Sunday, December 7, 2014

Obama Sows Racial Division

It seems like a bit of an overreach to opine about the state of the world, but that is what newspaper columnists get paid for. Roger Cohen did a creditable job of it the other day.

I agree with much of what Cohen writes here—not on certain other topics-- though if I had been his editor I would have pointed out that he was describing the world that Barack Obama hath wrought.

Cohen glosses over the president’s role in most of what makes him uneasy. He only holds the president responsible for his non-handling of the crisis in Syria.

It is impossible to talk about America today without recognizing the influence of Barack Obama. We do not like to think it, but the president's character exerts an outsized influence on the nation’s cultural ambiance.

Cohen does not live in America, so he sees the nation as a visitor. Yet, his sense of New York City rings true, especially in the wake of the grand jury decisions in the cases involving Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

In his words:

New York has always been a pretty good barometer of the state of the world. Its fortunes rise and fall. It will never be as manicured like Paris, or as comfortable as London, or as beautiful as Rome, or as moneyed as Singapore. In good times it hums, in bad it’s a jangling mess of police sirens. Over the past 40 years, I’ve known the city’s moods: dangerous and secure, anxious and confident, subdued and ebullient.

These days, the mercury seems to be dipping. The streets are edgier, more aggressive. I recently saw a slim, well-dressed man take a covert look around before stooping to pick a cigarette butt off the sidewalk. There’s a lot of scavenging in garbage. Desperation may be quiet, or just crazed. The other morning, for no apparent reason, somebody pushed a man off a subway platform to his death under a D train. That sort of thing makes New Yorkers eye each other in a different way. Fear has crept back.

Clearly, there is much to be thankful for. The stock market is soaring. Nothing seems to be able to dampen its animal spirits. Yet, the economic recovery has left the middle class and the lower classes in the lurch. When leading Democratic senators, like Schumer and Harkin are stepping forth—correctly, I believe—to say that the Obama administration and the Democratic Party blew it, we know that the American electorate is uneasy

Cohen continues his reflection:

By historical standards, this is still an era of exceptional peace, as the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I has reminded us. Medical breakthroughs are extending life; dying has become arduous. The empowering possibilities of technology link individuals in new ways. For many young people the squabbling of states and the posturing of politicians is little more than a sideshow to the borderless networks that count.

Still, I trust my dipping New York barometer. People are angry and worried, with cause. Their pressured lives are not getting better. Fundamental injustices grow more acute. This clouds judgment because global affairs look like a scam put in place by the privileged. I have never felt more uneasy about the state of the world. The rule book has been torn up.

We can easily take Cohen’s vision and apply it easily to the current state of race relations in America.

After all, many Americans were duped (twice) into voting for Barack Obama because they believed that his election would be a boon to African-American self-esteem. Putting a black man in the White House would tell black Americans that they were full-fledged citizens.

It was a noble idea, but one that did not withstand serious reflection. Jeremiah Wright’s protégé has never been a conciliator. He comes to us from the world of race hustlers and wanna-be revolutionaries. Having helped gin up the crises in Ferguson and New York he seems to be taking advice from the nation’s leading race hustler, Rev. Al Sharpton.

The Obama administration has sown racial division. It used the Michael Brown and Eric Garner deaths to propagate a narrative about a dialectical conflict between the white police force and the black underclass.

When Charles Barkley consistently makes more sense than the president of the United States you know that something is very, very wrong.

Leftists love calling for national conversations. I doubt that many people know what that means, but it seems to be telling white people to get in touch with their guilt. It suggests that when something goes wrong in African-American communities it’s their fault.

Even with a black president and a black attorney general, the white police force is to blame for the high rate of black crime, especially black-on-black crime.

When the crime rate in black communities is considered to be the fault of white police officers, when rioting blacks are excused because they are expressing their pent-up outrage, the national conversation is depriving blacks of moral agency and moral responsibility.

Next to nothing has been accomplished by rioting. Doesn’t everyone know that burning down your neighborhood is the definition of impotent rage?

People who are absolved of moral responsibility will naturally conclude that bad behavior is a good thing… at least, for them. People who cannot take responsibility will be more inclined to break the law.

There are two reasons that people obey the law. One, their good character demands that they behave well toward others. If that does not work, they will behave because they are afraid of being caught by the police.

If you erase the first, the only deterrent left is the second. If they no longer fear the police… things can get very bad indeed.

Now, if our dear president wanted to change the situation he would begin by taking responsibility for the failures of his administration. His programs have increased black dependency, on food stamps and on Medicaid, while at the same time depriving his most loyal voters of the chance for good jobs.

Obama has made blacks more dependent on government. At the same time he has joined the race hustlers in implying that blacks cannot control their emotions and cannot take responsibility for their actions.

So, Obama should say what Schumer said… that he misused the mandate that the American people gave him. Schumer showed some political courage… it always takes courage to take responsibility for defeat. Obama has shown none.

One need not embrace everything that Schumer said in order to appreciate a politician who has the honesty to look defeat in the eye and take some responsibility for it. Being a major proponent of Obamacare, Schumer was well placed to say that it was, at the least, a political debacle.

Not so Obama. He cannot admit to his own failures so he is embracing Al Sharpton and scapegoating white police officers.

That’s why the nation is dividing on racial lines.


Ares Olympus said...

re: People who are absolved of moral responsibility will naturally conclude that bad behavior is a good thing… at least, for them. People who cannot take responsibility will be more inclined to break the law.

I don't think it can be so simple, or at least bad behavior is a two way street, and I think there is a sort of "accumulated desperation" of poverty and that abuse of authority that leads people to act badly, and its not always just "excusing bad behavior" of one side by acknowledging the other side needs attention too. There's a closed loop of madness here unless we can break it.

I read some of the transcripts from the Ferguson grand jury. It looks like there's never going to be an answer to Brown's bad behavior, and refusing to back down to police, getting himself shot and killed.

But if I lived in a world where police officers were shouting daily at me "Get the fuck off the street", and the like, that would affect me.

Americans do love the vigilante who stands up to bullies and injustice. I remember a Michael Douglas movie "Falling down" Falling Down is a 1993 crime drama. The film stars Michael Douglas in the lead role of William Foster, a divorcé and unemployed former defense engineer. The film centers on Foster as he goes on a violent rampage across the city of Los Angeles, trying to reach the house of his estranged ex-wife in time for his daughter's birthday party. Along the way, a series of encounters, both trivial and provocative, cause him to react with violence and make sardonic observations on life, poverty, the economy, and commercialism. Robert Duvall co-stars as Martin Prendergast, an aging LAPD Sergeant on the day of his retirement, who faces his own frustrations, even as he tracks down Foster.

There is something insane inside all of us, and if we say "This insanity is only over there with those people" we miss the point of our own participation.

Social justice is a mess for me. I can't wrap by brain around any of it, and it can be simply "enabling immaturity" at a deep level, but in the very least people are paying attention to police excessive force and bruality, and willingness to use a gun when there's no legitiate threat to immediate safety.

The hashtag I've seen going around is "#blacklivesmatter", and a part of me wants to say "But facts are more important than distorted narratives", so its a manipulative meme, saying "We're not going to cooperate until these abuses of authority are addressed."

I don't approve at all, except I see everyone would rather go back to sleep to anything that doesn't affect us personally, and that's how we got here in the first place.

Anyway, the whole problem with blame is the people acting out most aggressively are already "on a death wish" and all they need is a self-righteous half-lie that makes life at best crappy or tragic for many other people, and it never ends if you definite justice on the simplest terms of who can be blamed and punished at the moment.

Sam L. said...

"Leftists love calling for national conversations." They don't want to HAVE one, and they certainly will fire heavy artillery at anyone who speaks up with a non-leftie/"liberal"/progressive POV.

"Not so Obama. He cannot admit to his own failures so he is embracing Al Sharpton and scapegoating white police officers.

That’s why the nation is dividing on racial lines."

I think that noticeably exacerbates it. Barry's been a racialist from the first, and more people are finally catching on.

Dennis said...

"During the 3-1/2 years of World War 2 that started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and ended with the Surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945, “We the People of the U.S.A.” produced the following:

22 aircraft carriers,
8 battleships,
48 cruisers,
349 destroyers,
420 destroyer escorts,
203 submarines,
34 million tons of merchant ships,
100,000 fighter aircraft,
98,000 bombers,
24,000 transport aircraft,
58,000 training aircraft,
93,000 tanks,
257,000 artillery pieces,
105,000 mortars,
3,000,000 machine guns, and
2,500,000 military trucks.

We put 16.1 million men in uniform in the various armed services, invaded Africa, invaded Sicily and Italy, won the battle for the Atlantic, planned and executed D-Day, marched across the Pacific and Europe, developed the atomic bomb, and ultimately conquered Japan and Germany.

It’s worth noting, that during the almost exact amount of time, the Obama Administration couldn’t even build a web site that worked."


When one has as dismal a record on almost everything Obama touches one can understand the false narrative the administration is using. Its the war on women, race relations, et al when the vast majority of this would disappear if we had a vibrant economy with people working, getting real educations vice indoctrinations and we were working to improve the lot of families and small businesses.
At some point the "victim communities" are going to have to recognize that the real enemy is the one they see in the mirror every morning. How can one spend decades voting for the same people who have done little to improve the lives of their communities, education, et al? When one sells themselves cheap they become cheapened.
Being smart and also wanting to be a cop is not "acting white." Police forces around this country do a lot to get minority policeman, but face the specter of "acting white" as a deterrent. Complaining about not having enough of this or that and then not joining would seem to me to be counter productive. As the old joke says, "You have to play the lottery in order to win the lottery."
Until alleged "victim communities" start being a part of the solution instead of destroying their own we will continually deal with these problems.
I would posit that the vast majority of this is agenda driven, pushed by a leftist media from "blue areas" and those who gain power from the misery of others. Until people start realizing that allowing fire starters into issues that we could actually ameliorate it is always going to become a fire.
Hopefully one of the lessons we learn is that voting for someone because they are black or a woman only serves to exacerbate the problem. When one becomes an advocate then one thens to not see the whole picture or represent all of the people.