OBAMA PLAYS THE RACE CARD
By Alan Caruba
None of this is new. Race was a factor in American life in pre-Revolutionary days and slavery had to be papered over even in the writing of the United States Constitution. It took a Civil War to get added to the U.S. Constitution amendments to end slavery and ensure that the rights of U.S. citizenship were extended to blacks. It took another hundred years to make it real.
It is apparent, in hindsight, that a sufficient number of white Americans wanted to show the world that America could elect a black man President.
Well, they have succeeded and, a year and a half into Obama's term, a lot of them are having some serious buyer’s remorse. In the words of Spike Lee’s film, they were trying to “do the right thing.” Many are beginning to sense that the feeling is not reciprocated.
Obama has benefited from the robotic, ninety-plus percent support of blacks in the Democratic Party. Even so, there are signs of discontent, not just among whites, but among blacks, particularly in light of the disproportionate numbers of blacks who are unemployed. The “Get Out of Jail” card blaming George W. Bush has expired.
I suspect that the Obama administration will be seen by historians as no less racially divisive than its predecessors.
Americans got an initial glimpse of this when Obama deemed the arrest of a black Harvard professor “stupid” in the wake of his resistance when police arrived to investigate what could have been a break-in. That incident required a photo op in which the police officer, Professor Henry Lewis Gates, and the President sat down for a beer together.
The pot really began to boil with the appointment of Eric Holder as the Attorney General. In February, 2009, he said America was “a nation of cowards” who would not address racial issues. A lot of Americans thought we had.
Having lived through the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, I thought that Holder's statement was rather odd, since thousands of Americans, white and black, had participated in sit-ins and marches to achieve the 1964 Civil Rights Act. All displayed courage. Some even gave their lives.
The latest incident, largely ignored by the news media, is the treatment accorded the New Black Panther Party, two members of which were caught on video clearly trying to intimidate voters in Philadelphia. The two were let go locally with a mild slap on the wrist. If, however, a white duo had engaged in similar behavior, it would have been big news as a voting rights infraction.
Eric Holder’s Department of Justice ignored prosecution at the federal level and a staff member resigned in protest. The latter was heard by the Civil Rights Commission, where he offered some very damning testimony about bias within the DOJ and suggested blacks would receive different and significantly more favorable treatment than would whites.
There are two black Republican candidates running for Congress, Tim Scott in South Carolina’s First Congressional District and Allen West, who is challenging Representative Ron Klein (Democrat) in Florida’s Twenty-second Congressional District.
West has been sharply critical of the Obama administration for declining to prosecute the New Black Panther Party on voter tampering charges. “The die has been cast in this election cycle,” said West. “Democrats and their Liberal progressive socialist allies will continue to play the race card when it is politically expedient.”
If either West or Scott is elected, he will be the first black GOP national lawmaker since Representative J.C. Watts (Republican - Oklahoma), who retired in 2003. It is surely lost on no one that Michael Steele is the visible voice and face of the Republican Party these days.
Having lived through a period of rioting in many U.S. cities -- riots that were ignited by racial grievances -- I am hopeful that the recent riot in Oakland, California, is not a precursor to more. A court judgment finding a white police officer guilty of involuntary manslaughter of a black man served as little more than an excuse for looting.
President Obama has just over 900 days to go in his present term in office. Putting aside racial issues, he is failing on most counts and so spectacularly that an entirely new political movement, the Tea Party, has arisen and is independent of both major political parties. The response from the political Left has been to falsely accuse Tea Party members and supporters of being racists.
The undercurrent of divisiveness is being seen, heard, and felt throughout America. It is far less about race and far more about fears that unwanted legislation is being forced on all Americans, that solutions put forth to invigorate the economy have failed, and that the nation is being shamed and embarrassed by the actions of the President.
A lot of progress has been made by blacks in America, but the White House and the judicial branch of government could set back the clock for reasons that are mostly political, but that have a disquieting racial element.
On the blog, WakeUpBlackAmerica, a recent post said:
“Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the election of Barack Obama supposed to have ushered in the era of ‘post racial harmony’ or something like that?”
American Government & the U.S. Presidency:
Presidential Politics & National Leadership
Ethnic & Racial Politics in the U.S.A.
The American Political System:
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The American Political & Cultural Left:
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Alan Caruba writes a daily post at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. An author, commentator and business and science writer,
he is the Founder of the National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about "scare campaigns" designed to influence
public opinion and public policy.
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