Andrew Malcolm from the Los Angeles Times was about the only reporter from the American media to report the truth the other day, though Meghan Keneally also reported it for the English Daily Mail. At the Congressional Black Caucus awards dinner last Saturday night, the President said “If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew.” He quickly corrected himself, continuing “uh, as a janitor…” and went on to talk about stirring up class warfare.
You can watch the whole CBC speech here. The gaff happens at 20:00 into the video.
The White House transcript for the event left out the error. So did the New York Times, per its standard procedure of covering up problems for Democrats.
Obama was reading the speech off his standard two teleprompter setup, so this wasn’t a speech he had to remember like all of George W. Bush’s flubs. He just had to read it. So there are three possibilities here.
- It was completely random. The word “Jew” appeared on his lips after talking about millionaires through chance.
- As Meghan Keneally speculated, the President confused a speech he had to give at the UN to Palestinians with this speech to the CBC, so the word “Jew” was just floating around in the President’s brain-pan as a leftover from the Palestinian speech at the UN. This sounds really far-fetched to me too. Words don’t just float around, waiting to spill out.
- This tell (as a poker player or interrogator would call it) reveals that the President makes a habit of characterizing Jews as millionaires. Is this a sign that the President buys into the libel of Jews as the grasping, miserly rich?
We know that Obama spent twenty years in Jeremiah Wright’s church, with its bizarre theology characterizing white people and Jews as devilish. We also know he grew up in Muslim Indonesia, that he spent time after college in Pakistan, and that his first interview as President was with Al Jazeera while his first speech as President was to the Muslim world from Cairo. This is a man who likes Muslims a lot. When someone spends a lot of time surrounded by people with one way of thinking, it is very easy to pick up the words and terms and thought patterns of those people. The random word excuse doesn’t hold water any better than the two speech mix-up theory does. And if it were two speeches he would have mixed up the Palestinians with the CBC, not a Jew with a janitor.
The bottom line to me is that the n-word is not a random word, and neither is Jew. The only explanation left is that the President thinks in terms of the rich Jew stereotype.