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Leadership(?): Barack Hussein Obama

July 28, 2009

This Is Post-Racial?

IBD 24 July 2009

Leadership: Barack Obama promised a new “post-racialism.” But when a black pal was arrested by a white policeman for disorderly conduct, the president’s response was pure old race politics. So which is it?

During a press conference otherwise devoted to health care, the president on Wednesday interjected himself into a local police matter when he addressed the arrest of his friend Henry Louis Gates, a Harvard professor who got himself into an altercation with a Cambridge, Mass., cop on July 16.

Seems the cop, Sgt. James Crowley, had the cheek to ask Gates for identification during a routine burglary investigation.

That made the professor so angry that he hurled charges of racism, screamed outrage that Crowley didn’t know who he was, warned the cop not to “mess” with him and then created enough of a public disturbance to get himself arrested. The whole matter proved to be an embarrassment for all, and the city later dropped the charges.

But instead of admitting the most-likely truth — that his friend had made a fool of himself hollering racism over a legitimate police inquiry and let his academic ego get the better of him — Obama moved unexpectedly into the crudities of race-baiting, even after admitting he didn’t have all the facts.

“Now, 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 the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”

This fits nicely with the stereotype perpetuated at places like Harvard — that of white working-class cops going around rousting innocent blacks to preserve a white power structure.

But if that stereotype was ever true, it was before black mayors, black police chiefs, community organizing, sensitivity training and large university endowments for scholars such as Gates.

(It came out Thursday that Crowley himself is a police academy expert on racial profiling, having been handpicked for the job by a former police commissioner who is black and who says he has “nothing but respect for him as a police officer.”)

It was also before the rise of professional race-baiters such as the Rev. Al Sharpton, who use racism allegations to make political hay.

The election of Barack Obama was supposed to get us beyond grievance politics, reparations and all the things that create pointless conflict. Sadly, the president didn’t rise to the task in this case.

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