Streams

Inauguration Day

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Brian Lehrer Show’s special coverage of the presidential inauguration includes:

From Washington, DC: WNYC’s Andrea Bernstein and Siddhartha Mitter; plus The TakeAway’s Femi Oke; and Todd Zwillich of Capitol News Connection;

From New York City: WNYC’s Beth Fertig, Bob Hennelly, Arun Venugopal, Terrance McKnight, and Allison Lichter; plus Jabari Asim, editor of The Crisis magazine for the NAACP, and the author of What Obama Means; and Tuskegee airman Roscoe Brown, director of CUNY's Center for Urban Education Policy.

From around the country and around the world: Farnaz Fassihi, Wall Street Journal deputy bureau chief for the Middle East and Africa; communitarian Amitai Etzioni; Mark McCormick, metro columnist at the Wichita Eagle; and Ben Philpott, senior reporter at KUT radio in Austin, TX.

Guests:

Jabari Asim, Andrea Bernstein, Dr. Roscoe Brown, Amitai Etzioni, Farnaz Fassihi, Beth Fertig, Bob Hennelly, Allison Lichter, Mark McCormick, Terrance McKnight, Siddhartha Mitter, Femi Oke, Ben Philpott, Arun Venugopal and Todd Zwillich

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Comments [81]

ashlea from WA from Maple Falls

I have to laugh. Bush has slunk back to Texas to live in a color-gated community. Even though that rule is outlawed by the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the community still has it on its covenants and restrictions, apparently, and non-whites are allowed inside only as domestics or similar workers for these illustrious white beings of supposed superior intelligence (never mind the superior white intelligence myth has bankrupted the US). Now for the funny part - how typical that those of Bush's ilk and upbringing would leave it to a man "of color" to clean up his disgusting and shocking mess that his "superior white intelligence" has made of our country, domestically and internationally. As the cleaner-upper, I wonder if Obama could get inside that gate? Hey, I wonder if even Steele could get inside? LOL

Feb. 28 2009 05:00 PM
Mara Gottlieb

Does anyone know the song that Brian's show kept using in between interviews? It was an instrumental percussion piece, at least for the time it played, and I wanted to see if I could find it in its entirety. Thanks!

Jan. 21 2009 09:04 AM
Pluto from Yonkers

Allison Lichter from WNYC Newsroom, to answer your question: the guy won, no need to celebrate. Be good citizens, get to work, help the president govern. Celebration is for those bored out of their wits.

Jan. 20 2009 11:43 PM
perri from Brooklyn aka Baracklyn

Peter (#51) Bush's new residence was mentioned during the 12/9/08 broadcast of Democracy Now. "Up until 2000, the gated community had a neighborhood association covenant that allowed only whites to own property. The document said the area’s land 'shall be used and occupied by white persons only except these covenants shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of a different race or nationality in the employ of a tenant.'"

Why am I not surprised?

I absolutely love that people from all walks of life are excited about this moment in history!

Social evolution rocks!

Jan. 20 2009 09:38 PM
Ralph from Glen Cove

#74. Idiomatically perhaps I miswrote. While I am a native English speaker, I was not educated in America, so I speak an occasionally idiomatically different English. As you doubtless know the two words share the same Latin root. I can explain why the two words mean the samer thing in this context, but it would be pedantic, and dull, and neither of us should be that interested. I apologise if my use of the term "transmission" was jarring.

Jan. 20 2009 04:24 PM
seth from Long Island

Howard Kurtz gets the Johnny One Note Award for his non-stop whining about the media swoon over Obama.

The fact that the US has just inaugurated the first African American President in its history is not a ho-hum, whatever moment.
This is an event of monumental, historic significance. The saturation coverage is not a bias in favor of Obama's policies, it is an acknowledgement of a historic first.

The more Howard Kurtz continues to whine about the media simply acknowledging the earth-shattering importance of this event the more he looks like a bitter, frustrated, sore loser.

Jan. 20 2009 02:46 PM
seth from Long Island

As an Obama supporter, I regret that there are so many Inaugural Balls.

Given the dire economic situation we face, I think the celebration should have been scaled back.

Jan. 20 2009 02:36 PM
rem from manhattan

Ralph,
"Thankfully it is my right to complain about the cost and tenor of what ultimately is and should be little more than an orderly transmission of power."
I think the word you intended was 'transition'

Jan. 20 2009 01:35 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

KC:

George Bush and Joe Biden have one thing in common. They both live in neighborhoods that were FORMERLY whites only.

When my parents were engaged, they ended up buying a house in a neighborhood that had changed just days before from having a policy that read, “No Jews or Blacks.” The real estate agent actually said to my parents, “Let me check to make sure we are selling to Jews.”

My parents still live there. We are still Jewish. And we have neighbors of color. Should the Jews and Blacks who live in my parent’s neighborhood be ashamed of the facts that it was once whites only?

You don’t have to like Bush KC, but there is no reason for you to make lies up about him. Surely you could do better then that?

Jan. 20 2009 01:14 PM
Naoko from Park Slope

My friend, Jonathan, and I was wondering all the time during the Inauguration ceremony "where is John McCain??"

Jan. 20 2009 12:44 PM
seth from Long Island

Take That Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Joe Scarborough, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Michelle Malkin, and Laura Ingraham!!!!

Jan. 20 2009 12:43 PM
hjs from 11211

i wonder what bush is thinking as he listens to BHO

Jan. 20 2009 12:23 PM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Truth HURTS.

Jan. 20 2009 12:11 PM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Ralph,

It is DONE, onward upward...PEACE!

Jan. 20 2009 12:09 PM
Michelle from Park Slope

Obama totally just had a "what's my line?" moment.

Jan. 20 2009 12:07 PM
hjs from 11211

can we boycott any company that hires bush or cheney

Jan. 20 2009 11:44 AM
barry from Manhattan

I also vote that the "Truth" is truly a pain. I know you don't want your moment ruined but your ruining ours.
Just pipe down your partisan point of view already!

Jan. 20 2009 11:34 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I really like the fact that in the Torah reading this past Shabbes, Moses & Aaron go before Pharaoh for the 1st time to say, "Let my people go!"--2 days before Martin Luther King day & 3 days before Barack Obama's inauguration! Wonder if 1 of the rabbis who'll speak at the ceremonies will mention that?

Jan. 20 2009 11:28 AM
KC from Brooklyn

Peter from Sunset Park: You should do more research before you call people liars. Some people don't appreciate it.

here's a story on Bush's new place:
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/In_whitesonly_neighborhood_residents_worried_Bush_1206.html

In case that link doesn't connect, you can just search it at rawstory.com. And if even that's too much for you, here's a good pull quote:

"Until 2000, the neighborhood association's covenant said only white people were allowed to live there, though an exception was made for servants.

Enacted in 1956, part of the original document reads: 'Said property shall be used and occupied by white persons except those shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of different race or nationality in the employ of a tenant.'"

Any other questions?

Jan. 20 2009 11:24 AM
Ralph from Glen Cove

#30 your comments suggest ignorance, anger, and intolerance. It happens that I have complained about the cost of previous inaugurations, most especially at the outrageous and disgusting displays in 1981, 1984 and 2001. I am particularly well aware of the appalling fiscal transgressions and mismanagement of the Reagan and Bush administrations, for none of which I voted.

Why (again) now? Because of the economic condition of this country! Why this President elect? Because of the economic condition of this country and the fact that he has rightly used the economy as a path to his election. I surely have the obligation to criticize the candidate and the party I support just as I have the right and pleasure of criticizing those I do not.

Thankfully it is my right to complain about the cost and tenor of what ultimately is and should be little more than an orderly transmission of power. Just as you dare to make assumptions about me, that's how I dare to respond to the inescapable conclusions consequent upon your fulminations.

Jan. 20 2009 11:23 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Hey Scott,

Did Williams write any theme music for people who think that AIDS is a white conspiracy to kill African Americans? Raiders of the Lost Facts.

Jan. 20 2009 11:17 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Ralph,

What would be a "sensible limit" in your eyes?

Do you even know how much in contributions were donated to this campaign? Perhaps you should visit the website.

Alas, I will NOT let your ignorance ruin the moment for me!

OBAMA 09!!

Jan. 20 2009 11:10 AM
Juliette from Brooklyn

You're half right Brian. Michelle Obama is wearing Chartreuse which is defined as the color halfway between green and yellow. She looks just lovely.

Jan. 20 2009 11:08 AM
Donna from New Jersey

I think Cheney arriving in a wheelchair will be perfect symbolism. An old, broken, narrow-minded and unapologetic regime is leaving at last. We are seeing the birth of a fresh, smart, thoughtful time, where people won't have to leave their ideas at the door. Where discourse will be welcomed. Ears and hearts will open!

Jan. 20 2009 11:08 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Ralph, sensible limit, why now, why this President Elect.

How dare you call me fiscally ignorant? When the outgoing administration/president has us in debt of the trillions.

I am a taxpaying American Citizen also, I know the extent of debt this Country is in!

Jan. 20 2009 11:07 AM
Scott from Brooklyn

I wonder if they will play "The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)" when Cheney arrives. I mean, why waste the whole John Williams theme?

Jan. 20 2009 11:04 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Ralph, I am NOT ignorant and it is NOT costing you any more than Inaugurations past! Why are you just now complaining is the question?

Jan. 20 2009 11:04 AM
Egeo from NYC - Washington Heights

This comment is regarding the discussion about the choice of music by John Williams for the inauguration ceremony. John Williams is, as musicians might say, "hipper" than we might think. I understand from one of my composition/performance instructors from my days at Berklee College of Music, that an early Mr. Williams piece was dedicated to the great saxophonist Eric Dolphy. Also, listen to the music from the scene in ET, when they finally started communicating with the alien ship and see if you can hear a bit of later John Coltrane's influence there.

Jan. 20 2009 11:01 AM
Ralph from Glen Cove

#30 "Truth" - Yes, it really is costing me something. Whether you understand it or not, it is costing you something as well. Your comment shows a profound but common ignorance of the financial web of debt and public expenditure. It doesn't matter if the DNC and other 'private' entities are paying for aspects of the inauguration and celebrations, debt is financing virtually everything happening today, one way or another. That's what it means to be a net debtor nation. Celebration is marvelous and necessary. But yes, there really is a sensible limit. Jimmy Carter famously understood that and as famously in his day, FDR understood it too. I have every right to be concerned that Barrack Obama, in whom I have very high hopes and who was elected in no small part due to economic worries, apparently does not.

Jan. 20 2009 11:00 AM
sean from Brooklyn

Hi Allison,

My fears is that some people will definitely put Obama's feet on fire and may say that a Black man is finally elected (a token Black man). So minorities can no longer use social injustice as an excuse to deal with the racial tension.

I don't think social pressure will not stop those who are truly angered by the rise of the minorities and the shift of the country's demographics from mostly whites to minorities and immigrants being important players in politics. Some elements of power has been shifted but not everyone wants change.

Despite of it all, today is a monumental occasion and we should celebrate it.

Jan. 20 2009 10:57 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

KC:

Are you honestly saying that W. Bush is moving into a segrated or racially restricted neighborhood? Without even checking the facts I will go out on a limb and say that you are either misinformed or not telling the truth.

As far as growing up goes, I didn't vote for Obama but I support him as my president. Why are you telling lies about an outgoing president?

Jan. 20 2009 10:56 AM
MichaelB from UWS Manhattan

John Williams' music is somehow reminiscent of Copland's music??? Sorry, but I don't hear it.

And that's not meant to be aa knock on Williams.

Jan. 20 2009 10:55 AM
Richard Walker from San Francisco, CA

Agree about John Williams, too mainstream, too commercial. I will be listening for the Imperial March when Cheney appears :)

Jan. 20 2009 10:55 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

I agree Eva. Barbara Bush, the mother of the Bush boys, all of whom are privileged with their shortsighted holier-than-thou attitudes! I wonder what she thinks of her son and the mess that he and his pal have left for the Obama Administration to clean up. Frankly, I think that she is probably still pretty oblivious for the responsibility that she rightly bares for the nightmare that we have endured.

Now we need to focus on the future!

Jan. 20 2009 10:55 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Look at that motorcade! Absolutely Spectacular!

www.cnn.com

Jan. 20 2009 10:54 AM
antonio from park slope

yeah dick cheany is going to be introduced to the theme of "imperial march!"

Jan. 20 2009 10:54 AM
KC from Brooklyn

David: Seriously! If you wrote it in fiction, it would be trite, but there it is, in the real world.

Jan. 20 2009 10:53 AM
Aimee from Astoria Queens

I really enjoyed the short interview with Mark McCormick, from the Eagle. In the past two years, while living in New York, I have forgotten the racial tensions and undertones that exist in my home of Wichita Kansas. This interview was a stark reminder that just because we think that we’ve triumphed discrimination, we still have a long way to go. At this moment, during this inauguration, I am proud to be an American, proud to be a Kansan who did not vote based on color of skin… I voted with my heart for our country, for my family, and for my neighbors. I do not expect Mr. Obama to provide a quick fix. But I hope that he inspires us all to take charge of our lives and our communities as residents of our great nation.

Jan. 20 2009 10:51 AM
David from Queens

Ironic that Dick Cheney, proud opponent of the Americans with Disability Act is now using wheelchair ramps that are in place to comply with it.

Jan. 20 2009 10:49 AM
scnex from harlem

very sad state of this union; everyone on the air are so uninterested in the truth - a simple search:

http://www.diversityinc.com/public/1461.cfm

Were there other "black" presidents? Some historians have reason to believe  people don't really understand the genealogy of past U.S. Presidents. Research shows at least five U.S. presidents had black ancestors and Thomas Jefferson, the nation's third president, was considered the first black president ....

... Who were the others? Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. But why was this unknown? How were they elected president? All five of these presidents never acknowledged their black ancestry.
 
Jefferson, who served two terms between 1801 and 1809, was described as the "son of a half-breed Indian squaw and a Virginia mulatto father," as stated in Vaughn's findings...
 
President Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, was in office between 1829 and 1837 ... Jackson was the son of an Irish woman who married a black man. The magazine also stated that Jackson's oldest brother had been sold as a slave.
 
Lincoln, the nation's 16th president, served between 1861 and 1865. Lincoln was said to have been the illegitimate son of an African man, according to Leroy's findings. Lincoln had very dark skin and coarse hair and his mother allegedly came from an Ethiopian tribe. His heritage fueled so much controversy that Lincoln was nicknamed "Abraham Africanus the First" by his opponents.
 
President Warren Harding, the 29th president, in office between 1921 and 1923, apparently never denied his ancestry ... Chancellor also said that Harding attended Iberia College, a school founded to educate fugitive slaves.

Coolidge, the nation's 30th president, served between 1923 and 1929 and supposedly was proud of his heritage...

 

Jan. 20 2009 10:47 AM
eva

Barbara Bush just got out of the car, forcing many of us to recall her epically poor choice of words upon entering post-Katrina New Orleans.

Amazing.

W's performance as President has made me feel sorry and ashamed for his father, but nothing could make me feel sorry for Barbara Bush.

Jan. 20 2009 10:46 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

I don't get why shouldn't we be celebratory about this day?

People are saying things like "over-hype", media circus etc...when I feel close to tears every moment!

I don't get it!

Jan. 20 2009 10:45 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Allison, I think the environmental irresponsibility and infractions of the past have placed us squarely where we sit today, still, no reason for the President Elect to have an Inauguration Day that is less than those of the past.

Jan. 20 2009 10:44 AM
Allison Lichter from WNYC Newsroom

Hey Sean: Curious why you think racists and immigrants will be more vocal now? DOn't you think social pressure will try to clamp those expressions down?

Jan. 20 2009 10:43 AM
antonio from park slope

How can the first black president in the usa be over-hyped???

Jan. 20 2009 10:42 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

Stop sniping! Pull yourselves together and let those who want to celebrate this occasion! Obama cannot change the tenor of this nation alone! Be positive!

Jan. 20 2009 10:42 AM
KC from Brooklyn

Peter from Sunset Park: and to clarify, I posted after the interview with Ben Philpott, the senior reporter at KUT radio in Austin, TX. The discussion included Bush's new neighborhood, omitting the inconvenient truth about the place. I was pointing out the elephant in the gated community, as it were, not making some random comment.

Jan. 20 2009 10:40 AM
Allison Lichter from WNYC Newsroom

Hi Pluto: I'm curious about what you would have liked to see as a celebration instead of this one? And hey there, the Truth -- do the huge carbon footprint celebrations of the past excuse those we hold now? Or do you think those kind of environmental concerns aren't that important in the face of an historic day like today?

Jan. 20 2009 10:39 AM
sean from Brooklyn

Just listening to the columnist from Wichita Kansas shows that racism, discrimination and bigotry and is alive and well. America's change is only cosmetic. We should not make any illusion that just because a Black man is elected as the President that racist individuals will disappear. In fact more and more them will become more vocal with their hate towards minorities and immigrants.
It is important to address this issue. Also, the Republicans need to get over it and stop being a whiny losers. They elected a conservative President that ruined this country yet is bitter the fact that they lost the election to an African American Democrat.

Jan. 20 2009 10:36 AM
Genji from LES

This generations Moonwalk...

Jan. 20 2009 10:36 AM
hjs from 11211

the media saw the trouble coming? too bad they didn't bother to tell any of the "regular people" or better yet maybe they should not have towed the party line becoming part of the problem.

Jan. 20 2009 10:31 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Ralph it is not costing YOU anything.

Oh the carbon footprint of other parties gone by before the term "carbon footprint" existed.

People please!

Jan. 20 2009 10:28 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

Michelle Obama should have brought shackles to the white house for the Bushs!

Humanize Bush WHAT???!!!!

Jan. 20 2009 10:23 AM
Kimmarie from Hell's Kitchen

Brian,
At the end of Jonathan Kozol's The Shame of the Nation, there is a quote that was inspiring to me when I first read it. Today it is elucidated and clarified and crystalized in a way that will forever be a part of my existence.
"Sometimes you have to ask for something that you know you may not get. And still you have to ask for it. It's still worth fighting for and even if you don't believe that you will see it in your lifetime, you have got to hold it up so that the generation that comes next will take it from your hand and in their own time, see it as a goal worth fighting for again." Onward.

Jan. 20 2009 10:22 AM
eva

21
I tend to agree, it's been a bit much, esp. with Bono et alia. But it hasn't taken away my happiness about Obama's being sworn in today. I also agree with Leonardo who says "the guy hasn't done anything yet!" And yet, it still doesn't take away the happiness so many Americans feel about this inauguration.

I saw that Michelle brought the Bushes a present upon her arrival with Barack this morning - it was a lovely gesture that helped to humanize a very unpopular outgoing President.

Jan. 20 2009 10:20 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Leonardo, Like I said, I am not using this day as a negative, please don't force my hand.

There is an absolute change about to take place whether you like it or NOT.

The air is full with HOPE and expectation.

The change will effect/affect EVERYONE, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Multi-Racial, Immigrant, Congress, Homeless, Men, Women, Children, Short, Tall, Gay, Straight, Atheist, Christian, Muslim, Jew etc EVERY being in this Country! Today is a NEW page in US history.

Jan. 20 2009 10:18 AM
KC from Brooklyn

Peter: Um, was that aimed at my comment? You sure seem to love the phrase "sugar coating"! As for my "negative racial element": what are you talking about, exactly? The audacity of mentioning that a former president is moving into a "restricted" neighborhood? Grow up, "bro."

Has the press gone easy on Obama? I guess, but then, he's not president yet, whereas they gave Bush a pass for EIGHT YEARS, and, if reporters' comments about the "excessive negativity" of attendees daring to take a stand against US-sponsored torture is any indication, he's going to get a free pass for all of history.

Do you see the difference?

Jan. 20 2009 10:18 AM
Pluto from Yonkers

Oh the carbon footprint of this party. Sigh.

Jan. 20 2009 10:17 AM
Sarah Feeley from Brooklyn

Changes have happened

His brushstroked eyebrows
Plow her high hipped afternoons
After speeches under yellow leaf change skies

Now hand to hand in January
We beam their togetherness

Our voices fill his brushstrokes

Jan. 20 2009 10:17 AM
Phyllis Feinberg from Manhattan

The Return of Hope and Good Feeling. After 8 years of acrimony and destruction to my country, the return of strong leadership and ideas. A president who is a gifted orator who will be able to reach out and form relationships with other countries. He is concerned and ready to work on domestic, economic, educational, and infrastruction problems in America.

Jan. 20 2009 10:15 AM
Ralph from Glen Cove, NY

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself"...well, maybe untenable debt is worth fearing too....HOW MUCH IS THIS ALL COSTING?

Don't get me wrong, I am happy about today, the only better alternative might have been Hilary, but this is good enough and in some ways better. But...this must be the longest inaugural in history. It seems to be taking DAYS. We are in a recession (if we are lucky) and this is not a seemly display no matter how marvelous we think Obama's inauguration may be - metaphorically and actually. It's particularly ridiculous as it seems so outrageously imperial, and we are supposedly ridding ourselves of an imperial and imperious Presidency. It would have been far better to keep this relatively low key - but celebratory - in keeping with the times in which we are living and which we are cunting on Mr Obama to improve.

One day and two inaugural balls are enough: a private one for administration and government, and a giant public one on The Mall much like the event on Sunday. The incoming administration simply cannot live up to the expectations it is allowing to be raised. That is a really serious concern with what has otherwise seemd an excellent transition; I hope it's not a bad portent.

Jan. 20 2009 10:14 AM
Tom in Winter Park FL

What a tremendous day to be celebrating and reflecting on achievements, diversity, and hope of this nation. I'll be spending the day in meditation, taking time to listen to the events on radio, and baking some celebratory loaves of bread.

Jan. 20 2009 10:11 AM
eva

I'm nervous that the security checkpoints are said to be overwhelmed.
Barack, make the speech short and sweet, we want you and Michelle and the girls to make that safe walk into your new home.
Congrats, I can't believe you did it.
I felt sick of inaug. festivities by yesterday, but once again, I think we're all feeling a little "Linda Richman" from Coffee Talk right now... farhklempt... discuss among yourselves... i'll give you a topic: how cool is this?

Jan. 20 2009 10:09 AM
Leonardo Andres

"the truth"

change is an empty word and its not always positive, and im sorry i agree with a 6th grader that seems to have more insight and its not easily swayed by just repeating the words hope and change over and over and over.

oh and by the way last time i checked bush wasn't a dictator, and obama isn't either, and i dont see much difference from the previous congress to the new congress.

Jan. 20 2009 10:07 AM
Spot from NYC

Did that commentator just say that attending the inauguration in person was superficial compared to the meaningful discussions occurring online? I like the internet as much as the next person but come on...

Jan. 20 2009 10:06 AM
Susan Veronica Rak from Somerset NJ

So many feelings, thoughts and yes, hopes, swirling around today! The "pomp and circumstance" befits this moment of achievement and possibility. It's no "done deal", but we're on our way to achieving this dream of democracy and a deeper and wider understanding of the common good.
Today I'm hosting a lunch for members of my congregation who are free mid-day to come and watch the Inauguration ceremony together.

Jan. 20 2009 10:05 AM
Jacqui Bennett from New York

Half brown and cream is the skin color of the President elect.
I find this endless conversation of a brilliant human beings skin color to be a little base.
Change will come because Barack Obama bares a strong set of morals, ethics and happens to be a man of his word.

Jan. 20 2009 10:04 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Accepting your sugar coating theory as true for arguments sake, are you suggesting that Obama hasn't been sugar coated since day one?

Obama nominated a guy to oversee the IRS who doesn't even pay his own taxes. Obama prayed at a church for 20 years where AIDS is blamed as a disease created by white people to kill people of color. Isn’t Obama the guy who sat silently in church while his preacher preached racism? That whole thing was sugar coated with extra icing!

I think “sugar coating” is perhaps a more universal, less partisan phenomenon then you suggest.

If you are going to inject a negative racial element into such a historical day, at least be fair bro.

Jan. 20 2009 10:00 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I thought the "magical Negro" was less about white redemption than about serving as a repository of the wisdom of the common folk who teaches the white main character a deeper meaning that helps him (I'm pretty sure it's generally "him") achieve his goals, or more lofty goals than he originally had, while the black character fades back into his humble origins. And it does seem as though a lot of people, & not only white people, are expecting Obama to be the ultimate magical Negro.

I don't see it as applying to Sidney Poitier in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" & many of his other roles. That's more like the "perfect Negro." Maybe in "To Sir, With Love."

The magical Negro trope may be patronizing, but it's better than the black partner who gets killed in the 1st 10 minutes of the film. So I guess it's progress of a sort. I hope Obama can transcend that image.

Jan. 20 2009 09:59 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

FYI you two! THE MEDIA is doing the "over-hyping"

Jan. 20 2009 09:59 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Bush will walk away "scott-free" without any accountability today, you are correct and that is a travesty!

The fact that you agree with a sixth grader is not worty of a comment.

NOTHING can stop this moment, we are on the way to CHANGING this great Country! and any change is better than the current state of organzied chaos we are currently in the midst of!

Jan. 20 2009 09:59 AM
Jacqui Bennett from New York

Half Brown and cream is the skin color the president elect bares.
I find the endless conversation of this brilliant human beings skin color to be a little base.
Change will come because Barack Obama bares a stong high set of morals, ethics and happens to be a man of his word.

Jan. 20 2009 09:58 AM
Prasanna from New Jersey

I am not a citizen of the US. However, I have been following Mr.Obama's campaign from the very early primaries and have been an avid supporter of Mr.Obama.

I truly wish Mr.Obama all success in this extremely tough journey that he is about to begin.

Four years from now, I hope I will still have reason to support him.

Jan. 20 2009 09:58 AM
Phoebe from NJ

As an immigrant, and a first time voter in this election, I see the pomp and circumstance of the Obama inauguration as being both a celebration to the end of 8 terrible years in US history (domestically and globally) and a reflection of the hopes that we all have for a better future and a better world. To have a President who can bring people together, who has intellectual curiosity, who has been brought up by the grass-roots to inspire us all... It is a new day, and I am as proud to be American as I was the day I took the Oath of Citizenship.

Jan. 20 2009 09:58 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

Bush will walk away today without any accoutability. This says more about our country than Obama's winning office.

Then you have Rick Waren given celebrity status at Obama's Inauguration.

Obama is a hypocrite or a social conservative.

Take your pick.

Jan. 20 2009 09:52 AM
Leonardo Andres

I understand why people are so happy that obama has reached the presidency. but i agree with the 6th grader that they had on earlier. He hasn't done anything yet, so i will wait till he actually does to praise him.

I wish i started a new job with so much fan fare without having really done anything.

Jan. 20 2009 09:48 AM
KC from Brooklyn

So...the fact that Bush's "new neighborhood" is an all-white gated community (that had racial segregation printed in its guidelines until a few years ago) can't be mentioned? Because the satirical potential of this micro-white-flight anecdote seems very promising. And yet...nothing going. The press sugar-coats this guy to the end.

Jan. 20 2009 09:29 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

OBAMA! OBAMA! OBAMA!

Jan. 20 2009 09:26 AM
Jerry from Jersey City-NJ

it's overhyped, creating exactly opposite effect intended, I cannot hear the name Obama anymore.

Jan. 20 2009 09:18 AM
Aaron from Bushwick

Does anyone know of outdoor viewing in NYC? Union Square?

Jan. 20 2009 09:09 AM
Robert from Manhattan

It is fabulous to watch the TV images from Washington and see the American flag in the hands of people who wave it in celebration of something positive.

Its ownership has finally been pried from the hands of the bullies and the dividers.

That is a bit of restructuring we can all believe in!!

Jan. 20 2009 08:01 AM

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