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Obama Dogged by Slander and Yellow Journalism

Posted July. 16, 2008 23:05,   


“I know some say I’ve been too tough on folks about the responsibility (of African-American fathers). But I’m not going to stop talking about the importance of taking responsibilities.”

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama reiterated the responsibility of black fathers on Monday in a speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Though Obama’s comments sound natural and not out of ordinary, they cannot be made without guts and determination, say the experts.

Among American liberals, in particular among African-American civil rights advocacy groups, the notion of individual responsibility has never been received well. The prevalent perception has been that the suffering of the underprivileged stems from structured discrimination and should be dealt with as a social ill, rather than be considered individual unfaithfulness. In this context, Obama expressed his willingness to push for a “well-balanced new liberal paradigm,” breaking free from “outdated liberalism,” according to political watchers.

For this reason, Obama`s speech on Father`s Day has been criticized by an older generation of black leaders. In the speech, Obama stressed the role of fathers, pointing out the absence of fathers in the black community.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson insulted Obama, saying, “I will cut Barack Obama`s nuts off."

Even those who support Obama have raised concern that his well-intentioned move could undermine the unity of his supporters.

In effect, Obama’s approval ratings have dropped without specific reasons; he is now almost tied with Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Political analysts say his “middle path approach” has provoked the ire of his core supporters.

One TV talk show host even described him as an "Oreo," a black sandwich cookie with white creamy filling.

Obama is also being blasted by right wing groups who slander him by depicting him as a Muslim. American popular weekly magazine the New Yorker published a caricature of Obama in Muslim attire tapping fists with his wife who is wearing combat shoes and carrying a gun over her shoulder. Though some have criticized the magazine for sensationalism, in the end it will be Obama who is damaged by the yellow journalism, experts say.

Keen interest is being paid to whether Obama will continue his “lone march” without being swayed by the political disadvantages facing him right now.

“I will fight to make the government do its duty for the advancement of African-Americans’ status. A hefty amount of budget alone, however, cannot bring about needed changes without fulfilling our responsibilities. Both individual and social responsibilities are important. It’s not a matter of choosing one over the other. Please attend the meeting for parents at school and help your children with their homework. Parents should be a role model for their children,” Obama said.