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One of the more interesting aspects of the Obama presidency thus far, has been the focus placed on some of the more mundane aspects of Black life in America. Simple gestures by the President and the First Lady, such as a fist pound and the bearing of bare arms have become obsessions for journalists and pundits. Nowhere has this been more pronounced than with the reaction to President Obama’s oft-cited complaint about young black men and their saggy pants and Michele Obama’s recent reflection about childhood friends who accused her of “talking white.” What passes as simple curiosity about a very popular elected official, I suspect has more sinister aims, when considered within the context of popular pronouncements like “no more excuses” in the aftermath of President Obama’s election. Thus casual commentary from the President and the First Lady serve as a bully pulpit for those desiring to police the lives and culture of Black Americans.

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