I’m going to continue posting photos of our President from time to time because the caricature that has been painted of him by the usual suspects is not anything like what is really happening. It is sad how ill-informed and mis-informed the general public is and maybe these photos, if seen by these folks will make them realize he is a very serious, hard-working, intelligent and caring man. And, Pete Souza and the other photographers are amazing. (The captions are from the Flickr feed.)
President Barack Obama fist bumps a young person reaching through the door at the Cidade de Deus (City of God) favela Community Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 20, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama is reflected in a mirror in the Outer Oval Office as talks with Chief of Staff Bill Daley, left, and Vice President Joe Biden in the doorway of the Oval Office, April 8, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama meets with staff in the Oval Office before a statement to the press about the ongoing budget negotiations, April 5, 2011. Clockwise from the President are: Director of Speechwriting Jon Favreau; Press Secretary Jay Carney; Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew; Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs Rob Nabors; Chief of Staff Bill Daley; Assistant to the President and Special Advisor Phil Schiliro; Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; and Senior Advisor David Plouffe. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama sits alone on the patio outside the Oval Office, following a meeting with his senior advisors, April 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
After how many weeks of Donald Trump peddling his racist tripe in the media, it seems like an eternity, the media is finally starting to look into Ole’ Donald’s background. It’s a typical progression for the media, give a platform to a nut, build them up, put them on a pedestal and then knock them down. I’m all for the knocking down part, but the building up should never happen in the first damn place. Throughout this whole charade, I’ve been waiting for someone in the media to look into his past, give us some context for why this man has such warped opinions and thought processes. Justin Elliot at Salon.com has dug up a little history about the Donald and I believe that if it had been brought to light a few weeks ago, the whole birther bullshit wouldn’t have gotten to the point it has…maybe, maybe not. From Salon.com…(emphasis mine)
The discrimination case began in the earliest days of Trump’s career, when he was still in his 20s.
Fred Trump, Donald’s father, was, unlike his son, a self-made man. He made his fortune by building thousands of units of middle-class housing in Brooklyn and Queens. But in the early 1970s, Donald was made president of the family company.
One of Donald’s first challenges came in October 1973, when the Justice Department hit the Trump Organization with a major discrimination suit for violating the Fair Housing Act. The Times reported:
… the Government contended that Trump Management had refused to rent or negotiate rentals “because of race and color.” It also charged that the company had required different rental terms and conditions because of race and that it had misrepresented to blacks that apartments were not available.
The journalist Gwenda Blair reported in her 2005 Trump biography that while Fred Trump had sought to combat previous discrimination allegations through “quiet diplomacy,” Donald decided to go on the offensive. He hired his friend Roy Cohn, the celebrity lawyer and former Joseph McCarthy aide, to countersue the government for making baseless charges against the company. They sought a staggering $100 million in damages.
A few months after the government filed the suit, Trump gave a combative press conference at the New York Hilton in which he went after the Justice Department for being too friendly to welfare recipients. He “accused the Justice Department of singling out his corporation because it was a large one and because the Government was trying to force it to rent to welfare recipients,” the Times reported. Trump added that if welfare recipients were allowed into his apartments in certain middle-class outer-borough neighborhoods, there would be a “massive fleeing from the city of not only our tenants, but communities as a whole.”
They will ruin the neighborhood, you know. This is the classic “white flight” phenomenon that Wikipedia explains for us very well.
The business practices of redlining, mortgage discrimination, and racially restrictive covenants contributed to the overcrowding and physical deterioration of areas where minorities were confined. Such conditions are considered to have contributed to the out-migration of other populations. The limited facilities for banking and insurance, and other social services, and extra fees increased their cost to residents in predominantly non-white suburbs and city neighborhoods. According to the environmental geographer Laura Pulido, the historical processes of suburbanization and urban decentralization contribute to contemporary environmental racism.
It didn’t surprise me one bit that Donald Trump embraced that idea, just looking at the man makes me think I saw his picture in the dictionary under “racist landlord”. He could be the poster boy for the concept with that smug, arrogant look on his face. There is more to the story from Salon.com…
But it didn’t end there. In 1978, the government filed a motion for supplemental relief, charging that the Trump company had not complied with the 1975 agreement. The government alleged that the Trump company “discriminated against blacks in the terms and conditions of rental, made statements indicating discrimination based on race and told blacks that apartments were not available for inspection and rental when, in fact, they are,” the Times reported. Trump again denied the charges.
It’s not clear what happened with the government’s request for further action (and compensation for victims), but in 1983, a fair-housing activist cited statistics that two Trump Village developments had white majorities of at least 95 percent.
At the very least, the case is something for reporters to ask about next time Trump touts his “great relationship with the blacks
It would have been awesome had the media thrown this information into his face every time he raised his racist birther crap, wouldn’t it? Is the media really that damn slow on the uptake? Or do they like the ratings and the hoopla at the expense of hurting this country and the millions of people who had to witness it. And the damage is there, it isn’t going away in a hurry and in fact there will be residuals for years to come. It has tainted a whole generation of impressionable minds, which is exactly what racists like to do, pass it on to future generations. I personally don’t have a lot of confidence in the media to moderate this type of event anymore, they are complicit in it and have found a way to make money off it. Shameful!
It seems that not many people, including the media understand that the mere act of asking the question, “why did President Obama wait so long to release his birth certificate”, is offensive. It continues to legitimize the haters and racists who have been demanding it in the face of overwhelming evidence that’s been around since 2008 in the primaries. Asking that question implies that there was a valid reason all along to ask him, there hasn’t been, it’s all been a manufactured meme to attempt to de-legitimize our first black president. Eugene Robinson touches on this idea very eloquently…(emphasis mine)
Two ugly forces had to combine to produce the birth certificate sideshow, which can only be described as a national disgrace. One is a calculated attempt by Obama’s political opponents to de-legitimize his presidency.
It seems obvious to me that this campaign to paint the president as some sort of usurper — this insistence that despite winning the popular vote by a healthy margin and the electoral vote by a landslide, he wasn’t really elected — has everything to do with race.
Does anyone disagree? Well, just imagine what the birthers would be saying if Obama — like his Republican opponent in 2008, John McCain — had been born in the Panama Canal Zone. Or think of the uproar if Obama — like George W. Bush in 2000 — had lost the popular vote but won the electoral college.
Look, I’m not surprised that the first black president faces unprecedented scrutiny about his origins, and I hope Obama’s not surprised, either. This sort of thing comes with being a historic “first,” and there’s no way around it. To those deniers who can’t come to terms with the fact of the Obama presidency, I have nothing to offer but this: Yes, he’s smarter, richer, luckier and better looking than you, and he’s your president. Yours, mine and ours. And he’s black. Get over it.
But race alone couldn’t have generated the whole birther phenomenon. Also required was an increasing tendency for facts to be treated as personal accoutrements, as easily adopted or discarded as the newest-model smartphone.
If a fact is inconvenient, just ignore it. Put it aside. Surely there’s someone out there who’s selling a counterfeit version that might be more to your liking.
The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s adage that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts” seems so last century. I’m not talking about competing worldviews, I’m talking about a lack of agreement on what is provably, objectively true and what is not. Political polarization is old hat. Empirical polarization — a rejection of this nation’s founding Enlightenment principles — is something new.
In my mind, this last point about objective reality and political polarization is tied to a similar idea I posted about a while back, the fact that we have several right-wing sources of misinformation, primarily Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. They create a false meme, a lie, an exaggeration or run a fucking edited video that creates a false reality, it is then repeated and various Republicans get the memo on the talking points and spread out across the media to continue it. What is disgusting is that often, the lies have already been exposed, yet the media keeps going with them using words like “critics are saying” or similar excuses. The next step in that process is to commission a poll where they can verify that their meme generator worked. That then gives the media cover to keep the lie going, if so many people in a poll believe it, it must be newsworthy. When that lie gets established in the lexicon and starts to die down, the next one begins in the same cycle as above. It’s quite insidious.