Barack Obama never misses an opportunity to play the race card and pander to a constituency — even at a memorial service.
The last thing the families, friends, and colleagues of the five assassinated Dallas police officers needed or wanted was a lecture by the president on the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, racial discrimination, and the availability of guns.
If you want to see excellent models of fostering good race relations and healing divisions, look not to the president, but to three fantastic individuals whose light shone bright during the Dallas tragedy: Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown who unified his city; Parkland Hospital trauma surgeon Dr. Brian Williams, who expressed support for police while acknowledging his mistrust; and, shooting victim and mother Shetamia Taylor, who praised the police who shielded her and her sons from a shower of assassin’s bullets.
They all showed that that it is possible to have compassion for the legitimate concerns about black men’s interactions with the police (“driving while black”) and yet express support and compassion for law enforcement.
Unfortunately, too many really don’t want an honest discussion on race. They want to exploit raw emotions. It starts at the top.
The president and his attorney general have been quick to send the Department of Justice to investigate the killing of blacks by police and say that LGBT and Hispanic victims in Orlando were “often victimized by crimes of hate.”
But, it took the president five days — until their memorial service — to publicly call the slaying of the five police officers by a black assassin “a crime of racial hatred.”
In the aftermath of the Louisiana and Minnesota shootings, the president and Hillary Clinton immediately resorted to pandering: Obama referred to the “legacy of slavery and Jim Crow,” and Clinton rubbed salt on wounds by reciting the names of blacks killed by police.
If the victims are black as in Charleston or Hispanic or members of the LGBT community as in Orlando, the Obama administration is quick to blame hate.
But when a black man killed five white cops in Dallas, Obama initially refused to call it a hate crime saying that it was “very hard to untangle the motives of this shooter” — even after the shooter told police he wanted to kill white people and white cops.
No one can take the president seriously when he remains silent while Chicago reportedly has recorded 3,470 murders since Obama took office, 319 homicides this year — more than New York and Los Angeles combined — and over 2,000 shooting victims thus far in 2016!
An honest conversation on race would mean that the president and attorney general would be as quick to call a press conferences to condemn this bloodshed in Chicago and other urban centers as they have been police shootings of blacks.
It seems that a black life — even that of a child — is cheaper if taken by another black?
And then there is the hypocritical comment by Clinton that white people must listen to black people. She can start by telling her teachers union supporters to listen to black people and stop opposing choice and vouchers for poor black students so they can have access to the same high quality education that her daughter and the President’s have received!
But don’t worry. That conversation won’t take place!
Hillary won’t do anything to improve the plight of blacks in our cities and relieve law enforcement of having to do so much of the “shovel work” on social problems that Chief Brown referred to — mental health, drug addiction, failed schools, single mother households — conditions which Clinton and her liberal Democrat political allies’ policies have tolerated and perpetrated for decades — and most of which Obama has ignored during his presidency.
Blacks’ priorities have been all but invisible to Obama. He has spent his time addressing issues impacting other constituencies, until he needed to invoke his “blackness” by appeasing the Black Lives Matter crowd by attacking law enforcement.
He even went as far as to compare that movement with the civil rights, abolitionist, woman’s suffrage, and environmental movements. I do not recall those movements’ marchers shouting “Pigs in a blanket fry them like bacon,” throwing bricks at police or burning businesses.
All of us should listen to and heed the words of 15-year-old Cameron Sterling, son of Alton Sterling who was killed by police in Baton Rouge last week. “I want everyone to protest the right way . . . with peace, not guns, not drugs, not alcohol, not violence . . . people . . . no matter what race, should come together as one united family."
That’s the right message — not the one that the president sent by refusing to light up the White House in blue in honor of the slain Dallas officers as he did to celebrate the Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling.
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. He is a former co-owner of WTVT-TV in Tampa and former president of the Florida Association of Broadcasters. Read more reports from Clarence V. McKee — Click Here Now.
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