Skip to comments.Obama’s Demagoguery. The president has a bad habit of wading uninformed into local controversies.
Posted on 03/27/2012 6:53:38 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The atrocity at first seemed undeniable: A white vigilante, with a Germanic name no less, hunted down and then executed a tiny black youth who, from his published grammar-school photos, seemed about twelve while he was walking innocently and eating candy in an exclusive gated community in northern Florida. The gunman had used a racial slur, as supposedly heard on a 911 tape, and ignored the dispatchers urging him to back off.
The apparently racist, or at least insensitive, white police chief and district attorney then covered up the murder. Understandable outrage followed in the black community, but the killing also brought out the usual demagogues. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, and the New Black Panther Party all alleged that the shooting death of Trayvon Martin was an indictment of a systematically racist white society. They demanded justice, and the Black Panthers announced a $10,000 bounty on the supposed killer. Even Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter got into the act, dubbing the shooting an assassination.
The dispute went national and was soon further sensationalized along racial lines. Others, mostly nonAfrican Americans, countered that the facts were still in dispute and information was incomplete, while noting that just a few days earlier in Chicago ten youths were murdered and at least 40 others shot. Most of those victims and shooters were African Americans, but the carnage did not earn commensurate national attention from black leaders. President Obama himself, who had been silent about the slaughter in his adopted hometown, weighed in on the Martin case and, unfortunately, highlighted the racial undertones lamenting that the murdered Martin looked just the way his own boy might, had he a son. The latter statement was true but also, of course, true of some of those murdered in Chicago. And given that the black minority currently commits violent crimes against the white majority more frequently than do the nations 70 percent whites against its 12 percent blacks, the presidents evocation of race in the Martin case seemed inappropriate to many.
But no crime proves quite as simple as initially reported in our sensationalized 24/7 media. Amid the blaring reports of a racially inspired murder, it turned out that the shooter, George Zimmerman, was actually part Hispanic, with a Latino mother (he was dubbed white Hispanic by the media, whereas Barack Obama is not referred to as a white African-American), and that he was perhaps not the quick-on-the-draw nut he was caricatured in the press as being. The 911 tape was scratchy, and it was unclear on another recording who said what, or who later was screaming for assistance.
The deceased, Trayvon Martin, was not a pre-teen, but 17 and 6′2″, and the gated community was ethnically mixed and may not have a white majority. True, the supposed vigilante had shot Martin, but he was also a neighborhood-watch designee, assigned to look for supposedly suspicious individuals. And the shooting occurred during some sort of fistfight in which Zimmerman may have been losing. The police, whom most thought should have at least filed manslaughter charges, seemed dumbfounded by a Florida law called Stand Your Ground, which could be stretched to mean that almost anyone could use deadly force if he believed that his life was endangered. In sum, what had seemed from media accounts to be a racist first-degree murder, horrifically covered up, on closer examination might have been either second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, some sort of criminal negligence, or even simple self-defense the point being that we will not know the degree of Zimmermans guilt, if any, until all the evidence in the case is released to the public. Daily, new information has emerged, and, daily, the previous days narrative has changed.
In other words, the president waded into an ongoing investigation, in which the facts of the case remain murky and in dispute. And instead of playing down the racial component of the tragedy in polarized times, he seemed instead deliberately to have emphasized it.
President Obama had entered into another news story just a few weeks earlier. A law student at the Catholic Georgetown University, Sandra Fluke, had complained in testimony before a congressional committee that religious conservatives, in their wish to thwart provisions of Obamacare, would soon ensure that she, and millions of other women at Catholic institutions, would continue not to have access to free contraceptives. She noted that her present contraceptive needs were not covered by Georgetown and had cost her as much as $3,000 a year. Rush Limbaugh immediately jumped in and in crude fashion labeled Fluke a slut. He thundered that her sexual life should not be subsidized either by taxpayers or by reluctant Catholic institutions. Outrage followed Limbaughs various smears which went on for at least three days until, under growing pressure, he apologized.
Then President Obama, sensing political advantage, entered the fray. He called Ms. Fluke to voice his support, while telling the nation that Limbaughs invectives were not the sort of American environment that he wished his two daughters, Sasha and Malia, to grow up in.
But, again, indecency these days never proves to be quite as simple as what is initially reported by the traditional media. Limbaughs regrettable attack on Ms. Fluke was not all that unusual in the world of hardball television and radio. Liberal television host Bill Maher had routinely smeared all sorts of conservative women with even worse epithets, of the sort that could not even be printed in most newspapers and Maher never apologized. And late-night talk-show host David Letterman earlier had used the crude term slutty to demonize Sarah Palin, and also, in cruder fashion still, had suggested that Mrs. Palins 14-year-old daughter had had sex in the dugout with a New York Yankee star. Stranger still, the profane and often misogynistic Maher had just given, in a public stunt, an Obama reelection super PAC a $1 million donation, while Letterman was scheduled to have First Lady Michelle Obama on his program. Was the language of Maher and Letterman the sort that the Obama girls should have to endure?
The reactions to the presidential editorializing were predictable. Liberals applauded Obama for his public stand on behalf of feminists, while conservatives countered that he was selective in his outrage and more an opportunistic partisan than an opponent of crude speech aimed at women. The president had succeeded once more in polarizing rather than uniting the nation.
Then there was the tragedy involving Representative Gabrielle Giffords, when a deranged man shot the congresswoman and killed six bystanders. In all, he killed or wounded 19 innocent people. Even though the maniacal shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, had no consistent ideology or discernible political agenda, liberals saw the incident as proof of everything from pernicious white-male tea-party anger to the dangers in Sarah Palins use of metaphors such as cross-hairs and targets, and thus leaped in to condemn right-wing bombast. Soon, in response, the president used the occasion to remind the nation of the need for a new civility (Its important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds) the subtext being that the popular anguish over his policies had led naturally to a climate that facilitated the Gifford shooting.
But once again, the president found himself in a hole of his own digging. It turned out that while there had been lots of cruel speech, there was no connection between any of it and the Gifford shootings and certainly no monopoly on it by conservatives. For every bombastic smear on talk radio, there was a commensurate one on MSNBC television. Obama himself later attended a Michigan labor rally in which labor leader and supporter Jimmy Hoffa Jr. bellowed out an implied death threat to conservatives: President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Lets take these son-of-a-bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong. Obama chose to respond to that take these son-of-a-bitches out threat to about half the populace with silence.
At the beginning of his presidency, Barack Obama had waded into another contentious incident, the notorious arrest and temporary detention of Professor Henry Louis Gates, the well-known head of African-American Studies at Harvard. At first this also seemed a clear-cut scandal: Gates was arrested as he simply attempted to get into his own house, after finding his door jammed guilty of nothing other than being black.
Police were called by suspicious neighbors who noted broken glass, and then in supposedly racist fashion the officers typecast and arrested Gates. Or did they?
When the police arrived, they first routinely asked Gates for identification, which trigged from Gates a vocal barrage at the inquiring officer. Words were exchanged; Gates was detained. The president almost immediately suggested that the police had acted stupidly, a behavior that supposedly reflected a general national stereotyping of black males. Again, note the pattern: The president seizes on a local issue, editorializes, and ends up sowing more division. His supporters applauded; but opponents pointed out that had Gates instead politely and calmly explained his situation, the fracas could easily have been prevented. And as for stereotyping, did the president mean to suggest that the police should not be aware that black males (about 6 percent of the population) committed a majority of the nations murders (52 percent)?
What do all these presidential interventions teach us other than that there are two sides to every story? First, that race and gender are flashpoints in our culture, as liberals see justice routinely denied to Americans on the basis of their sex and skin color, and conservatives believe these issues are continually trumped up to further divide the country and serve the political interests of a partisan elite.
But a larger lesson should be the presidents, because a disturbing pattern has developed in his editorializing, which is aimed exclusively at those whose policies and language he implies lead to horrific acts like the shooting of African-American teenagers, the smearing of young feminists, the shooting of Democratic congresswomen, or the jailing of African-American professors. Yet in every case, further evidence, more information, and subsequent events suggested that the president had offered either incomplete or misleading commentary to the nation, predicated not on a desire for healing or truth, but on a wish to gain partisan advantage.
With the world in recession, facing energy shortages, and on the brink of war, it is politically unwise for the president of the United States to offer commentary on contentious issues, especially before the facts of such disputes are fully known. To do so at worst can interfere with ongoing investigations, and at best pits the office of the presidency against private individuals. In every case, Barack Obama cannot conclude that his commentary created greater unity rather than further polarization.
When these national controversies arise, the president should take a deep breath, let emotions subside, and simply announce, if he must say anything, Lets wait and see, and then turn his needed attention to ongoing and impending wars, near economic insolvency, and our energy dilemmas.
NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author most recently of the just-released The End of Sparta, a novel about ancient freedom.
Which is why the military refers to him as the Cretin-in-Chief.
Nice to see the truth starting to come out - thanks Victor Davis Hanson ...
bump to the title, ‘cause even though it’s charitable to a fault, it’s true.
This is what “community organizers” do.Why should anybody be surprised? Of course it’s fitting that this punk,who speaks of “****ing some bi***” (among many other filthy comments posted on Twitter) *is* the son that Osama Obama never had.
That's what the commie left does. They don't give a rat's you-know-what about what really happened. Their intent is only to stir up anger. To promote civil unrest.
Its all about the election with him
Fluke was as well...
He is trying to create “white guilt”
that is all.
Might as well have Al Sharptongue in the WH. What’s the difference?
Believe it or not, I posted my "That's what the commie left does" before seeing your post.
Obama seems to be trying to foment a race/class war to serve HIMSELF during this election year. (Shades of Raila Odinga!)
Victor Davis Hanson is right. Obozo is a (1/2) black racist bigot and a fraud.
Well, that just proves Victor Davis Hanson and the Hoover Institution are racist for questioning the One! < / sarcasm >
Another (important but sometimes forgotten example) is that OWS was/is almost certainly being run right out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as part of the reelection campaign. Which is outrageous in the extreme but there you are. Again, right out of the commie playbook.
"Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal".--James (Jim) Cone,
African American Religious Thought: An Anthology (Paperback)
by Cornel West (Editor), Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (Editor)
SEAN HANNITY: But Reverend Jeremiah Wright is not backing down and has not for years and in his strong stance on the teaching of black liberation theology is nothing new. He had the same things to say last spring when he appeared on "Hannity & Colmes:"
WRIGHT: If you're not going to talk about theology in context, if you're not going to talk about liberation theology that came out of the '60s, systematized black liberation theology that started with Jim Cone in 1968 and the writings of Cone and the writings of Dwight Hopkins and the writings of womynist theologians and Asian theologians and Hispanic theologians, then you can't talk about the black value system.
HANNITY: But I'm a reverend
WRIGHT: Do you know liberation theology, sir?
Malik Zulu Shabazz, chairman of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (NBPP):
"We believe in a Black first philosophy and a Black Liberation Theology."
Although it [The New Black Panther Party] says it sees capitalism as the fundamental problem with the world and revolution as the solution, the new party does not draw its influences from Marxism or Maoism as the original party did. Instead, in a carefully-worded, roundabout form of ethnic nationalism, they say that Marx based his ideology and teachings on indigenous African cultures, and that the NBPP therefore need not look to Marxism or Maoism as a basis for their program, but can look to ideologies that stem directly from those African origins.
"The Justice Department originally brought the case against four armed men who witnesses say derided voters with catcalls of "white devil" and "cracker" and told voters they should prepare to be "ruled by the black man." ..."
One poll watcher called police after he reportedly saw one of the men brandishing a nightstick to threaten voters.
As I walked up, they closed ranks, next to each other, the witness told Fox News at the time. So I walked directly in between them, went inside and found the poll watchers. They said theyd been here for about an hour. And they told us not to come outside because a black man is going to win this election no matter what.
He said the man with a nightstick told him, Were tired of white supremacy, and he starts tapping the nightstick in his hand. At which point I said, OK, were not going to get in a fistfight right here, and I called the police....
"Security" patrols stationed at polling places in Philly:
Black Panthers intimidate voters in Philadelphia with night stick:
He acts stupidly and punches above his weight, but he just needs some time to win this election thingy....
Shock Photos: Candidate Obama Appeared And Marched With New Black Panther Party in 2007:
Wannabe Gangsta, NO_Limit_NE&&A, TrayVon aint gonna be F’n any Bit*hes nomowa, he B ded, with his britches down. No mowa plant, no mowa gold grills, no mowa f’n with the white Hispanic dude.
"Their founding document [the Weather Underground's] called for the establishment of a "white fighting force" to be allied with the Black Liberation Movement" and other "anti-colonial" movements to achieve "the destruction of US imperialism and the achievement of a classless world: world communism."..."-Berger, Dan (2006). Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity. AK Press, 95.
Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity (Paperback) by Dan Berger
From the New York Times, August 24, 2003
"they [the Weather Underground] employed revolutionary jargon, advocated armed struggle and black liberation and began bombing buildings, taking responsibility for at least 20 attacks. Estimates of their number ranged at times from several dozen to several hundred."
Article: Quieter Lives for 60's Militants, but Intensity of Beliefs Hasn't Faded
Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright and Dr. William Ayers
are greeted by Rebekah Levin with the Committee
for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine.
(Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune / May 17, 2009)
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