Barack Obama was supposed to usher in a post-racial, color-blind Administration under which everyone would prosper. How is he doing so far?
The first person to get thrown under the bus was Reverend Jeremiah Wright. You remember him of “Goddamn America” fame. Obama no longer needed Wright to pave the way for him in South Chicago. Inflammatory remarks surfaced and Obama couldn’t resign from the Trinity United Church of Christ fast enough. The “elderly uncle” Obama could not disown was, yes, disowned.
Grandma was next. ‘Speechifying’ about the Reverend Wright controversy, Obama pushed Grandma under the bus. He told a tale of Grandma crossing the street when she saw scary black men walking toward her. Obama was planning his post-racial Administration. He just had not gotten there yet.
Obama ham-handily waded onto the Professor Gates confrontation with the Cambridge (MA) police. The police “acted stupidly” according to Obama. Unfortunately for POTUS, the only thing he knew about the situation initially was that a black man was arrested in his own home by a white police officer. This farce ended with the beer summit at the White House. Egg on Obama’s face! Obama declared this fiasco a teachable moment!
The latest racial flare up on Obama’s watch is the firing of Shirley Sherrod. The NAACP teed this one up for POTUS by adopting a resolution condemning the racist elements in the Tea Party movement. This was somewhat akin to asking the Tea Party members when they stopped beating their wives. Breitbart offered a $100,000 reward for pictures of racist Tea Party signs or video/eye witness proof of the alleged spitting incidents on the Capital steps. There were no takers. Breitbart started the Sherrod controversy by posting an edited video of Sherrod speaking to the NAACP about initially withholding USDA assistance from a white farmer in 1986. The Obama Agriculture Department demanded Sherrod’s resignation before the video ran on Fox News. Now Sherrod has the Administration and the USDA tied up in knots as they scramble to undo her wrongful termination. More egg on Obama’s face! This was declared another teachable moment.
The firing of Van Jones, the alleged pay-to-play scandal surrounding Blago and Valerie Jarrett, refusal to reconsider the Black Panther voter intimidation case, and the stupid Muslim outreach comments by NASA Administrator Charles Bolton are additional examples of controversies involving people of color and the Obama White House. Obama’s is hardly a post-racial Administration so far. Hyper-racial seems a more apt description.
Think back to the Bush years and list the racial incidents that occurred during Bush’s eight years in office. Give up? The infamous James Byrd ad was run by the NAACP. Both Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice were smeared by left wing critics repeatedly.
Obama as a post-racial President…hardly. Obama seems more student than teacher. Perhaps it was inevitable that racial issues would surface with a bi-racial President in the White House. However, one has to wonder whose interests are served by viewing so many issues through the prism of race. Could it be that the Democrats need to stir up the block of voters that tends to support them at a rate of 90% or so every election cycle? Could it be that the President sees his approval ratings eroding by the day and needs a non-policy rationale to explain the erosion?
Rhetorical questions aside, it is clear that the best way to achieve a color blind society is to govern with an eye to doing what is best for the Country as a whole. Democrats bemoan the idea of trickle down economics. Republicans wail about the welfare state. We are where we are. The Country seems more divided along racial and party lines than it has been in decades. The status quo is unacceptable to all of us. The enemy is the situation we find ourselves in, not each other.
Let’s hope Obama grows into the man he claimed to be when he declared his run for the Presidency. He has shown few signs of doing this so far.