August 17, 2012
Obama's Impact on Race Relations in AmericaBy Lee Cary
America's first post-racial president has damaged race relations in the nation.
In an April 2012 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Obama said, "I never bought into the notion that by electing me, somehow we were entering into a post racial period."
Thembi Ford, author of the article, added this:
And therein is part of the explanation of how President Obama has damaged race relations.
Ford frames all those who question the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate as motivated by racial bias. Here's the consequence of that common, knee-jerk media reaction to Obama's critics:
The legacy media, and many Democrat pols and pundits, have so often aimed to wound Obama's detractors with their frivolous playing of the race card that it's become a blade so filed down by battological use that it no longer cuts. Like the bayonet in modern warfare, it doesn't work anymore.
But the marks those insults have left on their targets, through the blanket casting of aspersions -- for example, proponents of the Tea Party movement are labeled racist -- linger. And those whose non-racial motives have been impugned by the easy slur in being called racists have hardened to the charge.
Nevertheless, the race card continues to be deployed. It is akin to what, in a different venue, a provocative French author calls "the tyranny of guilt."
In his book The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism, French writer Pascal Bruckner suggests that Europe, and particularly the French, have, since the end of World War II, been consumed by a pathological guilt that has rendered Europe incapable of confronting contemporary atrocities. He writes (italics in the original):
The legacy media, and Democrat pols and pundits, have so transmogrified what was the wholly authentic accusation of racial prejudice during the Civil Rights Movement -- a proven charge that helped persuade a nation to dramatically alter race relations for the better -- into a partisan slogan that is a grotesque disfiguration of its historical past.
That transmogrification has not advanced race relations in America; it has damaged them.
That's part of the bruise the Obama era will leave on race relations.
When it comes from the keyboard of a respected black journalist from a major newspaper, the damage is magnified.
Here is Page's close:
Have we seen any indication of the president's desire to "reach out for common ground with conservatives"? We have not. What we have seen by his administration is an in-your-face arrogance driven by the notion that to the victor go the spoils -- all the spoils.
Has "this President obviously avoided saying anything about race," as Page writes? Hardly.
One short litany of events illustrates Page's journalistic amnesia. It includes the names Professor Henry Gates (who was the one who acted stupidly, and not the police officer trying to defend Gates' property), Trayvon Martin (the son Obama never had), and Obama's senior law enforcement official, Eric Holder (the same Holder who continues to dodge an explanation of why our government sent weapons to Mexican drug cartels that led to the deaths of hundreds of innocent Mexicans. Is that not racial insensitivity?).
In his article, Page writes not as a "journalist," but as a partisan polemicist. And his name is Legion, for there are many "journalists" like him in the legacy media.
Candidate Obama appealed to the electorate as a transformational candidate. The legacy media latched on to the race element in that meme as key to his promised transformation.
In his 2009 article entitled "A Post-Racial President?," Thomas Sowell -- a hard man to charge with being racially biased against blacks -- wrote:
The promise of being a post-racial president, as made by candidate Obama, was clearly implied, when not explicitly suggested. Some white voters, perhaps out of white guilt, inferred more into the post-racial meme than Obama stated. But none read more of the race-based element into his words than did the legacy media. And for his part, he did nothing to discourage them from taking that slant. In fact, he did the opposite.
Consequently, the subsequent comparison today between his lofty promises and his dismal performance has further damaged the media's future standing as credible reporters and commentators concerning race relations in America. They've earned their loss of credibility.
If the media of the 1960s had had the level of credibility on racial matters as does today's media, the Civil Rights movement would have been a much harder and longer ordeal for the nation.
Lastly, in March 2008, the American Thinker posted a blog entitled "Obama's strong minority perspective." It focused on an article in the February 6, 1990 issue of the New York Times written by Fox Butterfield, entitled "First Black elected to Head Harvard's Law Review" (not available on the internet).
Butterfield quoted the "28-year old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago's South-Side before enrolling in law school" as saying:
Perhaps, in his current role as president of the United States of America, both its red and blue states, Barack Obama doesn't understand that, while his role today is vastly expanded from the Harvard Law Review, he was still chosen "first among equals."
In the early 1980s, as the City Council-appointed chair of the Human Relations Committee of a Southwestern city of over 100,000 residents, Lee Cary, a frequent AT contributor, received a letter of commendation from a senior Department of Justice official for his efforts at improving race relations there.
FOLLOW US ON