Barack Obama

In a recent interview with Salon.com, Berkeley professor and music critic Greil Marcus laments the state of American race relations in a way you might expect.

His most provocative statement: “… when that cop killed Michael Brown, and when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, they were killing Barack Obama.”

Anyway, don’t let me go on like this. But, yeah, yeah. And when you look at the things … when you look at the murder of Trayvon Martin, when you look at the murder of Michael Brown, when you look at those situations, it’s not unrelated to Obama being president, but it’s more the way in which the country has reframed itself or rewritten itself since his election, with all kinds of people saying to themselves, maybe never putting it into words, just feeling it, “There’s a fucking n—er in the White House? Well fuck you, n—er, whoever you are.” And an inchoate loathing and hatred that seeks out its targets.

I’m not a psychiatrist, I haven’t sat down and interviewed George Zimmerman or the cop who shot Michael Brown, I don’t know what their motives are, I don’t know what kind of people they are, what kind of childhood traumas they have experienced. But I don’t think it’s nuts that in a certain way, when that cop killed Michael Brown, and when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, they were killing Barack Obama.

Marcus also invokes the usual (progressive) canard that President Obama has been treated worse than any other president, and says that the “Civil War not only had never ended, it had never been … nothing had ever been resolved for countless people.”

Read the full article.

h/t to Truth Revolt.

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Sometimes you’re just left speechless, like when this happens, via the Huffington Post:

Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation announcement in September spurred an outpouring of mixed emotions from politicians and public figures. While Holder faced criticism for the Justice Department’s prosecution of whistleblowers and handling of white-collar crime during his six-year tenure with the Obama administration, his strong civil rights legacy may overshadow his missteps.

In an interview with HuffPost Live, Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates lauded Holder as the “mensch” of the Obama administration, thanks to his tough stance on race issues.

“He stood up for the law, the truth of the law, the racial complexity of America. When the right wanted to turn back things like the Voting Rights Act, Eric [said] no,” Gates said. “He’s been the moral compass of Barack Obama’s administration. He’s been the race man and the point man for standing up against anti-black racism and other forms of color-based discrimination, anti-gay feelings.”

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will unveil a campaign to raise awareness of how to stop sexual assault on campus on Friday – through peer pressure, the AP reports:

White House officials say the campaign, called “It’s On Us,” will challenge everyone on campuses to see sexual assault as their personal responsibility to prevent, but will particularly target male students. Presidential aides point to research shows that men are often reluctant to speak out against violence against women because they believe other men accept it, and that Obama and Biden hope to set an example by speaking out to help change social norms. …

The “It’s On Us” campaign will use social media, partnerships with colleges and private partners with reach among college students to attempt to create a culture where sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. Obama plans to release materials to help support the growing student movement against campus sexual assault and attempt to energize new efforts.

For those who remember the impact of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ rules for campus sexual-assault adjudication procedures – especially requiring a low evidence bar for guilt – there’s more of that coming:

The White House said the task force will announce model policies for schools by the end of September.

Read the full report here.

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President Obama has ignored the pleas of his own allies to provide a religious exemption for organizations that do federal work – such as Christian colleges and Catholic hospitals – under an executive order to be signed Monday banning sexual-orientation discrimination in hiring, The New York Times reports:

In a July 1 letter to Mr. Obama sent the day after the Hobby Lobby case was decided, leaders of religious groups wrote that “we are asking that an extension of protection for one group not come at the expense of faith communities whose religious identity and beliefs motivate them to serve those in need.”

The effort behind the letter was organized by Michael Wear, who worked in the White House faith-based initiative during Mr. Obama’s first term and directed the president’s faith outreach in the 2012 campaign. …

Mr. Wear, who calls himself an “ardent supporter” of the president and a backer of gay rights, said in an interview on Tuesday that the rationale of the organizations was to maintain the rights they have. “We’re not trying to support crazy claims of religious privilege,” he said.

He described the letter as a request from “friends of the administration” to ensure that the executive order provides “robust” protection of religious service organizations that uphold religious-based moral standards for their staff members, whether Catholic, Jewish or Muslim.

The signature of Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay on the Wear-organized letter has led to a backlash against the evangelical school, though its accrediting body recently said it’s not facing loss of accreditation.

Read the whole article here.

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It’s not me, it’s you. That is the message the South Dakota College Republicans have for President Obama in a new video released last week, set to the song “Say Something” by A Great Big World.

The video depicts millennials “breaking up” with Obama like teenagers would break up with their significant others – his Facebook page is unfollowed, his pictures torn up, his text messages ignored.

Joe Schartz, chairman of the South Dakota College Republicans, told The College Fix that “Say Something” was “one of the saddest songs” he had ever heard. He thought it would be funny to use the popular song to show the weakening relationship between young people and Obama, believing the video would resonate with those who have gone through breakups.

Schartz believes the growing uneasiness with Obama among younger voters, who were instrumental to his election, is because they were drawn in by his large promises and the media hype surrounding him, but are now realizing it was mostly hype. He said millennials should vote for Republicans because they offer a stronger economy, less expensive healthcare and less government spying: “Your quality of life will be better when governed by conservative policies.”

The time was ripe for such a video, as recent polling provides evidence that millennials are breaking up with Obama and the Democratic Party. In a Harvard Institute of Politics survey  conducted between October 30 and November 11, and released in December, only 33 percent of young voters approved of Obama’s handling of the economy and just 34 percent his handling of healthcare.

While the percentage of millennials identifying as Republicans has stayed relatively constant since the 2012 election at 25 percent, the number identifying as Democrats has fallen 12 percentage points, from 43 percent the week after the 2012 election to 31 percent the following November, leaving a much smaller gap between young Democrats and young Republicans.

Future elections may show that Democrats will have to work harder for millennials’ votes. Schartz said Republicans “are working hard to turn out a demographic that Democrats are taking for granted.”

saysomething.SDcollegerepublicans.screenshotThe video has drawn significant media attention. It was featured on IJ Review, Young Conservatives and Chicks on the Right, and discussed on the Fox News show Red Eye by host Greg Gutfeld and his guests.

Young Conservatives said it was “the best video of the year,” while Chicks on the Right called it “kind of awesome.” The video had more than 63,000 views as of Wednesday morning, with many YouTube commenters saying they could relate to the video or that they had talked to disenchanted Obama voters who could probably identify with it.

The South Dakota College Republicans have received “a wide variety of responses,” Schartz said: The video really resonated with friends and family who voted for Obama but would no longer admit it.

Schartz believes the video highlights the rebranding effort the GOP is undergoing. “We believe young voters understand the consequences of the last two presidential elections, and they are ready for a new style of conservative leadership.”

College Fix contributor Matt Lamb is a student at Loyola University-Chicago.

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IMAGES: Pete Souza/White House, Internet screenshot

When Hillary Clinton visited Yale University last fall to accept an award, 100 students signed up for a campus group dedicated to supporting her likely 2016 presidential election bid.

It’s one example of how a grassroots movement to get the first female president elected is taking hold on college campuses nationwide. Her mobilizers are already actively rallying support there, determined not to let a key voting bloc slip through her grasp this time.

In 2008, one of the critical sectors Clinton lost to Barack Obama in the Democratic nomination primaries was that of college-aged Millennials. This time, Clinton has Ready for Hillary behind her, a super-PAC dedicated to garner as much campus support as possible.

This isn’t her official initiative. She is yet to indicate if she is running, and whether she is behind the scenes pushing this effort remains unclear.

The super-PAC Ready for Hillary is working with 270 Strategies, a consulting firm started by Obama supporters, to employ the “snowflake model” on campuses across the country, reports the National Review. This model allows campus groups that calls themselves “Students for Hillary” to receive guidance from the super-PAC, but to adopt their own campaigning strategies.

Ready for Hillary’s youth vote coordinator, Rachel Schneider, has been traveling the nation to recruit students to serve on Students for Hillary groups on their campuses, according to a lengthy feature in Mother Jones.

Every week, Schneider holds video conference calls to teach groups the basics of campus organizing and campaigning. The super-PAC hopes to build strong student leadership in its Students for Hillary chapters by the fall, so that upperclassmen can aggressively recruit freshman classes and other students for votes, the article details.

There are now dozens of “Students for Hillary” chapters nationwide, which operate on campuses like Yale, the University of Iowa, the University of Miami, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, according to Schneider.

Many of these groups are in their infancy, but the groundwork is being laid. Some are more ahead of the game.

At the University of Missouri, students have already plastered Clinton stickers to their backpacks and cars, due to its chapter’s extremely active work – its members have been tabling at a popular spot on campus in an effort to recruit 400 to 500 students by the end of the semester, the Mother Jones article states.

Caleb-Michael Files, the founder of Students for Hillary at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, explained to The College Fix in an email why his chapter feels the need to promote Clinton so early.

“As a very progressive student body with a very active chapter of College Democrats it was in the best interest of our students to start early,” Files said.

Files explained the UMKC chapter, which currently consists of about 20 to 25 students, believes that Clinton’s extensive and high-profile political involvement qualify her to serve as president.

“Hillary has the experience. From serving as a U.S. Senator, Secretary of State and First Lady, HRC has the experience, both foreign and domestic,” Files said. “Hillary is a mom… I am sure as hell ready for a mom to be my POTUS.”

The UMKC chapter is doing voter registration drives weekly. Next semester, they will launch a series of informational events and recruit students to sign pledge cards. They will also attempt to engage in rallying the off-campus community.

Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College and author of God and Hillary Clinton, said Clinton is very clever to mobilize college students this early. Since many colleges laud gender, race, and sexual orientation issues, Kengor said that a liberal female candidate “will be greeted with great fanfare and adulation.”

“[Colleges] are liberal bastions—left-wing ideological monoliths that trumpet diversity but reject it entirely when it comes to conservative viewpoints,” Kengor told The College Fix in an email. “The professors will embrace her as the second coming of Eleanor Roosevelt.”

However, Kengor does not believe that Clinton has the same appeal to young people that Obama did during his own presidential campaigns.

“I think a younger, hipper Republican candidate, like Marco Rubio or Rand Paul, would be more appealing to college students than Hillary Clinton,” Kengor said.

Kengor said that the vote is “wide open” in 2016, and that Clinton is “eminently beatable.”

“It would be insane for conservatives to cede the youth vote to Hillary in 2016,” he said.

According to a CIRCLE study, Mitt Romney would have won the 2012 presidential election if he had secured the youth vote in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida.

College Fix contributor Claire E. Healey is a student at Grove City College.

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