Description: Viral image / Racist joke
Circulating since: Feb. 2009
Status: Fake (see details below)
Email contributed by Anna L., March 6, 2009:
Subject: New tail number
*I don't care who you are...... LOOK AT THE TAIL SECTION
Check the tail number on Air Force 1
Analysis: It appears one of the things Americans will have to put up with until the bigots among us get over the fact that we have an African-American President is the dissemination of racist jokes at Barack Obama's expense. For all the talk of the nation having entered a "post-racial" phase as of the landmark 2008 election, it's crystal clear that racial antagonisms still exist, and won't go away overnight.
Around the same time the above image began circulating (late February 2009), another example of blatant prejudice surfaced in the form of an Obama-themed book display in a Florida Barnes & Noble store containing a volume entitled Monkeys (for which the company apologized, saying it was a case of customer vandalism).
It is not the case, needless to say, that either of the two customized Boeing 747 aircraft officially designated Air Force One when used by the President bears the tail number "NI66ER" (call letters N-I-SIX-SIX-E-R). The actual tail numbers are 28000 and 29000.
Obama's Air Force One
Online postings claim President Obama replaced the American flag on the tail of Air Force One with his own campaign logo and slogan at a cost to taxpayers of $500,000.
Sources and further reading:
Air Force One
WhiteHouse.gov: About the White House
Last updated: 05/03/12