The Lowdown Hub

Learning from President Trump Predecessor Barack Obama and the American people A new dawn is coming

With rigorous research and study over the past ten (10) years to understand these things called Mental Slavery mostly with Black Races and the World at large. And a little retrospective into the life of Clarence Thomas.

“The shackles of chattel slavery were removed over a century ago, and legislation has been passed to relinquish the legal chains that bound Blacks in the round the world not just in America to a slave master’s balance sheets along with oxen, farm equipment and other tangible assets. However, no outside actions can remove the mental slavery that occurred, was passed down and remains with modern-day Blacks today.

Yet many African descendants are in denial of the long-lasting effects of the traumatically brutal institution. They often assert that slavery happened long ago, it has nothing to do with them, and Black people should get over it and take advantage of the ‘freedoms’ now available to them. However, the emotional and psychological damage caused by the Transatlantic slave trade was so severe, many people today still struggle to ‘get over it.’


Dr. Amos Wilson (February 23,1941 – January 14, 1995), a former Professor of Psychology at the City University of New York, would argue that only a systematic correction in consciousness can help Black people, who were taught to think as slaves, to truly escape bondage. In one of his lectures, the renowned author who penned books such as “The Developmental Psychology of the Black Child,” posed five simple questions to those who believe otherwise. If Wilson’s questions are answered truthfully, they reveal the slave mindset still within most of us.”


Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you saw your black male colleague, especially if you're in a white-collar profession, show anger or rage in public? My hunch is never. There's a reason for that. African American men are taught at very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool, lest we be perceived as dangerous or menacing or give someone a reason to doubt our ability to handle our jobs. Think of the emotional corset women in leadership positions are expected to maintain to ensure they never cry in public or show TOO much compassion for fear of raising the same doubt and seeming weak. I pose this question because, over the last two weeks, I have watched and listened with increasing frustration to the criticism that President Obama hasn't shown enough emotion, enough rage over the ceaseless flow of BP oil choking the Gulf Coast. Sure, I, too, have asked the president to connect more with the American people over this disaster. To show a little emotion. But I have never and would never advise Obama to do what movie director Spike Lee advised last week on CNN: "One time, go off!" We all know one of the reasons why Obama won't "go off."' He's just not wired that way. Despite the feisty interview he did with NBC News's Matt Lauer that aired this morning, overt expressions of rage (or any overheated emotion) are not in his personality. That's why Maureen Dowd has consistently dubbed him President Spock. And Obama's cool, "say what I mean and mean what I say" demeanor is exacerbated by his reliance on the TelePrompTer. But he can't "go off." And I want to talk about why.



Jonathan Capehart

American journalist Doug Graham, a Facebook friend from Birmingham, Mich., sent me a note after my post on Obama's third trip to Louisiana last Friday. His words gave voice to my frustration and anticipated this piece. What the media does not comprehend about Obama and his response to the Gulf Crisis is that he is responding in anger the best that he can! Black men, especially educated black men, grew up with images of non-violent protests in the face of aggressive policemen, consequences of actually "displaying anger" like the Rodney King situation, and are conditioned not to "act out" in crisis situations. Even in sports, you see "fits of rage" with black athletes, but even that is more controlled than, say, hockey, where if black athletes were to display that level of rage -- it would be called a riot! If Obama were to display anger he runs the risk of Angry Black Man syndrome, becoming too scary or threatening to the public, immediately non-presidential! 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. "You always have to be at your best behavior, because if you're not you never know what's going to go wrong. You never know who's perceiving you differently," said Andy Shallal, the owner of Busboys and Poets, in a video for "Being a Black Man," The Post's 2007 Peabody Award-winning series.

The 2009 arrest of renowned Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates in his own home after he mouthed off to cops investigating reports of a break-in there is a prime example of what could go wrong. Americans expect their presidents to be cool, calm, and collected in a crisis. But we have to recognize that Obama already has this manner (or skill) mastered because it attaches to any black professional, especially those in positions of authority. "Blacks at that level have to operate like that," Rev. Al Sharpton told me, "Whether you're Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, or Dick Parsons." That was an intriguing slate to ponder. Powell, Thomas, and Parsons are three very different men. And yet the way they operate in their respective professions is very similar. "You grew up in the time when Sidney Poitier was the prototype of how you operate in a white world," Sharpton said, "cool and smooth." "You and I are held to a somewhat different standard in the way we comport ourselves in professional environments," a black Democratic strategist with close ties to the business community said. "We are oftentimes held hostage to the myth of the 'angry black man' in ways that constrain us." "As a black man, as a big black man, I know there are certain ways I can behave," an African American executive told me last week. "We don't have the luxury of making certain kinds of mistakes that would have us viewed as unintelligent.... You're carrying this burden of not having the luxury of messing up." "You can't show anger, otherwise you are judged a certain way," said one prominent friend who would only speak about this on the background. "It's already a societal thing where people find black men dangerous. So you can't be angry.... You learn early on there are certain lines you do not cross." Think about it. There's no African American version of, say, Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff with a widely known and celebrated reputation for F-bombs and confrontation.



Thomas's controlled-burn response to allegations of sexual harassment during his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings -- which he called a "high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves" -- was the closest we've come to seeing rage from a black man on such a prominent stage.

Of course, there isn't universal agreement on this. One prominent African American I spoke with was having none of it. "I don't think you can define [Obama] and his presidency in terms of his being a black man. I think you have to define his presidency in terms of his being president." When I asked him about the stated similarities in the operating styles of Powell, Thomas, Parsons, and Obama, he said, "That in and of itself distorts the notion of black."

Fear of unleashing the "angry black man" stereotype or not, none of the men I spoke with want Obama to emote just to please the media or anyone else. "I like being cool, and I like seeing him being cool," said one. "And he is what he is and we have to accept that. We cannot ask him to be what he wants to be for us and be in betrayal to...who he really is." The Democratic strategist said, "I don't need my president to feel my pain. I need my president to take on problems and solve them." This is where I, the men I talked with and the American people are all in agreement.

Comments


Capehart-get a grip. You are talking about the President of the United States! Are you thinking the police will arrest President Obama because he was mistaken as an angry man disturbing the peace?! Get a grip man (or atleast a better excuse...)

Posted by: edmondsonpr1 | June 8, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

If it's not one excuse it's another.

Posted by: shewholives | June 8, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that every criticism of this President somehow gets defended with the race issue?

Posted by: RambleOn | June 8, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

There's a big difference between an excuse and an explanation. Why would we need an excuse from Obama? Like he's done something WRONG or unseemly by NOT YELLING? How ludicrous is that? I'd say the grip isn't Capehart's to get.

Posted by: leajones99 | June 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Is this a serious piece? Since the President is "multi-racial" doesn't this confuse matters. Please get off the whole race thing, people are people and express themselves differently. As President and anyone in a high office, we expect decorum and poise. Your piece is an old stereotype that no longer applies.

Posted by: sarno | June 8, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

We don't really care too much if President Obama is cool or angry... if he fills out his census as black or white or mullato... How about a little concern for the suffering of the American people ? for the oppressed - think the Iranian protesters ? a little genuine connection with how people are hurting ? Better yet... How about some competence ?

Posted by: pvilso24 | June 8, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't need to see Obama explode or keep cool. Enough theater. He has to enable job creation. Enable, meaning get the hell out of the way of the private sector and free market. His Keynesian socialist experiment has given us 16% unemployment and a tanking stock market for $868 billion "stimulus" thrown away. A bumbling no experience socialist ivory tower community organizer. Worst president in 100 years.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | June 8, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

What neighborhood did you grow up in Capehart? I grew up in Detroit, where the rage of blacks was scary. In 1967, they blew the city apart with riots, burning down the apartment project I lived acrossed the street from. Fights at school were an everyday occurrence. I think you are an apologist, an Obama protector. Fact is, few people outside of the press care whether he gets emotional about events. They simply want a president that has the best interest of the United States at heart, emotional or not. This president has not convinced Americans that he cares about America, only that he wants to change it into something most Americans don't want.

Posted by: bbwk80a1 | June 8, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Sidney Poitier? Victim-hood doesn't play very well anymore. President Obama was raised by a well-to-do white family and went to the best schools. He has no excuse to play Mr. Milk-Toast. Of course, he can always send his white Jewish mafia from Chicago to threaten and intimidate. President Obama appears incapable of showing any negative emotion. I don't buy your arguement that he is just another emasculated black man minding his Ps and Qs.

Posted by: alance | June 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I glad someone pointed out the obvious, and I suspect an intentional trap being set by the Conservative Commentators. Of course If President Obama had yelled at the oil spill, it would only be leaking 10,000 barrels a day.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | June 8, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama was given a good childhood even though his father wasn't there and his mother was off doing her thing while his well off grandparents took over. He went to private, expensive schools and didn't know what it meant to be poor and on welfare. No excuse for him. Also, after reading Michelle Obama's college thesis, I saw a lot of anger. Looks like this anger you talk about seems to run in the family.

Posted by: 45upnorth | June 8, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that every criticism of this President somehow gets defended with the race issue? Posted by: RambleOn ++++++ I was watching Morning Joe earlier and conservative Scarborough said almost exactly as Capehart wrote.

Posted by: creatia52 | June 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama was given a good childhood even though his father wasn't there and his mother was off doing her thing while his well off grandparents took over. He went to private, expensive schools and didn't know what it meant to be poor and on welfare. No excuse for him. Also, after reading Michelle Obama's college thesis, I saw a lot of anger. Looks like this anger you talk about seems to run in two well off individuals that attended liberal colleges and universities.


https://youtu.be/egTyaIAaqz8


Posted by: 45upnorth | June 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Pulese!! Get over it! Obama was raised "white"!!! He is just incompetent!!

Posted by: thornegp2626 | June 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so only black men are taught to keep their emotions in check? Please. Anyone who wants to be treated with dignitiy and respect maintains an air of stoicism. That's a universal truism, sir, and has nothing to do with skin color. Second, I'm getting kinda tired of these Obama canards- 'no drama Obama'- I call B.S. It seems at least once a week he's jawing back at a heckler in the crowd or wagging his finger at someone. This guy is only 'joe cool' as long as he's in an echo chamber. Otherwise, he's easily flustered. Also, the 'Obama is a great orator' canard- What a joke. It's 2010, and he's still using his teleprompters to give high school commencement speeches. Any time this guy actually has to speak off the cuff, he sounds like a bafoon. 'uh, umm, err, uh...'

Posted by: pswift00 | June 8, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

African American men are taught at very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool, lest we be perceived as dangerous or menacing or give someone a reason to doubt our ability to handle our jobs. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- How is this different from any other man? What ridiculous bunch of drivel.

Posted by: ZZim | June 8, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

leajones99, you have to remember that this is the nation where almost exactly 1/2 the voters went against Gore because he was too smart to be president. As a nation, if we prefer the dumb guy for President we are certainly going to be unhappy with a President who rational and controlled.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | June 8, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

It's not just black men who have to keep their cool. So do black women... we get the angry label too.. or more specifically, "The Angry LaQueesha", finger snapping, head rolling, teeth sucking steerotype we have to fight against... Tiring.

Posted by: sigmagrrl | June 8, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Dude, This is PA-freakin-THETIC. Obama can't "go off" cuz the white man would be keepin' him down if he did? You, sir, are an idiot. The President of the United States needs to demonstrate leadership, resolve, determination, and inspire people because of his competency. He absolutely doesn't need to act like he is on a Jerry Springer show. You are remiss in advising him to "be more emotional, more "connected." He needs to be competent and visible. He needs to show through behavior that this problem is his priority--priority number one. Instead, his vacationing, golfing, concert-going, basketball playing, photo-opping, and other superficial wastes of time send a clear message concerning his real priorities--he wants to be "the man." He wants accolades. He wants worship. One problem. He's earned none of those things. And since he's all about playing, the American voter will be sure to give him lots of time with which to do so real soon now.

Posted by: jshaver001 | June 8, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't give a rat's ass about any percieved racial aspect of this, in my business being cool, calm and level headed is highly respected. I need a president who can keep steady when everyone else is running around like chickens with their heads cut off, stay cool Mr President, that let's us know you've got this s**t handled...

Posted by: TraderX | June 8, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

geez, you all just don't get it, which quite frankly is too bad, because there are many of us that do get it.

Posted by: raindancer7 | June 8, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't give a rat's ass about any percieved racial aspect of this, in my business being cool, calm and level headed is highly respected. I need a president who can keep steady when everyone else is running around like chickens with their heads cut off, stay cool Mr President, that let's us know you've got it under control.

Posted by: TraderX | June 8, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

geez, you all just don't get it which, quite frankly, is too bad because there are many of us that really do get it.

Posted by: raindancer7 | June 8, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

geez, you all just don't get it which, quite frankly, is too bad because there are many of us that really do get it.

Posted by: raindancer7 | June 8, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I think the Obama haters are going to be upset with him no matter what he does - if he shows anger he is not Presidential, if is restrained he is unattached and does not care. He bails the economy out and he is spending wastefully, if he followed the gop line and let the economy sink he would have been inept and ineffective. I think it is time for the Obama haters to stop pretending they have some nobler cause and admit they hate Obama and why. If they really cared about the deficit and the economy they would have been screaming at gop constituent meetings and Bush events for the previous 8 years. My guess is that these people were all trapped in some vortex where they thought it was still 1953 and life was good. Something happened in Jan, 2009 and they were released. Shocked at how the world had changed they did the only thing someone emerging from a vortex after 56 years could - they screamed like the good folks in Little Rock and Tuscaloosa in '57 and '63 did. And they screamed many of the same things. Being such civic minded citizens, of course, they all deeply regret they never had the option to scream at republicans driving up the deficit (although they would have to change up what they were screaming a little) during Bush's years, but that darn vortex....

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | June 8, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

When I voted for Obama I didn't think his race would become an issue. I was wrong, this country is not 'post racial.' Proof of this? The birther movement, the people who say this Christian president really practices Islam and is a Muslim terrorist, the ugly, blatently racist signs the Tea baggers carry at their rallies, Barack the Magic Negro, the insistence that Obama is a fascist, socialist, communist traitor, and on and on. The intense amout of hatred and distrust of this man started about 5 minutes after he took the oath of office. Right wing radio has been spreading hate about Obama from the very beginning and the Republican admitted strategy has been to say no to everything to destroy him. I didn't like W Bush as his presidency progressed, but I reserved judgement of him in the beginning. The amount of vitriol expressed for this president from the get-go, who inherited a boat load of problems, is unprecedented in my lifetime. Something else is going on other that he is hated because he is a Democrat. Roosevelt was way farther to the left than Obama yet I don't hear him called a socialist or Communist. Race plays into the hatred of him whether the right wants to admit it or not.

Posted by: creatia52 | June 8, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

First, I'm not sure what you think is how it really is. Do people really want anger at the spill? I'm not sure, what good is anger without action. I think they want leadership, some empathy and support/encouragement to allow them to get to work on the clean-up and back on their feet. Secondly, the angry Black man label does exist, but not for people like the professor (who simply over reacted in a surly childish way. I wonder how we will ever be able to treat each other naturally if some can't be natural for fear of what some others might possibly think. MKL said it best... character is what people must be judged on...

Posted by: sally62 | June 8, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

LOL @ Capehart-get a grip. You are talking about the President of the United States! Are you thinking the police will arrest President Obama because he was mistaken as an angry man disturbing the peace?! Get a grip man (or atleast a better excuse...) You D@mn skippy, let POTUS happen to be driving himself w/o his Security detail and he gets pulled over for whatever reason and he pulls an angry black man stance he'll quickly be assuming the position.

Posted by: snake_taylor | June 8, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Shocker....another race obsessed article in the Post. Get over it. A BLACK man (well at least 1/2) is President of the US. If a tea party activist had said he was looking to kick someones ass your paper would be doing dozens of handwringing cloumns on the violent rhetoric of the tea party. Waaaaaaa, I feel threatened by obamas violent words directed at the white CEO of BP. FYI, maybe the crime statistics in the black community have something to do w/ that impression of the violent black male. Just a thought. I am sure that makes me a racist in your eyes (what doesnt?)but not you capeheart for assuming all white people would look at a pissed off black dude as violent.

Posted by: j751 | June 8, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The media uses any excuse (even racism) to distract from Obama's incompetence. He's a playboy who wants accolades and fun, and people have to endure a speech nearly day from this buffon. .

Posted by: Billw3 | June 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I am crazy but I alwasy thought that holding your anger is the professional way. What the hell does it have to do with race? That is what is wrong with america, we make excuses for every thing. A person how blows his top no matter what race is wrong. So you think it is more wrong because he is a black man?

Posted by: tinch | June 8, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

capehart, you talking about men, especially strong professional black men is definitely an oxymoron. this president should not change his demeanor to placate a particular group who would criticize and castigate him no matter how or when he reacted to any crisis. their real reasons are quite obvious. he is cool, intelligent and in charge those are some of the many reasons we elected him.unlike his predecessor, the flight suit wearing cowboy swaggering cheerleader.

Posted by: ninnafaye | June 8, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Dear Jonathan, There's the Sonny Corleone move, and there's the Michael Corleone move. You want to be successful, be like Michael. Being like Sonny gets you killed. That's one of the lessons from the Godfather and it has nothing to do with race. Women and children can be emotional. Men can't be emotional. I believe that's what Vito tells Michael at some point in the movie. If Pres. Obama learned that, he was taught well.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 8, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Pay close attention. What Joanthan is saying is regardless of what professional level black males have achieved, anger is still a negative that black male was taught to avoid. Example: T.O. is still a good football player; Why haven't a team signed him to a contract?

Posted by: dudna | June 8, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Well said, creatia52. I couldn't agree with you more. The right has been screaming full blast since the day Obama was elected with the media following their every move. As for Capeheart, I also agree there is a fine line you have to walk as an African American in this country. For me, a black woman, I have to make sure I'm not too aggressive in my pursuits or too passionate about a subject or else I get labeled the "angry black woman". The stereotype for black women is on both sides and the media plays a big role in that as well. Even Michelle Obama isn't immune. Just read the message boards on any article about her and all you read is "she's angry" or "bossy" or "aggressive". I read enough of the comments to see that most people will disagree with Capeheart, but until you live it, you have no idea what it's like.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | June 8, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to see anger in Obama, I want to see competency and leadership. And it wasn't so much his coolness as Obama's lack of concern in going to the Gulf and being more hands-on with a disaster which is unprecedented and the outcome unknown. Oh, and it would have helped if he had cut thru the red tape for Jindal in April rather than June. Is that too much to ask?

Posted by: janet8 | June 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the BP Oil Spill - this was the acid test of the tea baggers to prove their central issue really is the Ayn Rand fantasy and not just hatred for Obama. And they have failed miserably. Any Rand would oppose strenuously the federal government being involved in this at all. Not only because, in Rand's "philosophy" a rational business like BP, acting in its own interest, would move quickly to protect its investment. It is also something that is outside the scope of what government should do. The tea bagger super hero, Rand Paul, has clearly espoused the Randian chapter and verse on the line between government and business. So what is the big cry about Obama from the movement now????? He did not get involved quick enough, he did not take charge and he left it up to BP to stop the leak. Where is the "Rational Self Interest" when the rubber hits the road????" What a bunch of hypocrites.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | June 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"African American men are taught at very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool" Oh sure. Obama will kick ass, Gates yells Yo mama, and the inordinate percentage of blacks in prision just had little slip-up there. .

Posted by: Billw3 | June 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It is true. Professional black men are conditioned to contain their emotions, particularly anger, in the workplace. I have seen white men throw papers across the office in a fit of rage with no reprocussions. Had that been me, I'd be written up or fired. I think guilt and fear have a great deal to do with whites not wanting to experinece black male anger in the way they can tolerate their own.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 8, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Billw3, it is a known fact that blacks and other minorities receive prison time for offenses that whites would receive probation. As for Gates, how many police officers would still arrest a white man inside his own home after it was clear that a mistake had been made. People like you kill me, you rant and rave about the white fire fighters not getting a promotion but you can't see discrimination when its against anyone else.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | June 8, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

It is true. Professional black men are conditioned to contain their emotions, particularly anger, in the workplace. I have seen white men throw papers across the office in a fit of rage with no reprocussions. Had that been me, I'd be written up or fired. I think guilt and fear have a great deal to do with whites not wanting to experinece black male anger in the way they can tolerate their own.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 8, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama has no executive experience. "The Presidency is not the place for on the job training," said Joe Biden in the campaign. Obama is a talker. Obama is not a do-er.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | June 8, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic strategist said, "I don't need my president to feel my pain. I need my president to take on problems and solve them." =========================================== AMEN. I don't care if the President is cool or unemotional, I want a President who gives a damn and knows what the hell he is doing.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

This commentary seems to be more a musing regarding a stereotype than a reflection on the actual situation. But in any case, people in general are not complaining that Obama is not mad. They are complaining, quite fairly, that he has not responded adequately to the situation. It's been more than 40 days since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. The Gulf of Mexico is now totally polluted. The president has not done anything to remedy the situation. He has demonstrated a woeful inability to take action.

Posted by: ttj1 | June 8, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The only "angry black" man I have seen is Michael Steele. I guess he finally realized he was being pimped by the huge mass of ignorance, otherwise known as the Republican Party...

Posted by: alfa73 | June 8, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama -- at some point -- is going to have to show some leadership. He is losing folks who put him in office on a daily basis. WE DID NOT ELECT A DICTATOR TO HAVE TEMPER TANTRUMS AND TRY TO FIX ELECTIONS! We did elect someone who said they would be guided by integrity and ethics. We thought we were electing a leader -- but too often it appears that we elected a teleprompter and, a nice looking suit! Feigning anger is a high school play stunt! It comes down to trust. Gibbs will come out and deny issues before he has the facts, then, they will wait months (Sestak) before granting or providing any answers. When the issue blows up in their face, they become very defensive -- they just look and sound guilty as sin! Then, there comes the Andrew Romanoff affair. Rather than being candid up front, the White House attempted the dodge and dart, until Emails were released. Then, Obama claims that he did not know what was going on, while Gibbs was announcing that the 'head of the party' did those sorts of things (I guess he meant -- violate the Hatch Act).

Posted by: wheeljc | June 8, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I never knew what to make of capehart;; but now I say right on! So Exactly it- he didn't right this with his public in mind- he wrote it from the hip. White guys expressing anger come off as Kirk Douglass or Harrison Ford espressing righteous umbridge. Put a little (or a lot) of pigment in the mix and people are think Mr. T or some neighborhood mugger that wants to jump on and invade your daughter (me included) Of course, make no mistake- big non-white boys (and girls) know that white people are scared by this stereo-type and (we) take advantage of it at times. Of course things can go horribly wrong: like when you try your angry non-white routine on someone who has played on a mixed-race sports team- they know we are just like them, and if you cut us we bleed.

Posted by: interactidiomas | June 8, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama was given a good childhood even though his father wasn't there and his mother was off doing her thing while his well off grandparents took over. He went to private, expensive schools and didn't know what it meant to be poor and on welfare. No excuse for him. Also, after reading Michelle Obama's college thesis, I saw a lot of anger. Looks like this anger you talk about seems to run in two well off individuals that attended liberal colleges and universities. Posted by: 45upnorth | June 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse ==================== How I wish that there were enough words in the dictionary to tell you how stupid this comment really is. "Was given a childhood" really? Really? Your comments seem to imply that he was somehow given something that he was not entitled to. He was raised by his maternal grandparents! "Runs in two well off", so when Michelle was in college writing her thesis somehow she knew that she would meet and marry Barack Obama?? There aren't enough words....

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Blacks need to forget race. Yes. Really. Dr. King, when he said "judge a man by his character and not his color", didn't mean for that to apply only to whites. It's meant for all of us. Else, why even say it? We're all cut from the same cloth. The sooner we realize that, the better off we're going to be.

Posted by: avatar666 | June 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Blacks need to forget race. Yes. Really. Dr. King, when he said "judge a man by his character and not his color", didn't mean for that to apply only to whites. It's meant for all of us. Else, why even say it? We're all cut from the same cloth. The sooner we realize that, the better off we're going to be.

Posted by: avatar666 | June 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Blacks need to forget race. Yes. Really. Dr. King, when he said "judge a man by his character and not his color", didn't mean for that to apply only to whites. It's meant for all of us. Else, why even say it? We're all cut from the same cloth. The sooner we realize that, the better off we're going to be.

Posted by: avatar666 | June 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Blacks need to forget race. Yes. Really. Dr. King, when he said "judge a man by his character and not his color", didn't mean for that to apply only to whites. It's meant for all of us. Else, why even say it? We're all cut from the same cloth. The sooner we realize that, the better off we're going to be.

Posted by: avatar666 | June 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

This piece is wasted on the mainstream. It's not even really relevant to all black men. It’s for just for those black men who work in corporate America. The challenge is to battle all of the stereotypes so prevalent in America. Most black male stereotypes are negative and distancing himself from these is the challenge of every black male before being seen as just another professional. The president is no different.

Posted by: rp10661 | June 8, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

So hilarious, meetingbook. Consider Bush's "executive experience" before he was appointed president: FAILED in oil. Profited from stadium welfare as a figurehead in a non-competitive enterprise (baseball is an exempt monopoly). Was governor of Texas, which thanks to the state constitution is among the least powerful governorships in the union. Maybe he bungled Katrina; shoved 'small' gummint into Terri Schiavo's hospital room; started two wars he had no effing idea how to end; cooked the books to hell and back; gutted Justice, EPA, and SEC; and turned a substantial surplus into a third-world economy. But at least it wasn't the first time that ignorant jackass FAILED as an executive.

Posted by: redlineblue | June 8, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The "race card" is played again. Anyone surprised?

Posted by: fpcooper1 | June 8, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

This commentary seems to be more a musing regarding a stereotype than a reflection on the actual situation. But in any case, people in general are not complaining that Obama is not mad. They are complaining, quite fairly, that he has not responded adequately to the situation. It's been more than 40 days since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. The Gulf of Mexico is now totally polluted. The president has not done anything to remedy the situation. He has demonstrated a woeful inability to take action. Posted by: ttj1 | June 8, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse =========================== List the actions that the president can take or should have taken to controll the spill.

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Did you really get paid for writing this foolishness? How do I get a job at the Post?

Posted by: FLvet | June 8, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Honestly when I saw the preview of that "kick ass" comment last evening I was angry; angry because he seemed to me to buying in to that show them you are angry nonsense. The public in this country are like spoiled children. They want what they want until they don't want it anymore. Yelling and screaming about the spill in the Gulf will accomplish nothing. Telling the Gulf residents that you feel their pain will not bring the dead fishes back in their waters. Flying down there every two days will not make the spill repairs go any faster. People need to realize that BP is as interested in getting this fix as we are. This is their source of revenue and every day they are watching it spill in to the ocean. They have lost any environmental credibility that they had. No one is happy about the situation but we need to be mature enough to realize that until that well is capped, until there is no oil leaking we can not move forward. The government does not have the ability to fix this situation at this stage. Conversely the government should make sure that when this is over that BP gets every drop oil out of our waters. Until then, we are yelling at the wind.

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

List the actions that the president can take or should have taken to controll the spill. Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 2:43 PM ========================================== First, appoint Admiral Allen the lead over the entire Federal response, and give full cooperation to state governments. Since Governor Jindal has asked for specific help, give it to him. Second order the Sec. of Energy to purge MMS of former lobbyists and improve the investigatory wing. Third, declare the Gulf a disaster area and through Admiral Allen offer assistance to residents directly affected. Just sayin' this isn't rocket science.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Capehart, please get over your professional, educated self. Black men in general have been taught from an early age the things that you attribute to the professional, educated, black man. Professional, educated black men do not hold the market on having to keep their emotions in check (for fear of being perceived dangerous or menacing). How do you think black slaves and generations of black men not of your ilk (professional and educated)have managed to survive?

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | June 8, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I would have cited Al Sharpton as an authority on projecting a professional demeanor.

Posted by: Three3 | June 8, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

What a crock. The black people I work with are as emotional, perhaps even more so, as any other race. To say that "Obama says what he means, and means what he says", is another farce. There has never been another person that I have ever seen who can put so many caveats and qualifiers in every statement as Obama. Nearly everything he has ever said, once you include the "maybes, possiblies, somedays..." become virtually meaningless rambling. He does ramble with style, though.

Posted by: kesac | June 8, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I am a 60-year old white guy, and have lived in the Washington DC area for 37 years. I have nearly 45 years of work experience, probably with a higher percentage of blacks than whites, and can say that, based on MY experiences, Capeheart is totally off base. His excuses are a form of racism, basically saying that 0bama doesn't want to offend "The Man", and therefore has to suppress his emotions. I would expect that Capeheart is projecting his own personal experience, assuming that it applies to all black men. But when he quoted Al Sharpton as a definitive source for his theory, that was when I decided I couldn't read any more. Pure racist propaganda.

Posted by: Nick_in_Alexandria | June 8, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

What I find more disturbing than Obama's lack of emotion (which he tried to demonstrate this morning on the Today show by unintelligently speaking of "kicking some ass") is his lack of leadership. Obama made his mark on the American public through his speeches and rhetoric. You can't talk to an oil plume. You can't organize a community to defeat an oil plume. You can't use diplomatic engagements to reverse course in an oil spoil. You have to lead. And this is where Obama fails the American public. While he can look presidential and he can speak presidential - you cannot pretend to be a leader.

Posted by: bmayhewbz@hotmail.com | June 8, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree with justonevoice. What is the standard these unsatisfied critics are holding him to? It is easy to sit in one's comfortable chair and throw a bunch of pie in the sky solutions out. It is a whole different thing to actually be confronting this disaster, something for which you have no knowledge or experience. But you are also saying that there are solutions and Obama's team are too stupid to use them! Yes, of course that is what it is. The entire Obama administration cares so little about the people and places involved that they are just rejecting solutions, what, out of spite? That makes so much sense. You should at least man up and say what your brilliant solutions are.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | June 8, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I see nothing wrong with this article. I liked it.

Posted by: bigmunchie | June 8, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Black male colleague in a white collar job? What is this guy going on about?

Posted by: EdSantaFe | June 8, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I think this is actually an insightful piece. Of course, it is a generalization, and there are plenty of exceptions to the rule. But I know professional black men to whom the rule most definitely applies. So it's a useful thing to keep in the back of one's mind. The comparison with executive women, and the odd ways they also must behave, is also telling. I know even more professional women to whom this particular rule has applied. (I think it's breaking down now, somewhat, but it's definitely applied in the past.)

Posted by: Itzajob | June 8, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Seems like Obama gets "enraged" every time he sees Benjamin Netanyahu or furious when someone tells him Jews build houses in their nation's capital of Jerusalem. I don't know where this reputation for supposed diplomatic skills and coolness comes from, personally I think he needs to wear a bib or take anger management classes.

Posted by: shownbjerg | June 8, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Capehart...and to the smarmy d-bags that sit on this board (fpcooper, avatar66, tinch. etc), I say this in all calmness - F Off - you don't live it, so you don't know it. So zip it...

Posted by: LABC | June 8, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Intelligent people do not feel obnligated to show anger; yelling and screaming; as anger is an unnecessary emotioin to express in a mnegative manner. Being angry about injustice does not invoke images of shouting and yelling. Ignorant people shout and yell. Intelligent people take action. President Obama is taking action and not yelling and screaming. It is not a color issue, it is an intelligence issue, IMO. Patrick

Posted by: patmatthews | June 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

First, appoint Admiral Allen the lead over the entire Federal response, and give full cooperation to state governments. Since Governor Jindal has asked for specific help, give it to him. Second order the Sec. of Energy to purge MMS of former lobbyists and improve the investigatory wing. Third, declare the Gulf a disaster area and through Admiral Allen offer assistance to residents directly affected. Just sayin' this isn't rocket science. Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse ========================= bbface21 obviously it is rocket science. 1. Admiral Allen is in the coast guard. This is not a rescue operation. He is the liason in the Gulf between BP and the government. I think he is doing a remarkable job. He can only convey to BP what the expectations are. This is an industrial accident that only this industry has the ability to fix. 2. Purge the MMS of lobbyist? Really? Exactly how does that help the current situation? 3. Declaring the Gulf a disaster area means that the disaster and the costs will be at the government's expense. That is the only reason for the declaration to FREE UP MONEY! So you would rather that we pay the fishermen and the businesses in the Gulf? Then what? Send BP the bill? See...it is rocket science.

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

This is so much B.S. Sounds like another black man crying "Poor Me" I have seen many men get angry, black and white, and found that to be a normal part of life. Now this jerk is whining that he isn't allow to get angry. Bull, sounds like just another loser looking for an excuse for failure. Much like Obama, when things screw up, it's always someone elses fault. We're supposed to forget he lied about everything from health care to taxes.

Posted by: Hopinghere2 | June 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

We don't care if he's emotional or non-emotional, we care that he's competent ... and he's not. Because he did not take immediate action (too busy with campaigning, etc.) the Gulf is a mess that will take years to clean up. Why did he need an environmental assessment to provide berms, etc. to Louisiana to protect their coastline? What could be worse than the oil? In a January 2008 speech in San Francisco, Obama promised that his energy policy would "necessarily skyrocket" energy prices. Double your electricity payment, your gas prices? Instead of protecting the environment (I thought he was a "green" president), he's using this fiasco to pass part of his agenda. Shameful.

Posted by: siridh | June 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

OK you American DONKEYS, what's right about this story EVERYTHING? There is such a fear of a Black Man losing his cool. It's something White America expects from a Black Man but you won’t get it from Obama. We have condition ourselves to retrain from losing our cool because if and when we do things could go terribly wrong. But let a White lose his cool and it’s just another day at the job. Hey it’s just the way this America is. So you others applying that it’s about RACE. WELL IT IS ABOUT RACE!!! So let the truth be TOLDED. A BLACK MAN CAN”T LOSE HIS COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: access11 | June 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

If it's not one excuse it's another.

Posted by: Smarg | June 8, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It is true. Professional black men are conditioned to contain their emotions, particularly anger, in the workplace. I have seen white men throw papers across the office in a fit of rage with no reprocussions. Had that been me, I'd be written up or fired. Posted by: concernedaboutdc I think guilt and fear have a great deal to do with whites not wanting to experinece black male anger in the way they can tolerate their own Posted by: creatia52When I voted for Obama I didn't think his race would become an issue. I was wrong, this country is not 'post racial.' Proof of this? The birther movement, the people who say this Christian president really practices Islam and is a Muslim terrorist, the ugly, blatently racist signs the Tea baggers carry at their rallies, Barack the Magic Negro, the insistence that Obama is a fascist, socialist, communist traitor, and on and on. The intense amout of hatred and distrust of this man started about 5 minutes after he took the oath of office. Right wing radio has been spreading hate about Obama from the very beginning and the Republican admitted strategy has been to say no to everything to destroy him. I didn't like W Bush as his presidency progressed, but I reserved judgement of him in the beginning. The amount of vitriol expressed for this president from the get-go, who inherited a boat load of problems, is unprecedented in my lifetime. Something else is going on other that he is hated because he is a Democrat. Roosevelt was way farther to the left than Obama yet I don't hear him called a socialist or Communist. Race plays into the hatred of him whether the right wants to admit it or not. You know it's pretty bad that virtually all of the white posters mis-interpreted this article-EVERY ONE OF YOU. But the good news is you've made the author's point for him. Look, how the mentioning of race elicits a hoary "here we go again", "stop being the victim, "forget about race" Meaning, look how you whites immediately stopped thinking and let your minds roll into a reflexive position of defensiveness right. Remember, a few years back when blacks wore t-shirts that went...It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand. Now, do whites get that point? Most of the blacks reading this article will understand the point-we've lived it. I know, same as Capehart, that we can't get too demonstrably upset, it happened to me a doctor's office I was working at. But, let me give you all another one-Serena Williams throwing a tennis tantrum some months ago. With all of the attention she received, only the fair-minded will remember John McEnroe and the fact that a tennis tantrum isn't new. But, for blacks an expression of rage is treated a some new condition.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

The majority of the people talking about Pres. Obama needing to show "anger" are white males. On Morning Joe there was a round table discussion of how Pres. Obama needed to show anger and then the discussion turned to "...perception of angry African American man..." it stuck me as odd not one person doing the discussion was black (male or female). Pres. Obama does NOT need to show anger/disgust/etc. He needs to make sure he knows what's going on and have the people/materials/equipment/etc. available to do any job. I don't remember this discussion about Bush needing to cry over 9/11 or show anger. Methinks perhaps this is a little racist.

Posted by: rlj1 | June 8, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

This is what the Dems mean by the first “post-racial” president, i.e., the universal excuse for every personal or policy failing is: “You can’t hold him accountable for [fill-in-the-blank] because he is black.” Of course, this strategy exists outside the beltway as well. Just know that whenever you hire a black American, you’d better be happy with anything and everything they do because if you’re not, you’re a racist. Gee, now that certainly is a great incentive to diversify your workforce, isn’t it? It’s neither racism nor free market capitalism that has relegated black Americans to a special privileged, protected and child-like category in American society. It’s affirmative action, liberal guilt, post-racialism and the way that some black Americans have milked them to game the system for personal gain. And the grandest perpetrator of all is Clueless Comrade Barry.

Posted by: PauvrePapillon | June 8, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

#1. I don't believe Obama really is all that cool, calm and collected. I think he actually probably has a pretty nasty mean streak that he keeps hidden. #2. All the people wanting him to "go off". Why? To show what? He will only further embarrass himself. #3 True leaders lead by tackling problems and working in concert with others. Obama has no experience at this. Community organizers agitate and divide.

Posted by: thinker16 | June 8, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, Spike Lee was laughing when he suggested Obama should "go off." He knew that was an impossibility. And I saw the President get "feisty" with Matt Lauer-- feisty as a newborn kitty. I didn't even realize he was mad. The voice-over had to tell me. I don't think we should be worrying about Obama's emotional capacity. When he gets upset, he starts getting flippant; John McCain can tell you all about it.

Posted by: forgetthis | June 8, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Capehart--while I appreciate your opinions and honest assessments, they are obviously too far advanced for most of these dim-witted commenters who think that the election of one black president has magically erased 400 years of American-style racism. Luckily for the rest of us, the way they scream, shout, and spit bile on this and other online message boards is proof that they feel threatened, indicating that perhaps the status quo is finally shifting. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: distance88 | June 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

My husband is a big white man and reacts similarly to our Pres when he gets angry. He doesn't rant and rave but keeps his cool in order to come to a solution or a compromise to a disagreement. Different people have various ways of expressing themselves. Looks like James Carville along with all of the repugs have bad tempers but the drama is probably mostly for their constituents and their votes.

Posted by: jjanit | June 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Everybody reacts differently to emotional distress or unhappy situations, regardless of race. It just happens that president Obama is naturally cool and collected. In fact, I've seen through the years, that most white men get angry very easily and lose their composure. People who get angry, yells and screams, don't get their point across. Watch in the next weeks how president Obama, calmly and coldly is going to FINE the BP corporation with a stiff penalty. And he won't GET MAD, HE IS GOING TO GET EVEN. End of the story.

Posted by: infinitus | June 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Replying to: "I am a 60-year old white guy, and have lived in the Washington DC area for 37 years. I have nearly 45 years of work experience, probably with a higher percentage of blacks than whites, and can say that, based on MY experiences, Capeheart is totally off base. His excuses are a form of racism, basically saying that 0bama doesn't want to offend "The Man", and therefore has to suppress his emotions. I would expect that Capeheart is projecting his own personal experience, assuming that it applies to all black men. But when he quoted Al Sharpton as a definitive source for his theory, that was when I decided I couldn't read any more. Pure racist propaganda." Posted by: Nick_in_Alexandria | June 8, 2010 3:01 PM | Well, Nick, but I'm a 49-year-old white male who has lived and worked in D.C. for 29 years, and MY experience strongly supports Mr. Capehart's analysis. I see no projection or racism in the piece whatsoever. I wonder why you do! I have seen plenty of white males yell and curse at subordinates in the workplace with no repercussions whatsoever, both in the federal government and the private sector. But let a member of a minority (or a woman) express frustration with a boss or co-worker, either verbally or non-verbally, and their chances of promotion go right down the drain. All that said, I do agree that Jonathan should not have quoted Al Sharpton. I'm sure he could have found many, more reputable people to make the same point.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | June 8, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

drjcarlucci posted the following: "His Keynesian socialist experiment has given us 16% unemployment and a tanking stock market for $868 billion "stimulus" thrown away." Did the 16% unemployment situation occur starting January 20, 2009? Really? You reprobate windbags are just that, talking heads full of total emptiness. Your propersity to bad mouth President Obama renders you completely incapable and or unwilling to find, recognize and state the facts as they are. Very sad in deed!

Posted by: erickaba | June 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

All those commenters who say Obama is incompetent or should "do something" - what exactly should he be doing? Swim down to the oil pipe and weld it together? Nobody knows how to fix BP's mistake! That is the problem.

Posted by: jake14 | June 8, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The hostility towards this article proves its accuracy. Talk to any marketing or PR professional and they will tell you categorically that an emotional black man in any venue is universally considered a social outcast.

Posted by: cpsone | June 8, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

All those commenters who say Obama is incompetent or should "do something" - what exactly should he be doing? Swim down to the oil pipe and weld it together? Nobody knows how to fix BP's mistake! That is the problem.

Posted by: jake14 | June 8, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I was one of those Black people that wanted the President to "Go Off" just as Spike Lee but after reading your article, I've changed my mind and now feel that President Obama will really run his critics crazy by staying cool and leading the best way he knows and not portraying the "Angry Black Man" as most of us want and give more fodder to those media idiots that think they know best.

Posted by: AfricanusX | June 8, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"Did I mention yet that my father was an African Muslim?" Barry the incompetent boob Obama

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 8, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

keep cool people.this is some kind of revaltion that people get angry or keep their cool? racist BS

Posted by: pofinpa | June 8, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

As usual, there's a lot of mindless carping against Obama here rather than thinking through -- or understanding -- what Capehart is saying. I believe Capehart is right, and I also believe that Obama is naturally a cool, calm guy. I voted for him partly because he wasn't spouting pious sound bytes for the benefit of the cameras. Clinton "felt our pain" and Bush was "the decider" and so on, but it was all a big show. They knew how to pull out the ol' southern accent and supposed "charm". I'm sick of that. I'm an adult. I'm an educated adult, even, and I want my president to be even more adult and more educated. I don't want to see him play Big Daddy or Emoter in Chief. I've had enough of that playacting to last the rest of my life. You Obama haters can go back under your rock. You have no better ideas and were hating Obama before he even took office. Apparently, you have no decency or American sense of fairness and honesty. You're carpers, complainers, often poorly educated and bitter, bitter, bitter that you didn't win the election. That's all. You have no credibility. If you did, you'd be willing to fairly assess the accountability of the last administration in being in bed with Big Oil. You won't even give a half inch, even though it's documented. As Chris Matthews points out, if you were honest, you'd be able to discuss the issue with a little less absolute black-and-white, good-and-evil duality. Nothing is so simple.

Posted by: cturtle1 | June 8, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

All that said, I do agree that Jonathan should not have quoted Al Sharpton. I'm sure he could have found many, more reputable people to make the same point. Posted by: DCSteve1 =========================== I am no Al Sharpton fan. But in this instance he is the perfect example of what the article is about. Sharpton for some is the epitome of the "angry black man." He is excited and excitable when he speaks. Jessie Jackson, same thing. Many non-blacks look at these guys and immediately think that they are trying to riot. Better example: Remember Jerimiah Wright? This excited preacher said nothing different than the Jerry Fallwells or the Pat Robertsons of this world yet he was labled a racist America hating radical. What about his "sermons" earned this label?

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Those who choose to dismiss the racial context of the behavior of black male professionals have little to no understanding of how race and what some psychologists call aversive racism play itself out in America's socio-political environment. One's personal experiences in the area of race or racism does not amount to an ability to recognize the varied manifestations of racism (intentional and deliberate or aversive).It's systemic and institutional manifestations are often even more lost on them.

Posted by: JohnY1928 | June 8, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Most of you do not believe Mr. Capehart's view on "angry scary black man" syndrome. Did you read the part that women, white women have to stuff their feelings in white man's power workplace least she be too weak, emotional, unsteady, or indecisive to run a company. White female posters is this incorrect? Therefore why could not Mr. Capehart's view be valid? In the work place, as a black female I repeatedly have to swallow my emotions where white female co-workers can react however they feel to the same stimuli. It is a HEAVY burden, but one that is bared by people of color from the beginning until today. President Obama CANNOT react as a normal human male, he must be above least another barrage of he is not qualified and see black men are barely above animals. Unless you've live it, you just cannot know.

Posted by: love80sdance | June 8, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

But, let me give you all another one-Serena Williams throwing a tennis tantrum some months ago. With all of the attention she received, only the fair-minded will remember John McEnroe and the fact that a tennis tantrum isn't new. But, for blacks an expression of rage is treated a some new condition. Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 3:40 PM _________________________________________ Not to go off on a tangent, but Serena _threatened to kill the line judge_. That was WAY beyond what McEnroe (who I remember well, used to pay with his racket) ever did. The problem is that many blacks _just go off_ when they display rage. There's rage, and then there's "Imma kill you". In any event, in every circle that I've been in, it is NEVER cool to lose your cool, be you white or black. And yes, I am black. And living in Baltimore, I see black rage every single day. If I were to take significant issue with this piece, it would be that black males are taught to contain their anger. We see instances of black males NOT containing their anger every day. They may have been taught, but for a lot of us, the lesson didn't take.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 8, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, Jonathan, but I'm not buying it. He's half white, raised and schooled with whites which makes him in lacking in black "bona fides". No matter how hard those of you who put him in this position try to defend him he's still woefully, and to our country's detriment, appallingly inexperienced. These little outbursts from him are embarrassing and far from presidential. I daresay his handlers are having a time trying to figure out how best to present him at any given crisis. Their attitude seems to be to forget the crisis du jour, and focus on how the public will positively perceive his managing of said crisis.

Posted by: grahamc1 | June 8, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

First, this article is racist propaganda. The pigmentation of Mr. Obama's epidermis is irrelevant to the issues at hand. Mr. Obama ran for the office he now holds and won the election. His lack of executive experience is what deters his effectiveness as an Executive. The color of his skin has nothing whatsoever to do with that. Second, Rule #1 of Mr. Obama's Administration: "Never let a good crisis go to waste." Mr. Obama and his fellow-travelers live by the rules of their own ideological economy. In that economy, EVERYTHING is expendable for "the cause." And finally, I DO NOT believe Mr. Obama is the least bit concerned that the Gulf of Mexico and The Redneck Riviera are becoming dead-zones. I DO believe Mr. Obama and his fellow-travelers are using the disaster as cover for the even greater man-made disaster of illegal immigration. Without those 30 million illegal votes Mr. Obama is political toast and he knows it. Mr. Obama's apparent lack of leadership is part of a tactic to keep this oil-disaster on the front burner while keeping the public's attention diverted from the man-made illegal immigration disaster. Through outright lies and clever obfuscation Mr. Obama gained the big bully pulpit of the Presidency. Mr. Obama and his fellow-travelers are now using that big bully pulpit to consolidate political power in themselves.

Posted by: ironmule | June 8, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart, You usually make convincing arguments BUT this, I have a difficult time swallowing...or maybe Obama will force it down my throat! You see, when WE AMERICANS say we want Obama to emote, we don't necessarily mean for him to be wagging his finger as his face grows redder and redder declaring with conviction while staring straight into the camera, "I did NOT have a quid pro quo relationship with BP!"... And excuse me, you of all person should be offended by ANYONE using RACE as an excuse for arrogance, elitism and simply NOT CARING because it does NOT serve his primary agenda: have the legacy of NOT BEING THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT (b/c you see, he is biracial. He is truly an embodiment of African American), BUT THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO HAVE DONE SOMETHING NO ONE COULD DO IN THE PAST DECADES - health care legislation and greening revolution of America! So please, I could buy your explanation of yours and your fellow true Black gentlemen and their need to control their emotion and actions BUT in this instance, that explanation is mute...

Posted by: american17 | June 8, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

you tell 'em, Graham. An experienced, competent exec would have broken out his "Mission Accomplished" banner and some "bring it on" soundbites. As soon as Obama tells BP they're doing a "heckuva job", things will get better. I just know it.

Posted by: redlineblue | June 8, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

There's a reason for that. African American men are taught at very young ages (or learn the hard way) to keep our emotions in check, to not lose our cool, lest we be perceived as dangerous or menacing Does one need any further proof of the fact that mainstream writers honor not veracity but emotion; this is utter and complete nonsense.

Posted by: eladsinned | June 8, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that so many white responders implicitly deny their fear of the angry black man stereotype. Yet as alluded to in the article, we tolerate, even encourage, physicality and fighting in the lily-white sport of hockey. Yet at the same time, even throwing one punch that doesn't land is treated like felony assault in the mostly-black sport of basketball. Coincidence? I think not. Oh, by the way, I am a 57 year-old white male professional. Yet I agree with Capehart 100%.

Posted by: damookster | June 8, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the call for anger. I have no problem with the President's demeanor, its his policies that are driving me to distraction.

Posted by: marknelso | June 8, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

wmwilliams14 ask: "As for Gates, how many police officers would still arrest a white man inside his own home after it was clear that a mistake had been made." Odd question. Policemen don't much care for verbal abuse, no matter who from. .

Posted by: Billw3 | June 8, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I see nothing wrong with this article. I liked it.

Posted by: bigmunchie | June 8, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"I don't need my president to feel my pain. I need my president to take on problems and solve them." Amen to that! My Dad, an old white guy in his 80's, a WWII vet, who typically votes Republican, remarked to me the other day on Obama's lack of emotion. It seemed to me that his comment was more a restatement of things he had heard on the news rather than any personal feelings of frustration. Obama's "cool" didn't seem to bother my Dad at all. As a matter of fact, I think it inspires his respect. Dad often says, "I think Obama's doing as well as anyone could under the circumstances." And part of that is, I believe, keeping his cool. Dad was born and grew up well before those in the 60's learned to "let it all hang out." To him, I think the President's demeanor is presidential and manly. Keep your cool, Mr.President!

Posted by: martymar123 | June 8, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, billw3, you really are funny. You see, from Gates or any other black men, it's considered verbal abuse. From a white man it's considered defending their rights, protecting their property, etc. etc. etc. There is a double standard in what is expected from this president and all the presidents before him. I don't recall George Bush "going off" during any of the crisis during his term. Yet, people expect Obama to jump and scream at BP execs as if that alone will stop the leak.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | June 8, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Almost everything you've said here rings true and is common knowledge not only among African Americans, but to many (if still too few) other Americans who have some knowledge of African American history and a more than superficial relationship to African American individuals and the black community. That said, one major problem with the call for Obama to show more anger, particularly toward a corporate entity like BP, is that it reflects an artificial solution to the difficulties he faces with the oil spill, persistent unemployment, the enduring financial crisis and such. In fact, calls for President Obama to be more forceful tend to obscure the more aggressive and tangible policies he might pursue were he positioned or pressured to challenge corporate power much more seriously than he has already. Ironically, the most "aggressive" tone Obama has taken has been with the African American working class, which he has occasionally admonished to straighten up and fly right.

Posted by: avrambarlowe | June 8, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

See...it is rocket science. Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 3:14 PM ======================================== I think Admiral Allen is doing a great job and that my answers are far from perfect. My point is that leadership involves making decisions, taking charge, and making sure everyone's on the same page. A good leader doesn't go on a cotton-candy news show and says he's going to find some "ass to kick." He just does it, and takes names with him.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

It's not only the angry black man, we all know about the mad black woman. If either of us happen to raise our voices at anytime, we're called ghetto and dumb and even worse. Black people have to hold a whole lot inside of us and when you do see one of us go off, it's terrible because we've held stuff in for such a long time. It's like a pressure cooker That's why we suffer so much more than other people with high blood pressure and other sicknesses--trying to hold in all the crap y'all white folks dish out.

Posted by: starr5 | June 8, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

It's not only the angry black man, we all know about the mad black woman. If either of us happen to raise our voices at anytime, we're called ghetto and dumb and even worse. Black people have to hold a whole lot inside of us and when you do see one of us go off, it's terrible because we've held stuff in for such a long time. It's like a pressure cooker That's why we suffer so much more than other people with high blood pressure and other sicknesses--trying to hold in all the crap y'all white folks dish out.

Posted by: starr5 | June 8, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Tell 'em, Capehart. White people won't understand but it is true. They are masters at hiding from the racial realities of this country.

Posted by: rcvinson64 | June 8, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

The color of my President makes no difference whatsoever. In a situation where the President of the United States needs to show some anger to get a point across or make things happen so be it. What difference is there if he is one color or another? President Obama has a very cool, detached, calculated manner. In some situations that just doesn't seem appropriate. Behind closed doors I am sure that President Obama has blown his cool. Get the job done. If he has to yell, do it.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 8, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, billw3, you really are funny. You see, from Gates or any other black men, it's considered verbal abuse. From a white man it's considered defending their rights, protecting their property, etc. etc. etc. ====================================== His point is that anyone who mouths off to a cop- black, white or polka dot- has a higher probability of getting themselves arrested. That's what I never been able to understand about the whole thing. If you feel that you are being mistreated by the police file a complaint after he leaves.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I sometimes represent teens who have been suspended from school for various infractions. A couple of years ago a black mother brought her 16 year old son to my office. He was huge - prob. 6'5", and 300 lbs. and had been suspended from school bec. a black teacher who didn't know him at all, claimed he had threatened her. He swore that was not the case, that he had never threatened anyone. He had never had any discipline problems at school. When the teacher was interviewed further, it was clear she was terrified of his size (she wasn't large) and she admitted she was not sure what the young man had said to her (she said he was talking "under his breath"), but she FELT threatened. When I got the suspension revoked, this kid was in tears, and hugged me. Not exactly violent. I agree with Capehart. It must be terrible to have everyone's first reaction to you be fear, and suspicion that you are about to mug them.

Posted by: smeesq | June 8, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I haven't read all of the comments but I have read enough coverage about Obama - to anger or not to anger - to think OMG! Please people get a grip. America seems to be such a rage filled nation. Someone is always screaming at someone else and someone else again is standing on the sidelines applauding, (You, go, girlfriend!) Instead of asking Obama to show MORE anger, how about the rest of you learn a little about the art of civil discourse or even just take a chill pill. Seriously, it is SO unattractive. Obama's cool under pressure is one of the reasons the rest of the world loves him so much. It seems like an indication that the US is getting away from that whole, We are the World and if you all don't like it, suck my ... well, you get the picture. Yes. That is how you look to the outside and Barack Obama is a breath of fresh air and someone we are all much happier to see having access to the Red Button.

Posted by: clang1 | June 8, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

drjcarlucci must be a hate filled teabagger. Where was this stooge when his heroes were dismantling all semblance of regulation so that the private enterprise can bring us to this critical point. It's idiots like him that nearly destroyed our country. Only time will tell is there are other hidden gems left by the neo-con tools who took care of their rich buddies and robber barons. Now we will be left holding the empty bag. Why do rethuglikkkons err teabaggers hate our country?

Posted by: numbers28 | June 8, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Not to go off on a tangent, but Serena _threatened to kill the line judge_. That was WAY beyond what McEnroe (who I remember well, used to pay with his racket) ever did. The problem is that many blacks _just go off_ when they display rage. There's rage, and then there's "Imma kill you". In any event, in every circle that I've been in, it is NEVER cool to lose your cool, be you white or black. And yes, I am black. And living in Baltimore, I see black rage every single day. If I were to take significant issue with this piece, it would be that black males are taught to contain their anger. We see instances of black males NOT containing their anger every day. They may have been taught, but for a lot of us, the lesson didn't take. Posted by: gbooksdc | June 8, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse OH, Please!-do you actually believe Serena Williams was going to actually kill....a tennis judge....at a tennis match...in full view of the audience...on TV. Really? You taking her serioosly, is part of the point both I and the author were making. So answer this, if you care to, why did you take her seriously?

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, Nick, but I'm a 49-year-old white male who has lived and worked in D.C. for 29 years, and MY experience strongly supports Mr. Capehart's analysis. I see no projection or racism in the piece whatsoever. I wonder why you do! I have seen plenty of white males yell and curse at subordinates in the workplace with no repercussions whatsoever, both in the federal government and the private sector. But let a member of a minority (or a woman) express frustration with a boss or co-worker, either verbally or non-verbally, and their chances of promotion go right down the drain. All that said, I do agree that Jonathan should not have quoted Al Sharpton. I'm sure he could have found many, more reputable people to make the same point. Posted by: DCSteve1 | June 8, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse Please, I call BS on your statements, especially since DC is full of patronage,union protected hacks. Why your city even re-elected a mayor caught on tape buying crack. Yeah,yeah of COURSE he was set up, as every law abiding professional man can be enticed into a motel room with the promise of illegal drugs. The more often people falsely accuse everyone of racism, the sooner people will admit that stereotypes are based on at least SOME personal experience. Until liberals and Blacks admit that many of the Black Community's issues are of their own making, there will be few professional men or woman to worry about their image. What you need to be worrying about is teaching the non professionals stuck in the ghettos to control their tempers and quit shooting up their neighborhoods.

Posted by: Michelle111 | June 8, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Cape, Let me buy you a clue here because you're fallen for a media myth. People aren't upset with Obama because he won't show emotion, they are upset with him because he didn't do anything for weeks about the blowout. And even then, he effectively brought in a project manager with the title of Admiral to keep him appraised of progress. He's handling the crisis like it's a project that just needs to be managed, have a project plan developed and then he has progress reports on Friday. If Lincoln ran the Civil war this way, Richmond would be capitol of the U.S. and we would all be ordering grits for breakfast.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 8, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"Where was this stooge when his heroes were dismantling all semblance of regulation " Loony-Tune left wingers always say stuff like this, but they can never point to a regulation that's actually been dismantled. In fact, regulations once in place never get dismantled. It's part of the real problem of the federal government. You can't get rid of bad regulations, even when they compromise what they're supposed to protect. So they make matters worse. So I'll ask you again. What specific regulation did Obama, Bush or Clinton dismantle that caused this problem? Not a general "they let the Oil Companies get away with stuff", you've made the charge now back it up with facts. We'll all wait for your answer.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 8, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I think Admiral Allen is doing a great job and that my answers are far from perfect. My point is that leadership involves making decisions, taking charge, and making sure everyone's on the same page. A good leader doesn't go on a cotton-candy news show and says he's going to find some "ass to kick." He just does it, and takes names with him. Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 6:00 PM =========================== That "ass kick" statement made me very angry. Then I realized that he is the President of every American. Some of my fellow Americans consider this type of talk tough. He, I guess, pleased those constituents. But on topic, we as Americans are to open to being impressed by nonsense. While this article makes a very valid point, there are some Americans that are anxiously waithing for their "I told you so" moment and that moment for them will be if he ever emotes in the fashion of Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton or even George Bush. There is no way in two hells could this president have been as uncentered for lack of a better term, as former president Bush. Even by comparison John McCain. As African Americans in this country will tell you, you have to be twice as smart, get up earlier and more thick skinned than an elephant in order to be even "passable" by some standards in this country. Barack Obama has been a great president since taking office, given all he was given, for us a country to be on the road to recovery...he has done a remarkable job.

Posted by: justonevoice | June 8, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't get angry because he doesn't care. It is "only crackers" losing their livelihoods because of the Gulf oil spill. If nothing else the way he treated his white grandmother tells you that Barak Obama doesn't like white people.

Posted by: oldno7 | June 8, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

The more often people falsely accuse everyone of racism, the sooner people will admit that stereotypes are based on at least SOME personal experience. Until liberals and Blacks admit that many of the Black Community's issues are of their own making, there will be few professional men or woman to worry about their image. What you need to be worrying about is teaching the non professionals stuck in the ghettos to control their tempers and quit shooting up their neighborhoods. Posted by: Michelle111 How about reading the article Michelle. No seriously, read the article. And then re-read the poster whose ideas and opinions you are butchering with your misinterpretation of what he meant. People such as yourself are making the writers (both of em') point. You have taken a story about how blacks are perceived in a workplace when angry and a subsequent post and made it into something about false accusations of racism-What are you talking about sweetie? Again, read the article.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

"Yet as alluded to in the article, we tolerate, even encourage, physicality and fighting in the lily-white sport of hockey. Yet at the same time, even throwing one punch that doesn't land is treated like felony assault in the mostly-black sport of basketball. Coincidence? I think not." Congratulations. This is the dumbest comment of the month in the Post (although to be fair, the month is young) When the NBA was almost all white throwing punches was never allowed. Ever. In Hockey it is part of the game because that type of physicality is part of the NFL (in fact it's toned down considerably from the 70's). And even in Hockey if you go to far, they throw your sorry butt in jail. Of course, the facts fly in the face of your "dumb comment of the month", but I found it very entertaining. I want to encourage you to continue to submit these dumb comments as they inspire all of us to laugh at those around us. Who knows? You might be the dumb-*ss in the office next door! And that, my friend, is what makes this world a more interesting place.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 8, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

The more often people falsely accuse everyone of racism, the sooner people will admit that stereotypes are based on at least SOME personal experience. Until liberals and Blacks admit that many of the Black Community's issues are of their own making, there will be few professional men or woman to worry about their image. What you need to be worrying about is teaching the non professionals stuck in the ghettos to control their tempers and quit shooting up their neighborhoods. Posted by: Michelle111 Hey Michelle-read the article! You are making the writer's point-Look how you have misinterpreted both the writer and poster's point into false accusations of racism- Whaaat! What are you talking about? That is the overall point of this article, how blacks displaying anger at the workplace can be seen as a loss of control, overemotional, and the like. How you managed to see false racism suggests you REALLY didn't understand what the story was trying to get at. To your other point-Whites, such as yourself LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE to point to a recent shooting and make your little smart comments, but, uh sweetheart, who is the more violent man/race of men- mine or yours? If you're honest with at least yourself-you know the answer already. So unless you want to go tic for tat about violence, particularly when a white just dragged a black man to his death down miles of road in Florida, go right ahead. I'll humble you.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

The more often people falsely accuse everyone of racism, the sooner people will admit that stereotypes are based on at least SOME personal experience. Until liberals and Blacks admit that many of the Black Community's issues are of their own making, there will be few professional men or woman to worry about their image. What you need to be worrying about is teaching the non professionals stuck in the ghettos to control their tempers and quit shooting up their neighborhoods. Posted by: Michelle111 Hey Michelle-read the article! You are making the writer's point-Look how you have misinterpreted both the writer and poster's point into false accusations of racism- Whaaat! What are you talking about? That is the overall point of this article, how blacks displaying anger at the workplace can be seen as a loss of control, overemotional, and the like. How you managed to see false racism suggests you REALLY didn't understand what the story was trying to get at. To your other point-Whites, such as yourself LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE to point to a recent shooting and make your little smart comments, but, uh sweetheart, who is the more violent man/race of men- mine or yours? If you're honest with at least yourself-you know the answer already. So unless you want to go tic for tat about violence, particularly when a white just dragged a black man to his death down miles of road in Florida, go right ahead. I'll humble you.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double posts folks :-p

Posted by: ArmchairGM | June 8, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Capehart gives the best reason why we don't need a black president.

Posted by: ravitchn | June 8, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I think Admiral Allen is doing a great job and that my answers are far from perfect. My point is that leadership involves making decisions, taking charge, and making sure everyone's on the same page. A good leader doesn't go on a cotton-candy news show and says he's going to find some "ass to kick." He just does it, and takes names with him. Posted by: bbface21 | June 8, 2010 6:00 PM =========================== That "ass kick" statement made me very angry. Then I realized that he is the President of every American. Some of my fellow Americans consider this type of talk tough. He, I guess, pleased those constituents. But on topic, we as Americans are to open to being impressed by nonsense. While this article makes a very valid point, there are some Americans that are anxiously waiting for their "I told you so" moment and that moment for them will be if he ever emotes in the fashion of Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton or even George Bush. There is no way in two hells could this president have been as uncentered for lack of a better term, as former president Bush. Even by comparison John McCain. As African Americans in this country will tell you, you have to be twice as smart, get up earlier and more thick skinned than an elephant in order to be even "passable" by some standards in this country. Barack Obama has been a great president since taking office, given all he was given, for us a country to be on the road to recovery...he has done a remarkable job.


The comment is plentiful you can read more from the link to Capehart-get a grip


Source: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/06/rage_why_obama_wont_and_cant_g.html#more