African American commentators today paused when President Obama flashed some anger over the BP oil spill.
President Barack Obama did what some people have been urging him to do in recent weeks — he got mad. And that has some African American commentators wondering if that’s such a good idea.
It happened on the Today show today when the president dropped the “A Bomb.”
“I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar,” the president said. “We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.”
“Ah, the Angry Black Man. That boogeyman who haunts many African American men, particularly professionals, whether they acknowledge it or not. Who scares us into zen-like tranquility when fury is warranted, whether we are prone to it or not,” Jonathan Capehart writes in the Washington Post.
At National Public Radio, Frank James says he can’t recall an African American who was able to flash anger, and still achieve success at the highest levels of government or business.
“If anything, many African Americans have been raised by generations of parents to moderate even justifiable anger that might mark them as difficult or, yes, angry and get in the way of advancement in school or the workplace,” James writes.
“So aside from the fact that it’s probably just not in Obama’s personality to be publicly angry, I wonder if he could actually get away with it for long if he did have it in him? Would he even be president now? ”
Anger is, perhaps, a luxury for white presidents to use when necessary to rally a nation, such as in this iconic moment in President George Bush’s presidency.