There’s an article going around causing a fuss on social media, titled “Obama Signs Executive Order To Pay Partial Reparations To African-Americans.” When first published on January 3, it received nearly 35,000 shares on social media, causing outrage among folks who believed that President Obama had really signed an executive order to give black people so-called free money. Now that the article has been republished to another fake news website, the misunderstanding among some who don’t realize the article is satire has begun all over again.
The article claims that African Americans will get a whopping $2,000 per year for the next 35 years, costing $560 billion, in order to make amends for slavery.
“President Barack Obama signed an executive order that will begin to repay a large percent of the black population reparations dating back to slavery and the end of the American Civil War. ‘It is unreasonable to give each black man their true worth, but we can do something, we can make a difference,’ Obama told CNN’s Don Lemon. ‘And I have the power to do it.’ Each African-American will receive $2,000 a year in either cash or tax deduction regardless of other government subsidies. The program will be enacted for the next 35 years and cost $560 billion.”
As reported by Snopes, the article was categorized in the “satire” folder of the website called the Free Patriot, which usually does not publish fake news. However, not everyone is checking Snopes for the validity of such incendiary pieces, nor are they reading the satirical references. Instead, some people are sharing the news that President Obama will give black people $2,000 per year for 35 years as an actual fact.
The fake article explained the estimated contributions that slaves made to society without being paid, a hot button topic that goes back to the promise made that every slave would receive 40 acres and a mule after slavery was abolished, as reported by PBS.
“Economist estimate slavery added nearly a trillion dollars to the US economy, so Obama’s plan would repay half the value during the duration of his program. Proof of ancestry can be done at any public school where a parent can register them and their children for the $2k each. Once started, the 35-year window clock begins to tick. Obama said, ‘This is a very fair and sensible program that will have an incredibly positive impact on our communities and country. The program will pay for itself.'”
When typing “Obama signs executive order” into Facebook, the social networking site reports that 1,000 people are talking about the topic. Copying the exact titled with the quotations around the article — “Obama Signs Executive Order To Pay Partial Reparations To African-Americans” — reflects a heated reaction on Facebook from folks who offer curse words in their reactions to the news they think is real.
On Twitter, folks are also sharing the viral hoax, along with the Snopes piece that declares it as a hoax.
The article claims 74-year-old Senator Mitch McConnell called Mr. Obama crazy for spending $560 billion, which equals nearly a year of spending on defense. The humorous article quips that Republicans claimed they could start 20 percent of a war with that money. It also uses funny words like “infumed” in the wrong context.
The fact that the article attributes comments to Strom Thurmond saying that African Americans can’t have all the breaks — and that soon black people would be marrying white women and becoming president — should have been a further tip-off that the article is false. Plus the fact that Thurmond allegedly hollered “jail not bail” for black men was a big clue that the article was fake.
[Photo by Eric Risberg/AP Images]