Words paved the road to Dallas. Black and white hate speech thinly disguised as progressive rhetoric is now the norm. It comes from community activists and groups like Black Lives Matter. We hear it from the leaders we trust to not incite chaos. The negative dialogue comes from our highest levels of government and the streets of cities filled with protesters.
The appalling thing about what has happened to our society is that the voices calling for reform are the ones creating what borders on a race war.
Obama owns his black and white problem
Obama has a problem on his hands that he spent years creating. We can’t blame him for the deaths in Dallas, last week’s two police shootings, or the murders of police officers in New York after the Eric Garner incident. What he is responsible for is teaching us that when it comes to social change the ends justify the means. He has taken that approach himself when our political system refuses to cooperate with his personal views on reform.
Black Lives Matter pays attention. No one should be dismayed that activists are taking their initiative from Obama, especially when there are only months left for our first African American president to be their sounding board.
Are protest ringleaders hedging their bets before a possible Trump presidency? They aren’t going to get much. This administration hasn’t exactly stepped up for the black community.
Obama’s no dummy. He knows it’s a wasted effort to throw more assistance to those unwilling to take responsibility for their lives. To his detriment he has also refused to call activists to account for speech that stirs up anger and resentment and draws a clear boundary between black and white Americans.
Why should he? His administration wrote the book on how to make people angry.
Hate speech: don’t confuse it
Black vs. white protest has been inflamed by government rhetoric. Obama is not the only one responsible. He has had help from the Labor Department, the Justice Department, and the Department of Education. The Justice Dept. has gone so far as to feature the Boston Marathon bombing alongside police incidents on a pictorial promoting its Community Relations Service.1 [Author’s note: since this post was published the page no longer appears at the link cited.] Does it improve our national discussion on black and white to imply a similarity between the Eric Garner and Michael Brown tragedies and an act of Islamic terror?
The message is simple, easy to understand, incites prejudice and resentment, and pits one group of Americans against another: if you are a member of the wealthy elite, you are America’s problem.
What is the most visible symbol of inequality and this supposedly unfair wealthy power structure in underprivileged communities? The police.
It’s easy for irresponsible activism to take this too far. Too far means media coverage. That’s where the means justifying the ends becomes dangerous.
Obama and company pushed the national dialogue on race and income to the absolute limits of our endurance. Did they think the debate on inequality was going to end with Black Lives Matter joining hands with the Tea Party?
Hypocrisy and hidden meanings
Voices from Washington reject violence, but there is hypocrisy aplenty in the hidden messages about how things work in America. Some of these messages are valid. Others inflame.
Speaking of what happened in Dallas, Obama admits that “There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks …”2 Then, while addressing the nation on the killings he fell back on the usual divisive dialogue:
For now, let me just say that even as yesterday I spoke about our need to be concerned, as all Americans, about racial disparities in our criminal justice system, I also said yesterday that our police have an extraordinarily difficult job and the vast majority of them do their job in outstanding fashion.3
Instead of talking about the people who do bad things he noted that “people are armed with powerful weapons.”4 This is campaign season. The Second Amendment is still on the chopping block. Like pushing racial inequality, the Democratic Party has a job to do. That job doesn’t include pointing out that few, if any of the victims of violent run-ins with the police came into contact with law enforcement by accident.
We can hear what we want in Obama’s words. The take home message is inequality in how we treat black and white people. We hear that the vast majority of police do a good job, but given the national furor over last week’s two police shootings blaming a tiny minority is more than enough to further inflame the country. In fact, politicizing that tiny minority in the court of public opinion is all it takes to create a national frenzy.
Reverse racism means black and white hate
It was foolish for the left to put its trust in reverse racism. Minority activists assumed that a president who is also a member of a minority would put their interests first.
Is Obama’s failure to advance activist causes proof that the wealthy white community is preying on the black community? Are we using law enforcement to oppress, violate, and even to kill?
In a speech on the House floor Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson charged:
In Oklahoma, an officer is on trial for sexually assaulting 8 black women.
Tragically, this story is not unique.5
Mr. Speaker, it is open season on all Americans.6
I don’t know about all Americans. It was certainly open season on police officers in Dallas.
Link to Justice Dept. site added July 13, 2016.