In 1994, Obama Argued for Affirmative Action, Against ‘Return to Good Old-Fashioned Racism’

Charles C. Johnson, Daily Caller, October 11, 2012

As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could decide the future of racial preferences in college admissions, The Daily Caller obtained one of the oldest known audio recordings of President Barack Obamaan October 28, 1994 NPR broadcast in which Obama described opponents of affirmative action and certain welfare programs as favoring racism.

Obama’s remarks came as part of a broadcast review of American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray’s controversial 1994 book, “The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.”

Obama accused Murray of racism, and of not caring enough about early childhood education prevention programs like Head Start.

Murray, Obama said, was “interested in pushing a very particular policy agenda, specifically the elimination of affirmative action and welfare programs aimed at the poor. With one finger out to the political wind, Mr. Murray has apparently decided that white America is ready for a return to good old-fashioned racism so long as it’s artfully packaged and can admit for exceptions like Colin Powell,” Obama said. “It’s easy to see the basis for Mr. Murray’s calculations.”

Americans’ overall opposition to affirmative action, Obama added, was not rooted in its constitutionality but in a declining economy.

“After watching their incomes stagnate or decline over the past decade, the majority of Americans are in an ugly mood and deeply resent any advantages, real or perceived, that minorities may enjoy,” Obama said.


“Real opportunity would mean quality prenatal care for all women and well-funded and innovative public schools for all children … a job at a living wage for everyone who was willing to work, jobs that can return some structure and dignity to people’s lives and give inner-city children something more than a basketball rim to shoot for,” Obama said

Reached for comment, Murray said he doubts Obama ever read his book.

“It must be the first documented case of Obama spouting off without doing his homework—he obviously hadn’t read The Bell Curve,” Murray told The Daily Caller. “We’ve seen a lot of that in the last four years.”

The existence of the audio has long been rumored, but this is the first time it has been accessible to the general public. {snip}


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  • “…a job at a living wage for everyone who was willing to work…”

    And what of those unwilling to work?

    • The Worlds Scapegoat

       EBT cards and a large box of excuses

      • and a couple ,or a dozen,phones! He givin us phones–gonna do more!

  • David Ashton

    Was Head Start much good?

    • ATBOTL

      No, it maybe raised scores a little bit for a couple years in early childhood, but by high school, the kids in head start were the same as the others.  

      • Rushton’s recent passing is apropos to the point you’re making.  Rushton demonstrated that there are racial differences in the maturation of infants and children.  While it may or may not mean that black 3-4 year olds are temporarily mentally ahead of whites of the same age (my interpretation of Rushton’s conclusion that blacks are ahead of whites at that age has been disputed here on AR), what it does mean is that Head Start seems more ephemerally successful than it turns out in the long run.  And since blacks’ mental development levels off quickly circa ages 10-11-12, any Head Start attention applied after then usually turns out to be futile.

        Everyone should pay attention to the news.  The pattern of “bright in Head Start, good student in elementary school, showing signs of getting disinterested in middle school, and totally falling off the wagon in high school” is a common story for blacks.

  • Oil Can Harry

    At 00:30 President Bozo claims that minority test scores are held back by language barriers.

    If so, how come black and hispanic students raised in this country have lower English scores than immigrant white and Asian students who learned English as a second language? 

  • they say that they are anti-racist, what they are is anti-white.  Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

  • Tom_in_Miami

    I like the part about “real or perceived.” 

  • Detroit_WASP

    Was he suggesting that black women are more likely to smoke crack and therefore, of course they have lower IQs. 

    A gaff is when a politician accidently tells the truth!  lol

  • Bobby

    And why wouldln’t he? Sometimes whites are so utterly naive. He’s not stupid. He knows what has benefitted him his whole life. Too bad so many Euro-Americans don’t.


     As one pundit put it, “The left and minority power groups make accusations of ‘racism”, because making accusations of racism works. 

  • jedsrael

    Fire Dept. drug tests are racist-

  • jedsrael

    O’Reilly just played a clip from this, so millions of the White community heard Obama talking about racism again.

    “Sick and tired of it” may be starting to make a difference on our side, for once.

    If this is where we are now, imagine where we will be by 2016…

    • It will be better if Obama wins long term. It needs to get worse before it gets better imo.

  • Jetmantempbox1

    Another term for “racism” is Freedom of Association.  Of course, that was destroyed long ago.  In fact, I recently had a discussion about it with my cousin who is 31 years old.  He has an IQ of over 140, and is fairly wel tuned-in.  He had never heard the term before.  I was flabergasted, but realized that I shouldn’t have been…since it was eliminated from American life in the 1960s, 15 years before he was born.  When was the last time YOU heard the term used on television or in print?  Exactly.

  • LHathaway

    i remember when the bell curve came out – i was a college student. If the book ever came up in any kind of discussion on campus, i would say, with as  much indignation as i could muster ‘charles murry/the bell curve is racist. How can he say asians are more intelligent than whites. I would say that pretty much to see the response, but then again, this would in truth be the way a white racial activist/or what a white racial position might be. 

    when i said this, ‘how can he say asians are smarter than whites’ it really caused a stir. Not a violent or even a loud reaction, but definitely a reaction. I think I was seen as racist, and Really, really, racist – pehaps not Quite really nazi but something that definitely had to be contradicted. Thinking about it, I think my statement caused a reaction because my statement plays down all the racism all the students ‘just knew’ existed against backs (even at a university that has affirmative action and racial activist groups (for people of color only) on campus.

    Everyone is obsessed with blacks. Perhaps enough so they can ignore Their very real racism. Who knows, but it was quite interesting.

    Once, I said that, ‘how can he say asians are smarter than white’? and the response was ‘everyone knows it’s true’. 

    • But its NOT. Look at Asia. Now look at America pre-Immigration holocaust. Notice any difference> Isnt Whitelandia a tad better than Asia??

  • Real opportunity would mean quality prenatal care for all women and
    well-funded and innovative public schools for all children … a job at a
    living wage for everyone who was willing to work….

    Notice how all of this revolves around money — the (presumably federal) governmental redistribution of money disproportionately earned by whites and disproportionately spent upon blacks.

    Obama’s “real opportunity” will require not only a massive increase in not just taxes, but also a massive increase in government bureaucrats to oversee/monitor all this wealth redistribution. Care to guess what race/s will get preference in hiring for those government jobs???

    Bottom line: blacks bureaucrats will rule over white taxpayers who are forced to “wet nurse” black tax users from cradle to grave. “Equality” or “equal opportunity” is used to make whites blacks’ slaves. How’s that for a twist from the days of Southern slavery???

    • Laager

      This is exactly what is happening in South Africa today with a population ratio of  80% black to 10% white. The remaining 10% is made up of 7% Mulatto and 3% Indian / Asian.

      Whites generate 77% of the nation’s tax revenue. 

      So even in a country where blacks have been gifted a fully functioning first world infrastructure, rule at all 3 tiers of government [city, province, national] they are still parasites wholly dependent on the white man.

      And they claim they are oppressed.

  • Have you all noticed that the phrase used in place of affirmative action is equal opportunity?  I think that in truth the better terminology is equal outcomes.  But they wouldn’t admit that.

  • anonymous_amren

    This article called Head Start an “education prevention program”. 🙂

  • Lakeview Senior

    It will be difficult to do away with affirmative action as most of the movers and shakers in this country seem to be for it 100%.   Like Bill Gates, they could less the damage it has done to White males.  I was a victim of it in my working life since I was employed by the local city government.  Most of the new hires in the City of Chicago various departments are Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, et al except White males.  Promotions are based on your race with black women getting the best jobs.  With the exception of perhaps the police and fire departments, affirmative action is alive and well and is pushed by the new mayor, Rahm Emanual.  Like most Jews he is a willing partner in displacing White males in the City’s workforce.  I should say though that they do fill up the top spots with White liberal males as they have a profound dislkie of the average White male. 

    I think affirmative action is here to stay.  Charles Murray’s new book, Coming Apart, shows that the average White male doesn’t have any allies within the ranks of the ‘cogent elites.’  There is a great divide between the classes now, so you won’t see AF being done away anytiem soon.

    • I work in one of the two buildings that sit “in the middle of” S. La Salle Street. The only two that, for the most part, are completely color blind. Only one color matters, green.

      I walk home every day. I try to be out of the office before 4:15 so I can get past the city and county office buildings before the ghetto garbage starts rolling out. 

      I feel sorry for what you had to endure, but you saw the scales tilt against you a long time ago, and should have left then.

  • JackKrak

    Why is it only now that suddenly every week there’s another old video of Obama saying all the things we all suspected him of believing four years ago? Where were these videos in 2008? Apparently  “reporters” were too busy going through Bush’s cousin’s neighbor’s garbage looking for a bombshell story to notice that the Democratic candidate for POTUS was coming out swinging for affirmative action, accusing the rest of the country of being racist, etc.

    No story there, I guess.

  • Laager

    “Real opportunity would mean quality prenatal care for all women and well-funded and innovative public schools for all children … a job at a living wage for everyone who was willing to work, jobs that can return some structure and dignity to people’s lives and give inner-city children something more than a basketball rim to shoot for,” Obama said ……………………………..
    ………………………………………………………………………. all paid for by the majority white taxpayer

    • Michael C. Scott

      Interestingly enough, I am NOT willing to work to pay the taxes required to fund these grandiose plans.  I understand that an enlarged, more invasive federal government is diametrically opposed to my own interests.  Work in my old field would earn me approximately $80,000 per year, of which the federal government would take at least $20,000, which they would not merely waste, but would spend paying someone to actively work to make my life harder and less enjoyable.

      No thanks.

    • Under the impression that “quality pre-natal care” would make negroes smart. wouldnt.Who is to say black females dont have quality pre-natal care NOW??

  • MerlinV

    When it comes right down to it, I have yet to see any black person who, in the end, didn’t fall back on the old reliable “Whites are racist and I am a victim of their racism”.

    When my parents divorced, my mother, having little means financially, moved us into a black neighborhood. I grew up around large numbers of blacks. I know how they think. They see virtually EVERYTHING through a racial lens. White people just don’t get this. When you are speaking to a black person every word you say goes through a racial filter that blacks have down to the smallest detail. It is amazing.

    • Xlilacsnvioletsx

      Merlin- I grew up in the same environment and cannot agree with you more.

      • WE did not grow up in that environemnet,living on the south (souff) side of chicago. Thats why we moved so many times,to get the hell away from the ni–oops,I mean the Afrikan amerikans.Sympathies!

    • My god!! You must have had a “vibrant” childhood. Reminds me of a funny story given a bit of play in the Steve Jobs bio by Isaacson: Seems Steverino was sent to a “diverse school” as a youngster where he encountered minorities. (The book does NOT specify the minority in question;probably our dear mestizo friends.) Anyway Steve,showing the executive decisiveness that would become his trademark,informed his parents that he was to be taken out of that school….NOW!!!!!

  • Sloppo

    Obama should not express an opinion about any book that his teleprompter programmer has not read.

    • Michael C. Scott

      Actually, President Oogabooga’s opinion on this or any other matter are every bit as valuable as a cat’s opinion on Tokamak plasma torus fusion.

  • LHathaway

    “they do fill up the top spots with White liberal males as they have a profound dislkie of the average White male”. 
    White ‘leadership’ has never been victims of Affirmative action. From their vantage point things are working great. Plus, they are rewarded for being anti-white and of course very afraid of being anything else.  Aside from the Mel Gibson crazies, it’s mostly the losers who are unhappy with things and willing to speak  out – what do we have to lose?  Sure, the whites at the top may, in some sense, understand these issues but don’t expect them to be speaking about it. It’s still ‘planet of the apes’ for most of us. 

    I would disagree with you, however, that affirmative action is here for another 50 years or even here for a long time to stay.  Once white men are denied ‘affirmative action’, too, or After white men are denied affirmative action of their own it will be more difficult for the rest of these AA decrees to continue.  

    In a sense, white men are being discriminated (by affirmative action) to make up for injustices caused by white men being discrimination against.  That’s all it will take, white men insisting on affirmative action of their own, too.  The question is not how long AA will continue for everyone who is not a white man, the question is when will white men Ask for affirmative action. Because that’s when it will begin to end for others.

    I do agree with you in the sense that things are going to get worse – frankly, they’d prefer we not be allowed to make any noise at all.

    • Michael C. Scott

      At the job I worked here in Colorado Springs before heading off to grad school in Australia, I trained my own replacement.  I absolutely insisted on a married, heterosexual white male to bosses who wanted yet another H-1b from India, and was humoured on this completely non-negotiable condition. 

      We’ve got to look out for each other, and I did my bit.

      He wasn’t grateful, and ended up getting himself fired over some fuel cell work that was supposed to have been done and he ignored.  When someone in Japan patented it first, the you-know-what hit the fan.  I don’t care, because the company reneged on the consulting deal they had made with me.  I don’t think they do any materials R&D anymore, just circuit design, and they’re on drip-feed with nothing but Phase-One DARPA contracts.  They also fired their scrupuluosly honest, hard-working CFO and drove away their best engineering talent.

  • LHathaway

    It’s safer for you if you don’t. . . 

  • Herman

    Yes it all makes sense now.

    If you are against racial preferences then you are racist. 

  • LHathaway

    “it all makes sense now. If you are against racial preferences then you are racist”
    If you are in the black student union or are for chicano pride you’re a brave hero, riding the crest of highest enlightenment. If you’re for white pride or want to form a white student group. . . .

  • Herman

    Obama grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia.

    So how much white racism did he actually experience?

    Yet he always seems to have  a racial chip (boulder) on his shoulder.

  • Frank

    Anyone still doubt that he is a socialist?