Dr. Boyce: So, Samuel L. Jackson Wants Obama to Act Like a N*gga

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In comments that are not likely to get a response from the White House, actor (and perhaps comedian) Samuel L. Jackson stated that he’d like to see President Obama transform into a n*gga during his second term.  He also said that Obama’s message meant nothing to him and that he voted for him solely because he’s black.

“When it comes down to it, they wouldn’t have elected a N*gger. Because, what’s a  A N*gger is scary. Obama ain’t scary at all. N- don’t have beers at the White House. N- don’t let some white dude, while you in the middle of a speech, call [him] a liar. A N*gger would have stopped the meeting right there and said, ‘Who the [bleep] said that?”

Jackson then went on to make it clear that he didn’t care about the president’s message or policies and that he voted for him solely because he’s black.

“That’s American politics, pure and simple. [Obama’s] message didn’t mean [bleep] to me. In the end, he’s a politician. I just hoped he would do some of what he said he was gonna do. I know politicians say [bleep]; they lie. ’Cuz they want to get elected,”

The remarks by Sam are a good example of when “keepin it real” can go horribly wrong.  I sincerely hope that the brother was joking, but judging from the depth of his statements, it appears that Mr. Jackson thought very deeply about how to be appropriately simple-minded.

We’d be silly not to think that there aren’t others who see the presidency in the same way as Jackson.  While there are millions of Americans who can point to policy and facts as their basis for supporting Obama, there are quite a few who cannot.  The only arguments I hear consistently are “I love Michelle and the kids,” or “the Republicans are going to be worse.” Quite a few others can’t state a single reason that they believe that Obama is the best candidate and don’t have a clue about what the administration has or has not done for the African American community.

Unfortunately, the fact that President Obama has black skin has removed almost any necessity for him to prove that he is loyal to the black community in any way.  Rather than remembering that he is just as white as he is black, we see his black wife and beautiful black children and thus conclude that he must be the politician for us.  This works out perfect for his cabinet, since they then realize that they don’t have to do anything to earn or keep the African American vote – there’s a difference between a politician liking you and him actually respecting you.   We have proven ourselves to be almost entirely unworthy of serious political respect.

Deciding that Barack Obama is the best candidate is perfectly fine.  But voting for him without thinking about his policies leaves you open to deception.  The most destructive enemies of progress in black American history have often disguised themselves with black skin.  Not that Obama is one of these individuals, but there are those in the White House who are quick to advise the use of cosmetic politics to play with the minds of folks who don’t care to know any better.

I don’t want President Obama to be a n*gga, we’ve got enough of those.  There is no pride in ignorance, no matter how much it is glorified in the media.  At the end of the day, we want black public figures who embody intelligence, vision and the willingness to admit that perhaps they are meant to be something other than a n*gga.

I’m not interested in going too hard on Sam Jackson for this one, I really like his movies.  But his comments are better meant for a comedy show, music video or profane action film, and are not necessarily the kind of thing that should be part of the black political discussion.  We are in the midst of searching for our souls and understanding what it means to have a black president.  The last thing we need is for the ‘ignant’ voices to be the loudest.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.



23 Comment

  1. And that’s exactly why Samuel L. Jackson will never be more than what he is: America’s favorite nig__r. Clearly, he has proven this with some of his movie roles and his rhetoric. I give him points for being married to a Sistah, but beyond that, who really gives a diggity-damn what he thinks?

  2. Is this person Samuel L. Jackson for real? Or is he meddling on that ‘crack’ tangent again. These are the kind of people, who have nothing better to do than just masquerade around idiot black folks and spew crap. Get a life! U have the money, or are u just simply a low-life with one…

  3. This is exactly the reason that Niggerology 101 (The Truth About The Word Nigger And Them Niggers) was written! Until we can fully and truthfully understand what niggers are and the true intentions of this vile word; even our best and brightest will continue to be transformed into this dehumanized creation of the Caucasian!


  4. This is exactly the reason that Niggerology 101 (The Truth About The Word Nigger And Them Niggers) was written! Until we can fully and truthfully understand what niggers are and the true intentions of this vile word; even our best and brightest will continue to be transformed into this dehumanized creation of the Caucasian!



  5. Actually Mr. Jackson is right.

    • I was looking for the comment that agrees with Mr. Jackson, because he was right, and if you are not clever enough to look past his vulgar language in order to realize what he is really saying, then you are no better than a “dumb n!gga!” If Obama had been the n!gga that they (whites) are claiming that he is when he was running for President, They (whites) never would have voted for him. They haven’t seen a real n!gga in the White House, and I doubt that any of us want to…including Sam Jackson. That still doesn’t stop white folks from treating Obama and his beautiful Black family as if they (whites) see them as nothing but n!ggas! Sam knows exactly what he i talking about, the rest of you seem to have problems understanding him!!!

  6. That’s funny, I don’t have a PHD but I was able to understand exactly what Samual L. Jackson was trying to say. Sometimes showing our ass, can be a good thing.. Now, I understand the use of the N word can offend some of us. Ya’ll gonna have to be alright with some things. More than half of black America voted for President Obama because he is black, get over it. If you found that you were to intelligent to vote for him , then you are on the wrong side of history. You Dr., are well aware of what we are up against. It’s time to ride or die!!! Ther is still room for you Dr. get on board and stop the hate !!!

  7. Oh, please stop. Gather a sense of humor folks. I don’t believe for one minute that the intelligent and
    talented–and certainly handsome–Mr. Samuel. L. Jackson meant that statement literally. He is a
    creative spirit. He is an actor, a thespian, and probably a writer, too. Put on your creative writing caps
    and read between his lines. Forget the literal translation. See mental pictures, instead. Then, hopefully, you will see levels of Sam’s statements. The literal INTERPRETATION WOULD BE ABOMINABLE. Try thinking figuratively. CREATIVE THINKING IS FUN AND STIMULATING Try it…

  8. You don’t seem to have even read Mr. Jackson’s comments. Not once did he say that he “wanted” Obama to “act like a nigga.” What he did was outline reasons that Obama is NOT a “nigga” and said, very flatly according to your quote, that “they wouldn’t have elected a nigga.” As far as the “only voted for him because he’s Black” thing, he was absolutely right about that. I’d venture to say that an EXTREMELY high percentage of Black Obama votes were cast solely because of his brown skin. There were a record number of first-time Black voters in the 2008 election and if anyone thinks that ALL of them took the time to educate themselves on the man’s policies and positions then that person is clearly delusional. Sometimes the truth hurts.

    • Amen brotha! These folks acting like they new Obama and his policies, before they cast a vote for him are nothing more than liars. I voted for Obama, because I thought that he could persuade congress to pass legislation to help poor folks better their status, then because his Black, because frankly, I am getting tired of the government asking us to contribute more of our after tax dollars to do what our tax dollars should be doing in the first place, which is making sure that our citizens are treated fairly at all levels, by providing them with life’s necessities (food, shelter, healthcare etc.) when they find that they cannot provide for themselves. Personally, Obama’s presidency has not enhanced my life a bit. I have the same job, home, and bills that I had under the Bush administration. Until America is run by it’s people, no President (Black White or other) is going to do what is necessary for the least of it’s citizens to prosper.

  9. Please brother Samuel J. go sit in the corner, and do and say what you do best, and that is making a lot of money for the Studios, and for your self. I am not surprise at your statement , because you do have a one track mind. Nil and Nothing. As far as not one black person knowing one specific thing that the
    President , stand for, who are you and where have you been. The President, have and has proven more than time and time again that he does care about this country. The first item on our President item, was to make Lilly Leadbetter, a National cause, does Samuel even know who, or what she is.
    Yes, I am sure there are some people that voted for the President, because he is Black, but so do Right Wingers, and all the hater that will never vote for him. Our President, is well educated, that went to school exactly, and paid for school the same as I did. You know Samuels, you are not even worth wasting a comment on but, I did. I just attended the Democratic State Convention , in San Diego, Cal.
    and listen to all the wondeful supports of the President. Samuels, should be out there fighting for voting rights, because I know he is from the South and about my age, so I know he understant what it is like not to be able to even vote. Shame, Shame on you and you use to be one of my favorite Actors, but you sound just like Fox News commentator.

  10. While it is a fact Obama can’t act like a nigga! He most certainly act like a strong “BLACK MAN”. I voted for him because I felt the policies he speaking to made sense for all americans. Affordable Healthcare for every american, get good paying jobs back in america, telling these corparations they can’t keep getting tax breaks laying off american workers and sending the jobs to other countries. These policies make alot of sense. But, that being said I really am tired of him acting like he cares for black people when he is just worried about pissing off the white people. White america lied to the world when he was elected they said to the world we are going to help this first BLACK President get his agenda done but what they did was from day 10 start to dismantle and disrupt every effort, at least he kept 90% of his word. And all the so-called supporters just stood around complaining and trying to make them selves look good instead of getting their hands dirty the Democratic party is another version to the Republicians with sugar coating asoon as the Rebulicans said no too something they started crying like little babies. So, in closing Sam is right Obama and the Democrats need to grow some grape fruits and do what should have been done 31/2 years ago some the world and america what a strong supported and intelligent Black President can do even when is back is against the white and black republican wall. The we fight for everyone and black people are on the level as white red yellow and brown and we can do anything we want. We are not just thugs and criminals but we know when to kick ass and demand respect as well as give it when appropriate. So don’t hate the message the words are not as important as the meaning and feelings behind them. Thank Sam L. Jackson for saying what we all have said in private because it is the truth. No matter how much education you have sometimes you need to people the stregenth of our convictions and our moral center. Jesus show his conviction of his message in the church courtyard by whipping the traders and tax collectors and still he showed that love and respect are always given when earned. WE need to earn Obama respect as he needs to earn ours!!!

  11. Samuel L. Jackson is right. He is just stating that our President keep a back bone. Because in the end result even if white people hate one another they (Stick Together) against all other races. Just take a look at how The tea Party idiots got into Congress. Take a look at how they use the willie lynch theory on black society. Take a look at how they have black people turning against one another. Take a look how white PR is so much more convincing. Take a look how they have many in the black community thinking you are a racist if you are with (your own black mate). Now who is acting like a N—er.

  12. Mr. Jackson, is being more honest than most blacks that I know, at least he admits it!

  13. I agree with the posters who saw the message more than just SLJ ranting. Regardless of the language he used, the underline point was voting and politics can have shallow reasoning but it is truthful in its intention. You would be dumb to think that there is not a segment of white america who picks certain candidates for shallow reasons. Hell, you have many that vote for candidates on nonsence issues. Believe me not everyone votes issues. You would be surprised to see the number of citizens (white or black) who are knowledgeable of gov’t or politics for that matter.

  14. My heart weeps for a country that holds so much promise that to date goes largely unfulfilled . . . I beseech, I earnestly implore, I beg all to read Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”; and if it has previously been read please revisit it . . . and regardless of those who choose not to remember let us never forget the Dream for there is only one people throughout the history of this country who have consistently forced America to uphold its principles of Freedom, Justice and Equality even when those ideas seemed to be hidden in a remote corner of the universe . . . remember the Dream. It is said that when Pandora’s box was opened unleasing each and every ill into the world that only Hope remained at the bottom–if black America gives up on the Dream then perhaps Hope too has died . . . never, never, never give up.


  15. I always feel for President Obama’s late Mother who seems to get forgotten in these discussions which should not…but do matter.

    • And further, while I would agree, being somewhat common, that that Senator who made his outburst during the President’s State of the Union, needed to be taken out and dealt with Chicago style. Where I disagree with Mr Jackson is this notion of actually excercising that “upside the head” thinking, you never know what level of operator you might be trying to shout down. Not everyone is afraid you know, and you never know when you will be drawing the card of someone highly schooled in the various “arts” of violence, and always difficult for me to find pity for those who choose that option. Evolve folks, or reap what you have sown.

  16. I agree whole hardly with Mr. Jackson’s assessment of why Black people voted for President Obama, white people vote for the same reason, except until recently there were only White folks to vote for, thus they voted their race, and continue to do so . There were white folk who voted for white candidates without considering Obama, or anything he said. There were people who would have voted against him even if it could have been proven he would have made a difference in their lives. This is a non-debating issue, we all vote race.

    His use of the N-word was unfortunate and needless, maybe he should act his age, and leave “keeping it real” to the Rappers and Basketball players.

    Being called a lie out loud and in public has caused many a black eye in every culture, President Obama should have taken exception to such a condescending insult.

  17. If white people only voted their race, we would not be talking on this blog. Because Obama would not be president. Wake up and quit acting like a tribe! Everyone does not see race like most of you on here assume. Plus, does anyone have a spell or grammar checker on their computer? Most of these comments look like they were written by 6th graders!

  18. words make people like you or dislike you, the words you use tell people how much respect you have for yourself and your people. We must use language that shows we have risen above emotionalism, feel good, sound good words, and use language that will take us out of a dream world of when things are going to get better for us and use language that will unify us as a people, and get our people too coming together regardless of who is in the “WHITE HOUSE”. If mr. Jackson don’t respect the President, that’s on him, if white people don’t respect the President, that’s on them. So! why don’t you all who think mr. Jackson would be a better representation as a President acting like the N-word in the “WHITE HOUSE, get him to run for the position,and try to get him voted in as President and lets see if mr. Jackson could be a more effective President acting like the N-word in the ” WHITE HOUSE” for the next four years and what affect would he have on the minds of the leaders of the world.

  19. hey made excellent valid points… Check the history since 1787

  20. We, as intellectuals, form around ideologies and isms. I believe in Samuel L. Jackson’s statement. Not as comedy, but as a form of truth. The occupation of intelligence is to recognize truth, no matter its form or appearance. Not to do so is to deny the truth. Although I think that the word ‘nigga’/’nigger’ in reference to Blacks solely should be abolished, the word exists now. And so does its symbology. ‘Nigger’ represents all of the things that ‘White’ America detests about ‘us.’ A lot of us don’t realize that this includes the good aspects of Black life also. It includes the Oppressor’s inability to run rough shod over us – as any opressor would indeed seek to do. It includes the Oppressor’s inability to determine or deter our actions. This indeed is the ideology that Mr. Jackson bespoke. Never in U.S. history has an individual stood up on the ‘House’ floor and called the president of the United States a liar. Never. We, as intellectuals, understand symbology, ideology, rhetoric, and isms. I disagree with Dr. Boyce’s criticism of Mr. Jackson. I am alarmed that he couldn’t grasp the trueness of being that was cloaked in Samuel’s use of the word nigger/nigga. I consider myself an intellectual -I can speak, read, understand, and banter. But there is a time for peace and a time for war. And to ad lib John Locke -any time you have set upon me and have done something against my will, rights, and freedom you have commenced to enslave me. And that, by nature, puts us in a state of war.

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