It’s Time for President Obama to Live Up To His Race-Uniting Promise

July 15, 2013

On the heels of the George Zimmerman verdict, when this nation deeply needs a tense situation defused and soothing, reassuring words of racial unity, the president and attorney general give us just the opposite.

We desperately need to strive for racial harmony and unity, but our task is exceedingly more difficult when President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder repeatedly invoke race and stir racial tensions.

Trayvon Martin’s death was terribly tragic, but Obama’s and Holder’s racially charged statements (and sometimes actions) are damaging. Even if Obama hadn’t promised to be a uniter, he’d have a duty, as do all political leaders, not to stir tension between blacks and whites.

When Obama became a serious presidential contender, I was concerned about his apparent attitude toward race. There were the candid admissions in his books, his long attendance at a race-oriented church and certain statements that he had made that indicated that racial bitterness was part of his makeup.

All of this was completely at odds with the public image Obama carefully sought to project and with the promise that he would inaugurate a new era of post-racial politics.

The mere suggestion that Obama had racial hang-ups brought condemnation from those who a) love to characterize conservatives as racist, b) believe that, by definition, blacks can’t be racist toward whites, c) glow in feelings of self-congratulation when they point the accusatory finger of racism at others, and d) were idealistically invested in the idea that racism would be extinguished upon the election of the first African-American president.

I hoped I was wrong about Obama, but in office, he has steadily removed any doubt. He began employing identity politics from the get-go and encouraging his supporters to brand any opposition to his policies as including a racist component.

Holder said Americans are cowards on the race issue. Obama let stand the suggestion that many of his opponents have a “subterranean agenda” concerning race. He appealed to blacks and Hispanics in explicitly racial terms, telling them they had to elect Democrats.

In its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the administration chastised America as racially discriminatory. It expressly condemned Arizona’s immigration law as racist.

The entire liberal establishment has smeared supporters of voter ID laws as racists. Holder attempted to deflect attention from his own wrongdoing over Operation Fast and Furious by saying that his accusers were pursuing him as a way of getting at President Obama because they are both African-Americans.

There is no excuse for the president of the United States and his attorney general to foment or contribute to racial tensions in America, but that is exactly what they have done, whether intentionally (for political gain) or because they just can’t help themselves.

When a reporter asked Obama about the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Gates, an African-American friend of Obama’s, Obama said the Cambridge policemen who arrested Gates had acted “stupidly.” This, despite his admitting he wasn’t aware of all the facts.

Concerning Martin, even The Washington Post reported that Obama decided to “assertively insert himself into” the “controversy” when he said: “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids. … If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

I ask you: Was that a proper statement from a president of all the American people, let alone one professedly committed to uniting the races? How can the chief executive of the United States possibly justify such a racially charged comment, which could have poisoned the jury pool, especially when, as was the case with the Gates incident, he couldn’t have known all the facts?

In the wake of the jury’s acquittal of Zimmerman, Obama weighed in again, this time exploiting the entire event, just as he had the Sandy Hook shootings, to promote gun control. “That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin,” he said, unmistakably signaling that he is still heavily invested in the case as a matter of race.

Then there was the additionally disturbing revelation by The Daily Caller — and other outlets — that the Community Relations Service, a division of the Justice Department, “was deployed to Sanford, Florida (in 2012) to provide security for anti-George Zimmerman protests, including a rally headlined by activist Al Sharpton.”

So now we have not just our political leaders making overtly divisive statements on race but the administration spending taxpayer money for the purpose of agitation. Just when you think things can’t get much worse.

If there is any authenticity in Obama’s claims to seek racial harmony in America, now is the time for him to make a 180-degree turn and use his bully pulpit to promote racial harmony. I am under no illusions that he will do so, but I can nevertheless pray that he will.