Most of the time, I write the OOTD in order to demonstrate how something in the news actually shows Barack Obama’s amateurish handling of the Presidency as a means to focus more attention on those incidents that escape larger media attention. In this case, the OOTD is an argument of why something was merely an amateurish stumble. During his ill-advised appearance on The View, Obama offered this view of African-Americans, using a term that comes straight out of white-supremacist playbooks:
President Obama waded into the national race debate in an unlikely setting and with an unusual choice of words: telling daytime talk show hosts that African-Americans are “sort of a mongrel people.”
The president appeared on ABC’s morning talk show “The View” Thursday, where he talked about the forced resignation of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, his experience with race and his roots.
When asked about his background, which includes a black father and white mother, Obama said of African-Americans: “We are sort of a mongrel people.”
Whoa. Obama knew he had made a faux pas and quickly added:
“I mean we’re all kinds of mixed up,” Obama said. “That’s actually true of white people as well, but we just know more about it.”
The word Obama wanted was mutts, which Glenn Reynolds recognized as well. Americans tend to be mutts — a blend of many nationalities, which is one of our strengths: being a melting pot. Our national identity comes from our adherence to the rule of law, not a single ethnic identity or language or religion, as is the case in other countries.
In fact, white people recognize this just as much as others in the US, despite Obama’s odd assertion here. And everyone, regardless of background, knows better than to use “mongrel people” to describe anyone in the US … except Obama, apparently. But it’s clear that this is just an amateurish gaffe, and not the insult it would have been considered had it come from any of Obama’s predecessors in the Oval Office.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day! Chris has started his annual fund drive, so be sure to visit the DBD site and keep DBD in action!