Obamas Have Dinner, Racists Erupt

Response shows ugly nature of American mood: Silva
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2009 6:04 AM CDT
Barack and Michelle Obama walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 2,2009, upon their return from Copenhagen, Denmark .    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – This weekend Chicago Tribune reporter Mark Silva wrote up a pool report about Barack and Michelle Obama's quiet anniversary dinner—and quickly found it flooded, on a Sunday, with hundreds of angry comments. Many focused on the first couple's use of a motorcade, which every president has used, but several dozen overtly racist comments had to be censored. For Silva, much of the day's vitriol has to derive from "the inability of a lot of people to accept a black man as president."

The president and first lady chose a relatively modest DC restaurant for their anniversary and were back at the White House by 9:30, yet commenters brutalized them for supposed profligacy or indifference to fellow Americans. "It suggests something deeply troubling about the American mood," Silva writes. "It's time, we suggest, that a lot of people look a lot more closely at themselves before lashing out so feverishly at a middle-aged man and his wife going out to dinner for their 17th anniversary. Is it really the dinner?"