Barack's 'Teachable Moment'

The night before the President of the United States addressed the questionable behavior of American law enforcement, physicians at Jersey City Medical Center harvested Detective Marc Anthony DiNardo's organs for donation in preparation to take him off of life support. Two days later, a hearse carrying DiNardo's body slowly made its way down a Jersey City street past a blue sea of stoic police officers lining the winding route. While inconsolable family members bid DiNardo farewell in New Jersey, at a Washington DC press conference Barack Obama reminded Americans of law enforcement's history of racial injustice by impugning the procedural decision of Cambridge, Massachusetts police Sergeant James Crowley "acting stupidly."

Approximately one week prior to Obama's statements, Detective DiNardo was gravely wounded during a stake out of Hassian Hosendove aka Hassan Shakur and his cohort, wife Amanda Anderson. DiNardo's reputation was one of fearless dedication; participating in a SWAT sting the officer descended on the fugitives in an attempt to capture a pair of common thugs responsible for violent carnage in more than two states.

While Obama was busy race baiting, DiNardo was laid out in dress blues having expired from the gunshot wounds to the face received while protecting the minority community of Jersey City from the blight of the likes of Hassan Shakur. Obama's comments deriding the integrity of police officers compounded DiNardo's already fatal wounds. The President's bitterness and bigotry were revealed by his choice to use a trivial incident, involving an inconsequential man like Henry Louis Gates Jr., as a springboard to attack the stature of American law enforcement during the funeral of one of their finest. 

Narcissistic tactlessness on the part of Obama suggested Sergeant James Crowley, responding to a complaint that a home burglary was in progress, behaved with racial bias. The President opined as bereaved pallbearers ferried DiNardo's flag draped coffin above the throngs of mourners in Jersey City, morbidly shooting the President ahead of the funeral cortège in the news cycle.

In his national address Obama expressed the need for further communication while failing to commend a detective who faced down an armed suspect wielding a pump-action shotgun. "Instead of flinging accusations" and resurrecting racial hostilities, Obama should have used the passing of DiNardo as an opportunity to "pump up the volume" regarding violent crime in America by acknowledging the unnecessary dirge filling Jersey City's summer air.

As bagpipes played Amazing Grace, many of those in attendance at DiNardo's funeral likely bristled at the President's incendiary political remarks as their colleague was laid to rest.  The week of DiNardo's funeral could have been an occasion for the President to bring America together.  Instead, Obama chose to squander an opportunity to laud, or even mention, fine police officers like DiNardo who overwhelmingly reject the vile practice of racial profiling. 

If the funeral of Detective DiNardo accomplished anything, it highlighted the banal, misappropriated, comments of a President obsessed with race. During his press conference, Barack Obama not only maligned the white-gloved officers saluting Detective DiNardo, but also the Secret Service personnel who pledge to take a bullet in Obama's stead. In the form of a tongue in cheek joke, Obama stunned America when he revealed that as a black man he worries about being shot entering the White House if ever he is missing his keys.

Obama ‘s "teachable moment" coincided with soil being shoveled over the coffin of a courageous, unprejudiced police officer. Though too late for Detective DiNardo, Obama's inconsiderate remarks implied those in military formation along the streets of Jersey City should take the occasion to accept culpability for bullet wounds from shotguns and character wounds by cantankerous Harvard professors.  As law enforcement officials scraped dried graveyard mud from spit-shined shoes, Obama concurrently brought to light the need for them to pause, set aside their grief, and align themselves with a racially astute President.

Obama promised America he'd transcend race.  Instead, his remarks exploit race.  When Barack Obama speaks he illuminates and reiterates the opinion that to serve the urban community, administer CPR to fallen basketball stars, teach racial sensitivity classes or rescue distraught minorities from the Hackensack River does not compensate for historical wrongs our country or its police officers are guilty of in their treatment of minorities. When presented with the chance Obama ignored the death of DiNardo.  He chose to take no notice of the deceased detective's audacious commitment to a city demographic comprised of the very cross section of people Obama accuses police officers of discriminating against.

Choosing to ignore the heroism and courage of the majority of upstanding law enforcement officials, Obama persists in availing himself every opportunity to garner political benefit by presenting an unending list of "teachable moments" to a largely racially tolerant nation. The untimely death of Detective DiNardo -- juxtaposed against Obama's comments -- provides to us all, regardless of race, a teachable moment.  Contrary to the President's original intent, Obama's lesson sheds more light on his own racial biases than on any of our own.

Jeannie DiAngelis blogs at