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Obama Misses His Moment on Race

I got this note the other day from one of our readers, a woman who is named Dr. Love, in response to President Obama’s remarks on Trayvon Martin.

I am an average weight white girl who happens to wear a 34 – M cup bra and is covered with tattoo’s. And guess what Mr. President I get followed in stores too and believe me I know what it is like for people to get nervous when I get on the elevator with them. And just so the brothers don’t feel singled out, I too know what it’s like to have people lock their car doors at intersections when I’m waiting  to cross.

But I’ll raise you one, I know what it’s like to experience prejudice from your race but also my own race and every other race. And for anyone who wants to pull the race card on me, I married a Hispanic the 1st time and a Black man the 2nd.

The next time anyone feels like an outcast and that everyone is treating  you like a red-headed stepchild I strongly suggest you ride an L.A. bus and watch a paraplegic in a wheelchair get on holding up the bus when everyone’s in a rush.

I would rather be a handicapped homeless minority in the U.S. than a factory worker in China! Martin Luther King’s speech “I Have a Dream” was full of respect for the constitution, the authorities of the land, this country and God. His example is the only way his dream can manifest.

Now, why do I share this with you?

Because she makes the point that Obama’s remarks on Martin were self-pitying and divisive, and self-pity and division are not what race relations require today.

Instead of leading on race, Obama joined in with the same old grievance crowd led by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, finding a racial issue and proof of racism where there is none.

Obama had a chance to bring people together by saying not every issue that involves a black and white person has to do with race. He had a chance to be a new kind of black leader, suggesting African Americans need to look within themselves and their own culture instead worrying about every slight from whites.

I have no doubt that there is still racism in this country. But it’s not what’s holding black people down. The sound of car doors locking is not what’s barring African Americans entry into the middle and upper classes.

The greatest tragedy in this nation’s cultural history is its persecution of African Americans. It’s greatest triumph is the progress it has made since the 1950s in diminishing racism.

This nation just elected for the second time an African American. He’s liberal, but conservatives in the 2012 primaries backed Herman Cain, a black businessman, with a passion they showed for no one else, until he was forced to leave the race.

The second greatest tragedy in the nation’s cultural history is the failure of African Americans since the 1960s to make enough economic progress and be integrated fully with whites.

I believe with all my heart that what continues to keep races apart is not lingering racism, but economic policies that foster dependency in the black community and abet the total meltdown of the black family. Race hucksters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton perpetuate a way of thinking that seeks to blame whites for the problems African Americans have instead of fostering a climate of self reliance that is needed in the community

A few black leaders – Bill Cosby, for example – have bucked the trend and sought to administer the tough love that says, you must do this on your own. Sure, white oppression played a big role in creating the culture of dependency. But white altruism in the form of government handouts is not going to solve the problem.

Obama had a chance to say, really, who the Hell cares about Zimmerman when black teenagers in the inner cities are slaughtering each other?

He won’t abandon his government handout creed, but he could at least have avoided the self-absorbed victimization pose that passes for civil rights these days.

Black people have reason for resentment. History gave them that. But there are enough black leaders expressing such sentiments. And I never got anywhere in life lingering on resentment.

Obama could have been a civil rights leader of the 21st century, using his own success as an example of how to break the bonds of anger, accusation, and dependence that can hold people back. He could have said, ignore the sound of locks, because that’s not what’s closing doors. But he didn’t.

Instead, he goes with the Sharpton flow and celebrates Trayvon Martin as a modern civil rights hero, even though the evidence suggests Martin nearly beat a man to death in a savage attack far disproportionate to whatever provocation existed. If you want to know how pathetic the current civil rights movement is compared to the black heroes of the 1960s, well, there you go.

We shall overcome, we shall overcome,
We shall overcome someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall overcome someday.

We’ll walk hand in hand, we’ll walk hand in hand,
We’ll walk hand in hand someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We’ll walk hand in hand someday.

We are not afraid, we are not afraid,
We are not afraid today;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We are not afraid today.

Black people shall overcome. But they shall need a new set of leaders who are honest enough to express to them why they haven’t. I had once thought that, whatever his politics, Barack Obama was one of these. No more.

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51 Responses to Obama Misses His Moment on Race

  1. Because she makes the point that Obama’s remarks on Martin were self-pitying and divisive, and self-pity and division are not what race relations require today.

    Instead of leading on race, Obama joined in with the same old grievance crowd led by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, finding a racial issue and proof of racism where there is none.

    Obama had a chance to bring people together by saying not every issue that involves a black and white person has to do with race. He had a chance to be a new kind of black leader, suggesting African Americans need to look within themselves and their own culture instead worrying about every slight from whites.

    SNIP
    ***************

    He doesn’t want to advance race relations! He wants to keep the schism–no, he wants to deepen and widen it–in order to fuel resentment between the races so as to exploit it. And, if he gets a chance, he wants to punish white people for being white.

    • Far from a Shaprton fan, I believe he should at least get credit for this platform of the National Action Network:

      The Decency Initiative was created in order to reduce the degrading, racially insensitive and misogynous language and culture that has become pervasive today and to hold corporate America and the private sector equally accountable with racial sensitivity. The Decency Initiative promotes a message of anti-violence, self-respect and pride in heritage. It also advocates against the entertainment industry’s use of capitalizing off of denigrating lyrics to describe black culture. Recently, NAN worked with the family of Emmett Till to hold PepsiCo accountable for using a spokesperson that defamed and denigrated the legacy if Emmett Till.

    • like Melvin said I am shocked that some people can get paid ($)8647 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this web site… c­a­n9­9.ℂ­ℴ­M

  2. I don’t know, of course, but this being followed in Hawaii in a prep school uniform, I did wonder about the truth of that. Or maybe it was just truthy. He said it stopped when he became a senator–did he have a nametag (US Senator). It sounded made up. Sure, it happens. But you’re right–it’s cheap, almost a cliche. If I am alone and a male of any color is following behind me and no one is around, I will cross the street. I would do it this afternoon–and no apologies.

    Also we need to differentiate between “racial” and “racism.”

  3. Playing the victim and self-pity over n over wears out. Look at how Chinese and Japanese were treated in this country. Our country has tried to help blacks, and it’s time those who constantly whine get on with life.

    • Agree A147. Other minorities seem to get on with life. The Asians are a good example of that. The black group is not so big but you constantly hear and read about them, most often not in positive reports. Time of resentment surely must be over by now. Keith is so right there, it´s harmful to perpetuate victimhood. And why do they need special leaders ? They are Americans. Just as everyone else in the country.They should be proud of being citizens. So many would like to be that. Just ask any poor guy in Angola or Sudan or Burma or Philippines if they would like to come and work hard in the US, I am sure they would be more than happy to go.

      • I was studying German and Russian at Portland State University at the time the O. J. Simpson verdict came down. A few doors down the hall was the room the Black Student Government used for their meeting place. Yes, Black Student Government. They were a separate group from the ordinary student government body. Everyone else walked around crestfallen that day, but they were whooping it up and partying in their own little space. I’m sure the university did not force them into a separate but equal group: it was their own choice to remain apart.

    • heck, America was mean to the IRISH when they first got here! we’ve always treated new immigrant groups pretty badly. (and speaking of the Japanese, we also confiscated their property and packed them into internment camps during WWII.)

  4. I believe with all my heart that what continues to keep races apart is not lingering racism, but economic policies that foster dependency in the black community and abet the total meltdown of the black family.

    SNIP
    *************

    Through my son’s time in our town’s Little League, I’ve come to know quite a few African-American families. I know one woman and her son who are living in federal housing, who are on government-funded health care and who use SNAP. She’s working on her AA while working full time, and plans to get a BA in the same field. She never married her son’s father, but he’s in the picture, and at just about every game for the past eight years.

    Just across the street is an African-American woman who has five or so kids, each from different men who are scattered from here to Chicago. The kids (ranging from two to 12) hang out in the neighborhood all day long. They get government funded healthcare, and SNAP. The oldest is a boy I’ve taken under my wing during All Star season, and my heart has been both uplifted and filled with dark thoughts at the same time. I’ve fed him before and after every game, and I’ve taken him to every game. She’s not attended even ONE of his All Star games, yet she drives a fine SUV. I’ve fed him breakfast, too, on game days, while she sits on her ass or lies in bed with some man or another.His clothes are either too big or too small.

    But, this child has the biggest and brightest smile I’ve ever seen. For the start of his seventh grade, He’s a C student, but he has an agile and hungry mind, so I’m giving him a thesaurus and dictionary, as well as a guide on how to take notes on texts and on lectures.

    I’m choking up here, I’m mad at this “mother” for doing little but have child after child for whom she cannot provide even emotional or moral support.

    • I had a point but lost sight of it while writing: I have no problem helping out those who are helping themselves, but my hide gets chapped bright red seeing my money get pissed away by those with no sense of responsibility or dignity.

  5. I had once thought that, whatever his politics, Barack Obama was one of these. No more.

    The more people who come to see Obama for what he is the better chance all Americans have. If one believes in silver linings, hopefully the choice Obama made to side with the Sharptons and Jacksons will be seen for what it is — an act of division to reinforce economic power over the African American community and further divide this nation –then door will open for real leaders in the community like Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell, and the growing line up of black conservatives, etc.

    Thanks for the letter. It was spot on.

    • judge the people on their own merrits . Personally I would NOT marry outside my race . WHY SHOULD I ?
      Having said that I believe that the POS REV’s Sharpton and Jackson are BOTH BLACK TRASH

  6. We can ascribe all sorts of motives for what MrObama said at the presser, butt there is an underlying, irrational fear of White people that flows through the Black community. Every White person is a threat to their family, their very lives.
    The see “White privilege” and racism whenever a White person becomes successful and the Black guy is still standing on the street corner.
    After MrO was was sworn in a President, any comment that wasn’t adoring or positive was proof that White people hated the idea of a Black man sitting in the Oval office, as if the Black community were the sole voters that put him there.
    The following is a true transcript of MrsO’s comments on “60 Minutes” with Steve Kroft six long years ago:

    “From the February 11, 2007, edition of CBS’ 60 Minutes:
    KROFT: This is a tough question to ask, but a number of years ago, Colin Powell was thinking about running for president, and his wife, Alma, really did not want him to run.

    MICHELLE OBAMA: Mm-hmm.

    KROFT: She was worried about some crazy person with a gun.

    MICHELLE OBAMA: Mm-hmm.

    KROFT: Is that something that you think about?

    MICHELLE OBAMA: I don’t lose sleep over it, because the realities are that, you know, as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station, you know. So, you know, you can’t — you know, you can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen. We just weren’t raised that way.”

    • An alternative query:

      How many talented white basketball players shut out of a pro career look at the NBA (B = Basketball) and claim “black privilege”?

  7. The ability to do it on your own comes from being raised in a strong family, one with two parents. They teach you to earn what you get and to abide by the laws. I’m afraid the American family is eroding terribly, especially black families. The family is being attacked like never before.

  8. There’s something ironic, hypocritical, and absurd to hear an elected black man who is not only the most powerful man in the United States, but the world, lament about some perceived racism. It doesn’t sound to me that Barack Obama is interested in racial equality, but instead revenge against white people.

    • That’s a fact, but the true believers will never be convinced that their messiah is the biggest “phony” of all; not the Benghazi terrorist attack, DOJ gunrunning, government spying, or using the IRS to persecute political opponents.

  9. And, yes, daily racism still exists. You wouldn’t believe the crap I heard coming out of adults’ mouths when we were playing games against unknown teams. I won’t repeat it here, but suffice it to say that those people got a polite earful from me. Why did I hear it in the first place? Because I’m white, and those adults didn’t realize that I was a mother of the only white boy on that team. As time went by, I didn’t hear much from those parents/grandparents because they knew who I was, and that they would get a tongue-whipping from me.

    But, the most discouraging aspect was that our players heard some of that crap. OTOH, they also heard me set those racists straight.

  10. Keith, this is one of the best pieces I’ve read today. You get a resounding AMEN on this one. Thanks for sharing the young woman’s comments. It jerked me up short to realize I have probably been one of those people who have looked askance at someone as the woman described herself. No more.

  11. To understand the President’s position, one must realize that neither the President nor Mrs. Obama chose to enter the private work force for any period of time. Despite graduating from one of the country’s premier law schools and gaining jobs at one the premier law firms, neither chose private law practice. The President conned the University of Chicago Law School into funding his writing of an autobiography; then he became a community organizer and politician. Mrs. Obama quickly left private practice to work for the government; one wonders why. Their financial success came only through political power, not hard work at a private company. They either could not succeed in the private work force or did not want to. o, it is not surprising that they do not even think about encouraging younger people (of any race) to work hard in the private sector and succeed by that work. For them, success comes from the government.

    • “….[N]either the President nor Mrs. Obama chose to enter the private work force for any period of time. Despite graduating from one of the country’s premier law schools and gaining jobs at one the premier law firms, neither chose private law practice.”

      FCMABBHO was a community organizer from 1985 until 1988, working with churches and the Gamaliel Foundation. Then, he entered Harvard. During the summers, he worked at Sidley Austin, where, if memory serves, he was introduced to Michelle by Bernadette Dohrn.

      From 1992 until 2004, he taught at University of Chicago Law School, while he also directed Project Vote during 1992, and at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland from 1993 until 2004. During those years, he also worked with three philanthropies, Woods, Joyce and Annenberg.

      To my knowledge, none of those entities are public institutions or organizations.

    • Michelle worked at Sidley, Austin from 1988 until 1991. Her only work in the public sector seems to have been when she worked at Daley’s office from 1991 until 1993, when she became director of a non-profit organization. She worked at Sidley, Austin from 1988 until 1991. After her time at Public Allies (1993-1997), she worked at University of Chicago, a private school, from about 1997 until 2006.

  12. Reading this blog is one of my daily routines, and this post reminds me why. Thank you, Keith, for posting this! I have been losing hope in our country; it’s sanity and it’s common sense seem to be eroding under Obama’s reign. While he lives the life of a billionaire king, this “tattooed, average white girl” is running circles around him. My love and admiration to both of you!!! Also … just as an FYI, my cars doors lock automatically once I start driving. My car, like me, does not see or judge people by the color of their skin. :-)

  13. Keith, I read you every day, several times a day, and have done so for nearly 4 years and this column, is, without a doubt, without even a close competitor, the very VERY best writing you’ve done, BAR NONE.

    It was thoughtful, carefully worded, elegantly wrought AND DEAD ON.

    Congratulations and THANK YOU for the excellent work you do.

  14. The United States atoned for the sin of savory with all of the blood spilled in our Civil War. The United States repudiated racism back in the 1960s. The only lingering impediment to the success of Black people are their own immoral choices and behaviors. When two out of three Black children are born out of wedlock to mothers who have multiplevchildren by different men, it is inevitable that their children will be disadvantaged. Young, Black children are five times as likely to be brutally beaten to death by their Black mothers, Black “fathers,” and the precession of Black boyfriends who live with or just date Black mothers. The Black children who survive the all to common brutality of Black families almost inevitably grow up to become feral humans. The FBI-SHR homicide statistics reveal that while Black people constitute only 1/8 of the population, they commit over half of all homicides. President Obama chose to incite racial hatred over the Trayvon Martin by stating that if he “had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.”. However; if President Obama had a bastard son, he would look like the FBI’s statistical composite of the one demographic group most likely to commit homicide: 14 to 24 year old, Black males. Black people like to demonize mythical white racists, guns, gun owners, gun manufacturers and Stand Your Ground laws for the carnage that they inflict on themselves. The truth of the matter is that almost all Black murder victims are killed by other Blacks and that Boacks kill Whies far more often then Whites kill Blacks.

    It is time that White people stop apologizing for the sins of the past. Most white people are not the descendants of slave owners nor have the been racists. It is time for White people to demand that Black people assume responsibility for their own behaviors. If Black people can not or will not assume responsibility for their own behaviors, then they are beyond redemption and have become a liability that the United States can not and should not tolerate.

  15. I Love It! Great Job. Can’t wait to see what response you get. I’m sure alot of people will sigh in relief just to hear the truth.
    My Pastor friend says Obama wants to cause division and riots so he can institute marshall law. What do you think?
    Thank You for the honor of being a part of your website!
    Blessings,
    Dr. Love

  16. “He won’t abandon his government handout creed” and that is the crux of Barack Obama. He cares more about that than “his people” or anyone else, except maybe himself.
    Anyone who thinks this white-black is going to do something good for them or the country is totally naive.

  17. There was an empty seat on a crowded BART train here in the Bay area. I sat down on it next to a young black women, who looked at me a middle aged attractive (if I may) white women) and snarled under her breath:”Eddie Murphy isn’t going to lke this”. I looked at her and asked”Do you know Eddie”. “No,”she snarled again. “Well”, I replied, I’ve met Eddie. Do you mind if I ask him if he would mind my sitting next to him on publie transportation?” silence

  18. Oh and 1 more thing……..
    Why doesn’t anyone refer to me as a Norweigen American? We got here just a couple generations ago.
    (Smile)
    Dr. Love

  19. A few years ago, I read an article that said the biggest shoplifters were middle-aged WHITE women. That explained why I felt I was followed in some stores. I learned to keep my purse zipped up, firmly on my shoulder, and if I picked up an item that I planned to buy, I held it in my hands or put it in the shopping cart where it could clearly be seen.

    I always, always lock my car doors the minute I get in the car ~ usually don’t even wait until I start the engine. A couple times, the “click” has happened just as a person of color has walked passed the car and I immediately hoped they didn’t think I locked the doors just because I saw them, because that wouldn’t have been true. It doesn’t help when the POTUS and the poverty pimps (thank you Dr. Walter E. William!) keep pushing the “woe is me” attitude.

    • In DC, in certain neighborhoods, you would see young men in wheelchairs–maybe two or three in a block or two. They had been shot. Yes, it was sad, but you also thought this might be an iffy place to be.

    • Curious. What has Walter E. Williams said that would qualify him as a “poverty pimp”?

      I’m pretty sure he fills in for Rush Limbaugh, teaches economics, and stresses personal responsibility?

  20. Keith, 10: 50 pm cdt
    I just read your insightful article! If you have not read Deneen Borelli’s book, BLACKLASH, (2012), I would like to recommend it to you and to others. As a well-known black conservative, she ‘speaks to and for’ Americans of every ethnic background – especially for everyone who is hesitant or really ‘afraid’ to discuss racial problems and solutions out of fear of being called ‘racist’ or other names and/or ostracized by family and friends who are dems/progressives and will NOT question bho’s dismal presidency because he is black! Thank-you for the WHD! jb

  21. My name was Antonio West. I was the 13-month old child who was shot in the face at point blank range by two black teens, who were attempting to rob my mother, who was also
    shot.

    I think my murder and my mommy’s wounding made the news for maybe a day, and then disappeared.

    A Grand Jury of my mommy’s peers from Brunswick, Georgia ruled the black teens who murdered me will not face the death penalty… too bad it was me who got the death sentence
    from my killers instead, because Mommy didn’t have the money they demanded..

    See, my family made the mistake of being white in a 73% non-white neighborhood, but my murder wasn’t ruled a ‘hate crime’.

    Oh, and President Obama didn’t take a single moment to acknowledge my murder. He couldn’t have any children who could possibly look like me – so why should he care?

    I’m one of the youngest murder victims in our great Nation’s history, but the media didn’t
    care to cover the story of my being killed in cold blood.

    There isn’t a white equivalent of Al Sharpton, because if there was he would be branded a ‘racist’. So no one’s rushing to Brunswick, Georgia to demonstrate and demand ‘justice’
    for me. There’s no ‘White Panther’ party, either, to put a bounty on the lives
    of the two black teens who murdered me.

    I have no voice, I have no representation, and unlike those who shot me in the face while I sat
    innocently in my stroller – I no longer have my life.

    Isn’t this a great country?

    So while you’re out seeking ‘justice for Trayvon’, please remember to seek ‘justice’ for me. Tell
    your friends about me, tell your families, get tee-shirts with my face on them,
    and make the world pay attention, just like you did for Trayvon.

    I won’t hold my breath.
    I don’t have one anymore.

  22. Keith: Wake up and accept that Obama is doing exactly what he intended to do, which is divide, create economic collapse and social divide, and then martial law.