Before Rupert Murdoch, Countless Liberals Questioned Obama’s ‘Blackness’

Barack Obama
The Associated Press

In the 140-character critique heard ‘round the world, News Corporation founder Rupert Murdoch sent the mainstream media into a frenzy when he tweeted: “Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else.”

The immediate reaction to Murdoch’s social media musings was as hot as it is asinine.

Murdoch believes that Republican presidential candidate and renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson would make a much better president for black Americans than Barack Obama. The prevailing media narrative suggests that Rupert Murdoch is the first person to ever question Obama’s racial identity and what he has done for black Americans six years into his tenure.

But this is absurd.

Progressive newspapers, left-wing political pundits, entertainers, liberals—and notably—black liberals were questioning Barack Obama’s blackness even before he announced his candidacy for president.

In March, the New York Daily News published a 2004 interview of Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, who revealed that she initially had reservations about her daughter marrying a biracial man and was “worried” about Michelle and Barack Obama’s “races mixing.”

In November 2006, New York Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch wrote that “other than color, Obama did not — does not — share a heritage with the majority of black Americans, who are descendants of plantation slaves… So when black Americans refer to Obama as ‘one of us,’ I do not know what they are talking about.”

In February 2007, a Los Angeles Times editorial asked, “is Obama really black?”

In February 2007, 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft said to then-Senator Obama, “You grew up white,” and, “yet at some point, you decided that you were black?”

In a February 2007 Time column titled “Is Obama Black Enough?” liberal media darling Ta-Nehisi Coates said, “Barack Obama’s real problem isn’t that he’s too white–it’s that he’s too black.”

In July 2008, Jesse Jackson famously announced to the world that he wanted to “cut” President Obama’s “nuts off” for “talking down to black folks.”

In August 2008, The New York Times asked is “Obama the End of Black Politics?”

In December 2008, an Associated Press article tackled the assertion that “Many” are “Insisting That Obama Is Not Black.”

In November 2010, author Toby Young said, “Obama’s problem is that he’s not black enough.”

In September 2010, Bill Maher said Barack Obama’s problem is “he’s only half black,” adding, “If he was fully black, I’m telling you, he would be a better president.”

Before that, in May 2010, Maher said, “I thought when we elected a black president, we were going to get a black president. You know, this [BP oil spill] is where I want a real black president. I want him in a meeting with the BP CEOs, you know, where he lifts up his shirt so you can see the gun in his pants. ‘We’ve (In black man voice) got a motherfucking problem here?’ Shoot somebody in the foot.”

In early 2011, music mogul P. Diddy told Source Magazine, “I love the president like most of us. I just want the president to do better.”

In June 2011, Chicago-based rapper Lupe Fiasco said, “To me, the biggest terrorist is Obama in the United States of America.”

In July 2012, Morgan Freeman said, “America’s first black president hasn’t arisen yet. [Obama’s] not America’s first black president—he’s America’s first mixed-race president.”

In April 2013, The Atlantic asked “Has President Obama Done Enough for Black Americans?”

In September 2014, progressive filmmaker Michael Moore said Barack Obama has been a “huge disappointment,” adding, “When the history is written of this era, this is how you’ll be remembered: ‘He was the first black president.’ Okay, not a bad accomplishment, but that’s it. That’s it, Mr. Obama. A hundred years from now, ‘he was the first black American that got elected president.’ And that’s it. Eight years of your life and that’s what people are going to remember.”

In July 2014, Chicago residents were caught on camera criticizing Obama’s immigration policies, saying, “For the president to set aside all of these funds for immigrants and have forsaken the African-American community, I think that’s a disgrace. He will go down as the worst president ever elected. Bill Clinton was the African-American president.” One man asked how it is that Obama could “keep letting this senseless killing and shooting happen in our community? For the president to set aside all of these funds for immigrants and [have] forsaken the African-American community, I think that’s a disgrace. He will go down as the worst president ever elected. Bill Clinton was the African-American president.”

In October 2014, East St. Louis resident Linda Harris, who was upset that Obama had ignored an inflamed Ferguson, said, “The president of the United States, he needs to be held accountable for how he’s not addressing these black issues.”

In May 2015, TV mega-mogul Byron Allen said Obama is a “white President in black face,” advising that Obama “remember who you are… It’s okay to be president and a black man.”

In June 2015, progressive media star Cornell West said, “the first black president has become the first niggerized black president,” adding that Obama “is afraid and scared and intimidated when it comes to putting a spotlight on white supremacy and fighting against white supremacy.”

I could go on and on. But you get the point.

It’s beyond pathetic to pretend that Rupert Murdoch is the first media figure to question Obama’s race or point out his impotence before black America.

The media pearl-clutching over this non-scandal has lasted long enough.