WASHINGTON (CAP) - President Barack Obama and his family celebrated another Black Friday holiday today as second-term residents of the White House. The foursome kept the day fairly low-key, staying home to watch a movie together and then taking in dinner at B Smith's at Union Station.
"Today is a very special day for my people," Obama told reporters as he dined on grilled lamb chops with mint-flavored au jus. "And if I could spend it with all African-Americans, I would. But since I can't, I'll have a dinner roll for each of you."
Although they shared the restaurant with other patrons, the president and his family only briefly acknowledged the presence of other people, pausing momentarily to chat with another black family and offering special thanks to their white waiter in the form of an additional two percent on top of the standard 15 percent gratuity.
"What the president is saying is that you don't have to be black to enjoy Black Friday," said CAP News black affairs correspondent Jeff Townes. "Much like one doesn't have to be white to enjoy a white Christmas. Or Columbus Day. Or any holiday created by our racist forefathers."
Many black activists claim that the holiday is actually an insult to black Americans as it is marked not by any sort of traditional celebration or activity, but by huge discounts and massive sales at stores and other merchants. Rev. Jesse Jackson is leading the charge for African-Americans to boycott Black Friday and "just sleep in."
"Does the white man think that the black man cannot afford regular prices?" opined Jackson at a recent rally outside an Atlanta Walmart. "Have you seen what my people are willing to pay for a pair of sneakers? We can afford your regular prices!"
However, critics point to the yearly ritual of marking Presidents' Day with automobile sales as proof that whites don't discriminate when it comes to turning holidays into giant displays of capitalism. Biff Cunningham, ghost writer for the 2008 best seller, A Guide For Dorky White People In Obamamerica, says the struggling economy needs as many things commercialized as possible.
"Look at what happened with retailers when Obama didn't put any economic focus on Earth Day this year," Cunningham said. "Our financial survival as a nation depends on white people monetizing everything they come across, regardless of how sacrosanct it may be.
"Just wait till we understand Kwanzaa and get our paws on that one," Cunningham added. "Talk about your economic stimulus."
Obama is not the first sitting president to celebrate Black Friday. For six of his eight years in office, President Bush ditched his favorite red crayon and instead drew pictures with a black crayon - two of which still hang on the refrigerator in the White House kitchen. And President Clinton would forego his usual Friday trist with a chunky white intern and instead spend the day "enjoying some ebony attention," as his advisors described it.
- CAP News Staff