Race Relations Worse Now Than When Obama Took Office
In his 2008 campaign for the White House, Chicago Senator Barack Obama spoke openly and candidly about his hopes regarding race in the United States. “I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.”
They were powerful words from a man many thought would spark a racial revolution in this country, improving race relations in a way no president before him had been able to do. This weekend, however, it was confirmed that he has done anything but. According to a new poll from the New York Times, race relations have devolved since Obama took office in 2009. Only 10% of respondents believe that racial relations have improved under the leadership of the president while a striking 35% of people believe they have gotten worse.
How did we get to this point? How did the country’s first black president worsen race relations in the United States?
To find the answer, one need only remember the Trayvon Martin case and how quickly Obama rushed to judgment from his perch in Washington. Fanning the flames of a media frenzy that pushed the prosecution into charging George Zimmerman in the absence of evidence, Obama took Trayvon as his spiritual kin. “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” the president said.
The Martin situation wasn’t the first time Obama spoke up against perceived racial injustices. He was quick to condemn police in 2009 when Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested in front of his house. Obama, admitting that he didn’t have all the facts of the case, didn’t let his ignorance stop him from making a statement to the press. “The Cambridge police acted stupidly,” he insisted, igniting a firestorm of criticism from the right, not to mention those in law enforcement who thought he would be better off staying out of their affairs.
As far as Ferguson goes, Obama has let his man in the Justice Department, Eric Holder, make all of the racial accusations he himself now shies away from. Holder was also quick to send investigators to the heartland earlier this summer when controversy arose surrounding a parade float.
Around and around it goes for Obama and his tangled relationship with race. His redistribution policies and speak-before-thinking modus operandi have done nothing but divide the country further. If MLK could see the country now, he might say, “I had a dream…but it wasn’t this.” It should be a source of embarrassment for the president, but the chances are he views it as an advantage for Democrats in the coming elections. Sadly, he’s probably right.