Obama's Racial Politics
Walter E. Williams
by Walter E. Williams: Schools
a heap of criticism placed upon President Barack Obama's domestic
policies that have promoted government intrusion and prolonged our
fiscal crisis and his foreign policies that have emboldened our
enemies. Any criticism of Obama pales in comparison with what might
be said about the American people who voted him in to the nation's
represents the first time in our history that a person could have
been elected to that office who had long-standing close associations
with people who hate our nation. I'm speaking of the Rev. Jeremiah
Wright, Obama's pastor for 20 years, who preached that blacks should
sing not "God Bless America," but "God damn America." Then there's
William Ayers, now professor of education at the University of Illinois
at Chicago but formerly a member of the Weather Underground, an
anti-U.S. group that bombed the Pentagon, U.S. Capitol and other
government buildings. Although Ayers was never convicted of any
crime, he told a New York Times reporter, in the wake of
the September 2001 terrorist attack, "I don't regret setting bombs.
... I feel we didn't do enough." Obama has served on a foundation
board, appeared on panels, and even held campaign events in Ayers'
home, joined by Ayers' former-fugitive wife, Bernardine Dohrn. Bill
Ayers' close association with Obama is reflected by his admission
that he helped write Obama's memoirs, Dreams
From My Father.
thought that with Obama's presidency, we were moving to a "post-racial
society." Little can be further from the truth. Victor Davis Hanson,
senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, in a National Review
(1/18/2012) article titled "Obama's Racial Politics," says that
Obama's message about race and his charges of racial bigotry are
"usually coded and subtle." Criticizing Republicans, before a Mexican-American
audience, Obama said that he ran for office because "America should
be a place where you can always make it if you try – a place where
every child, no matter what they look like (or) where they come
from, should have a chance to succeed." If you don't get it, "no
matter what they look like" is code for nonwhite. Hanson says that
Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, has "found race a convenient
refuge from criticism – most recently accusing his congressional
auditors of racism, for their grilling him over government sales
of firearms to Mexican cartel hitmen."
politics are aided and abetted by a dishonest news media. When Republican
candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry referred to "a big black cloud that
hangs over America, that debt that is so monstrous," he was dishonestly
accused of racism by MSNBC's Ed Schultz, who said, "That black cloud
Perry is talking about is President Barack Obama." Schultz omitted
the second half of Perry's quote. Chris Matthews referred to Perry's
vision of federalism as "Bull Connor with a smile."
media have help from black congressmen in stirring up racial dissent.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said white presidents must be "pushed
a great deal more" to address black unemployment than would a black
president. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said that argument
over the debt ceiling is proof of racial animosity toward Obama.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said that Republicans are trying to
deny blacks the vote. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., said the tea party
wishes to lynch blacks and hang them from trees. Rep. Charles Rangel,
D-N.Y., said Perry's job creation in Texas is "one stage away from
All of this
places a heavy burden on people who care about our nation. We must
ensure that the 2012 elections are the most open and honest elections
in U.S. history. Should Obama lose, I wouldn't put it past leftists,
progressives, the news media and their race-hustling allies, as
well as the president, to fan the fires of hate and dissension by
charging that racists somehow stole the election, thereby giving
support and excuses for the kind of violence and lawlessness that
we've witnessed in flash mobs and Occupy Wall Street riots.
E. Williams is the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics
at George Mason University, and a nationally syndicated columnist.
To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other
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