The man who has done more than anyone to heighten tensions between law enforcement and black communities by repeatedly suggesting wrongdoing on the part of police before the facts were in — and others who are even less responsible hype the charges — came to Dallas Tuesday to give a fake eulogy for the five slain officers.
It was a “tribute” that included indictments of police departments for racism and, of course, a dose of political rhetoric suggesting the need for more gun control.
“With an open heart, police departments will acknowledge that, just like the rest of us, they are not perfect; that insisting we do better to root out racial bias is not an attack on cops, but an effort to live up to our highest ideals,” he said.
Well, it ends up an attack on cops.
The principle reason African Americans are shot by police officers and have bad experiences with law enforcement is that they commit a disproportionate number of crimes. This is because they have been relegated to ghettoes by the very liberal policies Obama supports. But that’s another argument for another day.
What Obama helped do, and continued to do in Dallas, is elevate a relatively rare occurrence — racist cops killing blacks — into what threatens to become a national race war. You’ll hear no tribute from him to the innocent victims of rampant black-on-black violence. That’s the most profound cause for sadness. But instead of facing problems, it’s easier and more fun to relive the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.
And, of course, there was the usual call for gun control, with the new twist — born of the tragedy in Dallas — that we need to limit access to firearms so police don’t get confused about who that bad guys are.
“We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book, and then we tell the police ‘You’re a social worker, you’re the parent, you’re the teacher, you’re the drug counselor,’” Obama said.
As Obama made this statement, the police directly behind him did not applaud. They sat there stone-faced. They’re gun owners too.
Obama has already talked endlessly about such things as police brutality and gun control. He should have just focused on the cops Tuesday, not promoted his agenda.
Or perhaps he might have given a tribute to police officers who now must face the prospect of simply doing their job and having the president of the United States jump up and prejudge their actions by siding with the “victim.” Or a pre-eulogy for officers who in the future will be killed because the rhetoric of Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement caused them to second guess the accurate judgement that their lives were in danger.
I get what the president thought he was trying to do in Dallas. He told himself that he was being evenhanded, saying the police have a point, and the protestors have a point, and that we all must see each others’ views, join hands together, etc. etc.
But his words belied his true feelings. Here he is assuming, even though these cases have not been adjudicated, that the two black men recently shot by police in Louisiana and Minnesota were killed unjustly.
“But even those who dislike the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” surely we should be able to hear the pain of Alton Sterling’s family,” he said. “We should — when we hear a friend describe him by saying that ‘Whatever he cooked, he cooked enough for everybody,’ that should sound familiar to us, that maybe he wasn’t so different than us, so that we can, yes, insist that his life matters. Just as we should hear the students and coworkers describe their affection for Philando Castile as a gentle soul — ‘Mr. Rogers with dreadlocks,’ they called him — and know that his life mattered to a whole lot of people of all races, of all ages, and that we have to do what we can, without putting officers’ lives at risk, but do better to prevent another life like his from being lost.”
If you think are evenhanded — and this is Obama’s job as the boss of the attorney general, federal prosecutors, and the FBI — you not only don’t voice assumptions about guilt or innocence of the police officers involved in these case, you don’t make assumptions. The officers in these cases have not be heard from. But the juries in the trials they may face have heard the president.
Obama is about Obama and his agenda, the correctness of which cannot be challenged. It’s self-evident to him that his ideas are right and will solve problems in America. He doesn’t think he is sowing division, because he can’t imagine anyone could disagree with him. He couldn’t for a moment put his views aside and place the feelings of the Dallas police and a grieving nation first.
And then Obama went on to lecture America:
“That’s what we must pray for, each of us: a new heart. Not a heart of stone, but a heart open to the fears and hopes and challenges of our fellow citizens.”
I don’t need a new heart. Today, my heart was with the slain police officers in Dallas. That’s where Obama’s should have been too.
H/T for the video to the Washington Free Beacon.