have seen plenty of white males yell and curse at subordinates in the workplace with no repercussions whatsoever, both in the federal government and the private sector. But let a member of a minority (or a woman) express frustration with a boss or co-worker, either verbally or non-verbally, and their chances of promotion go right down the drain.

All that said, I do agree that Jonathan should not have quoted Al Sharpton. I'm sure he could have found many, more reputable people to make the same point.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | June 8, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Please, I call BS on your statements, especially since DC is full of patronage,union protected hacks. Why your city even re-elected a mayor caught on tape buying crack. Yeah,yeah of COURSE he was set up, as every law abiding professional man can be enticed into a motel room with the promise of illegal drugs. The more often people falsely accuse everyone of racism, the sooner people will admit that stereotypes are based on at least SOME personal experience. Until liberals and Blacks admit that many of the Black Community's issues are of their own making, there will be few professional men or woman to worry about their image. What you need to be worrying about is teaching the non professionals stuck in the ghettos to control their tempers and quit shooting up their neighborhoods.

Posted by: Michelle111 | June 8, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Cape,

Let me buy you a clue here because you're fallen for a media myth.

People aren't upset with Obama because he won't show emotion, they are upset with him because he didn't do anything for weeks about the blowout.

And even then, he effectively brought in a project manager with the title of Admiral to keep him appraised of progress.

He's handling the crisis like it's a project that just needs to be managed, have a project plan developed and then he has progress reports on Friday.

If Lincoln ran the Civil war this way, Richmond would be capitol of the U.S. and we would all be ordering grits for breakfast.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 8, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"Where was this stooge when his heroes were dismantling all semblance of regulation "

Loony-Tune left wingers always say stuff like this, but they can never point to a regulation that's actually been dismantled.

In fact, regulations once in place never get dismantled. It's part of the real problem of the federal government. You can't get rid of bad regulations, even when they compromise what they're supposed to protect. So they make matters worse.

So I'll ask you again. What specific regulation did Obama, Bush or Clinton dismantle that caused this problem? Not a general "they let the Oil Companies get away with stuff", you've made the charge now back it up with facts.

We'll all wait for your answer.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 8, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I think Admiral Allen is doing a great job and that my answers are far from perfect. My point is that leadership involves making decisions, taking charge, and making sure everyone's on the same page.

A good leader doesn't go on a cotton-candy news show and says he's going to find some "ass to kick." He just does it, and takes names with him.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 6:00 PM
===========================
That "ass kick" statement made me very angry. Then I realized that he is the President of every American. Some of my fellow Americans consider this type of talk tough. He, I guess, pleased those constituents.

But on topic, we as Americans are to open to being impressed by nonsense. While this article makes a very valid point, there are some Americans that are anxiously waithing for their "I told you so" moment and that moment for them will be if he ever emotes in the fashion of Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton or even George Bush.

There is no way in two hells could this president have been as uncentered for lack of a better term, as former president Bush. Even by comparison John McCain.

As African Americans in this country will tell you, you have to be twice as smart, get up earlier and more thick skinned than an elephant in order to be even "passable" by some standards in this country.

Barack Obama has been a great president since taking office, given all he was given, for us a country to be on the road to recovery...he has done a remarkable job.


Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't get angry because he doesn't care. It is "only crackers" losing their livelihoods because of the Gulf oil spill. If nothing else the way he treated his white grandmother tells you that Barak Obama doesn't like white people.

Posted by: oldno7 | June 8, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

The more often people falsely accuse everyone of racism, the sooner people will admit that stereotypes are based on at least SOME personal experience. Until liberals and Blacks admit that many of the Black Community's issues are of their own making, there will be few professional men or woman to worry about their image. What you need to be worrying about is teaching the non professionals stuck in the ghettos to control their tempers and quit shooting up their neighborhoods.

Posted by: Michelle111

How about reading the article Michelle. No seriously, read the article. And then re-read the poster whose ideas and opinions you are butchering with your misinterpretation of what he meant.

People such as yourself are making the writers (both of em') point. You have taken a story about how blacks are perceived in a workplace when angry and a subsequent post and made it into something about false accusations of racism-What are you talking about sweetie?

Again, read the article.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

"Yet as alluded to in the article, we tolerate, even encourage, physicality and fighting in the lily-white sport of hockey. Yet at the same time, even throwing one punch that doesn't land is treated like felony assault in the mostly-black sport of basketball. Coincidence? I think not."

Congratulations. This is the dumbest comment of the month in the Post (although to be fair, the month is young)

When the NBA was almost all white throwing punches was never allowed. Ever.

In Hockey it is part of the game because that type of physicality is part of the NFL (in fact it's toned down considerably from the 70's). And even in Hockey if you go to far, they throw your sorry butt in jail.

Of course, the facts fly in the face of your "dumb comment of the month", but I found it very entertaining. I want to encourage you to continue to submit these dumb comments as they inspire all of us to laugh at those around us. Who knows? You might be the dumb-*ss in the office next door! And that, my friend, is what makes this world a more interesting place.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 8, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

The more often people falsely accuse everyone of racism, the sooner people will admit that stereotypes are based on at least SOME personal experience. Until liberals and Blacks admit that many of the Black Community's issues are of their own making, there will be few professional men or woman to worry about their image. What you need to be worrying about is teaching the non professionals stuck in the ghettos to control their tempers and quit shooting up their neighborhoods.

Posted by: Michelle111

Hey Michelle-read the article!

You are making the writer's point-Look how you have misinterpreted both the writer and poster's point into false accusations of racism- Whaaat! What are you talking about? That is the overall point of this article, how blacks displaying anger at the workplace can be seen as a loss of control, overemotional, and the like. How you managed to see false racism suggests you REALLY didn't understand what the story was trying to get at.

To your other point-Whites, such as yourself LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE to point to a recent shooting and make your little smart comments, but, uh sweetheart, who is the more violent man/race of men- mine or yours? If you're honest with at least yourself-you know the answer already. So unless you want to go tic for tat about violence, particularly when a white just dragged a black man to his death down miles of road in Florida, go right ahead. I'll humble you.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

The more often people falsely accuse everyone of racism, the sooner people will admit that stereotypes are based on at least SOME personal experience. Until liberals and Blacks admit that many of the Black Community's issues are of their own making, there will be few professional men or woman to worry about their image. What you need to be worrying about is teaching the non professionals stuck in the ghettos to control their tempers and quit shooting up their neighborhoods.

Posted by: Michelle111

Hey Michelle-read the article!

You are making the writer's point-Look how you have misinterpreted both the writer and poster's point into false accusations of racism- Whaaat! What are you talking about? That is the overall point of this article, how blacks displaying anger at the workplace can be seen as a loss of control, overemotional, and the like. How you managed to see false racism suggests you REALLY didn't understand what the story was trying to get at.

To your other point-Whites, such as yourself LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE to point to a recent shooting and make your little smart comments, but, uh sweetheart, who is the more violent man/race of men- mine or yours? If you're honest with at least yourself-you know the answer already. So unless you want to go tic for tat about violence, particularly when a white just dragged a black man to his death down miles of road in Florida, go right ahead. I'll humble you.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double posts folks :-p

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Capehart gives the best reason why we don't need a black president.

Posted by: ravitchn | June 8, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I think Admiral Allen is doing a great job and that my answers are far from perfect. My point is that leadership involves making decisions, taking charge, and making sure everyone's on the same page.

A good leader doesn't go on a cotton-candy news show and says he's going to find some "ass to kick." He just does it, and takes names with him.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 6:00 PM
===========================
That "ass kick" statement made me very angry. Then I realized that he is the President of every American. Some of my fellow Americans consider this type of talk tough. He, I guess, pleased those constituents.

But on topic, we as Americans are to open to being impressed by nonsense. While this article makes a very valid point, there are some Americans that are anxiously waithing for their "I told you so" moment and that moment for them will be if he ever emotes in the fashion of Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton or even George Bush.

There is no way in two hells could this president have been as uncentered for lack of a better term, as former president Bush. Even by comparison John McCain.

As African Americans in this country will tell you, you have to be twice as smart, get up earlier and more thick skinned than an elephant in order to be even "passable" by some standards in this country.

Barack Obama has been a great president since taking office, given all he was given, for us a country to be on the road to recovery...he has done a remarkable job.


Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 7:11 PM

=======================================

I'm not sure that more people would be impressed by nonsense; I can make the argument that Obama is having problems right now because of it.

I also agree completely with your point about President Bush being completely uncentered. In fact I remember a big critic of his handling of Katrina was uber-conservative Charles Krauthammer.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Because President Obama doesn't show a lot of emotion he is somehow ignorant or not responding to people's issues? Ugh, what we need right now in this country is LESS emotion and a lot more thinking, a lot more intellegence. And the worst President in 100 years? Puhlease, we only need look back 8 years to see the worst of the worst.
Give me less emotion and histrionics and more thoughtful solutions to the issues that face all of us today.

Posted by: tootsie11 | June 8, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama is getting a good dose of the way the Federal government works - the same way it did in response to Katrina (for which all the blame was dumped on Bush when it was the front line, the city/State govt of Louisiana who should have responded within 24 hours with well planned evacuations). Once again, the Federal govt did not seem to have even considered that such an explosion could take place at deep-water drilling sites and what they would do in response. This is something that should have been done before the first deep-water drilling was authorized (whichever party was in control at the time). The fact that it was never done by either party I think condemns both parties in lack of leadership and planning. And to make it worse, Obama would rather sit and ponder at endless meetings before making a move. Oil leaks spread a heck of a lot faster than that. Now his PR machine is saying he "wants to kick some ass." That should have been happening BEFORE the oil site explosion to get BP and the other companies to come up with their plans and test them to be ready before, not after the disaster.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | June 8, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Reading these comments confirm what we already knew Jonathan....those with the complexion protection just don't get it and never will.

Posted by: mlrice710 | June 8, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the suggestions, above, that this is a self-serving bit of exegesis of the reality of America in the 1940s. But I refuse to be intimidated, having argued and educated for my entire adult life, against the double standard so adventitiously claimed here, on behalf of an inadequate leadership. The problem is not that this incumbent can't amuse with emotions; the problem is that he can't understand their validity.

Is it unfastidious, to clamour in fury for relief, now infuriatingly tardy, from the most unfastidious tort in the history of capitalism? Why, certainly it is, if the arbiter of fastidiousness is cowed by capital. I do not want to hear about his color. I want to hear about his replacement from within his own Party. The man is disabled by himself, not by this culture.

Posted by: CarterNicholas | June 8, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

The biggest racist in this country defends the biggest racist in Washington. Surpise.

Posted by: joesmithdefend | June 8, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Liberals are just obsessed with race, always dividing us into little groups to conquer.

Why?

Posted by: thelaw1 | June 8, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Omsbudsman1: What Republicans have done to advance their agenda to shrink government (i.e., weaken the regulatory regime) is to put people in place who will not enforce regulations, cut the budgets (hiring fewer inspectors or personnel as a means of weakening monitoring and enforcement), negotiating "slap on the wrist" penalties that make it cost effective for companies to continue to violate regulations.

Posted by: JohnY1928 | June 8, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Absurd

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | June 8, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Capehart-get a grip. You are talking about the President of the United States! Are you thinking the police will arrest President Obama because he was mistaken as an angry man disturbing the peace?! Get a grip man (or atleast a better excuse...)

Posted by: edmondsonpr1 | June 8, 2010 12:43 PM

If Republicans thought they could get away with it I believe they would.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ever since the oil spill people have been saying that President Obama needs to show more emotion. On C-SPAN one morning that was the question and people came on and said he should show more emotion and berated him for not. But when he does, people say it is phony and begin their usual vilifying of the President. Even today Chris Matthews actually stated that President Obama wasn't Presidential when he expressed anger.

I find it it interesting how the people on here have immediately condemned the author and all begin to whine about racism and blacks being the victims. Oh, and how he was raised white on and on and on. Yep, President Obama is a racist and so is every one who attempts to discuss the issue. No attempts to understand what the author was trying to say. History and its impact on people is irrelevant only when you don't like the person or the situation. That is the reason race continues to be an issue. Whites do not want to accept it, don't want to acknowledge it or deal with it or even discuss it. They want people affected by racism to just get over it. They consider it free speech to say anything they want, deny that it is racist and then condemn anyone who points it out. Just like many who commented here. Fortunately for them, they don't have the same experiences many, many black people, especially black males have had. But they know it doesn't exist because it has never happened to them except when they make money off of reverse discrimination which is okay to pursue because heaven forbid they experience the same thing a minority might have experienced..

Posted by: catmomtx | June 8, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Capehart's article is spot on. OBAMA has to walk a fine line between being a concerned president to being a angry black man which a majority of you haters would pounce on if he would deviate from his present state of response.

OBAMA the angry black president. Cant keep his anger in check. Typical black man. You haters and others of your ilk are so immersed in bull crap its pathetic.

Posted by: llewis40 | June 8, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, black men don't get to show rage or anger because they've already used their quota. Once they stop murdering thousands of people per year because of their rage or anger, then maybe we can revisit the issue.

If you don't want to be treated differently, stop acting differently.

Posted by: jakemd1 | June 8, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Another racist skreed by an operational WAPO racist. Having these folks on staff is like having a squad of suicide bombers. They are enabled to go and target the innocent to cover up for the failings of the people who sent them. Well, at least I'm no longer sending in a check for this abomination hawked as "journalism". I believe the WAPO is now spinning in lazy circles around the bottom of the toilet bowl and is soon for the sewer pipe and then infamy. Good riddance.

Posted by: MDDem1 | June 8, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

..and Mr. Capehart; Have you no shame? Have you any decency? Do you feel your soul being deminished line by written line?

Posted by: MDDem1 | June 8, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse


wmwilliams14 opined:
"People expect Obama to jump and scream at BP execs as if that alone will stop the leak."

Well, he did speak of kicking a little ass yesterday. A good middle-of-the-road between doing nothing and screaming.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | June 8, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

What the heck is the guy smoking??? You got to be kidding me with this article. Is there anybody out there that believes this stuff?

Posted by: playfair109 | June 8, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

This is the most disgusting headline. Capehart, you should be utterly ashamed of yourself.

Posted by: kevin1231 | June 8, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the last president to truly show emotion was Teddy Roosevelt. Even LBJ, famous for his temper, didn't do so for the cameras. Most presidents regard displays of emotion as unpresidential, and Obama would get hammered by the press for "losing it." It may be cathartic for people - as well as for the President - but overall the press would be asking how a person who loses his cool can be in control of the situation.

Posted by: garoth | June 8, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious: just who is it that taught young Obama to hide his anger? His white mother, his white grandmother, or any of the teachers in Indonesia?

Posted by: observer57 | June 9, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

What unmitigated drivel!!!!!!!

Obama is simply the world's greatest conman. You can try and make excuses for his constant mistakes all day long and it will not alter the facts one iota. He is incompetant and ignorant. He has gotten away all his life with that idiotic boyish grin and his ability to lie with a straight face. The only thing his race has to do with it is he has become a past master at using it to his advantage. He is a race baiter, and uses his colour for advantge (HIS advantage). Geraldine Ferraro was 100% correct - the ONLY reason he was where he was , was because of his colour. Otherwise, he would have been just another alsoran.

His behaviour or emotion or anger have NOTHING to do with race. They have to do with the simple fact that he is really not very bright.

Posted by: armagedon | June 9, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan: Good work. I've always believed that avoidance of the The "angry black male" label is a big factor for Obama, as it is for most black male professionals, including me. White folks just don't get it. Particularly irksome are those that seek to "whitewash" Obama, by noting his mixed race background and his being raised in a white family. On the mixed race issue, has white america not noticed that the vast majority of black folks in this country are "mixed race?" Any native African would readily agree. Secondly, being raised by a white family does not make one white, nor does it imbue one with "white privilege." In fact, recognizing the challenges that their black grandson would face in racist American Obama's white family may well have gone further than the typical black family in preparing Obama for survial. Far from being "post-racial" we continue to be in denial about race and its impact.

Posted by: xiol | June 9, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"African American men are taught at very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool, lest we be perceived as dangerous or menacing or give someone a reason to doubt our ability to handle our jobs."

What a crock of bull dung!!!

This kind of flies in the face of the fact that nearly 40% of the murders (the ultimate expression of rage) in this country are committed by those very same young black males who received this supposed "education". BTW - young black males make up less than 3% of the population.

I suppose it's perfectly fine that he "wants to kick somebody's ass" though? Thug President - priceless.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | June 9, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Johnathan. You are always the voice of reason among very silly would-be somebodies.

Posted by: tjfrmla | June 9, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Capeheart your Race Pimping is past the point of being boring.

We have never had a President who rants a raves in public. Obama whines and blames others for his problems more than most.

I don't care what his mood is. I care about his total failure in the cleanup of this oilspill. I care about the lack of skimmers and tankers on the ocean cleaning up this mess. I care about the fact that the barrier islands that Jindal wanted still aren't built and now the oil has fouled the marshes. I care about the miles of floating boom that is sitting in a wharehouse in Maine instead of protecting beaches in the gulf.

I don't care about your continuous whine that you are somehow a victim.

Posted by: robtr | June 9, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

If black men are considered angry if they "one time, go off," it is even more true of women....when we get angry, we are considered crazy....out of control...too emotional...or worse.

It affects our potential for job enhancement we are chastised by those very same white males who are in charge of most of the companies we work for and who, when they show anger, are considered leaders.

Posted by: ilcn | June 9, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

It's about time somebody addressed this issue. I'm sick and tired of some white people screaming that Obama needs to "show a little emotion," so that they can then turn around and say he's not fit to be president.

I'm also sick and tired of some white people pretending that this whole notion of the "angry black man" is absurd and untrue. It's true, and you know it is.

YOU need to get a grip!

Posted by: whodunit | June 9, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that every time Obama is on the wrong side of an issue, fails at doing his job or heck just shows up the Race Card is played. Do you really think this issue with BP is about race? It is about his failure to act and his cold side uncaring side that he shows.

Posted by: crestone | June 9, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr. Capeheart for the insightful view of our American President. I love my President Barack Obama, he's doing a fantastic job changing the way government works by being "himself." Folks, if you want to get angry do it, but don't expect our president to huff and puff and blow your house down. President Obama will remain cool, calm and collected. Besides, being angry takes a lot of energy. Take a pill because eight years is a long time to be angry. Hope Won! Change will win again!

Posted by: daulphinehunter | June 9, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

This column even being written by a Black Man... as a columnist for The Washington Post (The first time I ever read a "White Only" sign was in Washington, D.C.) and, being published... about a Black President of the United States... is historical in itself. Today, there are more people who read... who can understand and appreciate Capehart... "Telling it like it is"... from his heart. Write On, Brother!

Posted by: ChasMan1 | June 9, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

African American men are taught at very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool, lest we be perceived as dangerous or menacing or give someone a reason to doubt

No true. I have been around African Amenican men all my life and very few hold their temper, opinions or their need to reproduce and abuse their partners. This is a poorly written article with very few facts. I do believe there are some that are brought up to show repect, loyalty and calm but it's a small percentage.

Posted by: purenergy | June 9, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for writing this piece.

To all thoes that posted comments of doubt or disbelief or shock or even outrage, I have a novel idea for you.....When you go into work tomorrow find a black guy in your office and have him explain to you the concept and consquences of being an "Angry Black Man". I encourage you to even use the acronym A.B.M. instead of using the entire phrase, and I will bet the farm that they know exactly what you are referring to.

Now I have to ask if what was written in the opinion piece held no merit and is such a crock why has the sentiment of the ABM endured?

Posted by: liveito8 | June 9, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

EXCUSES EXCUSES. We all new it was just a matter of time till some MEDIA outlet took a shot at protecting this presidents incompetence. WELL HERE YOU GO!!

Posted by: news21046 | June 9, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

EXCUSES EXCUSES. We all new it was just a matter of time till some MEDIA outlet took a shot at protecting this presidents incompetence. WELL HERE YOU GO!!

Posted by: news21046 | June 9, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

What a load of crap. Sounds like more of an apology for the President not doing anything about the crisis. The man is over his head and the liberal media is covering for him ......again. Not surprising, he only spent a little over 300 days on the Senate floor. I read that he is finding out "whose ass to kick". This has been going on for weeks, shouldn't take that long.

Posted by: McBeer56 | June 9, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Jonathan for this article. You are exactly correct. If he does start to show any anger about anything, the public will immediately jump on his case. It does not matter that he had no control over what BP did or doesn't do, he will be criticized regardless. Those of you who choose to ignore reality, are not facing facts. There are many things that President Obama could say or do on a number of issues, but he knows that he can't because of "WHO" he is...a black man.

Posted by: docente | June 9, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart you make very cogent points. I'm an African American professional man and one of the main reasons that I voted for POTUS Obama was his even-tempered demeanor, which stands in stark contrast to the mercurial John McCain's. President Obama's demeanor is analytical whereas mine is more emotional. I wish that I had his demeanor but I don't. I have learned to control my temper over the years but I still explode in anger every now and then. Also, there is a societal expectation for black people, especially men, to smile all the time. I often hear commentators say things like, " . . . and he smiles all the time . . ", yet I never, ever hear this said about white people. I wonder why not? This "black tax" that we seem to have to pay is a great observations on your part

Posted by: yourpoliticalanimal | June 9, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Crestone and others on this post, the issue with BP is "NOT" about race. It is what people are trying to deny that is about race. Again, as a black woman, I know he cannot say, do, or show what you SAY you want. I have taught my son as well as my students,(mostly black boys) that they have always got to be on guard as to what they say and do. I have also recently told my 25 year old daughter, who is a lawyer, that she has to beware of what she says and how she says it to her associates, because they will, and have, label her as angry, etc. Today they asked her if she was depressed because she was not smiling every time they saw her in the office....go figure

Posted by: docente | June 9, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Mr Capehart
IMHO people like you are the ones concerned about race. People like me do not care what race, creed, religion, etc you are. The president is judged by his actions, policies, etc. Most of us do not care what race the President is... People like you are the ones bringing up race every single time - nobody cares what color someone else is. Get over it

Posted by: grahamniemi | June 9, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama's problem is he does not have his priorities right. For instance, he's looking for some '@ss to kick' before he pulls his head out of his own. Please learn something from Slick Willy, Mr President, and please learn it right quick: 'It's the economy, stupid!!!!!!'. It seems like this president hasnt heard the message yet....which shows just how far his ears are stuck up his @ss.....

Posted by: tylertim28 | June 9, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Finally!! Someone has written what African Americans having been saying privately regarding Obamas emotional display/response to this oil spill. Johnathan,I love this article.

Posted by: yvette7825 | June 9, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Bravo Jonathan!

I have been attempting to convey your very points in your op-ed on a couple of blog sites I frequent, yet the message just did not get through. They want a Black version of Bush and Cheney. They want (sans the cowboy hats) flashes of anger and an air of "don't mess with us, we're America damn it!"

That isn't who President Obama is and I for one, don't want that. And I hated seeing him with Matt Lauer this morning on the Today show because he appeared to be placating to those who are screaming and foaming at the mouth and demanding he join them in their ire.

We have in Barack Obama a cerebral man. A man who analyzes the problems he is required to deal with, and both he and his administration come up with solutions. Why isn't that enough? I don't want a president who was like Bush, filled with theatrics to play to the less than intelligent among us. I want exactly what we have now in Barack Obama.

Posted by: beautybee | June 9, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart I want to thank you for the article. Fortunately, you're in a position to put this phenomenon to paper; an issue most Non-African Americans will never allow themselves to understand. As your appearance on Hardball was the impetus to me coming to read the column, I must say in reading these comments it really saddens me but doesn't surprise me. For those who like to laud on how "Post-racial the country is after electing an African-American President, I submit to you many of the comments in reply to this article.

I am a 36 year old professional black male who was reared in the South. The "Angry Black Man" syndrome was drilled into your professional training as it was usually accompanied by some story of a lynching or some other gruesome result of the perception of a black man by a white audience. "Angry Black Man" syndrome is in essence the perception by traditional non-minority person(s) and as unfortunately I've learned that most individuals perception is their reality.

So the point is missed when commenters cite the privilege upbringing of President Obama. I will argue that actually the more privileged you were growing up, or being able to exist in privileged sectors, then the percentage is higher that you were warned of the hazards of and mandated to restrain from exhibiting "Angry Black Man" syndrome.

If you want to succeed, get elected, and get to actually be the "Boss" as an African American then you know for sure that the "Angry Black Man" is no myth and is alive and well.

Posted by: spartylaw | June 9, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Anyone saying the President (black, white or inbetween)needs to show more emotion to connect with the people is, sadly, correct. Working with emotions made Reagan a bigger star off the screen than on it. It didn't matter that he expanded government and government debt to their largest ever, or that he sold missiles to our "enemy" Iran behind Conress' back to fund terrorism against Nicaragua and let others take the blame for him. All that counted was he was able to charm the media and make Americans chant U.S.A.! U.S.A.! Clinton made everyone feel comfy and snug because everything was coming up roses for him and for you, even while he was signing NAFTA and shipping our jobs overseas. G.W. Bush had that little-boy cowboy naivete appearance to cover for Dick Cheney's evil smirk and when that couldn't convince people that Iraq was really a threat to us, they brought in Collin Powell, a brand we all could trust.

But emotionalism isn't the problem with President Obama. The problem is people were getting wise to the ways of politicians and sick of being manipulated and lied to. Sick of war, of "terrorism" of climate change our government was ignoring, of an economy shaking, of jobs lost and government taking orders from their corporate sponsors often at the expense of the people and the Nation. Along comes "Campaign Obama" setting the bar of expectations, of hope for "Change" to what we all know we need, very high. But so far "President" Obama has not delivered on "Campaign" Obama's promises. We are losing that hope, the expectation for real change as he expands the war in the Middle East when he had presented solid, intelligent reasons for bringing it to an end. As he opens up ocean exploration for oil and calls for more nuclear power when "Campaign " Obama talked so eloquently against oil and for the development of alternative energies. As he refuses to treat Israel's apartheid as we treated South Africa's but supports it instead thereby insuring wars expand.

These are a few of the reasons many of the once ardent supporters of "Campaign" Obama are no longer willing to rally to his side thereby leaving him open to attack by those who always hated him. We aren't sure if he tricked us like Collen Powell who resigned in disgust and disgrace, or if his inexperience and advisers are leading him down the very pathways he campaigned against.

No thinking person blames President Obama for the BP oil catastrophe. But unless he honors the promises made as "Campaign" Obama, his one term legacy will be: Never has a President with such a large mandate done so little with it.

Posted by: thestoryplease | June 9, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I've read every word of these posts and am exhausted, but not to exhausted to add my two cents. To all those who spoke about needing our President (not Him, Barak, He or Obama)to "feel the pain" of especially the Gulf residents around the spill, it's not possible to feel someone else's pain, you feel empathy and express sympathy but feeling someone else's pain is not possible. That also holds true for what Capehart is writing about, you white folks don't know what it feels like to walk in a "black man's shoes" in AMERICA and there have been studies that indicate you don't want to know what it feels like to walk in their shoes. To all those who spoke about violence in some black communities-we learned that violence from you. You got one hell of a nerve you invented violence against your fellow man. Remember, YOU convinced American Indians to trust you and then stole their land, murdered man and sent the rest into obscurity (Trail of Tears), every war was initiated by you and your need for power; you interned the Chinese and stole their property and let us not forget the institution of slavery-tarring, feathering, lynching, beating and violating our women for SPORT! Yes, we are angry. And now you're after brown folks. You have the nerve to speak of violence! And to prenergy you are so stupid, "I''ve been brought up around blacks and some are brought up to show respect, loyalty aand calm but the number is small". Your life is very circumscribed and pitiful. The number is BIG, you just don't read about, hear about or know about these families because they're not covered on cable nor the MSM. Attend a graduation at Howard, Spelman, Morehouse, Hampton or any of the other HBCU's and you will see thousands of respectful blacks graduating, many with Honors. Finally, the reason why race relations will never improve in AMERICA is because white folks, especially the trailer trash have no respect for blacks, our contributions to the making of AMERICA, our culture nor our service to this country; how then could they ever respect or support President Obama? The angry black man is real and white folk don't like him nor do they like a black man who is smarter than any President since Kennedy and especially won't let their vitriol unnerve/uncalm him. You know who else knows all this about you-THE ENTIRE WORLD!!

Posted by: flojo531 | June 9, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I've read every word of these posts and am exhausted, but not to exhausted to add my two cents. To all those who spoke about needing our President (not Him, Barak, He or Obama)to "feel the pain" of especially the Gulf residents around the spill, it's not possible to feel someone else's pain, you feel empathy and express sympathy but feeling someone else's pain is not possible. That also holds true for what Capehart is writing about, you white folks don't know what it feels like to walk in a "black man's shoes" in AMERICA and there have been studies that indicate you don't want to know what it feels like to walk in their shoes. To all those who spoke about violence in some black communities-we learned that violence from you. You got one hell of a nerve you invented violence against your fellow man. Remember, YOU convinced American Indians to trust you and then stole their land, murdered man and sent the rest into obscurity (Trail of Tears), every war was initiated by you and your need for power; you interned the Chinese and stole their property and let us not forget the institution of slavery-tarring, feathering, lynching, beating and violating our women for SPORT! Yes, we are angry. And now you're after brown folks. You have the nerve to speak of violence! And to prenergy you are so stupid, "I''ve been brought up around blacks and some are brought up to show respect, loyalty aand calm but the number is small". Your life is very circumscribed and pitiful. The number is BIG, you just don't read about, hear about or know about these families because they're not covered on cable nor the MSM. Attend a graduation at Howard, Spelman, Morehouse, Hampton or any of the other HBCU's and you will see thousands of respectful blacks graduating, many with Honors. Finally, the reason why race relations will never improve in AMERICA is because white folks, especially the trailer trash have no respect for blacks, our contributions to the making of AMERICA, our culture nor our service to this country; how then could they ever respect or support President Obama? The angry black man is real and white folk don't like him nor do they like a black man who is smarter than any President since Kennedy and especially won't let their vitriol unnerve/uncalm him. You know who else knows all this about you-THE ENTIRE WORLD!!

Posted by: flojo531 | June 9, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

One more thing to the jerk who posted "Barak Obama doesn't care about crackers" and that he didn't treat his grandmother well. What the heck are you talking about? Did you know his grandmother? Did she tell you President Obama mistreated her? What a dumb ass statement. Typical and pitiful!!I'll bet you voted for John and Sara-OMG!

Posted by: flojo531 | June 9, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart,

Thank you so much for articulating in writing what I have been saying to Chris Matthews on TV for weeks now. Almost none of those talking heads who sit on their perches and urge Obama to become "angry" have felt the stinging stereotypes of a person of color who displayed his or her genuine emotions.

Recall when Obama met with the Republican Caucus on the Hill recently. What did they say of him? (One must remember that no cameras were present to record what actually happened.) "He needs to take a Valium before meeting with us again." "He is thin-skinned." I've heard that last one scores of times when I spoke up in my own interests in professional settings. Of course I knew that those in the Republican Caucus were not telling the truth as they propagated the old stereotype of a man of color who cannot control his emotions, much like a dumb animal.

So to all of these people who are attacking Mr. Capehart for writing honestly on a subject about which they know nothing, walk a mile.....or just take a hike.

Posted by: stroud00 | June 9, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Race? They still trying to flog that dead dog? I heard that once obamao becomes prez that that whole race thing goes away. Thank goodness President Bush is still around to blame all that race stuff on.

Posted by: rglick | June 9, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Anyone care to wager: How many of these right-wing posters are regular readers of the Washington Post? 5%? 2%? 0%? Capehart's point is a good one - and a limited one. He doesn't go far enough. Obama's detractors are laying a trap by calling for him to get angry - they'll use that against him the moment he shows any anger. Indeed, they'll hold anything he does (or doesn't do!) against him.

If Obama had moved aggressively when he took office to demand comprehensive (and potentially costly) disaster preparations from the oil companies, conservatives would have trumpeted this as evidence that he's a "socialist," a "Job-killer," and "anti-business." He should have done so anyway - now, there's no good solution.

Even if Obama had moved more quickly to acknowledge the magnitude of the disaster - as he also should have done - the government hasn't the technical capability of plugging the well. Like Katrina, the real disaster occurred unseen, in the lack of preparation and planning - symptoms of the Federal government's weakness.

The "small-government" advocates have worked for years to undermine the effectiveness of government - by installing regulators that are captives to the industries they were supposed to oversee, by de-funding and understaffing the responsible agencies. Now that government is indeed ineffective, they whine at the results.

Posted by: vacuous | June 10, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Why isn't O'Reilly, Limbaugh and others known as angry white men? If Obama said half the stuff Limbaugh said he would be an angry black man. So why aren't those guys classified as angry white men?

Posted by: ChocolateRain | June 10, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

http://www.saintpeterii.com/blog/?p=59 an article in text n' toons that provides a perspective on what can be expected from Obama.

Posted by: saintpeterii | June 10, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who says that all this bull that is being said about Obama isn't because he is Bi-racial is crazy. Of corse the only race they see is black! Ok we have a Bi-racial president, that's the only thing that has changed. I am still treated different then my co-workers, who are white. And yes we do teach our boys early in life. My mother had that talk with my brothers when they were 9 and 11 years old. And she remined them as they grow into manhood. How many white parents have to say to their sons,you are growing up now, be very careful how you talk and act. Or people will call the police on you. You, get the picture. They were 9 and 11 years old, they shouldn't have had to worry about stuff like that. I don't dislike any race, I'm just telling it the way it is. Obama was handed this country while is was in a mess. Give him a break, he's got a lot on his plate

Posted by: daresida | June 10, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who says that all this bull that is being said about Obama isn't because he is Bi-racial is crazy. Of corse the only race they see is black! Ok we have a Bi-racial president, that's the only thing that has changed. I am still treated different then my co-workers, who are white. And yes we do teach our boys early in life. My mother had that talk with my brothers when they were 9 and 11 years old. And she remined them as they grow into manhood. How many white parents have to say to their sons,you are growing up now, be very careful how you talk and act. Or people will call the police on you. You, get the picture. They were 9 and 11 years old, they shouldn't have had to worry about stuff like that. I don't dislike any race, I'm just telling it the way it is. Obama was handed this country while is was in a mess. Give him a break, he's got a lot on his plate

Posted by: daresida | June 10, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

"Don't get mad; get even!"

Mad only wastes a lot of energy while those around you look at you crosswise and think, "What's your problem; Get over it."

Posted by: ddoiron1 | June 10, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to see Obama as an 'Angry Black Man', since we already see him as a 'Stupid Black Man'

Posted by: jeffsd7 | June 10, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe I am reading this on the Washington Post. This is what you went to school for.....and your life experiences have brought you to this. You are so out of touch with what you believe to be analysis or truth, it isn't funny. You must not have had anything else to write about so you made up this B.S. I really hope you don't believe this, and don't tell me you got paid for this. Shameful, and on top of it all you associate with people that think the same way. Stop playing around and put that education of yours to use and raise the intellect of your peers, increase your own, and wake up. Life is not a game, notice I have no comment on what you wrote, just you.

Posted by: geraldwashington | June 10, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Reading geraldwashington, I wonder why he is not paid to write your column instead of you. what a disgraceful racist blurb of words that did not tell anything logical or profound. The Washington Post falls daily from a reliable news organization to one of foolish personal points of view that have nothing to do with the news at all. I didn't finish reading your column because I became so disgusted with your racist blabbing. President Obama who is HALF WHITE does not fit your description . . . I am so annoyed with you, this paper and all you have represented by your column that I cannot even collect my ideas to write a sensible response. Keep on finding excuses for everything Black and you will continue to perpetuate the divide.

Posted by: Hollyhock | June 10, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Reading geraldwashington, I wonder why he is not paid to write your column instead of you. what a disgraceful racist blurb of words that did not tell anything logical or profound. The Washington Post falls daily from a reliable news organization to one of foolish personal points of view that have nothing to do with the news at all. I didn't finish reading your column because I became so disgusted with your racist blabbing. President Obama who is HALF WHITE does not fit your description . . . I am so annoyed with you, this paper and all you have represented by your column that I cannot even collect my ideas to write a sensible response. Keep on finding excuses for everything Black and you will continue to perpetuate the divide.

Posted by: Hollyhock | June 10, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Sorry everyone for the duplicate comment. I clicked the submit but didn't see it post. I'll be more patient in the future.

Posted by: Hollyhock | June 10, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Hi everyone;
No I don't want a angry president Black or White making decisions out of anger, but I do want an president that will get tough with people that are ruing our country.
I don't care if BP goes bankrupt right now our country is going bankrupt and the rest of the world does not give a dam.
To the news reporters please stop making everything a Race thing. Yes Obama is Black but yet in this country he is still the President of the United States.
Stop crying over the color of your skin everyone that came to this country was prejudiced against and we all over came that, the only difference is skin color and no one can change this.

Posted by: pggno1nj | June 10, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I'll take B.H.Obama any day over (1)I don't know if I'm a maverick because I might lose my senate seat in Arizona if I don't act like I hate Latinos, John McCain, (2)my husband was a member of a separatist movement in Alaska, but nobody held my feet to the fire about it, especially Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, (3) I criticize Obama but I didn't have the stones to beat him, Mitt Romney, (4) I constantly criticize Obama but I couldn't win any primaries to save my life, Rudy Giuliani, (6) I'm talking big trash now but I still want deep-water drilling even though this could happen again, Bobby Jindal, (7) I talk tough about how the media gives Obama a pass but I do the same with Sarah Palin and every other conservative that I like, Sean Hannity, (8) I talked tough but ended up kissing Rush Limbaugh's hind parts, Michael Steele . . .GIVE ME OBAMACARE OR GIVE ME DEATH . . . !!!

Posted by: yourpoliticalanimal | June 10, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

More Black Man Bulls%$#

Another divisive column that further separates Americans from each other.

And who better to ask then The Black Dinosaur - Al Sharpton - who's only game is The Race Card. Without it he's irrelevant.
Sharpton's act is sooo old its fossil should be placed in The Black America Archives.

Capehart you suck!

Posted by: ravioliman6666 | June 10, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I haven't read such a crock in a very long time. When I view Obama, I don't think his color or the issue of "the angry black man" or whatever racial stereotype you come up with. I judge Obama, like ALL individuals, by their actions....not by race, creed, etc.

You avoid the real issue that Obama is struggling as President. To me, the lack of experience as an administrator/executive is catching up with Obama. And add his emphasis on passing health care legislation vs unemployment and the debt and his promoting a left of center agenda (domestically and foreign policy) for right of center country. These don’t look like issues of race.

Posted by: debmat511 | June 10, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Sorry everyone for the duplicate comment. I clicked the submit but didn't see it post. I'll be more patient in the future.

Posted by: Hollyhock | June 10, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

This piece starts out fine and then quickly derails.

I do not agree with most of Obama's policies. However, I understand that he did not cause the oil leak and does not have a magic wand to wave. I do not see Presidents as Supermen.

Obama is a cool player. That's his persona and its a good one. For him to start screaming would look idiotic.

Posted by: boog44 | June 10, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

ANOTHER liberal media member trying to put a good spin on Barry and the job he is doing. Sorry, not buying it. I can't blame Barry for this disaster but I can blame him for flying to SF for a fundraiser for Barbara Boxer as the Gulf of Mexico was being flooded with oil.

Sometimes it's about perception and Barry failed miserably as well as not going to Arlington on Memorial Day.

Posted by: sghdr | June 10, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan, love your work.

Obama's 'movement' mantra from the campaign uniquely positions him to channel those former potus' demonstrations of empathy (Roosevelt, Clinton and even Bush II on occasions). I think so. But its important to note, former potus, weren't dealing with a culturally diverse electorate. And the "persons of color" ratio is growing, whereas those others dealt with a dominantly white electorate. So channeling their hopes, dreams or fears was less of a challenge because they all related. His core supporters (Afr Amer) won't budge as far as support goes, but others still need to BE MADE to believe in him. That's mostly a cultural thing. I guess I'm just focusing on his leadership style. He can be a 'Transactional leader' in the Oval Office. But his public face (style) must be 'Transformational' at all times. I don't know if he knows it, but his presidency (especially if he is reelected) could prove to be the most significant of this YOUNG nations history.

Posted by: WinterStorm19 | June 10, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The sanctomonious windbags here who are crying "race card" at the top of their pathetic voices should walk a mile in the shoes of any Black man in this country and see what it's like before inundating us with their ignorant, myopic rhetoric.

Chances are, the haven't the faintest freaking clue what constraints some of our fellow citizens are under ... yes, even in tine fhis day and age.

On another note, if you want a President who screeches and jumps up and down at every conceivable provocation (actual or imaginary), instead of using their brain to solve problems, by all means, elect yourself that pseudo-eternal-victim, Wild Alaskan Dingbat and her horde of minions at Fraud Nooze.

Posted by: Jaxy | June 10, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

*even in this day and age*

Posted by: Jaxy | June 10, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that everytime someone posts how black people feel that it's looked upon as saying people are racists? It's not always about that..it's about noting how someone copuld possibly feel and act a certain way and the reasons behind it. And so what Obama isn't acting the way people think he should..good for him. He's an individual who thinks for himself and doesn't respond to every whim that you people get. Thank God he's not a non thinking, aggressivly acting fool who doesn't give a rats about putting everyone in danger just to show he has balls. Whatever..screw how he acts and just focus on getting the spill stopped, cleaned up and people back to work. You people wouldn't even be happy if he put on a frog suit, dived into the ocean and tried to stop the spill with his own body. Ugh..so perturbed by all this bickering and BS!

Posted by: shawnyH | June 10, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

While I may not be as good as Jaxy - I agree, you have a lot of opinion about a subject that you spend all your time on the outside looking in. Haven't a clue what it's like. Rioting in Detroit, do you even know why? I lived through them too and I remember why. Look at all the juenvenile calls because he said the tiny little a-word in public. So, please he can't do what white politicians do and get away with it - no black politician can and still be in politics. So, pa-lease, know of what you speak. This everyone is people stuff is altruistic and kind hearted but not true, if you don't believe it, remember recently someone spit on a black politician and called him the N-word on the steps of the Congress. Obama has monkey-pictures all over the country, he was called a lier out loud on national TV while addressing Congress. So don't tell me, about racism - what do you call that? It wasn't politics.

Posted by: gladys9174 | June 10, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

While I may not be as good as Jaxy - I agree, you have a lot of opinion about a subject that you spend all your time on the outside looking in. Haven't a clue what it's like. Rioting in Detroit, do you even know why? I lived through them too and I remember why. Look at all the juenvenile calls because he said the tiny little a-word in public. So, please he can't do what white politicians do and get away with it - no black politician can and still be in politics. So, pa-lease, know of what you speak. This everyone is people stuff is altruistic and kind hearted but not true, if you don't believe it, remember recently someone spit on a black politician and called him the N-word on the steps of the Congress. Obama has monkey-pictures being displayed all over the country, they hung him in effigy and set fire to his image in a bar in the midwest, he was called a liar out loud on national TV by a sitting Congressman while addressing The Congress, so what do you call that...Politics? So, try to understand and speak intelligently about racism and stop making execuses and trying to rationalize racism in others. The angry-black man or woman syndrome is a real perspective of white America. We have a saying "we don't want to scare the white people." So we do not react in any way that would make you afraid, or think we are unable to handle our position. If you did, you would probably get sent away, laid off or quitely fired as soon as they could do it without a lawsuit.

Posted by: gladys9174 | June 10, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

While I may not be as good as Jaxy stringing the words together, I agree, you have a lot of opinion about a subject that you spend all your time on the outside looking in. Haven't a clue what it's like. Rioting in Detroit, do you even know why? I lived through them too and I remember why. Look at all the juenvenile calls because he said the tiny little a-word in public. He can't do what white politicians do and get away with it - no black politician can and still be in politics. So, pa-lease, know of what you speak. This everyone is people stuff is altruistic and kind hearted but not true, if you don't believe it, remember recently someone spit on a black politician and called him the N-word on the steps of the Congress. Obama has monkey-pictures being displayed all over the country, they hung him in effigy and set fire to his image in a bar in the midwest, he was called a liar out loud on national TV by a sitting Congressman while addressing The Congress, so what do you call that...Politics? So, try to understand and speak intelligently about racism and stop making execuses and trying to rationalize racism in others. The angry-black man or woman syndrome is a real perspective of white America. We have a saying "we don't want to scare the white people." So we do not react in any way that would make you afraid, or think we are unable to handle our position. If you did, you would probably get sent away, laid off or quitely fired as soon as they could do it without a lawsuit.

Posted by: gladys9174 | June 10, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Another racial excuse to the rescue.How stupid do you think readers are,Mr Capehart? BO's limp reactions to critical issues is NOT about a black man afraid to show anger.You can see the anger in the constant whining that cable tv is mean to him.But when it comes to fighting for what's right and best for the country,not so much.He just plain doesn't like the US as it's always been and is determined to cattleprod us to Socialism.The apology tours,kowtowing to the bad guys,punishing success,rewarding failure,pandering to unions and most of all,lukewarm approach against terrorism.And don't forget Bill Aires & Rev Wright,among other Chicago cronies.Birds of a feather .Obama may not get mad but he sure is bent on getting even.

Posted by: annie88 | June 10, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

It vexes me that every aspect of the Obama Presidency is plague with undertones of racial bias. He is an upstanding man, with values and moral character. Of course, there are still people in the U.S. who have problems with a person because of the color of their skin, the neighborhood where they live, and the status they hold. When will we learn that it does not accomplish anything or help a situation if we consistently get upset and try to make ourselves feel superior to others by always putting down someone. Let's make a change and stop all this petty bickering and senseless analysis and let the man do his job as President.

Posted by: keatkins | June 10, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

That's it, stir up the racial angle. Nice.

There is a difference between suggesting that the president rage and act menacing and that he demonstrate that he HAS some emotions. For him to say "There, uh, is NO ONE, who is, uh, more angry about this than me," while sounding like he's delivering his usual college lecture, is not about sounding white or black or angry. It's about sounding like he's full of beans.

He doesn't have to "go off". How about sound just a little bit sincere? Of course, tossing out the manufactured line about his daughter asking him while he's shaving if he's "plugged the hole yet daddy" only adds to the image of him being a total phony, just trying to figure out what people want to hear.

Can you imagine the uproar if this was Bush? Continually cutting Obama slack for his screw ups doesn't push him to become a good president. It gives him sanctuary to remain ineffective, and that helps no one.

Posted by: kevin95630 | June 10, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Well said. My exact thoughts especially after hearing whites in the media saying how President Obama, "must show some anger." Really? Why? Just getting the job done or working on a solution isn't good enough, huh? And I just love the count down that the media has going as well pertaining to the oil spill. "Day 37. Day 45. Day 52." Americans have such a fast food mentality. We want things done now! Right now! Great piece, Mr. Capehart.

Posted by: MBrown2for1 | June 10, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Ridiculous apologia playing the race card. What a relief it will be when these baby boomer lib hacks from the 60's give up the ghost.

Posted by: beck2448 | June 10, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Two things... I am a 4th grade teacher and a majority of the black young males that I come in contact with hardly ever keep their cool. When they don't like something, they cause a scene in school. Secondly, Obama is SUPPOSED to be a role model -- especially for our young black males. His language does not set a good example for our youth. I'm very disappointed in him... again.

Posted by: djolander | June 10, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

This is just lame. Obama has a long history of throwing every liberal concern - environmental protection, global warming, gay rights, civil rights, reproductive rights, free speech rights, etc. etc. - under the bus in favor of the rich and powerful.

Therefore, the reason why he is not showing any anger here is because HE'S NOT MAD. He really isn't capable of anger, unless one of his rich, conservative buddies is getting held to account by progressive interests.

Obama himself has never held ANYBODY rich and/or powerful to account for ANYTHING. Why would he start now?

Posted by: solsticebelle | June 10, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

...and I suppose you would also blame the police for the jails being overpopulated with black men. You really need to climb out of Comrade Obama's butt to see the world as it really is.

Posted by: djsteil | June 11, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

What a laughable explanation for a self serving man in over his head. The simply fact is Obama has no executive or management experience. He is doing the only thing he knows how to do with his limited background as a Community Organizer and that is to spend government money and campaign. Don't ever forget the man was raised by white parents and grandparents in Hawaii, not Chicago.

Posted by: CayC | June 11, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

What a laughable explanation for a self serving man in over his head. The simply fact is Obama has no executive or management experience. He is doing the only thing he knows how to do with his limited background as a Community Organizer and that is to spend government money and campaign. Don't ever forget the man was raised by white parents and grandparents in Hawaii, not Chicago.

Posted by: CayC | June 11, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

As a white man, I would not attempt to tell a black man whether he is right or wrong about his experience being being black in America. I would only listen and learn and accept that if that is Capeheart's experience, and others - it is. There is no point in denying it. And I am sorry for it. Deeply. But I also with he and other blacks would listen to my experience as a white conservative man, and understand that I'm sick and tired of being called a racist for disagreeing with Obamas politics. It is stupid and insane and unAmerican for me have prove I'm not a racist every time I get into a political conversation! I have to mention how many black friends I have (I had never even counted before the past election, it had never mattered) I have to mention work I do in the inner citites of America that benefit black children (but I was targeting blacks like some politician might, I was just going to help children, blind to what race might be there, even though most were black) I roomed with a black in college for three years - am I a better man because he was the only black on my floor and I roomed with him? Garbage!!!! NO! It was not mercy nor did we draw straws, he was blind and I asked to room with him because he needed assistance. I never even thought about his color. But I get cussin' angry (though I'n not the cussin' type) when I'm called a racist for not agreeing with the POLICIES of what Obama is doing to our nation. I won't get into why here, because I don't want to distract from my point. My point is, it is blacks and liberals pulling the race card every time conservatives disagree with Obama.

I've read all these comments - and I think I'm the only one saying I'm ok with Capehearts article. I do think there is unfairness with how black men can act and how white men can act.

But it is also unfair that a white man can't criticize the president now without people saying its some deep underlying racism. That may be true for some, but it isn't for MANY. Obama is a RADICAL president attempting RADICAL sweeping change that will forever change the very nature of our country (he has said so!) To be opposed to what we've been for over 200 years (as the greatest nation for 200 years, and the greatest nation in world history!) is not racist, its WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU MESSIN WITH THIS FOR?

So please, stop calling me a racist, me and my black friends all want Obama stopped!!! But I do feel for the A.B.M. issue.

Posted by: KidminPatriot | June 11, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

To you Rethug apologists who have nothing better to do than daily heap insults and derision upon this President ... precisely WHAT did Bush and Cheney do any better than Mr. Obama, given that Katrina was a flipping FORESEEABLE event?

Except to declare that Brownie did "a heckuva job", that is? Geesh, all that so-called Rethug "executive experience", and yet we were treated to the sight of bloated human bodies floating in the streets of New Orleans.

What do you hacks think John McCain, or his Fancy-Pageant-Walkin' Grifter sidekick would have done in this situation ... other than to let BP get off scot-free and leave the American taxpayer on the hook for the full cost of this disaster. Ya know, t00ls ... Shrill Baby Kill!

Posted by: Jaxy | June 11, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama has nothing to show here
Obama is the best actor of all time and definitely will win oscar thsi year and forever.. No one can replace him..
He just TALK, TALK, read tele prompter (that's all he can do best) but don't know how to walk his talk.
Up to now 50 some days passed by NO one know who's in charge of the oil spill in the gulf..
He said he's in charge but it failed misarable and what we can do to punish him..

More over while the economy still in bad shape, recovery is VERY VERY slow, not much jobs for American people, $780B stimulus package he signed failed miserable, oil continue to flow but
1) flew to Chicago for vacation and same time gave speech for Memorial day instead of Arlington cemetry that's why it was rain as God cried for America to have one of the worst president 2)he and a bunch of people have had time to sit down comfortably in WH to listen to Paul's concert.. It's disturbing and disgusting and wasted my tax money..

If the event is the traditional one then just a small ceremony is good enough..

I admire Angelina Jolie who was refused to attend Obama "bad joke" party the other day

Posted by: kutani123 | June 11, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Right on target! Those who have a problem with a leader who is cool, calm and collected should appreciate a grown up who doesn't have a tantrum when things get tough.

Posted by: waporeader5 | June 11, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

There is some truth in this, but not a lot. Barack Obama, er, President Obama, grew up in a "white" family, mostly in Hawaii, which has few "African Americans." His only family relationship to slave culture is through his wife, and through his "white" ancestors, who owned slaves.

As far as expressing outrage, where is it written that presidents have to do this? JFK was a pretty calm and collected president. So was FDR. The only bad-tempered president I can remember is George W. Bush, and he is a criminal sociopath.

Obama's real problem is he is compromised. He is not a strong leader, and is dominated by his advisers and sponsors. Such as the oil industry. Unlike presidents before him, he isn't a very good fake. His only real outrage is how the fates are turning against him.

Posted by: southsidejohnny | June 11, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Blacks making stupid excuses for other blacks is their problem, an angry black is fine but more times than not they think violence is justified - in some cases.

In Obama's case if he says he wants to kick ass, I hear a weak coward making noise. When he talks about Social Justice and Redistribution I hear an enemy of the state.

Obama's job isn't to kick ass. It is to be a Leader and guide to the closet library because he is really snart.

Wonder if he learned how to say Marine Corps. yet vs Marine Corpse.

Posted by: Hammerhead11 | June 12, 2010 3:18 AM | Report abuse

Just scan comments and sounds like some relating to racism issue.
To be honest from bottom of my heart this is NOT anything to do with racism but just the guy Obama himself who is inexperience, incompetent, NON-focus at all to all sensitive problems US are facing now.

I personally like, love Colin Powell, Condi, Clarence Thomas to name a few here.

NO experience is NOT a bad thing but one must have a good staffs, advisers who gave, suggest good advises, suggestions, strategy for one to make decision but man! here we have a bunch of bad guys in WH and congress as well.. Cheat, bribe..

American people were so nice (or probably so naive to listen to his TALK) to give this guy a chance so I hope they will be so in 2012 to some one else without experience to have a chance to run the country and I'm pretty sure that situation will never be worst than NOW...

If this guy can be president then any american can be too

2 days in WH Obam said will close Gizmo but what's happenning now NOBODY knows anything about this

Try to prosecute the Mohamed guy in NY instead for military court but again go NO where and NOBODY know anything

Go around the world kissing, bowing to people soliciting, begging their cooperation is so bad and NO-effective at all as they always love our money than anything else

I hope our Media up to now is lenient to this guy compare with President Bush and I hope they open their eyes, learn the lesson and start to give some tough talk to Obama from now on..

Posted by: kutani123 | June 12, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm smiling at your comments about Obama not showing enough emotion. Who would like to see THE PRESIDENT screaming and whining with his finger on "The Button"? There was a guy during the 1930's who shouted, pounded his fist, delivered highly emotional speeches. Do you remember that guy? Obama is a deep thinker and problem solver. He wants to get things right with input from the people he serves.

Posted by: washpost60 | June 13, 2010 2:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm smiling at your comments about Obama not showing enough emotion. Who would like to see THE PRESIDENT screaming and whining with his finger on "The Button"? There was a guy during the 1930's who shouted, pounded his fist, delivered highly emotional speeches. Do you remember that guy? Obama is a deep thinker and problem solver. He wants to get things right with input from the people he serves.

Posted by: washpost60 | June 13, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

As a child my parents taught me to control my emotions and not to act out in public. As an athlete I was taught discipline and self control through practice. As a military officer, I was taught to maintain my military bearing in the face of adversity. As a manager in a corporate setting I was taught to lead through example.
As a result I have come to expect no less than similiar behavior from my leaders, politicians, and friends.
If the President were to be angry and want to "Kick Ass", I would not think of him in terms of being an angry black man. If anything, I would probably associate his behavior with the caucasian half of him, i.e. the gun tottin', bible thumpin', redneck, white extremist view that is commonly attributed to those angry citizens out there in America.

Posted by: LN-TBSpeaksTheTruth | June 13, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Yeah this is what the country needs. A cool president. How about a president that listens to the people of this country. If he needs to be cool, take some of that cool and create me a fricken JOB.

Posted by: kenjs1 | June 13, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I feel your pain. Your hero is showing his clay feet, and you are reaching to rationalize and justify his actions or lack of action. Is the race card the best you can do? If so, you really need to find another profession.

Posted by: Bluesconnect | June 13, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I feel your pain. Your hero is showing his clay feet, and you are reaching to rationalize and justify his actions or lack of action. Is the race card the best you can do? If so, you really need to find another profession.

Posted by: Bluesconnect | June 13, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Finally someone has said it. Thank you so much.

The "public" keeps asking why he doesn't show that anger and pound his fist on the table and just go off.

The moment he does it, he becomes the "angry Black man" he can't control himself. I can see the headlines on FOX now "why can't he control himself", how can we trust him to hold conferences and deal with World Leaders he can't control himself.

I don't ever remember anyone asking George Bush why didn't he "go off" after 911, and if ever there was a time to do so that was it.

Deal with the fact that we have a brilliant Man running our Country who knows how to conduct himself and analyzes everything to come up with the right solution.

But in case you haven't noticed - watch the President's facial expression and you will know when he's had enough; his speech is very deliberate and concentrated.

Let the man "LEAD"

Posted by: meljac123 | June 13, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that comment sections like this are a colossal waste of time, but the negativity of the ones I glanced at compel me to reply. Anyone who dismisses what is said in this column probably is neither dark-skinned nor has many close friends who are. Every African American professional I have every known closely (several anyway)fits Mr. Capeheart's description perfectly. I believe it rings completely true.

Posted by: jsheats | June 14, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

The complete trash thrown at Mr. Obama is so far over the pail that it defies an intelligent response. As someone who knew Nixon, Reagan and Bush Jr. I can absolutely tell you none are even in the same solar system with Obama in intelligent grasp of reality or how to avoid unintended consequences from rash action taken without malice of forthought. If he is sucessful in repairing the damage done by just Bush Jr. alone we need to paint a big red S on his chest and run him for saint Hood. No human can ever repair the damage from Reagan's cuntry club stupidity.

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | June 14, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'll never understand fully what it is to be black, because I'm not black, so I'll take your word for it. Maybe you're right. But I for one, would dig it if he went off at BP. But maybe too many people would react badly though.

Posted by: Ezra2 | June 14, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I am a 47 year old single mother of 2. I can remember presidents back to Johnson. Never in my life have I heard a president use a cuss word until President Obama. On behalf of my 2 young girls who I am trying to teach to be faithful to God, family and country please President Obama---do not use cuss words on television. I don't care if he is black, white, yellow, purple, blue or green. As for her emotional no show....I agree with the others that want a president to show strength, power and coolness under extreme pressure. No, he does not need to sound off, yell, cuss or make threats. Just get the job done. I want to be able to take my girls to the pristine beaches and show them,,,,not tell them about what it used to be like.

Posted by: mbscpatricia | June 14, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I sensed all of this intuitively. In 2008 was hoping Obama would adopt We Will rock you as his campaign song, changing it to We will ba-rack you, but of course it's far too angry and incendiary a song for him to use, -even if it was written by an astrophysicist! LOL

Posted by: IsoldeJaneHolland | June 14, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama is not repressing rage, he is intellectually and emotionally distant. His style and personality reflect his elitism and aloof nature, he is disconnected from the outrage and frustration of the average American.

Posted by: polliwog2frog | June 14, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama is not repressing rage, he is intellectually and emotionally distant. His style and personality reflect his elitism and aloof nature, he is disconnected from the outrage and frustration of the average American.

Posted by: polliwog2frog | June 14, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I do not get this idea of the "Angry Black Man", where do you get the idea that this is just for black men? Any one be it black, white, hispanic whatever that is in those kinds of positions are expected to carry themselves in a respectful and controlled manner. In this day and age and with the direction our country has taken race has become less important than behavior.

Posted by: tigg1 | June 14, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I really love how the post requires so much information for their
various marketing or social polls to voice a comment..
But most of all, Mr. Carphart,
is this a joke? Taught from a young age? It sounds like a scene from "Roots" Go to You Tube and search for politicians going
"OFF" throwing chairs, landing punches, and chocking each other.
(Europe, Asia) Is this what you refer to as Black men freaking out?
Wasnt the reason that Howard Dean lost the Democratic nomination, because a "White man freaked"? The freaking
will be done by the citizens whom are in the midst of this
nightmare. Not to mention the destruction of the earth.

I just wish that commentary in Major rags could contain good writers, and thinkers. No wonder subscriptions are dwindling.

Posted by: larrydaniels98 | June 14, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

The press has failed the American people miserably. Has the press considered going to the Internet to get unbiased news and information? The same goes for the dumbed-down Americans. America has been governed Executive Orders for years. There have been several moves to have Obama removed. He is illegally our president. A federal judge has asked the Department of Army for certain documents that he needs to process the case against Obama. . The Dept. of Army has refused. Our military is corrupt. Obama has been to Kenya many times since he was elected. Youtube videos can attest to this fact. I have those videos on my hard drive.

Any president can issue Executive Orders without going through Congress. This is a normal procedure.

Would anyone care to comment?

Posted by: Duncandog | June 14, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse


Sorry, but I ain't buying it. I understand the plight of black men...that they have to be careful of being labelled an 'angry black man'. But the way I see it is this....

Obama is the LEADER of this country. And as such, he should be mad as hell on behalf of HIS PEOPLE and the assault perpetrated on our country, and the environment as a whole, by yet another self-interested corporation. Obama should care less at a time like this, if a few knuckleheads want to label him as 'angry'. Which group should Obama care more about pandering to....the everyday citizens of the U.S. who are crying over this environmental disaster and are looking for some leadership and action, or the racist minority who will jump at the chance to label him as 'angry'?

Posted by: yippee1999 | June 14, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Touché J.Capehart... Touché

Posted by: Cymone | June 14, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Touché J.Capehart... Touché

Posted by: Cymone | June 14, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Yet another almost mind-numbing creation of an"issue" out of whole cloth by what must rank as the most credulous, gibberingly foolish and infantile press ever to disgrace the Fourth Estate. Who is this mythical "we" that demands Obama show anger? It's a clamoring multitude of one -- Spike Lee.

Posted by: hoya72 | June 14, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Yet another almost mind-numbing creation of an"issue" out of whole cloth by what must rank as the most credulous, gibberingly foolish and infantile press ever to disgrace the Fourth Estate. Who is this mythical "we" that demands Obama show anger? It's a clamoring multitude of one -- Spike Lee.

Posted by: hoya72 | June 14, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Come on!Who believes this crap.Obama must had bought the Washington Post that is the only reason I can see for this lame story.

Posted by: Mrajaxy | June 14, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Tired of anyone who is looking for any sort of breaks or excuses based on the color of their skin ! Do they think it gives them a great leverage because the sensitivity of this prevents anyone from biting back for almost certain possibility of being called racist ? How funny would it sound if I told you that Clinton or Bush acted the way they did because they were white ! Absolutelly rediculous and undermining !

Posted by: wojcikeva | June 15, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Tired of anyone who is looking for any sort of breaks or excuses based on the color of their skin ! Do they think it gives them a great leverage because the sensitivity of this prevents anyone from biting back for almost certain possibility of being called racist ? How funny would it sound if I told you that Clinton or Bush acted the way they did because they were white ! Absolutelly rediculous and undermining !

Posted by: wojcikeva | June 15, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan Capehart, you are wrong. It assumes Obama views life as you do. Remember that he did not have a father as role model and I seriously doubt that Obama's mother expressed to him your views of an African American male living in the United States (how to suppress feelings and face expressions). I like your writing skills, but I would love to debate you in public regarding Obama's life as an African American in our wonderful country.

Let me know if you take my challenge of debating in public.

Javier

Posted by: javi1 | June 15, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

So there, it's your fault! Now give me more free stuff.

Posted by: hunter340 | June 15, 2010 5:18 AM | Report abuse

Why is it come down to that every time there is something dealing with an excuse it has to sound racial, the country as a whole it progressing past the race issue, but ppl keep bring it back by using it as articles. furthermore just keep in mind its the way the government rolls no matter who is president.

Posted by: Vrochanus | June 15, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Drunk with a delusional sense of authority, the American media has become the tool of a powerful and corrupt media conglomerate that calls the shots and picks the players.

Public perception of the media has changed and the trust once enjoyed is now destroyed.

The US Congress knows that Barack Hussein Obama is not constitutionally qualified for the office he holds.

The US Supreme Court knows what the constitutional condition of "natural born" citizen means. Even the most far left member of that court, Justice Ginsberg, is on record proclaiming that a "natural born" citizen is a birth child of TWO legal US citizens.

..Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was born to Barack Hussein Obama Sr.,
a citizen of Kenya and Stanley Ann Dunham, a citizen of the U.S.

Barack Obama is NOT a natural born citizen, as required by our Constitution, and therefore,Must be arested and charged with High Crimes and Treason!.

Natural Born means a Child Born on US Soil to 2 US Citizens.

http://www.youtube.com/user/CAPTDAX

Posted by: CAPT-DAX | June 15, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

prisident Obama was raised by white people who taught manors and control. Temperment is learned by example. The color of your skin has nothing to do with it. I'm a white woman who was raised by a mother and father who had tempers. I've learned by prayer and surrouding my self with positive people who control life's crisis in a positive way. There is a time and place to display anger. Wisdom, comes first. Then when it is time to raise your voice, people will listen!

Posted by: PriDiana | June 15, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

prisident Obama was raised by white people who taught manors and control. Temperment is learned by example. The color of your skin has nothing to do with it. I'm a white woman who was raised by a mother and father who had tempers. I've learned by prayer and surrouding my self with positive people who control life's crisis in a positive way. There is a time and place to display anger. Wisdom, comes first. Then when it is time to raise your voice, people will listen!

Posted by: PriDiana | June 15, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

It is a sad commentary when the screeching from fringe groups clamors for a show of anger and rage. This is more of the same "mob rule" mentality that we have seen portrayed countless times throughout history to catastrophic and tragic consequence. If only temperance were a valued trait, but alas, it is very rare and rather extinct on most talk radio.
[to the single mother of two who never heard a president swear before, she is old enough to remember the Nixon tapes most assuredly, and what about the fine example former VP Cheney dropped when trying to diss Senator Leahy? All made very public, unless the sand was particularly high those days. Geesh. What a glaring example of selective memory!]

Posted by: Finnegans | June 15, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

It is a sad commentary when the screeching from fringe groups clamors for a show of anger and rage. This is more of the same "mob rule" mentality that we have seen portrayed countless times throughout history to catastrophic and tragic consequence. If only temperance were a valued trait, but alas, it is very rare and rather extinct on most talk radio.
[to the single mother of two who never heard a president swear before, she is old enough to remember the Nixon tapes most assuredly, and what about the fine example former VP Cheney dropped when trying to diss Senator Leahy? All made very public, unless the sand was particularly high those days. Geesh. What a glaring example of selective memory!]

Posted by: Finnegans | June 15, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

After reading through several of the comments here, I have to wonder how many of the posters are African-American?

Mr. Capehart isn't saying that all Black men respond with anger. What he's saying is that professional Black men who hold positions of high esteem have to carry themselves in a certain manner in order to get beyond the racial stereotype society tends to paint Black men as, i.e., thugs, disgruntle, bitter, angry! As an African-American male, I understand exactly what he's talking about.

I work in a professional office environment and it's not uncommon for people to look oddly at me when I DON'T respond w/anger or indignation due to a certain situation in a way that my white counterparts would typically expect of me due to the color of my skin. I've often heard replies from my peers who have openly stated to me their suprise at how I handle certain situations, some going as far to say that, "I don't act Black." My reply to them - not to be disrespectful, but merely curious - "How do you think a Black man should have reacted?" As expected, that question always throws them off even with the closest of my white friends and co-workers, but their reply is always the same, "...I expected you to be more angry about it."

While I understand the public outcry over this BP oil spill and the government's public image in its wake, I also understand that there are some out there who will never give this President a fair shake due to the color of his skin (not to mention the political particanship views/ideologies). I've stated to friends, family and co-workers alike that this President will have to work twice as hard and conduct himself with dignity and class at all times because he is Black. (Yes, truth is he is of biracial decent - a white mother and Black African father - but what the public sees first and foremost is a Black man holding the highest office in the land and arguably the most powerful position in the world!) So, of course he has to show restraint and maintain his temperment even in the worst of times. To put things in perspective, nobody believed President G. W. Bush needed to show anger when he addressed the nation at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11, a disaster that was far worse than the situation this nation is now seeing unfold before us on a daily basis.

I say to the readers be more concerned with what he does and whether or not his actions serves the affected region and this nation well rather than how he displays his emotions. Whether he pounds on his desk in anger or thumps his chest with pride makes no difference to me. What matters most is results. There's plenty of blame to go around between BP and the federal government, but from what I've seen our President is doing the very best he can to ensure this problem is resolved as quickly as possible and that those who are grossly affected by it receive fair unabatted restitution. That concerns me far greater than his displays of emotion.

Posted by: getsumome | June 15, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

A man of conviction! Let's go back to the poor me syndrome! How can a man write an article and leave out the most important fact in reference to calling this President Black! He is multi racial and is NOT Black! Ya know you remind me of the past where a Black person can throw out lit matches and be called an activist but as soon as someone challenges you they are a racist. Keep throwing those lit matches Capehart...I have a bunch of Black friends and every time one loses their temper do you really think I will reference back to your article! How did you get your job?

Posted by: vball1313 | June 15, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

it has become increasingly difficult to negotiate the lack of understanding white folks have about black people.
we are taught what mr. capehart is writing about. it's unfortunate that i grew up with those statements resonating in my head.
it's racial insensitivity. not having black friends or seeing the world from a myopic point of view or the undercover just plain racist view.
for all those progressive thinking white folks i salute you.
for the rest of you. as my uncle rufus would always say "get your head out your ass"

Posted by: doc411ja | June 15, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

it has become increasingly difficult to negotiate the lack of understanding white folks have about black people.
we are taught what mr. capehart is writing about. it's unfortunate that i grew up with those statements resonating in my head.
it's racial insensitivity. not having black friends or seeing the world from a myopic point of view or the undercover just plain racist view.
for all those progressive thinking white folks i salute you.
for the rest of you. as my uncle rufus would always say "get your head out your ass"

Posted by: doc411ja | June 15, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

it has become increasingly difficult to negotiate the lack of understanding white folks have about black people.
we are taught what mr. capehart is writing about. it's unfortunate that i grew up with those statements resonating in my head.
it's racial insensitivity. not having black friends or seeing the world from a myopic point of view or the undercover just plain racist view.
for all those progressive thinking white folks i salute you.
for the rest of you. as my uncle rufus would always say "get your head out your ass"

Posted by: doc411ja | June 15, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I can only say that as a non-racist white man, I am sick of Obama being referred to as a black man. Is ethnicity the color of your skin? Please remember, his mother is white Caucasian or, is it that women are not important in determining race?

Obama is the first 1/2 black president, which I still believe is historic and makes a clear statement but, all this dribble about how white people just don't understand him is just ridiculous.

Get over the color distinction and move on already.

Posted by: dodadnules | June 15, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

i often would venture opinions or make choices that some might not prefer, yet would avoid doing so when/where that would, as experience has informed me (for only 64 years!), such amounts, primarily, to whatever as when reactions might likely only prove counterproductive for myself and others and aside from my respect for comity or better when a context of discovery can be useful--such as astute (often "interactive") journalism (if no other activities?)
can provide, for example, when there seems no agenda only for much provocation (etc.), and for very little more instead, etc.

Posted by: cdmcl3 | June 15, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

But he DOES get angry; the day after a poll shows that the American people are angry about something he suddenly jumps on the issue with stern language. Remember the AIG bonuses that the WH knew about for two weeks before everyone else did and how the day after the polls showed the people were outraged he gave his speech threatening action?

If what is said in this article (as much of it as I could stand to read that is) is true it is very sad that black people choose to impose those type of self limiting thoughts on themselves. On the other hand, I have never seen rage like I have in the videos of some of the black rappers...so which is it?

Posted by: fawls13 | June 15, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

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