Sunday, August 30, 2015
If you go back to 2009 when Barack Obama called out law enforcement in Cambridge, Massachusetts who "acted stupidly," he said, in arresting Henry Gates for disorderly conduct, you can find the beginning of the current President of the United States involving himself in state matters and commenting on issues about which he should have just been quiet. That was a local matter and he had no cause to comment on it. The charges against Gates were dropped and the whole thing would have sorted out without Obama's injection of race into the conversation. But he commented, thus lighting the fuse of racial tension.
Then we get to Trayvon Martin in 2012 where Obama famously said "You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." That created controversy that went on for weeks.
In 2014, on the death of Michael Brown, who you may recall robbed a store, accosted the clerk, and tried to take a police officer's gun while leaning into his patrol car, Obama said, "Too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement -- guilty of walking while black or driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness." Nothing about the fact that Brown robbed a business and then hit a police officer who was trying to question him.
And then we have the Eric Garner case, where Obama again weighs in and says the mistrust between law enforcement and the black community "is an issue that we've been dealing with for too long and it's time for us to make more progress than we've made. And I'm not interested in talk; I'm interested in action." What kind of action? Obama said he wanted more "accountability" between communities and law enforcement because he's seen too many people that don't believe they are being treated fairly.
By now, you see, we are so accustomed to the president weighing in on local law enforcement issues that we almost expect it. People are clamoring for him to comment on the rash of law enforcement murders that have erupted in recent weeks. Here in Louisiana we have lost three law enforcement officers in as many weeks. Next door, in Texas, we lost one this weekend. What does Obama have to say about all of this action?
Why hasn't he said anything to tamper down the #blacklivesmatter group who has called for the killing of white people and police officers? Why is this not hate speech?
Some would say that the national rhetoric has contributed to the impetus of all this lawlessness.
It's true that if we can't blame the gun for killing someone but instead must blame the crazy person pulling the trigger, we also can't blame Obama for the epidemic of dead police officers. We can't blame Obama for the murder of two white reporters by a hate-filled black man who wanted a race war. He didn't pull the trigger.
But did he light the fuse?
What we have unfolding in our country right now is terrifying. What we need is a sober, God-fearing, honest leader to come forward, instill calm, and call for an end to the hate speech -- to bring us together rather than to divide. We need a leader who would suggest that we work together to solve our problems rather than point out perceived injustice. We need someone who places value on human life. All life. White life, black life, unborn life, life regardless of your occupation, race, or income. It all matters.
Obama had no business wading into the Gates controversy in 2009, but he did. And now that he's all in, up to his neck, he needs to put the fires out. If we have to wait for a more competent leader to do it in 2016, how many more lives will be lost?