Obama solidifies his position as non-post racial President
I can’t really add much more to what Dan Riehl wrote last night in response to the President’s assertion in his press conference that the Cambridge police “acted stupidly” in the arrest of black Harvard “scholar” and professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. outside of his home after the report of an attempted burglarly that turned out to be him trying to get into his own home after his door apparently got stuck. The police officer who arrested Gates is being accused by Useful Idiots of racial profiling in spite of a police report that suggests otherwise (read the police report at Dan’s link).
Obama’s response? Ben Smith reports:
Gates was arrested for allegedly disorderly conduct — a charge that was quickly dropped — after a confrontation with a police officer inside his own home. Though some facts of the case are still in dispute, Obama showed little doubt about who had been wronged.
“I don’t know – not having been there and not seeing all the facts – what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two that he Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home,” Obama said in response to a question from the Chicago Sun-Times’s Lynn Sweet.
Gates, Obama allowed, “is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don’t know all the facts.”
Yeah, that’s an understatement. He doesn’t have all the facts, and he is admittedly biased when it comes to Gates, Jr. To the statement, “What role race played” – why not instead say, “I don’t know whether or not race was a factor – we shouldn’t be so quick to judge before all the facts have been layed out.”? I guess that is expecting too much. He’s implicitly acknowledging his belief that race played “some role” – he just “doesn’t know” how much.
However Gates, he continued, “jimmied his way to get into [his own] house.”
“There was a report called in to the police station that there might be a burglary taking place – so far so good,” Obama said, reflecting that he’d hope the police were called if he were seen breaking into his own house, then pausing.
“I guess this is my house now,” he remarked of the White House. “Here I’d get shot.”
Undergirding the long digression, though, was Obama’s place as a new symbol of racial reconciliation, and his long past in the trenches of the politics of race and discrimination in the Illinois State Senate.
“Separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-American and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately,” the president said, eagerly engaging the issue of racial profiling, a concern earlier in his career that has seen little White House attention to date.
“That’s just a fact,” Obama said of profiling. “That doesn’t lessen the incredibly progress that has been made.”
Not having all the facts, he should have withheld judgment, perhaps pronouncing the incident as unfortunate. He didn’t term Professor’s Gate’s alleged reaction to questioning, after apparently breaking into his own home, as ill-considered, let alone stupid, or otherwise dumb. And the Cambridge police are not the neighbor who summoned them to the scene. We have no way of knowing if they acted “stupidly,” or not. However, that was a conclusion Barack Obama was prepared to jump to based solely upon Race, while admitting not knowing the facts.
He also displayed a willingness to abandon American police officers in the line of duty without a full hearing of the facts. It’s impossible to recall any former president doing such a thing, at least before some objective fact finding was done. This may not be a wound he recovers from, and certainly not easily, in terms of his political career.
Meanwhile, any notion of a post-racial era in America due to Obama is likely doomed. That, perhaps, is the biggest shame of all.
Actually, the biggest shame of all is that the mainstream media, liberal Democrats, and black “leaders” have gotten away with perpetuating the myth about Barack Obama being a post-racial politician. He repeatedly proved he wasn’t once the primaries got going last year, and continued to play the race card whenever he felt it suited his political needs during the course of his campaign. And don’t even get me started on his spiritual mentor Rev. Wright.
Obama may not be an Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson type in terms of overt race-baiting, but that’s only because he knows how to play the race card in much more subtle ways that Sharpton and Jackson do. Not a big deal in the scheme of things as far as he’s concerned, though. He knows that the liberal black community will stand behind him 100% on this, and white liberals – forever wrapped in a cocoon of liberal white guilt over America’s laws against black people decades ago – will, too.
For more, read Jules Crittenden, who has an interesting take on Obama’s response to the question about Gates, Jr’s arrest, and who also has more on the arresting officer. And as always, the blogger commentary on this issue is piling up at Memeorandum.