Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama's Post Racial World

The first red flag should have been that the President prefaced his remarks with "I haven't seen the report" and "I don't know all the facts" of the incident, as he waded into the matter of the arrest of Harvard Professor "Skip" Gates. The President chose to defend his long time friend and publicly denounce the Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer as "acting stupidly".

Think about that for a moment. The leader of the free world trashes the police department of a college town - one in which he is personally familiar from his years at Harvard - and does so during a press conference with the nation and even the world watching. And, then he feigns surprise that the remarks are so controversial and newsworthy. He should never have answered the reporter's question. He should have responded that Gates is a personal friend and that he, Obama, would not make public comment while the matter was ongoing.

President Obama ran on a platform of a post-racial America. American voters were told to ignore the fact that Obama and his family were members of a church in Chicago that preached black liberation at the expense of white America for 20 years. American voters were told to ignore the undertones of racial hostility that allowed Obama to use straw men that were racist on the campaign trail - those referenced in his remarks that "some" would say Obama didn't "look like those other Presidents" on our paper money, etc. American voters were told it was wrong to criticize Michelle Obama when saying Obama could be shot just going to the gas station in Chicago as a black man or that for the first time in her life she is proud of America since her husband was running for President. American voters were told it was silly to criticize Obama for throwing his white grandmother under the bus as he delivered a speech on race.

And, American voters ignored the obvious signs of Obama's own struggles with racial issues, even to the point of liberal white Americans not being honest enough with themselves they were voting for the candidate simply for his race.

It simply does not ring true that President Obama does not understand the impact his comments have as the leader of the free world. We are told, daily, what a intellectual guy he is though we have no way of proving that as his school records were never produced. He has not distinguished himself as a thoughtful statesman or leader. During his time in the Illinois Legislature he was known for his long record of voting "present" on difficult votes instead of taking a stand and in the U.S. Senate he was known as voting the party line and not a member who worked with the other side of the aisle.

So, the President inserts himself into the arrest of his old pal, "Skip" Gates, the renowned Harvard professor who has made his career out of the racial issues within our country. Just last week, as The Wall Street Journal cites, Obama addressed the NAACP and stated he "believes there is less racial discrimination in America today than ever in our history." Yet, Gates in his upscale neighborhood found himself locked out upon returning from vacation. While gone, his home was in fact broken in to, according to police reports. So, when neighbors reported two men trying to force open the front door of the house, the police were called. Upon arrival, Gates showed his identification and "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior"towards the officer.

Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct. As the police officer was leaving, Gates followed him out onto the porch and by his own admission inserted race into the matter. The professor made a statement about the officer's "mama", according to Sgt James Crowley. Seven people on the sidewalk in front of the house as Gates claimed he was being mistreated because he was a black man. Obama stated Gates was arrested inside his own home, which is not the truth.

There are audio tapes of the whole incident and the Cambridge Police union will release them. They are said to vindicate Sgt Crowley. Sgt Crowley has an exemplary record and in recent years has been teaching a class to rookies about racial profiling, as a matter of fact. The Cambridge Police are convening a panel to look into all the facts of the case.

So, while Gov Deval Patrick, also a close friend of Barack Obama, weighs in as Governor of Massachusetts, saying it is "every black man's nightmare" and the President weighs in on the case before he knows all the facts, one lesson should be learned: Even Harvard professors are not above the law. The President went on to say the arrest brought up "a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately." Why did Obama toss in Latinos into the comment? As always, it is all about politics to him.

Black commentators like Juan Williams say Obama should never have gotten involved. Police officers put their lives on the line every day. They must be respected as they issue orders to those they are questioning, regardless of skin color.

And, the President should remember he is no longer the community organizer. He is the President of the United States. All of the country - not just black America.


Kris, in New England said...

Gates is an idiot. Sgt. Crowley identified himself and told Gates why he was there when he first showed up. When asked for ID, Gates refused and immediately brought race into the situation. Among the many inappropriate things he said, he accused Crowley of being a racist.

Which to me is as bad as doing what Gates claims the police were doing - targeting him because he's black. Making assumptions based on stereotypes.

Gates is a racist. Crowley is not.

And Obama is an idiot - but we knew that already.

Anonymous said...

Anyone want to guess the spin they'll put on the audio? Can't wait to see that. Oh, wait. Yes I can.

Great job, K.

srp said...

I heard Obama's non-apology apology.... What is "calibrated"... he said he should have "calibrated" his words better.... Obama is changing the language to suit himself as well... what kind of garbage is that? He said he was inviting the policeman to the White House to talk and have a beer?.... If I were Sgt. Crowley, I would say... thanks but NO THANKS... as far as I know, just because he holds the office of President, Obama cannot DEMAND that citizens show up when he beckons. Until a REAL apology comes forth from Obama's mouth... such as "I'M SORRY! I WAS WRONG!"... I wouldn't even entertain the thought of meeting him. And yes, people.... racism works both ways.

namaste said...

i think one good thing comes out of this. he loses in 2012 for sure with the loss of the police officers' vote.

as always, excellent writing and great information on this post, karen.