Q: Why is it so difficult for some journalists to refer to Barack Obama as President Obama?
A: This is a rhetorical question, I believe, but I’ll play along. Because, c’mon, we all know what the short answer is – racism. But, I’ll answer in long form.
It’s difficult because they’re expected to do something that they didn’t always do for our last president. Perhaps I just never noticed but journalists called President Bush, Bush, didn’t they? I know I called him Bush. I never threw in President at the beginning. It wasn’t because I disrespected him; I didn’t love him either, but it was because it was faster to say. I don’t have time to call him by his title. Screw his title. He’s not standing right in front of me with his agents demanding my respect. Besides, when you say Obama everyone knows who and what he is.
I think we as Black folks are expecting way too much from the media. We expect instant respect and change in everyone just because a man with melanin is in the White House. Don’t get me wrong, he deserves respect, but when he is simply being called Obama I don’t believe he is being disrespected.
I tend to liken it to feeling a sense of closeness to President Obama when I simply call him Obama. Ya know, like “Obama is my Homeboy”. OK, that was wack, just like the “Jesus is My Homeboy” fad but you see my point, right? Anyway, when I hear people refer to him in a certain tone as President Barack Hussein Obama that tends to leave a bad taste in my mouth because it implies that he’s the enemy. However, that is his full name, so maybe I am tripping too.