Monday, January 18, 2016


As the mostly deserved indignation directed at Ted Cruz' "New York values" comment runs its course, it's worth remembering that the primary perpetrator of the divisive rhetoric that permeates the nation's current discourse is Barack Obama. Early in 2008 Obama set the tone for his upcoming presidency with his "they cling bitterly to guns and religion" crack and it's only gotten worse since.

Victor Davis Hanson notes that Obama remains as polarizing as ever.

A few hours before delivering that State of the Union, President Obama met with rapper Kendrick Lamar. Obama announced that Lamar’s hit “How Much a Dollar Cost” was his favorite song of 2015. The song comes from the album To Pimp A Butterfly; the album cover shows a crowd of young African-American men massed in front of the White House. In celebratory fashion, all are gripping champagne bottles and hundred-dollar bills; in front of them lies the corpse of a white judge, with two Xs drawn over his closed eyes. So why wouldn't the president’s advisors at least have advised him that such a gratuitous White House sanction might be incongruous with a visual message of racial hatred? Was Obama seeking cultural authenticity, of the sort he seeks by wearing a T-shirt, with his baseball cap on backwards and thumb up?

To play the old "what if" game that is necessary in the bewildering age of Obama: what if President George W. Bush had invited to the White House a controversial country Western singer, known for using the f- and n- words liberally in his music and celebrating attacks on Bureau of Land Management officers? What if Bush had also declared that the singer’s hit song—perhaps a celebration of the Cliven Bundy protest—was the president’s favorite in 2008, from an album whose grotesque cover had a crowd of NASCAR-looking, white redneck youth bunched up with an African-American official dead at their feet? And what if the next day, Bush told the nation that he regretted not being able to bring the country together? Would there have been media calls for Bush’s impeachment?

...Obama introduced the nation (“all across the country”) to his personal pastor, the virulent racist and anti-Semite Rev. Jeremiah Wright (“my pastor, the guy who puts up with me, counsels me, listens to my wife complain about me. He’s a friend and a great leader. Not just in Chicago, but all across the country”), and an array of incendiary figures, from Father Pfleger to Bill Ayers, who still pop up in the public culture. The common theme was take-no-prisoners radicalism, consistent with Obama’s grievances earlier aired in his mythographic memoir. (“There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.” Or, “I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.”) All this racial angst from an upper-middle-class prep schooler of mixed heritage, for much of his life known as Barry Soetoro.

Unlike Obama and the "Black Lives Matter" movement, Roger Simon understands the significance of Martin Luther King's message.

The "Black Lives Matter" people are separatists.  They are not the sons and daughters of MLK.  They are the sons and daughters of Stokely Carmichael and, to some extent, even Huey P. Newton.

...When Barack Obama came into office, almost everyone -- myself included, although I didn't vote for him -- wanted him to succeed as the first black president.  He didn't.  Ironically, he became the principal father of the "Black Lives Matter" movement that first surfaced as a hashtag on the acquittal of  the "white Hispanic" George Zimmerman for the murder of Obama's putative son Trayvon Martin. A case that wasn't really about race was turned into nothing but race. A scab that was healing was almost deliberately picked off.

Martin Luther King's dream, which was on the verge of becoming a reality, as much of a reality as one could hope for in an imperfect world, was set immeasurably back.  On this MLK Day, we should all consider how to reverse that. 

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