But instead of marking a new beginning in race relations, Obama’s presidency has given new life to the old politics of racial grievance. In fact, ironically, Obama himself has been most responsible for initiating a new era of race-baiting.
One year ago, Cambridge police arrested Obama friend and Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates at his home for disorderly conduct. A few days later, Obama claimed that the police had “acted stupidly” in arresting Gates, adding “that there’s a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”
Obama was careful to preface his remarks by conceding, “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played.” But Obama’s ignorance didn’t stop him from making his explosive charges, which led to a firestorm of criticism that lasted for months.
The Cambridge incident established a template that the Left has followed for the past year. Liberals have thrust race into the forefront of most of the top political and social controversies. They’ve alleged racism without sufficient knowledge of the facts and sometimes in spite of the clear facts.
At its annual conference, the NAACP adopted a resolution condemning the allegedly “racist elements” of the Tea Party. The organization’s leaders cited the supposedly racist signs at Tea Party rallies and the alleged hurling of racist epithets at black legislators at an event in Washington, D.C. No one has found any evidence such epithets were uttered.
One would think that many NAACP members would be embracing the Tea Party, not condemning it. After all, minorities have been hurt most by President Obama’s economic irresponsibility. At over 15%, unemployment among blacks is nearly twice as high as it is among whites. As Vernon Parker, who is black and a Tea Party member and former mayor, told Politico, “The NAACP should be concerned about bringing jobs to people in depressed areas. Not the Tea Party.”