obamamos0202_468x365.jpgStereotype takes center stage
There she is — no, not Miss America, but the Angela-Davis-Afro-wearing, machine-gun-toting, angry, unpatriotic Michelle Obama, greeting her husband with a fist bump instead of a kiss on the cheek. It was supposed to be satire, but the caricature of Barack Obama and his wife that appeared on the cover of the New Yorker last week recently rightly caused a major flap. And among black professional women like me and many of my sisters in the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, who happened to be gathered last weekin Washington for our 100th anniversary celebration, the mischaracterization of Michelle hit the rawest of nerves. Welcome to our world. We’ve watched with a mixture of pride and trepidation as the wife of the first serious African-American presidential contender has weathered recent campaign travails — being called unpatriotic for a single offhand remark, dubbed a black radical because of something she wrote more than 20 years ago and plastered with the crowning stereotype: “angry black woman.” And then being forced to undergo a politically mandated “makeover” to soften her image and make her more palatable to mainstream America. (Continue Reading…)

How Obama Became Acting President
IT almost seems like a gag worthy of “Borat”: A smooth-talking rookie senator with an exotic name passes himself off as the incumbent American president to credulous foreigners. But to dismiss Barack Obama’s magical mystery tour through old Europe and two war zones as a media-made fairy tale would be to underestimate the ingenious politics of the moment. History was on the march well before Mr. Obama boarded his plane, and his trip was perfectly timed to reap the whirlwind. He never would have been treated as a president-in-waiting by heads of state or network talking heads if all he offered were charisma, slick rhetoric and stunning visuals. What drew them instead was the raw power Mr. Obama has amassed: the power to start shaping events and the power to move markets, including TV ratings. (Even “Access Hollywood” mustered a 20 percent audience jump by hosting the Obama family.) Power begets more power, absolutely. (Continue Reading…)

U.S.: Iraqi civilians killed by soldiers were unarmed
Investigators have determined three Iraqi civilians were unarmed and attacking no one when U.S. soldiers fatally shot them in western Baghdad last month, the U.S. military said Sunday. U.S. military officials initially said at least one of the three Iraqis, who were riding in a car approaching the soldiers, started shooting, and that the soldiers returned fire. The military also initially said a weapon was later found in the car, and bullet holes were found in two of the soldiers’ humvees. But an investigation found the soldiers shot and killed three “law abiding citizens of Iraq,” and that no weapon was found in the vehicle, a military release stated. Also, the investigation determined only one humvee had a bullet hole, and that the bullet hole’s source isn’t known, said Lt. Steve Stover, a military spokesman. Still, investigators determined “neither the soldiers nor civilians involved in the incident were at fault,” the release said. “This was an extremely unfortunate and tragic incident,” said Col. Allen Batschelet, chief of staff for Multi-National Division-Baghdad. “Our deepest regrets of sympathy and condolences go out to the family. (Continue Reading…)

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