From BlackVoices — In a C-Span show called “The Washington Journal,” a caller raised eyebrows by stating that too many black people are calling in to the show. The caller, a guy named “Bill,” who is a North Carolina Republican, stated that C-Span should change their name to “Black-Span,” because “if they [African Americans] are only 10 or 12 percent of the population, there’s no way they seem to be 80 percent of your callers.”

Bill, who actually doesn’t sound like a dumb person, goes on to say that “Every one of ’em [African Americans] thinks that Obama is Jesus Christ and they don’t like when anybody criticizes him.”

I listened to Bill’s comments carefully, because I didn’t think he was coming out of left field. Bill’s theory was that it wasn’t an accident that so many of the C-Span callers just happen to be black. He speculated that he and other conservatives would grow tired of watching C-Span if they didn’t make changes to the callers that were allowed to get through the line. One could easily write Bill off as just another North Carolina yahoo who doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut. In fact, that’s probably what he is, to a point. His language certainly fails the test of political correctness, and his use of broad generalizations is incredibly problematic.

But when we take a deeper look at Bill’s comments, we can notice the following:

1) Bill’s thoughts are not uncommon, especially in places like North Carolina:There is quite a bit of latent racial hostility all throughout the country toward theAfrican-American community and President Obama. Much of this hostility is thinly disguised as a populist movement. The truth is, though, that Bill was one of the few conservatives brave enough to say some of the things that millions of others are thinking.

2) Bill is right that African Americans are in love with Obama: I don’t believe in falling in love with a politician. It’s like falling in love with a corporation or writing poetry for your pimp. The truth is that African-American support for Obama crosses the line of objective analysis and goes in to the category of idealistic fascination. That is the recipe for disaster in American politics, since our unconditional support significantly weakens our negotiating position with the White House. That’s why the fight between Al Sharpton and Tavis Smiley might actually be a good thing for the African-American community.

(Continue Reading @ Black Voices…)

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  • To be completely blunt…this is a total non-story. The actual call, that is.

    I listen to Washington Journal several times a month. There are always people calling in complaining that C-SPAN is letting too many _____________ people get through to the show. Sometimes, it’s too many Liberals. Other times, it’s too many Conservatives. Or too many Christians. Or too many Latinos. Or too many….whatevers. If you can make a label and slap it on someone to group them as some sort of demographic, someone who phones the Washington Journal will complain that too many whomevers are being allowed on the show. So…don’t believe the hype.

    Bigger, related point: if everyone is dissatisfied, that is a sign that C-SPAN is doing a solid job at maintaining balance while hosting serious political discourse.

    As for latent hostilities…there’s no better place I know of than the Washington Journal for getting a fair read on what various chunks of the US populace are honestly thinking and feeling about a given issue. Callers rarely filter themselves. So what you hear in that video is consistent with the type of rawness (right, wrong or inbetween) to expect from the show.

    Lastly, cheers to you for doing some deep reflecting and analyzing on this incident. It’d be easy to simply scold the caller as an ignorant hick and walk away. But to use it as an opportunity to consider larger matters is pretty commendable. It’s the kind of work that makes Clutch such a valuable resource.

  • This was real weak.

  • AnonyMiss

    When Obama was running for POTUS I will admit I was in love with him and didn’t care too much about what he said. He’s black and he’s a democrat was enough to get me to vote for him and I did. Granted I was only eighteen at the time and it was my first election and there was no way I was gonna vote for McCain and Palin booo. But later on I did actually do more research and I’ve been trying my best to follow his actions to make sure he’s living up to my expectations. I wouldn’t say I am in love with him anymore. I have called him out a number of times for doing or not doing things i expected of him and I know he is still a politician. I also know that even though he is President does not mean he controls everything. But I also know he has the best interests of our community at heart and is probably doing the best he can the best he knows how to at the moment.

  • Akai


    Another teaparty titty-baby tantrum from a white male that can’t stand the fact that they’re not running everything, occupying the Oval Office or, now, dominating the conversation and discourse at C-Span. If dude only wants to hear the opinions of those he agrees with and who shares his color, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News is on 24/7.

    Maybe the solution is for The Washington Journal to FORCE all callers to state their race, set up separate lines for AAs, Asians, Latinos and whites, then STRICTLY limit the number of AA participants to 13 out of 100 (sarcasm).

    It was telling how the complainer acted as if he possessed special spidey senses to accurately determine the ‘race’ of callers whose faces he COULD NOT see, and factual proof which line (Republican, Democrat or Independent) was called in on.

    Fools like this are quick to insist their party is not full of racists; they only seem to lament that there are few minorities in the Republican party (though a great number hold very conservative views) when they NEED more numbers/votes because the country is now 35% non-white and only 65% white.

    I’m no racist (I’ve a white husband and a white father) but old jackasses like the caller should get over their f*ckin’ selves. Their dying off and a total purge of their DNA from the gene pool couldn’t occur fast enough, and it’s a beautiful thing minorities will be the MAJORITY in America in about 30 years.


  • whirlwind

    While the simple-minded caller is clearly a racist who stereotypes all Black people and wants Black Americans to sit and obey quietly, there are some people (both Black AND White!) who hysterically defend Obama and verbally attack anyone who states unfavorable facts about him. There are even whites on tv (Olbermann, Matthews, etc) who defend Obama no matter what, buy somehow racist people like Bill from N.C. don’t harp on that. I watch ‘Washington Journal’ regularly, and the percentage of Black callers has not increased much since Obama came on the scene. The minority of people who call in aggressively defending Obama against valid criticism of his policies/flip-flops should be ignored, and there certainly was no need to racialize the whole thing.