A video that was on the front page of the Drudge Report on Thursday features an African-American woman without teeth saying repeatedly that President Obama has her support because he gave her a free phone. As the Atlantic explains, it “belongs to a genre popular on conservative blogs in which poor people, usually black, confirm conservatives’ worst 47-percent fears by saying they can get something for nothing because Obama’s in office” (and, true to form, conservatives are already going nuts tweeting jokes about it).
So the approach isn’t new or surprising, but it does raise questions. First, is there actually anything to this “free phone” thing? If so, does President Obama have anything to do with it? And finally, just how racist is this video and the way it’s being used?
The Atlantic and Think Progress did some digging and began answering those questions. (Spoiler: Sorry, you can’t request a mobile device directly from the White House, though there is a program begun during Bush’s presidency targeting low-income people. But if you’re black and would like to tell a story about getting something for free from the government, certain people on the political right would probably love that.)