The 4th of July weekend brought forth a bizarre pro-Obama piece that referred to President Barack Obama as “The N****r in the White House” and a float in Nebraska that was created to mock the president’s library while also garnering accusations of racism.
That there are still many people who make the N-word a part of their daily vocabulary is a sad reality, but seeing that word appear in a headline of a local newspaper is enough to make some readers cringe.
A local newspaper in New York featured a pro-Obama opinion piece, but readers probably didn’t assume that after reading the headline.
At the top of page 15 in the latest edition of the WestView News was the shocking headline “The N****r in the White House” – minus the asterisks.
The article was written by James Lincoln Collier, who is an 86-year-old white journalist and author.
The WestView News editor and publisher George Capsis agreed to run the headline in the paper and gave a less-than-impressive explanation for the shocking title.
“In this article, however, Jim reminded me that The New York Times avoids using the word, which convinced me that WestView should,” he said.
He added that Collier wanted to use the word for shock value and “shock [people] into accepting that there are people who believe and use this outrageous word.”
Ironically, the entire piece condemns “far-right voters” who “hate Obama because is Black” and details the “irreducible measure of racism” that still exists in America today.
Regardless of the purpose of the headline, readers didn’t react well to the use of the word.
“It’s disrespectful in any context to refer to the president of the United States at the N-word,” said one West Villager.
Another reader, a self-proclaimed “Black Republican” said the headline is “sad.”
Meanwhile, further West in the U.S., an Independence Day parade float sparked just as much controversy.
A float in Nebraska ruffled quite a few feathers when it featured a dummy standing outside an old outhouse labeled “Obama Presidential Library.”
The dummy can be seen holding a walker and wearing overalls.
The float did not identify who was the sponsor for the project.
The Nebraska Democratic Party said the float was one of the “worst shows of racism and disrespect for the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen,” The World-Herald reported.
“I’m ashamed, I’m appalled,” said Glory Kathurima.
While some people in the crowd were upset with the float, the majority of the audience actually seemed to enjoy it.
“You see people laughing and pointing at it, smiling, looking positive about it,” Kathurima added. “I immediately felt sick to my stomach… I knew what that meant and I knew there was no sort of political statement being made by an image like that.”
While Norfolk City Councilman Dick Pfeil told the World-Herald that the city certainly doesn’t “condone” the float, the parade’s organizers were quick to defend it.
“It’s obvious the majority of the community liked it,” said Rick Konopasek, one of the organizers. “So should we deny the 95 percent of those that liked it their rights, just for the 5 percent of people who are upset?”
He added that the float received an honorable mention from three judges.