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‘Monkey’ President? The Obama Hate Just Keeps on Coming

And the hate just keeps on coming.

A radio talk host based in Arizona referred to President Obama last week as “the first monkey president.”

Barbara Espinosa made the remark on her show, “Hair on Fire,” after a caller described Obama as a communist with “rabbit ears.”

“Well, I don’t call him ‘rabbit ears,’ I call him a monkey,” she told the caller. “I don’t believe in calling him the first black president, I call him the first monkey president….I voted for the white guy, myself,” referring to Obama’s 2008 opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

I thought when you played the dozens that the person being insulted needed to be in the room and given a chance to offer a pithy comeback. After all, this is a game, right?

There has always been name calling in politics and there is scarcely any black American who would be surprised to learn that someone would call Obama names, but the level of disrespect not just for this president, but for the office of the President of the United States (POTUS) has reached a new low.

A visiting reporter violated protocol last week by asking the president rude, pointed questions before Obama had finished his remarks and without being recognized. Last June, MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin said the president was “kind of a dick” for taking Republicans to task publicly.

And who can forget Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for shouting out “You lie!”at President Obama as he delivered his health care address to Congress in 2009?

According to CNN, Wilson’s outburst may have gotten the most attention, but it wasn’t the only protest by Republicans during the speech, noting that Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, wore a sign around his neck that read, “What bill?” And when Obama asked Republicans to share their health reform ideas with him, a small group raised up a stack of papers above their heads.

A listener who identified himself only as “Joe,” took Espinosa to task last week (listen here) and asked if name calling was necessary to illustrate a point.

“You know, I’m not saying their ideas are right, but how about citing them intellectually instead of calling names? I have to say to you, the few things I just heard, they’re insulting. I mean, straight up insulting, and I think anyone listening would feel the same way.”

Espinosa was not chastened, later saying her remarks were constitutionally protected.

With freedom of speech, however, comes a responsibility to use judgment in one’s choice of words. It’s not a license to be rude, denigrating, destructive, or to incite ill will or harm.

Apparently, though, that doesn’t count when it comes to POTUS – or at least this particular one.

“I argue that any votes Obama gained due to his race in the general election (in 2008) were not nearly enough to outweigh the cost of racial animus, meaning race was a large net negative for Obama,” Stephens-Davidowitz, a Ph.D candidate in economics at Harvard University, who conducted research on the effect of “racial animus” on voting patterns, said in a 53-page report.

While other factors, including a staggeringly bad economy and U.S. involvement in two wildly unpopular wars, helped propel him to the presidency, candidate Obama still lost 3 to 5 percentage points in the national popular vote, Stephens-Davidowitz estimated.

Further, he said, that number could grow even more and hurt Obama’s chances in November.

“Quantifying the effects of racial prejudice on voting is notoriously problematic. Few people admit bias in surveys,” Stephens-Davidowitz wrote in an op-ed column in The New York Times. “So I used a new tool, Google Insights, which tells researchers how often words are searched in different parts of the United States.”

“The conditions under which people use Google — online, most likely alone, not participating in an official survey — are ideal for capturing what they are really thinking and feeling. You may have typed things into Google that you would hesitate to admit in polite company. I certainly have,” he wrote for The Times. “The majority of Americans have as well: we Google the word ‘porn’ more often than the word ‘weather.’”

He looked at research queries that included racially-charged language, including racist jokes and hate literature. He used data from 2004-2007 for a measure not directly influenced by feelings toward Obama. From 2008 onward, Stephens-Davidowitz said, “‘Obama’ is a prevalent term in racially charged searches.”

As a result, all these negative characterizations of and attacks on Obama are reinforcing subconscious racism and making it easier for some to vote against him – or perhaps not vote at all.

Jackie Jones, a veteran journalist and journalism educator, is director of Jones Coaching LLC, a career transformation firm.

What people are saying

15 thoughts on “‘Monkey’ President? The Obama Hate Just Keeps on Coming

  1. Greg Cathers says:

    Save it sweetie , you know what you said and you meant it .

  2. Teriandjack Craven says:

    You're a racist pig. Period.

  3. Kyle Hamburger says:

    Hey, grats on being this weeks biggest racist cunt. 🙂

  4. Barry Laster says:

    Piece of crap!!!!!

  5. Lou Show says:

    (RE: "When it comes to talk radio both the left and right can, unfortunately, employ a little too much free speech.")
    What in the world is "too much free speech"? Are you delusional? Give me one single example that anyone on the Left has ever said anything similar to your racist "monkey" comment. Just one.

  6. Barbara Espinosa says:

    "When it comes to talk radio both the left and right can, unfortunately, employ a little too much free speech. It is a medium for inspiration and robust debate, not gratuitous insult. I apologize to anyone that was offended by my comments. It was a poor joke off the cuff that deserves apology not example. I am a proud supporter of numerous african-american republicans that have run for office and will continue to do so."

  7. Felita Sisco Rascoe says:

    Barbara Espinosa made the remark on her show, “Hair on Fire,” after a caller described Obama as a communist with “rabbit ears.”.

    “Well, I don’t call him ‘rabbit ears,’ I call him a monkey,” she told the caller. “I don’t believe in calling him the first black president, I call him the first monkey president….I voted for the white guy, myself,” referring to Obama’s 2008 opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

    Family and friends, I read the above aforementioned remarks in an article from an informative and outstanding online newspaper entitled, "Atlanta Black Star". After reading the article, what I was most surprised and offended by (moreso than by Barbara Espinosa's racist remarks about President Obama) was how apathetic we are as a human race! Only three people commented in utter disgust about Espinosa's comments.

    All, I was so insulted for President Obama – to the point where I was quickly moved to voice my utter contempt for the blatant-disrespectful comments made by Barbara Espinosa, directed against the President of the United States of America. Please check out the article "‘Monkey’ President? The Obama Hate Just Keeps on Comin" on http://www.atlantablackstar.com. It's CRAZY to me how over the top disrespectful (as well as desensitized) we've become in the 21st Century! I hope you get a chance to read the article and after reading it…. it is my hope that most of you will quickly voice your thoughts and opinion.

  8. Felita Sisco Rascoe says:

    Barbara Espinosa is a racist female pig!

  9. nobody has disrespected a president like these folks have. NOBODY. i disliked president bush as much as anybody, which was/is alot, but i would never walk up to the man while he was in office and interrupt him or say something vile. Its one thing to not like a man, but you dont treat the office that way. the only reason they could possibly think its okay to do so is because of his skin tone. what she said is unforgivable, and lets face it, humorous to most of her listeners. its like i always say, Not all conservatives are racists, but i can promise you all racists consider themselves conservative. Sad state our country is because of these backwards people who want to live in the 1920s or earlier.

  10. "a little too much free speech"…. no, youre just a racist coward hiding behind rights alot of good people died protecting.

  11. How terribly sad. I'm just back from a trip to Scotland, Ireland & Northern

  12. (continued) Ireland, where "The Troubles" are officially over. but I felt vestiges remain. I fear our country is heading that way, with hate, disrespect, and general meaness considered acceptable.

  13. You can be educated, intelligent, hold political positions, and still be IGNORANT.

  14. You can be educated and intelligent, like radio talkie Barbara Espinosa, yet still be IGNORANT.

  15. Jon Slater says:

    obama singing the rhyme 5 little monkeys. It's hilarious.. check this out http://youtu.be/xt3fOXufu3U

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