9:00pm August 5, 2011

Fox Nation Continues Race Baiting for Obama’s Birthday


President Obama turned 50 this Thursday and dared to invite several guests to come help him celebrate it, including a black rapper, a black basketball star and a black comedian.

Straight reporting on his birthday party was not enough for Fox Nation, however, which reposted the birthday recap appearing on Politico this morning with the incendiary headline: “Obama’s Hip Hop BBQ Didn’t Create Jobs.”

The headline was accompanied by a slide image featuring President Obama, former NBA player Charles Barkley, Comedian Chris Rock and Rapper/Mogul Jay Z.  Pictures featuring the array of prominent white guests in attendance were omitted.

To make it look like a true party from the “hood,” Fox Nation made sure to highlight the dinner menu, which included among other things barbecue ribs – a comfort food for many, which happens to be stereotypically associated with blacks.

The “report” also made sure to mention that hip hop and R&B music were played at the party as well.

Subtle with a hint of subliminal racism at the same time. Clever.

Just as quickly as the post went up, people responded, scribbling the vilest and most despicable things they could say about the president, his guests, and blacks in general.

While the Fox Nation post did little in the way of amplifying the Politico piece, today’s piece no doubt helped drive traffic to the website and encourage cowards cloaked in the veil of anonymity to spew whatever ignorant things they could come up with. All in a day’s work for salacious headlines, suggestive imagery and slanted reporting.

No doubt, Fox Nation knew that once black and liberal media caught wind of the post, many more people would gravitate to the site, read it, pass in on to their friends, comment and engage in back and forth exchanges with other readers.

Nearly 2,000 comments have been logged as of this article’s posting.

This race baiting is not new, however.  It is all part of Fox Nation’s modus operandi.

Media Matters just put up a post listing a sampling of other similar race-baiting headlines, including “White Kid Beaten up Because of Slavery” and “Reparations by way of Health Care reform” and “Big Union recruiting minority army for Obama.”

Yet blacks are the ones always accused of pulling the race card.

It seemed Fox duped everyone with this clever ploy at garnishing excessive page views on a Friday, a day many people are unwinding and preparing for the weekends.

This was a non-veiled attempt by Fox Nation to stimulate those among its readership who harbor deep disdain for what they may perceive as an intrusion of blacks and black culture into the sacred halls of the White House.  After all, how dare the president open the doors once shut out to people of color?

The post was also an obvious jab at the president.  Sure, during the nation’s tough economic times, it may have been better to forgo a lavish ceremony so as not as to rub salt in the wounds of the many jobless Americans.  However, the Obamas paid for the party with their own money and used no tax payer dollars.

Never in the history of this country has it been a crime for the president to celebrate his birthday.

This latest political stunt ends a dramatic week in our country, the same week that Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford returned to Washington, D.C. to cast her vote during Tuesday’s debt ceiling proceeding.  These events provide a lesson in contrast, as some say shooter Jared Lee Loughner was stimulated to his actions by hateful political vitriol.

It has been less than a year since that incident and the toxic and detrimental rhetoric has continued, escalating during the debt ceiling debate to a fever pitch:

  • Last Friday, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Co.) went on a radio show and referred to the president as a tar baby – a term that to some means “a sticky situation,” but to others is perceived as a derogatory term for a black person.
  • Monday, during a closed-door Democratic meeting Vice President Joe Biden referred to the Tea Party members as terrorists for the way they handled negotiations during the debt deficit battle.
  • Tuesday night, during a debate on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC guest host show, Rush Limbaugh referred to Obama as Sharpton’s  “boy.”
  • Yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray  LaHood said lawmakers were “holding Americans hostage” over controversial issues during an impasse over the Federal Aviation Administration funding.

It seems politics and politeness cannot always coexist, and with a black president race baiting and playing the race card  has become par for course. It is a lazy, but effective tool for stirring emotions and igniting passions, but it works both ways.

Ask Donald Trump. After demanding to see the president’s undergraduate academic records this year, thousands of angry blacks, some who may have been a-political, politically agnostic, also got aroused and took offense.

Certainly, this is not the end of these types of stories, but Fox Nation should be aware that its actions can work against its interest as well.

Page views last a few hours or a few days.

Votes cast in an election will last another four years.

About the Author

Jeneba Ghatt
Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt represents small, women, and minority owned business and technology companies at The Ghatt Law Group LLC, the nations’ first communications law firm owned by women and minorities. She's won landmark cases on behalf of her clients which include national civil rights and public interest organizations. In addition to actively authoring several blogs, being a radio show host and sitting on the boards of three non-profits, she is a tech junkie who has been developing online web content since the very early years of the Internet, 1991 to be precise! Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks, on her blog, Jenebaspeaks, which covers the intersection of politics and technology or on her Politics of Raising Children blog at The Washington Times Communities section. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and have complete editorial independence from any Politic365 partners, sponsors, or advertisers. For additional information about Politic365, please visit http://politic365.com/about/.



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  3. IbelieveGod

    I really can’t believe the level of ignorant bigotry that is frothing in this country. If you think Black people are angry now, keep this shit up. You should fear us fighting back!

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