The first black president at a moment of #BlackLivesMatter. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The first black president at a moment of #BlackLivesMatter.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obama has a famous swag. It’s a signal he sends with his walk that says, ‘I got this.’ He had it with trade, immigration, health care. But he doesn’t have it when he talks about race.” – Paul Butler, professor, Georgetown Law School [New York Magazine]

IT WAS a moment on Twitter. Rupert Murdoch committed the indefensible and didn’t even know it until Twitter exploded.

The piece in New York Magazine begins to do the impossible. Review the first black president in the moment of #BlackLivesMatter.

But now, as Obama’s presidency draws to a close, African-American intellectuals and civil-rights leaders have grown increasingly vocal in their discontents. They frame them, for the most part, with love and respect. But current events have broken their hearts and stretched their patience. A proliferation of videos documenting the murders of unarmed black men and women — by the very people charged with their safety — has given rise to a whole movement defined by three words and a hashtag: #BlackLivesMatter.

“That’s one of the fundamental paradoxes of Obama’s presidency — that we have the Black Lives Matter movement under a black president,” says Fredrick Harris, a political scientist at Columbia University. “Your man is in office, and you have this whole movement around criminal-justice reform asserting black people’s humanity?”

Barack Obama may getting glowing reviews from The New Yorker, but in the African American community their assessment is much more critical.