Unbelievable! At a time when President Obama’s supporters are accusing his critics of being racists, he decided not to attend the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. You would think that he would have jumped at the chance!
In the past, he has taken every opportunity to maximize the Lincoln comparison: announcing his candidacy at the Old State Capitol in Springfield Ill.; duplicating Lincoln's trip from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., to be sworn in; using Lincoln’s Bible at his swearing in ceremonies; and, having a star-studded inaugural celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.
I guess he doesn’t need the Lincoln symbolism anymore — he won’t be running again and it served him well. His participation would have been very symbolic. As we are so often reminded, he is the “first black president.”
Gettysburg was the turning point of the civil war leading to preserving the union and ending of slavery. Lincoln spoke of a nation “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Gettysburg, the Civil War, and Lincoln have a special meaning to those whose ancestors shared the black experience in America’s race-plagued history.
What message could Obama have sent to America if he had spoken in Gettysburg?
For starters, he could have said that unfortunately racism still exists in our country notwithstanding the great strides we have taken in race relations over the past 150 years since Lincoln’s address — including electing a black president. Who would have thought it possible on that day in 1863 when Lincoln spoke?
He could have said that it is time to end race baiting and cries of racism for political purposes because it is divisive and dilutes the meaning of the term.
Of course that did not and would not happen.
To do so would not please his race-baiting supporters and friends in his party, the mainstream media, the entertainment industry, and the civil rights establishment.
One would think that after Americans elected Obama not once, but twice, that his race was not a paramount issue.
According to many of his supporters, any opposition or criticism of him or his policies is based on racism.
Oprah Winfrey is just the latest to hurl such venom.
As I have written, even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that he hoped opposition to Obama was “based on substance and not the fact that he’s an African-American.”
If disagreeing with Obama and his policies means you are a bigot, what does that make the 57 percent who disapprove of his performance and 61 percent who disapprove of Obamacare in the recent CBC News poll; or, the 39 Democrats who voted with the GOP in the House to revise portions of Obamacare?
Are they racists?
Obviously no one in the White House press corps is sensitive enough or has the courage to ask either the president or his spokespersons if they agree that his critics are opposing him or his policies because of his race.
I am sure that the many white voters who helped elect the first black president did not know that it meant that if they criticized him or his policies they would be called racists.
So, what is the legacy of our liberal black president so far?
Based on the record to date, we have a president who leads a bunch of amateurs from behind, is detached, disengaged, uninformed and who appears to be oblivious about anything going on in his own administration — IRS, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and of course, Obamacare.
And, if you dare criticize him, you are accused of being a racist or a sellout whether you voted for him or not.
He is neither feared nor respected by our adversaries and our allies feel that he and the United States can’t be trusted — just ask Israel.
Maybe if he had gone to Gettysburg he would of at least felt the spirit of Lincoln — a true leader. Unless things change, we may be seeing the last liberal black president for decades to come.
Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns and has appeared on many national and local media outlets. Read more reports from Clarence V. McKee — Click Here Now.
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