Left-wing CNN Democrat Fareed Zakaria joined President Barack Obama in describing opposition to the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act (ACA) as partly motivated by anti-black racism directed towards the first black president.
Wednesday evening saw the first airing of a CNN-produced documentary entitled The Legacy of Barack Obama, hosted by Zakaria and featuring similarly minded voices such as David Axelrod, Ryan Lizza, and Van Jones. Substantively more of a left-wing Democrat political infomercial, the documentary framed broader opposition towards Obama as a function of anti-black racism inspired by the president’s race.
The aforementioned documentary in in which opposition to the ACA, and Obama more broadly, is cast as being grounded in anti-black racism and racial resentment directed towards the first black president. Zakaria, Lizza, Axelrod and Jones all agree that anti-black racism is an undercurrent of Obama’s political opposition.
Below is a partial transcript of the aforementioned documentary:
Zakaria: Fifteen of the most powerful Republicans in Washington made a pact [the night of January 20, 2009].
Lizza: Out of that meeting, they decide that the only way to win back power is to oppose Obama at every level.
Zakaria: That fierce unrelenting opposition would haunt the next eight years, and what began as whispers is now discussed openly. Did race play a role in the brick wall of Republican resistance to Barack Obama?
Axelrod: It’s indisputable that there was a ferocity to the opposition and a lack of respect to him that wa a function of race.
Jones: I can’t name one thing that this Congress supported this president on in eight years. You have to have an extraordinary explanation for this level of obstruction.
Having interviewed the president for the documentary, Zakaria narrates that Obama sees “racism” on “the fringes” of his political detractors. Obama used “bias” as a euphemism for anti-black racism directed towards him from white dissidents:
“I think there’s a reason why attitudes about my presidency among whites in northern states are very different from whites in southern states. So, you know, are there folks whose primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign, the other? Are those who champion the birther movement, you know, feeding off of bias? Absolutely.”
Watch the documentary segment below.
In viewing the above clip, astute observers of news media will note its use of a morose background melody to evoke emotions of unease towards Republicans and broader right-wing political opposition towards Obama, the Democrats, and the broader left. Also of note is the way in which allegedly coordinated Republican opposition to Obama’s agenda is cast as a malevolent conspiracy of wealthy elites, complete with grayscale images of Republican likenesses lined up as if on an FBI most wanted bulletin board, stock video footage of spirits poured into an ice-filled glass, and white male actors in suits sitting in a conference room with their countenances blurred.
After describing Obama’s political opponents as animated by anti-black racism, the documentary immediately shifts to President-elect Donald Trump pushing the “birther” narrative regarding Obama, casting the outcome of 2016’s presidential election as a “whitelash” as per Jones’s post-election analysis.
After describing the neo-Marxist racial agitation movement Black Lives Matter as a “civil rights group,” Zakaria declares Obama as being in an “impossible” position to reconcile racial division across America.
“The president faced an impossible challenge: to be black enough to satisfy African-Americans, yet post-racial enough to reassure many whites,” says Zakaria, framing Obama as a sort of tragic racial healer faced with an unattainable goal.
Watch the documentary segment below.
Throughout the entire documentary, a subtext is present in which Obama is framed as a well-intentioned and transformative figure combating a largely dreadful and ignorant American electorate.
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