T Nation

Finger Shaking at the President


By now most of us have seen the photos of the AZ governor wagging her finger at Obama on the tarmac. Listening to black radio this morning, you'd have thought she had a white hood on and called the President the N word.

I can't help but to think that there is no discussion about this at all if a governor wagged his finger at Bush. I don't think there is.

What really struck me was an outraged radio host talking about "sticking up for the President" and "stop having a slave mentality" - when in fact I find this to be possibly having a "slave" or "victim" mentality.

Bush was criticized all the time. Lampooned. White people did not feel the need to "rally" behind him and defend him. Obama holds the President's office of a Superpower...and we're worried that the Governor in a free nation raised her finger at him while making a presumably heated point?

The clear implication here made by some is that she only raised her finger because he is black. I find that conclusion troubling - that's just my opinion. I think wanting to assume that, IS a victims mentality.

Can the argument be made that she "disrespected" the "office of the President"? I'm not sure. We live in a free nation where spirited discourse is protected by law and encouraged within our government and its citizens.

Whether or not she disrespected the office of the President, it wasn't necessarily fueled by Obama's race.



People are only complaining because she's white.


Brewer is another politician, wanting to get re-elected, playing to her base.

"Sticking-it-to" the Media and/or the President is proving to be a winning strategy.



From what I read, president Obama brought up the subject of Brewer's book and started the confrontation about how he was portrayed in it. I don't know that she did this to play to her base. Though I do agree that it's probably good for her, and she may be playing to her base now in reaction to what happened.


The story was that Obama was upset by a chapter in Brewers book where she said the President "lectured" her on immigration issues and cut their meeting short.


I believe that she is probably pissed off that her state is trying to enforce FEDERAL immigration laws and are being sued by the Presidents right hand Attorney General.

I would be mad as fuck too.

Also Arizona is opening their own investigation on the "Fast and Furious" case where the Attorney General's staff plead the 5th amendment before congress.

I'm sure Obama was not too happy about that either.


that aside, what about the real or imagined race issue?


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I honestly don't think it's a race issue.

I think that she is pissed because she is trying to solve a problem in her state...using federal law and the President is suing her to stop it.

That would piss me off something fierce.

Perhaps if a white male was doing the finger wagging it might be different. But women in politics are about as rare as minorities.


This entire episode is ridiculous and says more about "us" and the "media" than it does about either Brewer or President Obama, both of whom this episode says practically nothing about.

First of all, "black radio" is hardly a barometer for the national mood. Secondly, there is no doubt in my mind that any governor who showed some level of discernible anger toward President Bush would receive criticism comparable to that being leveled against Brewer right now. From different people of course, but the criticism would be there and there certainly would have been people rallying behind Bush to some extent.

Also, we really don't know anything about what was said or anything about the history between the two. From what I can gather, the only person who was there and actually heard the exchange and has said anything about it was Brewer, so naturally her account is at least a little suspect and hardly the basis upon which to base our opinions of what happened. She could have pointed her finger at him for any reason. And that's all this really is; a finger-pointing and both people feeling perhaps a little bit snubbed for who-knows-what reason.

This only becomes a race issue for people who want to make it a race issue. The reality is that if you were so inclined to, you could turn any issue, disagreement, public flap, etc. between a white and a black into a race issue, especially when one person is so much more highly-ranked within an organization or other such entity than another. The same thing could be said about the sexes. To me, those who want to turn it into a race issue when, in this instance, there is practically no reason to suspect that race played any part in the issue lose all credibility and relevancy with me when they play that card.



His race is a real issue for some...and not for others.

Each individual has to decide that for him or herself. People will say (and write) on the internet and to your face stuff that is a completely opposite to what is in their heart. Unless one is Omnipotent, you can't measure what's in someone's heart. I sure can't.

But make no mistake; the Presidents Race IS as issue for a lot of people.



And do you think it's more of an issue for people that don't like him or people that do like him?




The only people I know that really seem to care about his race and actually have commented on his race in regard to his presidential status are ones who support him.

Not saying the other side doesn't exist, just that it's not my experience.

TV personalities support him on the basis of race all the time. I'm not aware of a TV personality whose done the opposite.

I'd even go as far as to say that many people who don't like him on the basis of policy give him a pass for fear of being labeled a racist.


Why wasn't Obama equally scolded for saying the actions of a White cop were that "police acted stupidly" ? Would Obama have said the same thing if the suspect was White rather than a Black professor ? I understand that the cop was not a governor, but does that really matter ? He scolded that cop publicly as well.

Why did he call Sonia Sotomayor a "wise latina" when no other president brought up race when appointing other justices to the Supreme Court ?

This guy has race cards up both his sleeves.


And the people that Body brought up have most likely had vastly different experiences from you.

Unless you know people and acquaintences extremely well (and many times we don't); what they "say" and what they "feel" can be much different.

This isn't related to you, Duce (because you've always been a straight shooter); but I do become wary...even suspicious...of people who seem to only have interactions with people where "race doesn't matter".

That's GREAT if it's true; but I'm afraid that too often its not.



Bodyguard said this was a radio show?

Conservative talk radio, (and all other forms of conservative media outlets), ripped the President a new one...(and continue to do so)...with every incident you brought up, Max.

And their overall influence is equal to, (and in some cases greater than), the "MSLM".




So when a president scolds someone it's ok, but when someone scolds him, it's not ?

Which is worse, someone pointing a finger in your face not knowing what is being verbally exchanged, or being scolded on national TV without knowing the facts or reasons behind it ?

I do not get star struck, I don't get the vapors when someone in the media graces my presence. We have heard differing stories as to why this happened, and what was said, but what we KNOW is that this president has CLEARLY brought up race on a couple of occasions, it would not be hard to envision that he would do it again.

You cannot have it both ways, either you call accusations of racism all the time, or none of the time.



When did I say it was "okay" in any case?

You're creating a dichotomy that I don't have.

The President spoke about the officer without having all the facts.

Brewer is playing to her base.

Talk Media plays to THEIR base.

ALL politicians play to their base.

I'm missing your "both ways" point, Max.




When did I say it was "okay" in any case?

You're creating a dichotomy that I don't have.

The President spoke about the officer without having all the facts.

Brewer is playing to her base.

Talk Media plays to THEIR base.

ALL politicians play to their base.

I'm missing your "both ways" point, Max.



Actually, he said it was a black radio station that was outraged and defending the President.

Just sayin'