Finally, someone sets the record straight on the “First Black President” garbage


Read a great article on Salon.com laying out how people have twisted the meaning of Toni Morrison’s words when she called Bill Clinton the “First Black President.” It wasn’t a compliment, as most think. It was a reflection of how the Republicans had dogged Clinton with such vitriol that it was comparable to the irrational hatred and discrimination black men have traditionally received. The author, Elizabeth Alexander, makes the point that based on what people think are qualifications for Clinton’s blackness the current Commander In Chief George W. Bush would qualify for an “honorary Negro” award. Bush has appointed blacks (Condi Rice and Collin Powell among others) to high ranking positions in his office. And he has a certain comfort around black people (who like him.) But no one calls Bush the “Second Black President.” *achoo! Katrina! achoo!*

Anyway, here’s a somewhat related story on how Bill Clinton’s relentless campaigning and eye-brow raising behavior could be attributed to his love for Hillary. Yeah, yeah. Love. That’s what that was.

Update: CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux said that Toni Morrison has endorsed Barack Obama for president. She mentioned the whole Bill Clinton, “First Black President” thing, but also pointed out that Morrison was comparing Clinton’s fight with the Republicans to the racism that dogs black men. But Malveaux still called the endorsement “ironic.” Warning on that CNN blog I linked to, the comments section goes a little off the rails very, very quickly.

2 thoughts on “Finally, someone sets the record straight on the “First Black President” garbage

  1. Well, with CNN going “First Black President” this, and “First Black President” that, I’m not shocked that Morrison wanted to clear things up then endorse Obama. Of course, CNN is still flinging the term around like it means something, but I guess old habits die hard.

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