Overcoming the Dreadful Decline in Race Relations during the Obama Years


 Written by Gary Hancock

 President Obama’s farewell comments made in Chicago on January 10th regarding race relations barely struck on any reality chord. Fully immersed in two of his favorite pastimes — denial and self-aggrandizement during that speech he said, “I’ve lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10, or 20 or 30 years ago…”

While that statement may arguably be true for relations now versus 5060 years ago (the riotous 1960’s), it is a definite stretch regarding race relations during the last couple of decades, and an absolute fantasy about race relations during the Obama presidency. Upon Obama taking office in 2009 an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll had 77% of Americans responding that race relations were fairly good or very good. That was a culmination in improved relations spanning many years. However, nearing the end of his presidency, the response to that same poll question had declined to just 34%; the lowest level in more than two decades. 


At this time of year, when we recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth, we shudder to think what Dr. King might think about race relations during the past eight years. Let us remember his words: “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism … that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.” That is a timeless, inspirational message to be sure. 


In contrast to Dr. King’s message, President Obama said in an interview with Marc Maron: “What is also true is that the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives you know, that casts a long shadow. And that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on.” [Maron] “Racism? [Obama] “Racism.”


Obama’s characterization of racism as part of the American DNA is purely, tragically nihilistic. It conveys that no matter what we deliberately do to rise above racial division we remain – deep to the core – racist. It further expresses that “racist DNA” inescapably passes on to our children resulting in their inherent racism.

Dr. King’s message was a direct rejection of Obama’s notion.

Destructively, President Obama’s legacy is one of failed race relations, despite his tiresome spin on the subject. His way of feebly dealing with the truth is to toss an indictment at the American people, saying that our expectations were too high when he took office. Race relations had been steadily improving for decades prior to Obama being elected president. And on that rising tide of improvement was there not genuine hope by many in finally rising above race when the American people lifted him to the highest political office in the land? The utter collapse of race relations after he took office that’s on him.


Is racism really embedded in our American DNA as Obama says? Quite the contrary. Objectively, American DNA is actually comprised of the very ingredients compelling the rejection of racism: individual liberty, capitalism, and acceptance.

This country was founded in order to stop and further prevent oppression, intolerance, and injustice.

American republicanism, under the faithfully applied principle that every citizen is equal in creation and under the law, is a socio-political structure systemically opposing injustice and intolerance. Excepting government misuse and meddling, the American precepts are liberating in their impartiality regarding any superficial human condition, including race. True capitalism, devoid of political cronyism and built upon the foundation of limited government, is emancipating in its liberty and equality, providing for any person to rise to any stature based on self-reliance and individual determination.

Barack Obama, as president of the United States for eight years, possessed a singular opportunity to uphold and promote American precepts and unify our diverse population into a common cohesion: simply, as American citizens. Instead, he chose a path of transformation, derision, and alienation. The result as he vacates the presidency is a nation regressed in race relations. 


As Obama leaves office, this is a time to renew our hope for a fresh president to lead a correction in our nation’s course by making the most of colorblind American precepts. Those precepts, truly what comprises our DNA, and contrary to Obama’s notion, have nothing to do with racism. Instead, they enhance our American being by providing the foundation for liberty and justice for every citizen, regardless of race. We can and will overcome Obama’s idea of perpetual racism with a new leader dedicated to reclaiming American foundational precepts. The consequence will be opportunities for growth and advancement for each citizen willing to work within the American core framework to attain success in the American dream.


Gary Hancock is a retired Director of Contracts for the defense industry. He now writes and provides commentary. He is the author of Sustaining Liberty; And Reclaiming Limited Government in America.


Source:   Madison’s CPC


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