Video: A “legitimate question”?

posted at 1:35 pm on August 1, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama got heckled at a town-hall meeting in Florida this morning by a group of young men over his alleged inattentiveness to the “attacks that are made against the African community … by the same US government you aspire to lead”. Obama did a good job of restoring order by promising to address their question — which he called “legitimate”:

Protestor: So my question is: In the face of the numerous attacks that are made against the African community or the black community, by the same US government that you aspire to lead — and we are talking about attacks like the subprime mortgage that you spoke of — it wasn’t just a general ambiguous kind of phenomena, a phenomena that targeted the African community and Latino community, attacks like the killing of Sean Bell by the New York police department and right here in St. Petersburg by the St. Petersburg police, and Jena 6 and Hurricane Katrina, and the list goes on. In the face of all these attacks that are clearly being made on the African community, why is it that you have not had the ability to not one time speak to the interests and even speak on the behalf of the oppressed and exploited African community or black community in this country?

Obama: Well, I, ah, I guess, I… Hold on a second, everybody. I want everybody to be respectful. That’s why we are having a town hall meeting. That’s democracy at work. And he asked a legitimate question, so I want to give him an answer.

Does Obama really think that the US government has made “numerous attacks” on the African community, or that this allegation has legitimacy? The protestors didn’t even provide a single example of the US government attacking anyone. The three incidents involving the police were at worst examples of municipal efforts, not federal, and Katrina was a hurricane with spectacularly bad local and state response, complicated by federal bungling.

Not once in his response did Obama point out the logical fallacies of the question, nor did he defend the American government against the charge of deliberately attacking African-Americans in the present tense, as the question was asked and intended. Casting this as a “legitimate question” calls into question Obama’s grasp of civics as well as his outlook on the government he “aspire[s] to lead”.


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Plants by the Obama campaign. He practiced his response so that people would be really impressed that he has ‘leadership’ skills and can go off prompter.

carbon_footprint on August 1, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Nor did he try to bring any balance at all to the Jena 6 “story” which turned out to be a whole lot more “nuanced” than Obama and his questioner assert.

funky chicken on August 1, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Ba-rookie Obama

Halley on August 1, 2008 at 1:41 PM

That pointy, bony finger of Obama’s makes me puke.

JiangxiDad on August 1, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Still say they were a plant. And his non-answer is an answer. He does agree. But he didn’t SAY he agreed. So he can deflect either way.

Skywise on August 1, 2008 at 1:41 PM

carbon_footprint on August 1, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Wasn’t the guy a Uhuru member? If so, they are far more radical than Obama could hope to ever be. I doubt they’d plant someone like that.

lorien1973 on August 1, 2008 at 1:42 PM

After reading the comment section, I sent a comment, but msnbc won’t publish it. Here it is.

All you are saying is that Obama handled the situation well, he looked presidential, etc. But what did he actually say to address the young man’s question?

First of all, he did not correct anything, it is taken as granted our government ‘attack the black community’.

Second, he said he had spoken out about it (those issues), where is the deed? He is uniquely in a position to do something as a US Senator, unlike Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton. The only original legislation Obama proposed is the Global Poverty Act, which definitely did NOT address those issues.

Third, Obama running a UNITY campaign ‘will unite our nation together’. Please demonstrate one single hot button issue that divided conservatives and liberals that Obama reached a compromise. Note compromise reads as he will sacrifice some of his principles to reach an agreement, which of his principles is he willing to sacrifice?

Fourth, the Global Poverty Act, which amounts to rubbing Joe to give it to Juan/Juanita, will have a similar second act domestically. Does it bother any one that bulk of the money is not helping the world poor at all? Look at the south side Chicago district Obama represented. The taxpayer money he secured for community improvement went to his buddies who do favors for him. Obama’s comment was essentially “It is up to the City and State to pursuit accountability”. Which ‘new and improved version’ of politics do you hope to get?

Sir Napsalot on August 1, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Doesn’t bother me. People can be legitimately concerned about something that isn’t true. Politicians shouldn’t only have to answer questions the majority thinks are legitimate, that’s a way to suppress the minority.

It’s not the questions, it’s the answers that matter. Saying that he has not seen any evidence, outside of fed money to planned parenthood perhaps, of deliberate suppression of the black community. Unless he has, then he should man-up and say that.

Spirit of 1776 on August 1, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Plants by the Obama campaign. He practiced his response so that people would be really impressed that he has ‘leadership’ skills and can go off prompter.

carbon_footprint on August 1, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Interesting….and would play into their decision to go hard with the race card too. It’s an attempt to fire up the old white liberals again, with Katrina and the Jena 6 crap, which a lot of folks still swallow hook, line, and sinker.

funky chicken on August 1, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Interesting….and would play into their decision to go hard with the race card too. It’s an attempt to fire up the old white liberals again, with Katrina and the Jena 6 crap, which a lot of folks still swallow hook, line, and sinker.

funky chicken on August 1, 2008 at 1:43 PM

very true.. they always fall for it. Chicken Little comes to mind.

Nice to see you back.

upinak on August 1, 2008 at 1:45 PM

Get ready for 4 more years of the same, when Obama (PBUH)(SAW)(SWT) gets elected; and be ready for Reparations as well..they’re coming, courtesy the new “Messiah”.

The interesting thing in all this, Obama doesn’t have a drop of African-American blood in his veins, he has African blood…

He’s a self-radicalized racist delusional fraudlent lying Marxist-Muslim practicing “Taqiyah”.

Hail to the Chief…

Dale in Atlanta on August 1, 2008 at 1:45 PM

Wasn’t the Jena 6 a group of 6 black kids that beat a white kid within inches of his life? I do not understand why the Black Community sees that as racist or unjustice towards blacks?

Hunt035 on August 1, 2008 at 1:46 PM

“Guys, guys, just wait till I’m elected, you’ll all have seats on SCOTUS… for now, pipe down, ok? wink wink…”

max1 on August 1, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Plants by the Obama campaign. ***

carbon_footprint on August 1, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Since when do “protestors” get to give mini speeches as questions? This obviously was a plant designed to distract attention from Obama’s outrageous race baiting. What’s scarier is that CNN reported that “hundreds” of his fans started chanting “yes we can” during Obama’s answer.

Outlander on August 1, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Does Obama really think that the US government has made “numerous attacks” on the African community, or that this allegation has legitimacy?

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm………………. yeah?

Seven Percent Solution on August 1, 2008 at 1:47 PM

How come, with all of the racist comments by Jerimiah Wright, Jesse Jackson, Ludacris and punks like these guys, whites in general and McCain specifically, are constantly walking on egg shells, afraid of being called “racists?” Are blacks looking for Obama to be “our” president, or just “their” president?

Star20 on August 1, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Not once in his response did Obama point out the logical fallacies of the question, nor did he defend the American government against the charge of deliberately attacking African-Americans in the present tense, as the question was asked and intended.

This is a mindset that is alive and well here in New Orleans. There is still a vocal group that believes the Lower 9th Ward was deliberately flooded to get rid of black neighborhoods. The fact that the adjoining (predominantly white) Parish and also one of the more affluent sections of the city was equally flooded out doesn’t make a dent in the idea that the Industrial Canal levee was intentionally destroyed.

Any question about public policy is “legitimate” but this one is so filled with bias that the appropriate answer is to debunk the question not tacitly agree with the premise by leaving the allegations unchallenged.

highhopes on August 1, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Be weary of any group that contains the word revolution in it.

Entelechy on August 1, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Black Urban Myths about the govt conspiring against blacks are NOT legitimate, they’re actually very harmful. Govt created AIDS, they introduced crack cocaine into the inner cities, they injected black men with syphilis, there are a hundred of them. Obama, how about showing some leadership and exposing these myths for the hurtful frauds they are. Did he ever address this issue in the Q&A, or was that another empty promise?

Paul-Cincy on August 1, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Not a real good day for this to happen to Obama, I think. If anything, he desperately needs to get the media OFF the race issue because he knows he has played it so badly this week. Independent white voters will see nothing admirable or statesmanlike in this video.

rockmom on August 1, 2008 at 1:49 PM

If Obama was really the candidate of “hope” and “change”, he would say that many in the black community unfortunately believe a lot of incorrect things.

But then it’s more important to indulge black fairy tales and avoid offending them, than it is to tell them the truth.

Because that might just set them free of the white, liberal plantation they serve on.

NoDonkey on August 1, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Yes. Hurricane Katrina was a coordinated attack against minorities. That evvvviiillllll Booooosh bastard has always had it in for people that don’t look like him and have funny names. (Close your eyes and forget about the inept local leadership) Give me a break. Racism? Yes it is alive and well in this country.

Side note: Notice a twang in St. Barry’s voice? He seems so, how do you say, articulate when on television. Where does that accent come from? Is that southern Chicago or southern Columbia or southern Harvard? I’m confused.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 1:49 PM

FauxBama has no intentions of defending the United States government. WHY, because he and wife hate the United States, and haven’t yet proven that he himself is a legitimate U.S. citizen. Still waiting for him to produce a legal, certified copy of his Indonesian, Kenyan, or American birth certificate? It’s believed, that he has more than one to choose from! This issue isn’t going to go away … AXELROD!

byteshredder on August 1, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Someone please tell me why I can’t sue for racial indifference?

If Jesse Jackson or some moron like him says something about me, my family or being white in general, why can’t I sue him or get a gag order to shut him up. Would I be concidered a racist even though I can actually trace “slaves” in my hetitage as well as Native americans?

I am so tired of the race baiting rejects of the world.

upinak on August 1, 2008 at 1:50 PM

Does Obama really think that the US government has made “numerous attacks” on the African community, or that this allegation has legitimacy?

YES, HE DOES!

CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN……..????

sarc/

Rovin on August 1, 2008 at 1:51 PM

Wasn’t the Jena 6 a group of 6 black kids that beat a white kid within inches of his life? I do not understand why the Black Community sees that as racist or unjustice towards blacks?

Hunt035 on August 1, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Because of the criminal charges percieved as inequitable compared to a similar incident involving white kids. Throw in the abilty for Sharpton and Jackson to mobilize “marches” in a poor rural Louisiana community and you have a recipe for black outrage.

highhopes on August 1, 2008 at 1:51 PM

Last time I checked, the “government only attacks white women and children.”

el hombre on August 1, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Maybe he did get that open letter from The Nation and is trying to tact back left? I, Shitthead McLibtaard, hope so.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Does Obama really think that the US government has made “numerous attacks” on the African community, or that this allegation has legitimacy?

Good question for McCain to ask instead of wasting time lauding Pelosi.

highhopes on August 1, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Note Messiah’s words, “You’ll have a chance to answer your question.” Plant theory? Plausible. He needs to keep up his street cred.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 1:54 PM

white women and children

Links don’t work. Try Ruby Ridge and Waco.

el hombre on August 1, 2008 at 1:54 PM

Agree. Plant, plant, plant.

“Iron my shirt” plant.

Rhinoboy on August 1, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Great answer…….NOT! Bring on the debates

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 1, 2008 at 1:57 PM

So… the government targeted the black community with a hurricane. That’s pretty impressive considering the government hasn’t been able to do anything. How about the democratic leadership in N.O. and Louisiana not letting the government send in help until the situation was so dire. The mayor didn’t give evacuation orders until it was too late to get out, Katrina was a catagory 5 at that time.

Les in NC on August 1, 2008 at 1:58 PM

If that damn Dick Cheney torches one more church…

whitetop on August 1, 2008 at 1:58 PM

Maybe Barry would be concerned about security if he had agreed to have this town hall meeting with John McCain. They would have rushed the stage and trampled ol’ whitey after the first question was launched…They accepted some of Barry’s BS but if John had stammered like that it would have started the stampede and ended the town hall meeting.
If he’s having this kind of trouble with his own peeps, no wonder he doesn’t want to have but a few (?) TH meetings with the old man.
Doesn’t it just make you wanna hurl to hear his shuck and jive delivery with the ‘African community’? It’s too bad this community is not living in Africa.

Christine on August 1, 2008 at 2:00 PM

highhopes on August 1, 2008 at 1:51 PM

Yes, as I recall at least one of them was charged with attempted murder. But the outrage over that was inflated so as to distract from the racially motivated hate crime of the beating. The discussion about the noose was used for the same effect. Needless to say, if the shoe were on the other foot, things would have been played out differently.

Hunt035 on August 1, 2008 at 2:00 PM

highhopes on August 1, 2008 at 1:51 PM

Yes, as I recall at least one of them was charged with attempted murder. But the outrage over that was inflated so as to distract from the racially motivated hate crime of the beating. The discussion about the noose was used for the same effect. Needless to say, if the shoe were on the other foot, things would have been played out differently.

Sorry, should have previewed first

Hunt035 on August 1, 2008 at 2:01 PM

What do these black men want Obama to do, give everyone in the Black community a brain transplant? If you believe you have a broken leg, you will limp. If you believe you are dumb, you will act accordingly. If you believe whitie is out to get you, you will respond accordingly.

Years of descrimination have affected the thinking of most blacks, but it is time to move on. These black men should focus on doing their best instead of clinging to the victim mantel. Remember, the great ones play hurt, and America pulls for the underdog.

Men should be judged by the content of their character, so these men should work on cleaning up the character of the black community, and they will be judged accordingly. Today, out of wedlock births, crack, gangsta rap, and other character issues continue to reflect poorly on the inner city urban black communities. Every journey starts with the first step, and it is time men like this take the first step and quit waiting for others to prop them up and bring them up to speed with the other indigenous North American racial groups.

saiga on August 1, 2008 at 2:01 PM

Wasn’t the Jena 6 a group of 6 black kids that beat a white kid within inches of his life? I do not understand why the Black Community sees that as racist or unjustice towards blacks?

Hunt035 on August 1, 2008 at 1:46 PM

A group of 6 black thugs set upon a single white male teen and kicked and stomped him into unconsciousness. The victim was taken to the hospital, where he was treated and released later that day. The thugs received national attention, thousands of dollars in donations, and were lauded as “heroes” on a BET awards show.

Blacks in Jena, egged on by perpetual race-baiters like Jackson and Sharpton, were upset at what they perceived as disparate treatment by local prosecutors for black and white offenders. The thugs who ganged up on the white male teen were prosecuted, but some white teens who had allegedly hung a noose from a school tree earlier that year had not been prosecuted. The U.S. attorney, who is black, explained that there was no law in the state under which the noose-hangers could be prosecuted.

AZCoyote on August 1, 2008 at 2:02 PM

Obama: Well, I, ah, I guess, I…

BING (a buzzer sounds)

Host: Oh, I’m sorry. The correct answer was “Sit the f*ck down and read a book, you fool!”
Better luck next time. See you next time on “Unscripted Answers”. Bye-bye.

omnipotent on August 1, 2008 at 2:03 PM

Does Obama really think that the US government has made “numerous attacks” on the African community, or that this allegation has legitimacy?

Absolutely, and so does his wife. Oh….and every person he has EVER “mentored” under.

Talon on August 1, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Obama should have had security beat him with a baton and tase him.

dave742 on August 1, 2008 at 2:07 PM

So… the government targeted the black community with a hurricane. That’s pretty impressive considering the government hasn’t been able to do anything. How about the democratic leadership in N.O. and Louisiana not letting the government send in help until the situation was so dire. The mayor didn’t give evacuation orders until it was too late to get out, Katrina was a catagory 5 at that time.

Les in NC on August 1, 2008 at 1:58 PM

People have the government they diserve. The vote farming crops in NO voted the hog trough candidate. The US government has already spent $65. “B” Billion on New Orleans and the root problem is unaffected.

The good news is that most of the New Orleans problems wound up in Houston, where the minority vote farming operation is lower key and less lucrative.

saiga on August 1, 2008 at 2:08 PM

Does Obama really think that the US government has made “numerous attacks” on the African community, or that this allegation has legitimacy?

Absolutely, and so does his wife. Oh….and every person he has EVER “mentored” under.

Talon on August 1, 2008 at 2:05 PM

There’s your take home message….hopefully all those bitter, clingy folks in Pennsylvania and Ohio catch on. I have HOPE that many will…

funky chicken on August 1, 2008 at 2:11 PM

In the face of the numerous attacks that are made against the African community or the black community….Hurricane Katrina.

Is his beef against Mother Nature or the mayor of New Orleans?

I know, I know, he really means Bush.

shick on August 1, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Simple principals for Obama to understand…

1. You can’t keep a good man down.

2. You get out of somethig what you put into it.

3. There is such a thing as a dumb ass.

4. All men are created equal in the eyes of the law.

5. Danny Deveto and Yao Ming were not created equal in the eyes of nature

6. there is such a thing as a genious.

7. There is a difference between treating the symptoms and treating the disease.

8. If you subsidize something, you get more of it.

9. If you tax something you get less of it.

10. When there are more and more people riding in the wagon and less and less people pulling the wagon, it won’t take long for the wagon to stop.

saiga on August 1, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Obama: Well, I, ah, I guess, I…
BING (a buzzer sounds)

Host: Oh, I’m sorry. The correct answer was “Sit the f*ck down and read a book, you fool!”
Better luck next time. See you next time on “Unscripted Answers”. Bye-bye.

omnipotent on August 1, 2008 at 2:03 PM

ROTFLMAO!!!! :)

max1 on August 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM

It’s the youth ministry from Trinity church on a field trip.

Hening on August 1, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Not once in his response did Obama point out the logical fallacies of the question, nor did he defend the American government against the charge of deliberately attacking African-Americans in the present tense, as the question was asked and intended.

.
That’s because they prep him with 10 canned responses that contain all of the liberal’s typical talking points, and no matter what question is asked and how it was formulated, one of those responses can be shaped to not so much answer the question directly, but to weave it into an answer that pacifies the questioneer, while it generates a response that we hear over and over again. That’s why no matter where they show him speaking, all the speeches sound alike.

stacman on August 1, 2008 at 2:38 PM

To be fair here, Obama probably said it was a legitimate question just to be nice to the guy.

SoulGlo on August 1, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Does Obama really think that the US government has made “numerous attacks” on the African community, or that this allegation has legitimacy?

I’m going to go with the answer which is fairly obviously correct: “No, he was just looking for words in an awkward moment.”

If we want to go over the top with moonbat-esque parsing of every word he says, we could just as easily conclude that the question was “legitimate” because the guy was handed the microphone with the promise that his question would be answered.

Come on people… focus on the myriad, real problems with this guy.

DaveS on August 1, 2008 at 2:40 PM

There’s some great ad fodder here:

Protestor: So my question is: In the face of the numerous attacks that are made against the African community or the black community, by the same US government that you aspire to lead — and we are talking about attacks like . . . . Hurricane Katrina . . . .

Obama: Well, I, ah, I guess, I… Hold on a second, everybody. . . . [H]e asked a legitimate question, so I want to give him an answer.

Then pan in on the scene near the end when protester dude puts his banner up again and someone snaps it down and out of his hand.

EconomicNeocon on August 1, 2008 at 2:41 PM

Did anyone else happen to notice, buried in the middle of that mess, that Barry takes credit for the first sub-prime lending legislation in Illinois, as well as taking credit for reforming the Illinois Death Penalty mess?

So, did he “pass” those measures? Or did he pass on those measures?

Either way, sounds a lot like Johnny taking credit for the circus cause he made one of the shows with his parents.

Wind Rider on August 1, 2008 at 2:44 PM

Obama should have had security beat him with a baton and tase him.

dave742 on August 1, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Now why would a lefty like you deposit a comment like that in this blog?

RushBaby on August 1, 2008 at 2:53 PM

His stuttering is very unnerving.

Glynn on August 1, 2008 at 3:00 PM

I love how Barry starts out kind of trying to talk “street” to the brotha… I’m sure he probably went in and out of homey-speak throughout the answer (as we’ve seen before) but I can’t stand listening to him, so I didn’t watch must of his reply.

RightWinged on August 1, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Rushbaby:
Just trying to fit in.

dave742 on August 1, 2008 at 3:04 PM

A friggin wookie could give you a better answer than that..

Viper1 on August 1, 2008 at 3:04 PM

His stuttering is very unnerving.

And they say Bush can’t speak very well…

Notice the kid’s question kept refering to the “African Community”? There’s alot of bad juju going on in Africa apparently…maybe Barry is campaigning there too? Many minorities and liberals alike feel a disconnect and hatred against their country as this illustrated. Their government owes them everything but they don’t owe their country anything in return.

Wyznowski on August 1, 2008 at 3:11 PM

And they say Bush can’t speak very well…

Wyznowski on August 1, 2008 at 3:11 PM

I don’t think it’s stuttering. He’s waiting for the crowd to quite down before he continues. We only hear his microphone.

shick on August 1, 2008 at 3:22 PM

But there is an enormous difference from scripted and non-scripted Barack

shick on August 1, 2008 at 3:23 PM

His stuttering is very unnerving.

Glynn on August 1, 2008 at 3:00 PM

That about sums it up for me.

The Ugly American on August 1, 2008 at 3:30 PM

I don’t think it’s stuttering. He’s waiting for the crowd to quite down before he continues. We only hear his microphone.

shick on August 1, 2008 at 3:22 PM

No, I’m quite sure it is stuttering. He does it a lot. Rush put together a clip on his show recently of Obama’s speech in Germany. The stuttering was amazing. I think he had about three minutes worth. Rush says it’s because Obama is not a thinker and if he has to actually speak to someone without the teleprompter, he just has to search for what to say. I think that may be true.

Glynn on August 1, 2008 at 3:34 PM

Local media is reporting that the tickets distributed to the public were green in color. These protesters had yellow tickets which were distributed to VIP’S by the campaign. So yup they are plants.

meci on August 1, 2008 at 3:50 PM

Protestor: So my question is: In the face of the numerous attacks that are made against the African community …

The only attack against Africans I can think of is Obama promising aid to a small Kenyan school named in his honor and then not following through on said aid, so they still don’t even have running water and need to carry it from miles away.

Paul-Cincy on August 1, 2008 at 3:55 PM

What about those numerous attacks made by black gang-members on black society?

Tim Burton on August 1, 2008 at 3:58 PM

I……uh………..er…………spoke out…….uh………(AND THE CROWD GOES WILD)

oakpack on August 1, 2008 at 5:09 PM

You think Ron Paul has a big wide open tent, nothing like CarBama does.

Every and I mean every off center, racist, multiple personality (vote early vote often) felon, migrant or carried in a wheelbarrow on their way to the grave is welcome in his big, BIG voting tent.

Speakup on August 1, 2008 at 5:57 PM

“Not once in his response did Obama point out the logical fallacies of the question…”

Of course not, that way he could straddle both sides.

GarandFan on August 1, 2008 at 6:01 PM

I do not believe they were plants, because had they been, they would have shut up to let Barry answer and his answer would have been a lot smoother than what staggered out of his mouth there.

Second, notice however that by the time he gets to his money line to close his response with his Kumbayah crap about all people – white, black, red, etc – coming together, he has completely turned his back on the young man and is only able to speak smoothly because he’s not being stared down anymore?

What a yutz.

Captain Scarlet on August 2, 2008 at 7:13 AM

Not once in his response did Obama point out the logical fallacies of the question, nor did he defend the American government against the charge of deliberately attacking African-Americans in the present tense, as the question was asked and intended.

He didn’t do any of this because he himself has bought into it. If elected we are all in for a long rough ride.

wepeople on August 2, 2008 at 9:24 AM

his answer would have been a lot smoother than what staggered out of his mouth there.

Yes, he stammered (big time) through that whole response.

gxpgxp on August 2, 2008 at 2:45 PM

That protester sounded a WHOLE LOT like one Jeremiah Wright!

Gatordoug on August 2, 2008 at 3:35 PM