Not every liberal journalist was brought to tears over the President’s belated statement on the George Zimmerman verdict. Columnist Rich Benjamin at Salon.com called the effort “safe, over-rated and airy” and compared it unfavorably to Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent address to the NAACP by asking the provocative question: “Some of us have an Inner Child. Others have an Inner Ni**er. Is Holder the president’s conscience? Or his Inner Ni**er?”
Finally the president has spoken about George Zimmerman’s acquittal. Even as the country waited for his singular response – the nation’s leader and a law professor who once looked like Trayvon Martin – the president danced around the issues. And what a dramatic anti-climax, listening to the president refuse to say anything insightful or profound about the acquittal. In signature professorial style, the president gave us the “context” to the episode and to black people’s “pain.” But he didn’t offer a meaningful opinion on the episode’s hot molten core: racial profiling, vigilantism, and “Stand Your Ground” laws.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder delivered trenchant thoughts on the acquittal, demanding action. Before an audience of supporters, Holder recently called for a full investigation of Martin’s death after Zimmerman’s acquittal. Holder vowed that the Justice Department will act “in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law. We will not be afraid.”
“We must stand our ground,” he told supporters.
Some of us have an Inner Child. Others have an Inner Ni**er. Is Holder the president’s conscience? Or his Inner Ni**er?
It’s an attention-getting way to suggest that Obama and Holder play “good cop/bad cop” on racial issues, and Benjamin goes on to show examples over their careers that support the idea. Benjamin is a Senior Fellow at the liberal think tank Demos, has written extensively about the Zimmerman case, and has been critical of Obama’s reaction.
The “Inner Ni**er” charge got a volatile reaction from most liberals who absolutely loved the meaningless, identity-politics-pander that President Obama passed off as a meaningful speech, and they took to Twitter to let Benjamin know. (H/T Tommy Christopher)
@elonjames Seriously @RichBenjaminUSA. What the fuck dude? Of all the framing around this you would use “Inner Nigger” to make this argument?
@elonjames Whether you thought that Obama’s speech is lacking or not, deliberate link bait like this is cheap and problematic at best.
@AngryBlackLady When I said publish more voices of color, this wasn’t what I had in mind, @Salon.
@AngryBlackLady I can’t. i can’t. RT @tommyxtopher: @AngryBlackLady @Salon @elonjames cue Rush Limbaugh “satire.” Maybe a parody Stevie Wonder album cover?
@elonjames Wow. And @Salon-do you guys not have editors? What editor in their right mind sees “Inner Nigger” and thinks “Publish this ASAP.”
@elonjames Fuck your career. This isnt about how many hits you can get. This is so much bigger than that and muthafuckas out here trying to be popular.
@elonjames Dear White People & Organizations: having negroes make dumbass arguments does not shield you from critique. CC: @Salon
@elonjames At this point @Salon should rename itself “White Liberal Bullshit Weekly.”
@AngryBlackLady And @Salon published that nonsense by @RichBenjaminUSA with Trayvon’s name spelled incorrectly in the photo caption — so that’s delightful.
@goldietaylor I don’t even know what to say. Why would a progressive site publish a piece re: POTUS’ “inner n-word”?
That last tweet from MSNBC’s Goldie Taylor is instructive in that she acknowledges that “progressive sites” tend not to publish anything that would be seen as critical of President Obama, especially an article critical of the President within the realm of race.