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Obama: Prejudice “Still Infects Our Society”

President Obama Friday used the Charleston, South Carolina funeral of the murdered Rev. Clementa Pinckney to tie the problems of the black community to racism, indicting an American society he says continues to harbor deep prejudices and willingly ignores the hatred, to the detriment of African Americans.

Pinckney was the leader of Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he and eight other African Americans were slaughtered by a young white man during a bible study class.

Delivering the eulogy at times in the cadence of a black preacher, Obama went further than I’ve ever heard him casting problems in this country in racial terms. His commentary, while no doubt heartfelt, will regrettably focus the country more on its divisions and less on the solutions to the problems facing blacks, which today have little to do with prejudice and much to do with culture.

While Obama may well be correct that what ills the black community stems for the legacy of racism, severe prejudice is no longer widespread, and the problems for minorities and the divisions within society can only be stoked further by providing a false narrative that says others are now holding African Americans back.

Obama said Americans must not be complacent about the racism that exists among them and must combat it by making “lasting change:”

It would be a betrayal of everything Reverend Pinckney stood for, I believe, if we allowed ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again. (Applause.) Once the eulogies have been delivered, once the TV cameras move on, to go back to business as usual — that’s what we so often do to avoid uncomfortable truths about the prejudice that still infects our society. (Applause.) To settle for symbolic gestures without following up with the hard work of more lasting change — that’s how we lose our way again.

Obama said the removal of the Confederate flag from South Carolina’s capitol was an expression of “God’s grace,” adding, “I don’t think God wants us to stop there.”

He then suggested a host of ills he indicated are related to racism and could be ameliorated, at least in part, by self-examination by those harboring bias:

For too long, we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present. Perhaps we see that now. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty, or attend dilapidated schools, or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career. (Applause.)

Perhaps it causes us to examine what we’re doing to cause some of our children to hate. (Applause.) Perhaps it softens hearts towards those lost young men, tens and tens of thousands caught up in the criminal justice system — (applause) — and leads us to make sure that that system is not infected with bias; that we embrace changes in how we train and equip our police so that the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve make us all safer and more secure. (Applause.)

Maybe we now realize the way racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realize it, so that we’re guarding against not just racial slurs, but we’re also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal. (Applause.) So that we search our hearts when we consider laws to make it harder for some of our fellow citizens to vote. (Applause.) By recognizing our common humanity by treating every child as important, regardless of the color of their skin or the station into which they were born, and to do what’s necessary to make opportunity real for every American — by doing that, we express God’s grace. (Applause.)

Gun control, too, would be an expression of “God’s grace.”

When eight of our brothers and sisters are cut down in a church basement, 12 in a movie theater, 26 in an elementary school. But I hope we also see the 30 precious lives cut short by gun violence in this country every single day; the countless more whose lives are forever changed — the survivors crippled, the children traumatized and fearful every day as they walk to school, the husband who will never feel his wife’s warm touch, the entire communities whose grief overflows every time they have to watch what happened to them happen to some other place.

The vast majority of Americans — the majority of gun owners — want to do something about this. We see that now. (Applause.) And I’m convinced that by acknowledging the pain and loss of others, even as we respect the traditions and ways of life that make up this beloved country — by making the moral choice to change, we express God’s grace. (Applause.)

The president thinks he’s in a position to interpret God’s will. He seems to be deploying the colloquial “What would Jesus do?” as a tool for making policy, and he is convinced he has the answer.

He doesn’t. But the belief that he does could prove an ominous sign for the remaining 18 months of a presidency increasingly marked by fiat and unilateral action.

And race is increasingly becoming the defining feature of a presidency that was supposed to usher in a “post-racial society.”

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37 Responses to Obama: Prejudice “Still Infects Our Society”

    • Barack Obama is so morally bereft that he is incapable of being shamed.

      He will race bait and hustle through the very last second that he departs 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

        • Ignoring the fact that this was supposed to be a memorial for a Christian pastor, and Obummer hijacked the memorial for political reasons, please explain: How is “the removal of the Confederate flag… an expression of God’s grace”?
          .

  1. Sure he’s post racial. He manages to post racial messages nearly everywhere.

    He manages to exploit a funeral service to make political statements — and to get his requisite standing ovation by singing “Amazing Grace”.

    An observation: Barack and Michelle both seem to get the biggest ovations when they paint their audiences as victims. (Don’t suppose that’s the intention of their words…)

    • “…paint their audiences as victims.” Good observation! Out of curiosity the other day, I checked out a couple of Adolph’s speeches on Youtube. They largely consisted of collective victimization. It was chillingly familiar.

  2. His intent is to blame White America because Black children live in poverty as if we prevent their parent(s) from getting a good paying job. We have nothing to do with their education other than pay taxes to support their schools – the parent(s) are responsible to see their children learn, and learn well.
    Hate? huh, just how do White Americans keep Blacks from hating everyone else?
    MrObama’s hope of a Black Utopia where apparently White people give Blacks money to live well, don’t expect young Black men to obey our common laws, so that love will then flow as honey from on high.
    This is a sad speech from a POTUS. He undermines a whole section of Americans by allowing that they are less than others and rather than encouraging them to try harder, he wishes them to wallow in their misery.

    It’s not my fault that Black children shoot each other, nor do I keep any Black person from getting an education to better themselves. It’s not my neighbor’s fault that young Blacks get arrested for committing crimes, nor is it in any of our power to make life better for all of the Blacks in America.

  3. While I watched it on Fox muted, his body language was interesting….especially his pauses for an applause break. Chin up!

    I would have had more respect for the Obamas’ attendance had it not been televised. He gave a speech, not a eulogy.

  4. OT with apologies. I wasn’t looking for anything — just reading and someone commented that Walmart would not make a cake based on heritage not hate with confederate flag, but they did bake an ISIS battle field flag complete with arabic lettering which I assume to be Allah Akbar — or something.

    Unbelievable. Corporations and the Left. Sad.

    http://www.majorityrebellion.com/2015/06/27/video-walmart-rejects-proposal-for-confederate-flag-cake-cheerfully-bakes-isis-cake-instead/

  5. Just watching a re-run of the ‘eulogy’. He really needs to knock off that ridiculous sounding Amos ‘n Andy fake Black dialect. It’s worse than I can ever remember. He sounds like he had to get drunk so that he could get up there and slur his words to sound Black. Adding insult to injury, he can’t take his eyes off the notebook he is reading from.

    Every Af/Am should be disgusted with him! He is insulting them with his phoniness.

    • It’s been quite a day for him…pandering eulogy during the day and now rainbow-colored lights blanketing the White House this evening.

    • He reminds me of the old “blackface” jokers. I cannot express how much I hate this huckster. I know I will get flak for saying this, but the wrong guy is in the coffin.

      • He didn’t grow up ‘Black’ in Hawaii. Blacks were, and still are, a very small demographic. He is a light skinned bi-racial who never suffered from ‘Black’ discrimination. His bio is all made up as far as race is concerned.

        He never heard this shuck ‘n jive talk until he got to the Mainland. He made a conscious decision to ‘go Bla, ck’ b/c it was easier than being bi-racial in a white world. Being ‘Black’ opened all sorts of doors for him and eventually made him the first Black POTUS.

        Oddly enough, many Blacks complained that he wasn’t ‘Black enough’. They were right! They were bamboozled. They’re worse off today than ever before.

  6. The big thing infecting our society is the democrats and Barrack Obama. Our society was doing just fine before these people came along. When Obama and his low-life groupies leave, we’ll do just fine again. What we really need is for them to just go away. The biggest racists I know are democrats. And Obama is the head guy.

  7. Does anybody out there understand that these mass shootings are a direct result of mental illness? Obama acts as though this shooter, other than being a racist, was just another of the white folk in our country.

    Every one of these mass murderers has a deep illness, and it is manifested in their ultimate act of selfpity and quest for social recognition. They are society’s castaways, deep in dark corners, seeking a way out, to be accepted, to be acknowledged. Yet we sit idly by, fail to act when presented with obvious signals, because these ill people have “rights”, and we must respect them.

    Our society needs to accept the fact that we must do a better job of assisting the unfortunate souls afflicted with mental illness and simultaneously protecting the population by controlling the afflicted.

    H

  8. Obama’s correct about prejudice and racism infecting our society, but it’s Obama and his ilk that are filled with prejudice and hate. Every negative assertion Obama makes is really about himself and his ilk. Constant Alinsky nonsense from this nonsense “president”, and his ilk.

  9. Why couldn’t this “racial understanding” include the understanding that the vast majority of “white” people do not have slaves, would not, did not have relatives who owned them, know what a time in history is and can put this in context, and today work side by side and play side by side with people of all races and nationalities. Subjugaving someone, insulting someone, hurting someone is not their first or even hundredth thought. Life goes on. Why can’t we “get” this?

    • I agree with SrDem on this–get an education, make the schools work, I had to bang on the DC elementary school everyday to get what the kids needed–then in fifth grade, I gave up and put my kid in parochial school. Quit penalizing creative principals and administrators and hewing to stodgy lines of teaching and educating and stupid repetitive tests. Put the kids in uniform–they behave better. Quite sucking up to the teachers unions and paying bad teachers to sit someplace and do nothing–they need to move on. So many ways the brick and mortar schools could be better. If some kid clocks a teacher, have a classroom with guards where those kids can go for the year. It defeats the purpose to send them home and into the streets. This is black and white–out here in AZ, the jailbirds I run into–many on my patio–are white. We need to whip some of this into shape instead of slow jamming, singing hymns, saying epithets for shock value, and whining.

  10. Love how he gave a five minute lecture on the history and the meaningfulness of “OUR” Black Churches.

    How the hell would the know? He’s never in any of them.

  11. His most serious concern should be how to control his profane, lying, deceiving, muslim loving self from harming our Country any more than he has already. This “preaching” of his so tedious. If he REALLY wants change, he needs to look at himself FIRST.