A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
April 18th, 2012
By Dan Miller
They are easier and more politically useful to encourage than to discourage. Despite claiming in 2008 campaign that he would unite us, President Obama and his allies are doing their best to drive us apart.
This YouTube video of our post-racial, post partisan unifying President was posted by BarackObamadotcom on January 31st of this year. Thus far, it has had 1,799,311 “views,” 1,396 “likes” and 15,505 “dislikes.”
An April 16th post at We the People brought it to my attention. What reaction might there have been to a comparable pitch by a President McCain asking Caucasian-Americans to support his reelection candidacy and to vote for him? How about a web site comparable to this posted by a President McCain?
Unfortunately, that was not President Obama’s first nor was it his last attempt to use race as a campaign strategy. Soon after he assumed office, an incident in Cambridge, Massachusetts involved James Crowley, a White policeman, and Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Black friend, professor at Harvard University and “director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.” Without knowing the facts, President Obama called the police action “stupid.” Then,
at a prime-time White House news conference that was otherwise largely devoted to health care, Mr. Obama weighed in on the Gates case and suggested that the police should never have arrested him. He added that African-Americans and Hispanics in the United States have long been familiar with racial profiling by law enforcement. …
Then he made his only joke of the evening, as he speculated about what would happen if he were seen trying to force the door of his own home? “I guess this is my house now,” he said, “so it probably wouldn’t happen.” Then, after a beat, he added, “Let’s say my old house in Chicago. Here, I’d get shot.”
President Obama appeared to soften his stance…, spreading the blame more equally between the police and the arrested man.
Obama had previously implied during a news conference Wednesday that Henry Louis Gates Jr., his personal friend and one of the nation’s preeminent African American scholars, had been a victim of racial profiling by the police.
Shortly thereafter, President Obama backtracked again and invited Officer Crowley and Professor Gates to the White House for a beer.
Seeking to calm the uproar over his remarks on the arrest of a black Harvard scholar by a white cop, President Obama telephoned the officer and then told reporters he wished he “calibrated those words differently.”
Obama said his conversation with the Cambridge cop confirmed his belief that Sgt. James Crowley was a good man and an outstanding policeman – and that he had invited both Crowley and Gates for a “beer here in the White House.”
Obama said he believes both Crowley and Gates overreacted during the situation — but the president also acknowledged speaking too soon and too pointedly.
Finally, President Obama may have got it right, but only temporarily. Why did he speak intemperately before he learned what had happened? How often has he done that when a Caucasian may (or may not) have been treated “stupidly” by a Black police officer? Or for that matter by a Caucasian police officer?
Fast forward to the current election season. There was much “news” coverage of the killing of seventeen year old Trayvon Martin, a Black, by George Zimmerman, initially identified as “White” and later as a “White Hispanic,” evidently ignoring that “Hispanic” is not a race but a term denoting Spanish or Latin American descent.
Doing its part to twist the news to “fit” its narrative, NBC selectively deleted words from an audio recording of a 911 call made by Mr. Zimmerman. As NBC reported it, Mr. Zimmerman told the dispatcher, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.” The full recording of that part of the call shows instead the following:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
President Obama came early to that feast and the pickings were good. As observed in an editorial piece at the Los Angeles Times,
Finally, President Obama has spoken as a black man.
It wasn’t entirely on his own initiative, but a question he was asked about Trayvon Martin left him no choice. When he finally spoke, he began haltingly, as if his words were taking him out on a high wire with no net below. This was risky.
He said the safe things first: that the death of 17-year-old Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman in a Florida suburb was a tragedy. He said he sympathized with the parents, and that various law enforcement agencies should diligently investigate the matter. Then he took the plunge: “If I had a son,” Obama said, “he’d look like Trayvon.”
In other words, there but for the grace of God goes my son, another young black man likely to be put in harm’s way simply because of his skin color.
President Obama seems not to have uttered a word about the late March brutal hammer attack by two Black youth on a fifty year old White man “about 6 miles of the site where Trayvon Martin was shot.”
Today, April 2nd, the Orlando Sentinel reported that two teenage suspects had been arrested. The suspects are Julius Ricardo Bender, 18, and Yahaziel Isaac Israel, 19. Both face charges of attempted first degree murder. The article was published around noon and included mug shots of the perpetrators. Then, sometime during the next few hours, someone at the Orlando Sentinel erased the html link to the mug shots in the article. The article also censors the race of the victim. As I write this, the current version of the Orlando Sentinel article censors both the race of the suspects and the victim.
According to a later report,
The Orlando Sentinel writer who wrote both articles says that the race of the victim was known to him but censored in the two articles on purpose. He cited the newspapers policy. He says that the paper ”generally does not publish race unless there is a reason.”
What reason might there have been?
The papers’ website shows 396 Trayvon Martin articles. Race appears to be a major theme in most, if not all of them. Many of them mention race in the headline. To date, the Orlando Sentinel has never published the fact that the victim of the hammer attack was white.
injuries are severe and he is still in critical condition and now has pneumonia. 75% of his skull was damaged in the attack. The victim also has a broken arm, a broken hand, and a broken jaw.
The family commends the Sanford police for quickly finding and arrested the suspects. However, they say the Sanford police are very reluctant to treat it as a hate crime.
Why has President Obama said nothing about this Black on White violence? Because he doesn’t know about it since it was reported very lightly and with no racial overtones? Perhaps, as the New York Times might put it, it wasn’t “fit to print” because it didn’t fit the narrative. It would not have “fit” President Obama’s narrative for the same reason.
On April 5th, with emotions still running high over Mr. Martin’s death,
the theme of racial discrimination in America comes to the White House Family Theater, as Obama introduces a screening of the Academy Award-winning film “To Kill a Mockingbird,” in honor of its 50th anniversary. And with the president perhaps cast as “teacher in chief,” the White House has invited schoolchildren from the area to attend. The film, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Harper Lee, tells the story of a white Southern lawyer, Atticus Finch, who defends a black man, Tom Robinson, wrongly accused of rape.
One wonders whether the racist motivations for accusing a Black man of rape depicted in To Kill a Mockingbird caused anyone in President Obama’s audience to ponder whether there had been racist motivations for the pillorying of Mr. Zimmerman.
On April 14th, during an appearance on Univision’s Al Punto show, President Obama “appealed to Latino voters by tying the Trayvon Martin case to the “anti-immigrant” sentiment Obama said Hispanics have recently faced.” He had been asked,
why … do I have to stand today here in front of you and ask you about racial tensions in the U.S.? And of course, I’m referring to the Trayvon Martin case.
President Obama’s response segued into the “anti-immigrant” sentiment that he claims to want to fight on behalf of Hispanics, the program’s principal audience.
Well, I think we all understand that issues of race are deeply embedded in the history of this country…. Sometimes that history has been tragic, slavery, Jim Crow, but also more recent examples of anti-immigrant sentiment, and you know, I think what I always tell people is that…my election alone is not going to completely transform attitudes because this has to do with hearts and not just minds. It has to do with attitudes, not just laws.” (Emphasis added)
Much of the focus on Mr. Martin’s death as reported by principal media sprang from or involved race hustling by the Reverend Messrs Sharpton and Jackson causing the killer, George Zimmerman, to be pilloried in the press and a “Wanted Dead or Alive” notice to be distributed by the New Black Panther group. The Reverend Mr. Sharpton told a mass rally,
“We cannot allow a precedent when a man can just kill one of us and then walk out with the murder weapon,” Sharpton said, flanked by the slain teen’s parents. “We don’t want good enough. We want George Zimmerman in court with handcuffs behind his back.”
Not long afterwards, Attorney General Holder met with the Reverend Mr. Sharpton.
This week, our esteemed attorney general canoodled with Reverend Al at the annual convention of the “National Action Network,” home base for the infamous huckster (that would be Sharpton, not Holder — sorry for any confusion). It is difficult to imagine another attorney general in American history sucking up to such a race-mongering charlatan. The Sharpton record was succinctly catalogued on the Corner by Victor Davis Hanson: inciting murderous riots; slandering Jews, Mormons, and homosexuals; libeling a state prosecutor in the course of championing Tawana Brawley’s fabrication of a racial “hate crime.” Yet there was Holder, ladling cringe-making praise on Sharpton for “your partnership, your friendship, and your tireless efforts to speak out for the voiceless, to stand up for the powerless, and to shine a light on the problems we must solve and the promises we must fulfill.”
There is little that I could add to those remarks, beyond noting that four additional “Cabinet officers and a senior White House official went to this year’s [National Action Network] convention to kiss his [the Reverend Mr. Sharpton's] ring.”
“We’re surprised that everyone else is surprised,” Jackson told the Los Angeles Times. African Americans have tried for decades to get the rest of America to understand their plight, he said, particularly their beliefs that justice is still elusive in many parts of America, especially the Deep South.
Then along comes the Trayvon Martin case, and facts that are not in contention: Volunteer neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman pursued and then gunned down the unarmed 17-year-old last month, and never faced arrest because police said there was no evidence to contradict his claim that he fired in self-defense.
“I hope that this will be a transformative moment,” Jackson said. (Emphasis added.)
Imagine if David Duke were now a Republican Party kingmaker, and Mitt Romney and other presumptive candidates had to go to his organization’s events, seek his endorsement, and stand by his side — just as he was presiding over rallies seeking mainstream support for George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s shooter. Yes, everyone knew Duke was once a Ku Klux Klan leader and had only slightly cleaned up his racist act, but now he came on as a non-partisan fighter for justice on behalf of aggrieved white males, and when he spoke, wore pinstripe suits, especially when presiding over his own TV talk show.
If that scenario existed, every news anchor and reporter, and every single Democrat and liberal [Librul], would blast the Republicans non-stop. They would castigate any Republican candidate who dared appear at David Duke’s side. They would use Duke’s past — rightfully so — as an example of very bad judgment on the part of any Republican who gave him even a moment’s attention.
Well, I think you know where this is leading. At the present moment, leading Democrats flock to gain the approval of the racist demagogue and race-hustler Al Sharpton, who, just four years ago, found that the Obama campaign put him at more than arm’s length in order to make it appear that candidate Obama was mainstream and wasn’t part of the divisive racial politics of the past as practiced by Sharpton and company. (Bracketed insert added)
It now appears that the “news” reports upon which President Obama may have relied in his “if I had a son” remarks and that the Reverend Mr. Jackson claimed were “not in contention” are very much so and that current efforts to prosecute Mr. Zimmerman are dubious as well. He has been charged with second degree murder, a charge that seems unlikely to stand up based on the “facts” cited in the affidavit of probable cause; those “facts” consist principally of unsupported supposition, speculation in some instances and misrepresentation in others. The charges may be dismissed by a judge and, if not, a jury may find Mr. Zimmerman not guilty or guilty of a lesser included offense. We won’t know what the judge will do until that happens, ditto a jury. If Mr. Zimmerman “gets off,” what will the race pimps do?
Meanwhile, Mr. Zimmerman is in jail where, according to his attorney, he fears that he will be killed.
“There has been an upwelling of hostility and animosity towards him that can find its way to you in many different ways,” Mark O’Mara said outside the courthouse in Sanford, Fla.
One might wonder what would be the media reactions, and President Obama’s reaction, were Mr. Zimmerman to be murdered in jail.
President Obama may have (but probably has not) learned that his intemperate remarks get lots of play in the media and that he should refrain from them. In the recent case of Secret Service personnel who apparently went astray in Cartagena, his comments were few. He did say that,
if the allegations in the media are true, he would be “angry.” He declined further comment pending the outcome of the investigations. (Emphasis added.)
There has been no suggestion, at least thus far, that racism may have been involved in that matter (beyond that the prostitutes allegedly involved may have been Latin Americans). The Secret Service incident involved President Obama directly, however, since the agents were in Cartagena to protect him and their alleged misconduct took much of the limelight away from, and may have contributed to, President Obama’s somewhat ineffectual participation in the unproductive Summit of the Americas.
Unlike the Secret Service mess, the Gates and Martin incidents did not involve President Obama directly, except as racial opportunities not to be wasted. They were perhaps intended to highlight our national problem that, according to his Attorney General Holder, we are “essentially a nation of cowards” for not having an “honest discussion of race.” A problem is that we can’t have one because if we did too many of General Holder’s people would be offended. Were President Obama to participate in an “honest discussion” of race, he might have difficulty in getting a vast majority of Blacks to vote for him again this time. To have spoken about the extraordinarily common Black-on-Black violence would have been a no-no. Few want to hear that
in this century, black-on-black crime is the most insidious killer of black people, especially black men. This disease has taken years to manifest itself, and it will take years to eliminate.
According to federal crime statistics, homicide is the leading cause of death among African-American males ages 15 to 34. These figures also indicate that between 1976 and 2004, 94 percent of black murder victims were killed by black offenders.
That ninety-four percent of homicides were Black on Black suggests that only six percent were committed by Whites, Asians, other non-Whites and perhaps Latinos.
Victor Davis Hanson, as he often does, got it right and somewhat prophetically back in 2009:
Whether due to the utility of identity politics or simply to his own comfort with racial emphases, Obama has highlighted, rather than downplayed, his own mixed heritage in efforts to accentuate an African-American identity. We saw that in the Democratic primary, when his support from the black community was not at a mere 60/40 majority, or 70/30, but more often an astounding 95/5. …
From time to time, a voice of near-antipathy in Obama erupted, as in his infamous “clingers” speech about the lower-middle-class supposed know-nothings of Pennsylvania, or in his dismissal of the grandmother who raised him as a “typical white person.” Before Michelle Obama grew silent, she managed to tell America that it was a “downright mean” country, where the bar was raised serially even on those as wealthy and privileged as the Obamas, and that, prior to her husband’s presidential campaign, she had not been especially proud of the United States — amplification of long-held views that can be seen as early as her Princeton undergraduate thesis.
No matter. The media and the liberal elite ignored these telltale signs, and instead were eager to accept the implicit pact that the soothing racial healer Barack Obama offered them. It was an unspoken understanding that might be paraphrased as something along the following lines: “Vote for me and I will offer you instant exemption from all prior racial guilt — and yet allow you to live your rather secluded lives as usual.” …
None of us gets a pass once we evoke racial identity, not even the president of the United States, not even one of mixed racial heritage. Once we go down that road of racial self-aggrandizement, of seeing each other not by the content of our characters, but by the color of our skins, we invite nemesis — and there will be retribution. Because Barack Obama has consistently emphasized racial identity to further his own advantage, I fear others, both black and white, will be emboldened to follow his polarizing lead — in ways both novel and far more pernicious. We once trusted our uniquely qualified president to help lead us out of our racial morass, but so far he has only pushed us far deeper into it. (Emphasis added.)
President Obama seems intent upon encouraging racial and other disharmony to enhance his chances of reelection. Never mind that according to Mrs. Obama, President Obama has, Jesus like, “brought us out of the dark and into the light.” He
and his allies are wooing various groups of angry and disaffected minorities. These, along with unhappy entitlement dependents, are to constitute most of the voters Obama seeks to lure into granting him another term, during which he hopes to complete his promise to “fundamentally transform” America.
Hence he encourages hostility toward the rich “one percent” who, in his view, do not contribute their fair shares to the good that he does. Some probably do and some probably don’t, even though some seem to have contributed rather generously to his reelection campaign.
We don’t need more racial, class and economic hostility; we need much less — as many who voted for President Obama in 2008 seemed to think his election would bring. They should perhaps think again. Maybe they will.
BarackObamadot com has posted a new YouTube video of his Latinos for Obama initiative:
What might be next?
(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)
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