Ambassador Alan Keyes told Newsmax TV
on Wednesday that President Barack Obama is exploiting the racial turmoil surrounding events in Ferguson, Missouri, and using the threat of more unrest to advance a misguided race-relations agenda even when the facts are not on his side.
Keyes, a two-time Republican presidential candidate, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that Obama has proven to be a "race-baiter" in the controversy over a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shooting and killing a black Ferguson resident, Michael Brown, on Aug. 9.
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"What we need to discuss has nothing to do with race; it has to do with how we behave as Americans," Keys said of Brown's death and of the rioting in Ferguson before and after a grand jury declined to indict Wilson.
"When you get into a situation where folks misbehave, you have to rely on police officers acting responsibly to deal with it," said Keyes.
"We ought to be after this not as blacks and whites," he said, "but as Americans who would like to see decent security and order in our communities, and who want to do so on the basis of facts, not ideology — not agendas that are seeking to impose this or that kind of political situation on the country."
Obama held a White House meeting on Monday to discuss Ferguson, and was joined by the Rev. Al Sharpton, an unequivocal Brown family supporter who had repeatedly demanded that Wilson be indicted and tried. Critics said the summit
was a one-sided, anti-police affair.
Obama also called for Congress to spend $263 million to help change local police department practices and to equip more officers with body cameras.
"Frankly, Obama is exploiting this situation by a way of threatening the Republicans," said Keyes, "saying there will be massive unrest if they don't knuckle under to his will, and trying to prove he's got the power to turn our cities into powder kegs that will explode in the face of anybody who opposes him.
"It's a Hitlerian tactic and we ought not to, as Americans, respond to it with anything but contempt," he said.
Keyes also blasted the president's "dictatorial" conduct on immigration, but said that Republican criticism of Obama's executive move to shield immigrants from deportation amounted to a "sham opposition."
"They agree with Obama's policy of destroying our regime for controlling immigration and not enforcing the law when it comes to legal immigration," said Keyes.
A former GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, Keyes also mocked congressional Republicans for behaving, after their resounding midterm victories, as if "they got a mandate to work with Barack Obama — which is news to most of the people who voted for them.
In fact, said Keyes, Republicans "got a mandate to stop Obama from pursuing the courses of action that he's pursuing, and the notion that on immigration his dictatorial moves have won the support of the people is absurd.
"Right now the Republicans, in my view, are acting with a cowardice not justified by their recent electoral victory," he said.
Keyes said GOP congressional leaders are "betraying the constituents who voted for them.
"We don't want the massive importation of illegals," he said, adding, "he first priority for most Americans is to secure the border, not to make sure people are coming across it to do God knows what.
"They say it's all about economics, but that's a lie … and meanwhile, they make this show of disagreeing with each other for a moment," said Keyes.
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