Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on August 18, 2014 by Allahpundit

President Obama on Monday lamented the shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., saying the episode showcased the distrust that minorities in many communities have of their local police officers.

“In too many communities around the country, the gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement,” Obama said, weighing in on the raging controversy. “In too many communities, too many young men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear.”…

Despite their anger over the death of black 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot to death by local police, Obama said protesters had no right to use violence against police or loot area stores.

“Let’s seek to heal rather than to wound each other,” the president said.

***

On one level, Obama’s decision to watch and wait on high-profile incidents in which race seems to play a role makes perfect sense. As president — and particularly as the country’s first African American president — his words carry huge weight. He and his team know that and want to do everything they can to help calm situations while allowing those in charge on the local level to do their jobs. At the same time, Obama is caught between a genuine — and much-expressed — desire to use his unique experiences to move the country beyond its divisive racial past and the realities on the ground, which suggest we aren’t in that post-racial America just yet.

In many ways, Obama’s difficulty in navigating matters of race as president mirrors his struggles in other areas. He has repeatedly and eloquently spoken about race — and his experiences in making his way in the world as the son of a white mother and a Kenyan father — over the past decade. But those words have done little to heal the racial wounds in the country. Perhaps it’s too much to expect any one individual, even the president, to help finally close such a deep and long-standing gash on the country’s conscience. But such is the historic nature of Obama’s presidency that many people, both white and black, expect him to do just that.

Today at least, Obama’s vision of a post-racial America looks even further away than it did that night a decade ago in Boston.

***

As violence raged in Ferguson, Mo., last week, President Barack Obama was hobnobbing with high-class political friends at an exclusive country club. On Sunday night, as the situation on the ground hit new lows, he and First Lady Michelle Obama were enjoying a jazz concert followed by dinner on Martha’s Vineyard, where they were vacationing.

The death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown at the hands of a white police officer, and the subsequent violence by police and protesters, has once again put Obama on defense over his handling of crisis situations, coming under fire from all corners of the political spectrum for a slow response to the controversy. In recent days, Obama has faced calls to visit Ferguson first-hand to see the violence and attempt to bring about a peaceful end to it. But Obama, wary of being seen as diverting law enforcement resources, is unlikely to make the trip until the situation calms down…

“Race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now,” Obama said, calling for a national conversation on both the progress made since the Civil Rights era and the work as yet to be done.

But once in office, Obama abandoned that conversation for more pressing priorities, from the economy to health care to pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. His race, he hoped, would be a footnote to his policy agenda. And when he did try to engage in that conversation, he got burned.

***

To make matters worse, blacks face additional challenges at home and in the streets. There is a crisis in black fatherhood: while just 29 per cent of whites are born out of wedlock, the figure is 72 per cent for blacks. One result is a racial imbalance in welfare dependency: African-Americans make up about 13 per cent of the population yet 39.8 per cent of those on welfare rolls. Other frightening statistics point to a serious cultural malaise. Four out of five black women are overweight or obese; black women account for nearly 36 per cent of all abortions performed in the United States.

All of this is made worse by a police and judicial system that seems not just imbalanced against blacks but actually designed to put more of them in prison. The War on Drugs and mandatory sentencing has gone hand-in-hand with racial profiling to send large numbers of African-Americans to jail for small infractions: they now account for around 40 per cent of the prison population. For a sense of how, for many blacks, the police are an agency of state repression, consider this alarming fact: in Ferguson, 67 per cent of residents are black but 94 per cent of the local police are white.

Why has electing a black president not changed all of this? One answer is that while Obama is a president who is black, he has never sold himself as an expressly black president – that is, he tries to operate outside of the racial narrative rather than play a leadership role within it. He is evidence to the young black child that, yes, anyone can make it in America.

But what he was never going to be was someone who would confront racism head on or seek a substantial redistribution of power and money of the variety that many civil rights leaders feel is necessary to help the poor.

***

To be clear, I didn’t have any unrealistic expectations for Obama. I didn’t expect him to pump a black fist in solidarity or scream “fight the power” from the makeshift press room. I didn’t even need him to take a clear side on the issue. I did, however, expect him to tell the truth. Instead, the President delivered a polite but ultimately dangerous message to the American public…

Obama has also placed the highest priority on remaining calm. While this may seem reasonable on its face, particularly against the backdrop of rioting and looting, his words failed to acknowledge the legitimacy of black anger. Black people die violent deaths way out of proportion to their numbers, sometimes killed by rogue cops and even more often each other. Why would we not be angry?

But unlike black-on-black violence, which is tragic but typically punished through proper legal channels, killings of unarmed young people by law enforcement continue to happen with impunity. Instead of acknowledging the legitimacy of black anger over this, the President simply told us to calm down and stop looting. In doing so, he joined the chorus of far too many politicians and civil rights leaders who understate and trivialize righteous anger in order to show the public that they have “the people” under control.

***

The problem is the White House no longer believes Obama can bridge divides. They believe — with good reason — that he widens them. They learned this early in his presidency, when Obama said that the police had “acted stupidly” when they arrested Harvard University professor Skip Gates on the porch of his own home. The backlash was fierce. To defuse it, Obama ended up inviting both Gates and his arresting officer for a “beer summit” at the White House…

Making matters worse, Obama’s presidency has seen a potent merging of the racial and political divides. It’s always been true that views on racial issues drive views on American politics. But as political scientist Michael Tesler has documented, during Obama’s presidency, views on American politics have begun driving views on racially charged issues…

If Obama’s speeches aren’t as dramatic as they used to be, this is why: the White House believes a presidential speech on a politically charged topic is as likely to make things worse as to make things better. It is as likely to infuriate conservatives as it is to inspire liberals. And in a country riven by political polarization, widening that divide can take hard problems and make them impossible problems.

President Obama might still decide to give a speech about events in Ferguson. But it probably won’t be the speech many of his supporters want. When Obama gave the first Race Speech he was a unifying figure trying to win the Democratic nomination. Today he’s a divisive figure who needs to govern the whole country. The White House never forgets that. There probably won’t be another Race Speech because the White House doesn’t believe there can be another Race Speech. For Obama, the cost of becoming president was sacrificing the unique gift that made him president.

***

I’m not saying the protests in Ferguson aren’t justified—they are. In fact, we need more protests across the country. Where’s our Kent State? What will it take to mobilize 4 million students in peaceful protest? Because that’s what it will take to evoke actual change. The middle class has to join the poor and whites have to join African-Americans in mass demonstrations, in ousting corrupt politicians, in boycotting exploitative businesses, in passing legislation that promotes economic equality and opportunity, and in punishing those who gamble with our financial future.

Otherwise, all we’re going to get is what we got out of Ferguson: a bunch of politicians and celebrities expressing sympathy and outrage. If we don’t have a specific agenda—a list of exactly what we want to change and how—we will be gathering over and over again beside the dead bodies of our murdered children, parents, and neighbors.

***

***

“I have to be very careful about not prejudging these events.”


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libfreeordie on August 19, 2014 at 5:59 AM

Who woke you up, sweetheart?

OmahaConservative on August 19, 2014 at 6:06 AM

Morning OC

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 6:08 AM

Good morning OC and cmisanaz. I hope you got a glance at the link I posted. From the Washington Times and pretty damn chilling. An end run around FOIA from the White House.

partsnlabor on August 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM

The lsm loves Capt Johnson but it sounds like hes too emotionally involved….but I’m not there

The right wingers are going to hate holder going to mo and the left wingers are going to hate it that hes not going…hes in a no win situation
Awwwwww
-mj panel

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM

Thanks for the heads up partsnlabor….will check it out

Dear leader sounded awesome yesterday didn’t he?
–Joe

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 6:13 AM

Good morning Omaha. Hot today.

crankyoldlady on August 19, 2014 at 6:14 AM

Wups, I got your handle wrong, cmsinaz. You’d think it was early in the morning or something.

partsnlabor on August 19, 2014 at 6:16 AM

Good Morning COL. How are you?

partsnlabor on August 19, 2014 at 6:17 AM

Morning Col…..humid here ugh

No worries pnl

Thanks for the linky…..setting precedence once again…..oh the outrage if the right did this

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 6:19 AM

Yeah, pretty much nullifies the FOIA and worse, it singles out who files FOIA requests. Instant enemies list.

partsnlabor on August 19, 2014 at 6:22 AM

Hey, they bought the tanks and anti-personnel weapons to go after the white tea party folks but they used them on the black folks.

I call that post racial!

Lonetown on August 19, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Post racial my eye! Post radical is more like it. And I defy anybody to posit that the lazy stupid rat-eared bastard is working on behalf of the United States. He’s reduced a suburb of Saint Louis to something you’d see in Gaza or Libya. He’s balkanized the nation along race, gender, and ideological lines. Only his cronies have fared well in the economy he set up to destroy this nation’s economic power in the world. In a lesser country he would have already been dragged out of the White House by an angry mob.

Happy Nomad on August 19, 2014 at 7:01 AM

The right wingers are going to hate holder going to mo and the left wingers are going to hate it that hes not going…hes in a no win situation
Awwwwww
-mj panel

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM

Why does the Morning Jew Crew think right wingers hate that Holder is going to Missouri? The town has been the scene of riots and looting for a week- somebody from DC should at least show up and the rat-eared bastard is too busy with his vacation to be bothered with a mere race riot.

The fact of the matter is that Holder is in a no-win situation but he doesn’t know it yet. Leaving aside the outside agitators that are rioting in Ferguson, the facts concerning the death of Michael Brown continue to spin away from an innocent child “executed” by a racist white cop. In the meantime angry blacks all over this country want a good old-fashioned lynching. They are going to be disappointed in the final outcome of the investigation and they are going to be impatient in the speed at which that investigation occurs. Holder is going to be under tremendous pressure to hand the blacks some sort of white trophy indictment prior to the mid-term elections. IMO, that is going to be very hard to do with any sort of credibility. OH! And don’t forget that Congress is also going to help with this situation when they get back from their recess.

Happy Nomad on August 19, 2014 at 7:10 AM

Happy Nomad on August 19, 2014 at 7:01 AM

I see you woke up ready to go!

celtic warrior on August 19, 2014 at 7:13 AM

Happy Nomad on August 19, 2014 at 7:10 AM

good points HN

holder has no credibility….but yeah, he’ll indict the cop somehow

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 7:15 AM

mika is worried what if there is no arrest, that the evidence does not suggest an arrest…

yeah, it’s going to get ugly

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 7:16 AM

mika is worried what if there is no arrest, that the evidence does not suggest an arrest…

yeah, it’s going to get ugly

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 7:16 AM

Uglier than a town being looted and torched for a week while the black police chief called in to restore order has his men stand down and watch? Hugs not slugs or something.

The reality is there is only one way to restore order in Ferguson. You impose a curfew and mean it. Anybody in the area gets arrested.

Happy Nomad on August 19, 2014 at 7:22 AM

BTW, this item is on Drudge. Not that the Morning Jew crew will talk about it.

Report: Police sources tell me more than a dozen witnesses have corroborated cop’s version of events in shooting

Happy Nomad on August 19, 2014 at 7:24 AM

What genetic markers prove someone is “black?”

libfreeordie on August 19, 2014 at 5:59 AM

Ask O’bama. He’s 50% White, but refuses to acknowledge the existence of his White mother, and claims he’s Black.

Isn’t that Racist of him to do so?

Take your time!

Del Dolemonte on August 19, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Good Morning, y’all!

How can Obama be “fightin’ The Man” when HE IS “THE MAN”?

My take: Obama Speaks on Ferguson Riots Before Returning to Martha’s Vineyard. Irony is Indignant

kingsjester on August 19, 2014 at 7:31 AM

Happy Nomad on August 19, 2014 at 7:22 AM

it won’t happen, those people have the right to a peaceful protest
/

Happy Nomad on August 19, 2014 at 7:24 AM

crickets chirping all over the lsm

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 7:33 AM

My take: Obama Speaks on Ferguson Riots Before Returning to Martha’s Vineyard. Irony is Indignant

kingsjester on August 19, 2014 at 7:31 AM

When Obama referred to the blacks looting and torching Ferguson as “folks” I turned off the TV.

Happy Nomad on August 19, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Eyes of the World

kcewa on August 19, 2014 at 7:37 AM

kingsjester on August 19, 2014 at 7:31 AM

great take KJ

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 7:38 AM

I am really getting a good chuckle when I am reading about these journalists complaining about the “treatment” they are getting in Ferguson.

Complaining about tear gas, being asked to move along, being stopped from moving into certain areas. Basically complaining about the fact that a violent riot is in progress and that they have inserted themselves in the middle of it. Oh boo hoo.

And most of the complaints I am seeing lodged on Twitter and such are from journalists who are either stringers, working for blogs or podunk small media outlets.

If you are standing near a CNN mobile studio, with $100,000 worth of equipment, it’s not hard for the cops to know right away that you are media.

But if you are working alone, with a $200 camera in your hand and a dinky press pass hanging from your neck, that’s no guarantee that any officer is sure of your identity.

I have a press pass and I work for a podunk mountain newspaper here in the Rockies. My press pass is printed in black and white from an inkjet printer and hangs from a convention-style ID tag around my neck.

It’s not gold plated, laminated with transparent goats skin and inserted in a diamond-studded holder.

It has all the proper ID on it and it’s official, recognized by the Colorado Press Association and it gives me all the rights that any other journalist has when covering a story.

But at 50 feet, no law officer can be sure who the hell I am. And it doesn’t give me the rights to be stupid.

If I was standing in the middle of a riot, with National Guard units nearby, with state and local police hanging around, there is no way I would be trying to pull rank if they asked me to move on, move over or move around.

I have yet to see any media outlet’s journalist guidelines that state that you have the right to be a jerk. Even the guidelines my paper uses has rules about identifying yourself properly to authorities and to respect their orders.

If the cops are f’ning up, if they are making an obvious effort to deny you the right to report, then there are avenues to pursue those problems.

But that avenue is not available to you at the moment you are smack in the middle of a riot, with firearms and protesters.

It’s called PROFESSIONALISM, a concept that a lot of these idiots don’t seem to grasp.

Walter L. Newton on August 19, 2014 at 7:38 AM

My take: Obama Speaks on Ferguson Riots Before Returning to Martha’s Vineyard. Irony is Indignant

kingsjester on August 19, 2014 at 7:31 AM

I don’t get it, KJ; how is “irony indignant”?

kcewa on August 19, 2014 at 7:39 AM

Walter L. Newton on August 19, 2014 at 7:38 AM

+1

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 7:41 AM

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. We used to call people like that educated beyond their intelligence or educated idiots.

crankyoldlady on August 19, 2014 at 4:52 AM

Morning COL 88F, high humidity, and showers until 1400. Being an undereducated RedNeck myself, I can claim the idiot part of the term “educated idiots”. Where I work and live, the Ferguson story has yet to gain traction like the Martin/Zimmerman shooting.

Have a good day and good vibes to all the others.

HonestLib on August 19, 2014 at 7:45 AM

cmsinaz on August 19, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Thank you, ma’am!

kcewa on August 19, 2014 at 7:39 AM

It refers to a Tweet I sent yesterday.

kingsjester@kingsjester1

Irony: A Black President talking about Black men being left behind, as he gets ready to return to Martha’s Vineyard. #tcot #KJ #Ferguson

kingsjester on August 19, 2014 at 7:45 AM

What will be the crisis du jour next week?Remember your rules for radicals,’Keep Pushing’.

celtic warrior on August 19, 2014 at 7:45 AM

kingsjester on August 19, 2014 at 7:45 AM

I see. That is ironic.

kcewa on August 19, 2014 at 7:49 AM

It’s called PROFESSIONALISM, a concept that a lot of these idiots don’t seem to grasp.

Walter L. Newton on August 19, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Speaking of which, I’ve seen very little reporting on the victims of these black street thugs. Granted, the owner of a business that was just looted and torched may not want to be seen on television but beneath all the tear gas and rioting blacks, there is a real community whose story has yet to be told by any of these so-called journalists.

Happy Nomad on August 19, 2014 at 7:51 AM

Prejudge…postjudge? Any bets that the same bias will be rendered?

Don L on August 19, 2014 at 7:51 AM

Ha…

The current front page article on Huffing n’ Puff Post is identifying some of the troublemakers on the streets of Ferguson as “white anarchists.”

The Washington Post has an article with a move nuanced description of these white protestors. They are members of the Occupy Movement.

Fellow Huff n’ Puff travelers.

This shows your the dishonesty of the left. They will even lie about their own brothers in ideology as long as it serves their purpose.

If anyone on the far-left thinks they are immune from being thrown into the fire by these socialist assholes, just wit… at some point they will come for you.

Walter L. Newton on August 19, 2014 at 7:54 AM

What will be the crisis du jour next week?Remember your rules for radicals,’Keep Pushing’.

celtic warrior on August 19, 2014 at 7:45 AM

Ferguson was just the dress rehearsal for next week. Obama (along with the First Yeti and their brats) return from vacation. Obama signs executive orders that allows for more foreign workers…. blacks and other minorities most impacted.

Next thing you know there will be race riots all over the country.

Happy Nomad on August 19, 2014 at 7:55 AM

On the first page story at Huff n’ Puff, the reporter says that there are “white anarchists” in the crowd causing trouble.

In a Washington Post article these “white anarchists” are described as Occupy Movement people.

Even the Huff n’ Puff Post will throw their own kind to the dogs if it advances their ideology.

If anyone on the far-left thinks they are expendable, they are kidding themselves. The socialist-Marxists will come get you too if it serves their purpose.

Walter L. Newton on August 19, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Oops… wrote that twice. The first time it didn’t show up. Sorry for stating the same thing twice.

Walter L. Newton on August 19, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Good to see eugenics are alive and well on the right. Here’s a question that will drive you into fits. What genetic markers prove someone is “black?”

libfreeordie on August 19, 2014 at 5:59 AM

Eugenics is what you f***ing liberals are doing everyday which is worshiping a culture of abortion where 36% of abortions are from black women… In fact Singer the liberal goddess of abortion said it so clearly that abortion is meant mainly for blacks…
Regarding the average IQ of 85 among blacks go and fight the facts about the decade of testing and analysis…

mnjg on August 19, 2014 at 8:10 AM

correction, Sanger not Singer…

mnjg on August 19, 2014 at 8:12 AM

kingsjester on August 19, 2014 at 7:31 AM

Another great read, KJ.

dogsoldier on August 19, 2014 at 8:14 AM

dogsoldier on August 19, 2014 at 8:14 AM
Thank you, my friend!

kingsjester on August 19, 2014 at 8:28 AM

In doing so, he joined the chorus of far too many politicians and civil rights leaders who understate and trivialize righteous anger in order to show the public that they have “the people” under control.

The problem here is that the press fans the flames of “righteous” anger by misrepresenting the facts by saying that an “unarmed black teenager” was shot by a white policeman. A man (of any race) who tries to steal a policeman’s gun has assaulted that officer, and the policeman has the right to defend himself. If Michael Brown had been white and the facts were the same, this would have been a minor detail buried in the back pages of the St. Louis papers, and no one outside that city would know or care about this incident.

But a “white cop shoots unarmed black teenager” story sells papers, and suddenly it’s “righteous” to be angry about a cop shooting a man who tried to steal his gun, and robbed a convenience store.

Steve Z on August 19, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Welcome back, J. Glad you had a good trip.

Nothing but Ferguson and related crap, here. Just bringing you up to date :)

Rest well and fight when you can.

Schadenfreude on August 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM

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