Latest posts by David Applegate (see all)
- The Presidential Election Was Hacked, All Right – By the Truth - December 18, 2016
- The Court Cops Out - May 20, 2016
- The Progressive War on Free Speech – Part Three - April 20, 2016
Remember when an about-to-be elected President of the United States promised that the rise of the oceans had begun to slow and our planet had begun to heal? When the fine folks in Oslo awarded a newly-inaugurated American president the Nobel Peace Prize for acts yet to be accomplished? When the President of the United States said “there is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America”?
When the biracial son of an African father and an America mother, educated overseas and in some of America’s finest private schools, promised “Hope and Change,” including a new feel-good era of race relations as millions of white Americans lined up to vote for America’s first Black president?
Like George Lucas’s “Star Wars” saga, that now seems a long time ago in a galaxy far away.
The Russian ex-KGB agent whom Obama promised he’d be “more flexible” with after his election has invaded neighboring Ukraine with impunity and now sends Russian bombers to patrol the Gulf of Mexico, which had been a sole sphere of this country’s influence since the time that James Monroe was President.
The Islamic State that the Obama administration derided as the “junior varsity” (and helped prompt Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s recent resignation in part for having disagreed) is on the march in Syria and Iraq with captured American weapons and stolen bank money, beheading Americans on YouTube while the president goes off to play golf.
And in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of one of the country’s oldest and most beautiful cities west of the Alleghenies, the city burns over racial tensions that the president had implicitly promised to heal but has done nothing other than to exacerbate.
When Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was mistakenly arrested while trying to break into his own house in Boston, President Obama, without knowing the facts, automatically took the side of the befuddled Black professor against the white police officer just trying to protect the professor’s property. The forced and awkward “beer summit” that followed must surely be one of the most stilted and embarrassing moments in modern presidential history.
When a hooded interloper provoked a fatal fight with a suspicious Hispanic neighborhood watch commander in Sanford, Florida, the president automatically took the side of the Black man over the Hispanic by announcing that “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.”
And when 28-year old white police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed in apparent self-defense a six-foot-four, nearly 300 pound thug who had just robbed a neighborhood convenience store and roughed up the clerk, Obama did nothing to keep his Attorney General, Eric Holder, and discredited community agitator Al “Tawana Brawley” Sharpton from going to Ferguson to heighten existing racial tensions.
When a St. Louis County grand jury announced Monday night that, after three months of investigation, it found no probable cause to charge Officer Wilson with a crime in the shooting of Michael Brown, the president almost immediately took to the airwaves. Ostensibly calling for calm, the president then added these unhelpful words: “there are Americans who are deeply upset, even angry. It’s an understandable reaction.” And almost simultaneously, as documented in side-by-side video, what had been a peaceful if ominous protest broke out in violence, looting, shooting, and arson.
This is not to blame the president for America’s racial troubles, born in slavery and the tribalist identity politics that pervade too much of the world. But a president of the United States should remember at all times that he is president of all the people, not just of members of his ancestral homeland or his adopted tribe.
The problems of Ferguson, Missouri, and of Michael brown himself go far, far beyond anything Barack Obama has ever said or ever will do. Indeed, it may be mostly coincidence that the Ferguson protest turned ugly just as the president spoke. But in yet another moment in which Barack Obama could have made a difference and was perhaps uniquely qualified, the president was once again tested and once again found wanting.