Saturday, September 24, 2011

The President's Hip Hop BBQ?

What most would refer to as a private 50th birthday party for President Obama last month, Fox Nation (an online extension of Fox News) decided instead to call it a "Hip Hop BBQ." But not just any hip hop barbeque, one that FAILED to create any jobs. As captured in the image on the left, Fox Nation chose not to highlight other notable non-hip hop birthday guests like Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Rahm Emmanuel, but instead chose to draw a link between Obama and hip hop in what can only be interpreted as a negative connotation.

The image and headline attempt to tie the President to what many deem to be a dangerous subculture (hip hop). Further, the story and headline attempts to perpetuate the tired stereotype of "lazy" black men, who were partying, not working, as evidenced by the President's failure to create new jobs at his 50th birthday party.

According to the New York Times, the hip hop barbeque article generated more than 2,000 comments, some of which were virulent and racist. "A small number of the user comments on the article page were overtly racist, while others condemned the article; one such comment stated, 'Racism is still alive, and Fox Nation is exploiting it.' [Fox spokesperson] Mr. Shine said, 'We found many of the comments to be offensive and inappropriate and they have been removed. We also shut down further comments on this piece.'"

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