“AP Confuses Criticism of Obama With ‘Racial Slurs'” By Warner Todd Huston

Proving that the left cannot tell the difference between “racism” and “criticism,” the AP posted a lengthy March 30 story confusing and conflating the two as it pertains to attacks on President Obama. As far as the AP is concerned it seems the whole country is running around with burning crosses and wearing pointy hoods aiming to cast racial epithets at Obama at every turn. It may as well still be the year 1860 around here.

The AP starts its piece by informing the reader that “racial slurs continue” against the president “despite” his “historic achievement.” But the main problem with the piece is that much of the report details political attacks that aren’t really racial in nature but are instead just those normal sorts of political attacks we see against any president. Granted they are tailored for Obama (like his citizenship and religion questions) but they aren’t really “racial” attacks per se. Still, the AP illegitimately lumps any and all attacks against Obama under the rubric of “racial slurs.”

Initially the AP approaches assumption instead of relating fact in the interpretation of the very first example it lists in its second paragraph.

In Obama’s first two months in office, a New York tabloid took heat over a cartoon appearing to portray the president as a monkey; a California mayor resigned after distributing a picture of watermelons on the White House lawn; and an e-mail making the rounds refers to Obama as “the magic mulatto,” with exaggerated ears and nose.

That political cartoon the AP mentions WAS NOT a portrayal of President Obama. It was a riff on the chimp attack that had been in the news that week. It had no intention of portraying the president as a monkey. An overreaction by race-baiters does not automatically equate to racist intent on the part of the original source.

Then the Obama birth certificate question is branded as an “untruth” despite that it hasn’t really successfully been debunked.

Disproved and disputed claims about his religion and citizenship, namely untruths that Obama is a Muslim and isn’t U.S.-born, zip across chat rooms and dominate the blogosphere. Fringe critics largely are responsible for perpetuating the lies, but even elected officials have raised them.

What ever you believe about Obama’s country of birth and its importance to his election, it cannot be said that it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was born in Hawaii. The question remains murky because an original certificate of live birth has never been made public. Still, that issue is beside the point here because the AP conflates the birthplace question with racism when it has nothing at all to do with race.

Here is the AP’s central thesis for this piece:

All that underscores how the accomplishment of one man who broke the highest racial barrier hasn’t entirely changed the dynamic of a country founded by slave owners. It also shows how far the nation has to go to bridge its centuries-old racial divide.

“All that” underscores the race conflicts in this country? All what? Thus far in the piece the AP only gave two examples of actual racism with the rest being political attacks that aren’t necessarily racist at heart. The religion question has little to do with racism — after all, we are at war with radical Islam — and neither does the birthplace question. But the AP persists in its own fallacious conflation.

In truth, Obama probably will continue to be dogged to some degree by entrenched stereotypes and viral fallacies.

Now we are talking about “entrenched stereotypes” and “viral fallacies” from the Internet. Notice how they lump the two together, notice this conflation? The AP is quite misleading, though, because a “viral fallacy” is not necessarily race based. Sure they can be race based, but viral Internet rumors aren’t by nature racial attacks. Every single political candidate out there is a victim of these Internet fallacies at some point in their candidacy or career. Heck, there are even Internet attack sites built to attack me, for Heaven’s sake. Clearly the AP is saying that every political detraction cast at Obama is racism.

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