Signature Significance: President Obama’s Farewell Speech Jumbo

jumbo-film

“Now, I’ve lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10 or 20 or 30 years ago, no matter what some folks say.”

It’s funny: when I was searching Google after entering this quote, I found one site the had as a headline, “2o Quotes From President Obama’s Farewell Speech That Will Melt Your…” and that’s where it cut off.  Which was it, I wondered, “heart” or “brain”? It was heart….and the 20 also included the quote about race relations.

I also checked the Washington Post, which “fact-checks” major speeches with annotations. In the transcript, that line was indeed highlighted—I thought there was a 50-50 chance, knowing the Post’s pro-Obama bias, that it would let that whopper slide. The annotation by reporter Aaron Blake in its entirety:

Obama has seen the polls. A July Washington Post-ABC News poll [showed 6 in 10 thought race relations were bad, and a majority thought they were getting worse](Poll: Majority of Americans think race relations are getting worse)

Now that’s a tentative fact-check! Obama has seen the polls, so …he must know something we don’t? Obama has seen the polls, so…he’s basing this certitude on his own impeccable wisdom? Obama has seen the polls, so….he’s having a little fun with us? Obama has seen the polls, so…he’s lying through his teeth? What is the Post saying?

For this is rather significantly counter-factual. Yet demonstrating the hard-hitting investigative reporting that the Post is renowned for, the paper recently launched an investigation into whether Donald Trump was LYING when he told the Times, in one of his typical, off-hand, “this just popped into my head” moments, “There will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars [at the Inauguration] All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration.” AHA!  This is NOT TRUE! This is further proof that the man is NOT FIT TO BE PRESIDENT! And EEEEVIL!!! A Post reporter actually interviewed multiple dress shop owners, and concluded,

“It’s hard to imagine how Trump came to his conclusion, and a transition team spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But for all of the president-elect’s promises about economic stimulus, it doesn’t seem that he’s making Washington dress-shopping great again.”

In contrast, when the first African-American President of the United States, having seen his performance lead to the devastation of his party and the installment of a new President so antithetical to his world view as to risk the two of them exploding if they shake hands, makes a completely ridiculous assertion about a crucial American problem like race relations, we get a 27 word shrug and a link.

American journalism in 2017.

Of course race relations are worse. Since relations by definition involve how people feel, the polls results are dispositive, and the studies are unanimous. No one has found race relations to be improving; all studies, including the most recent by Pew, have found that they have plunged under Obama. The President, not for the first time, is essentially saying, “I don’t care what the facts say, I’m the smart one, and I’m right.”

But we don’t need polls on this topic, do we? We have major race riots to look back on in Baltimore, and Ferguson. We have seen protests and demands for racial segregation on many college campuses, with black students doing the demanding. Democrats under Obama have used accusations of racist bias as a means of suppressing dissent: that’s unprecedented. Shameless anti-white bigots, like Al Sharpton (with which the Obama Administration curried favor),  Melissa Harris Perry, Joy Reid and others, have polluted cable TV with anti-white viciousness. The number of the nation’s police officers murdered in the line of duty doubled during President Obama’s tenure, with many of them assassinated by black assailants. A major movement, Black Lives Matters, is demanding a presumption of guilt for police officers when black citizens are shot in police-involved shootings, and while  being endorsed by President Obama’s party, continues to spread false accounts to ratchet up racial distrust.  Prosecutions have been brought against officers without probable cause, to pacify black demonstrators. Public events like the Oscars ignite into racial disputes.

Although the facts are indisputable, most of the news media has neglected to report on their implications regarding Obama’s impact on race relation, other than duly publicize the latest depressing poll. An internet search shows that Obama’s terrible legacy has been embargoed by the mainstream press and broadcast media; the conservative media has done most of the “But the Emperor has no clothes!” reporting regarding race. When a liberal pundit ventures into the area, the spin is usually like the analysis by the Times’ Frank Bruni, who argued that while race relations are bad, it isn’t Obama’s fault.

At least Bruni didn’t insult his readers’ intelligence by pretending that race relations have improved. That’s what Obama did in his speech, and that’s an Ethics Alarms Jumbo for the ages. (For those reading who are uninitiated, a Jumbo occurs when a public figure’s denial of an undeniable and very apparent fact reaches the absurdity of Jimmy Durante’s famous “Elephant? What Elephant?” response when caught red-handed trying to steal the biggest one in captivity in the musical “Jumbo.”

The deterioration of race relations will be the most significant part of Obama’s legacy. It represents an absolute failure, and for him to refuse to acknowledge it is cowardly, dishonest, disrespectful to those who expect him to give them facts rather than spin, and displays a deep flaw in his character.

Is he lying, in denial, or deluded regarding this topic? He certainly isn’t right. In the past, Obama has tried to spin what “race relations” means to make the argument that it constitutes an improvement because tensions and suspicions beneath the surface have been brought into the open. This is approximately like arguing that a couple’s marital relations have improved when they move from being polite but chilly with each other to screaming and throwing things.

My guess is that he is in denial. For the first black President and the most recent Presidential narcissist before Trump, this has to be a shattering failure to accept. Obama doesn’t have the fortitude or integrity to accept it. That he would make such an obviously false assertion in his final speech is signature significance, and explains the wreckage of his entire administration. An effective leader must be honest with himself, accept accountability for mistakes, defeats and failures, learn, and do better. Surrounded by sycophants, enablers and a fawning news media, Obama was able to convince himself that everything good was because of him, and everything that wasn’t should be blamed on someone else, or didn’t exist.

Race problems? What race problems?

 

50 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Jumbo, Race, U.S. Society

50 responses to “Signature Significance: President Obama’s Farewell Speech Jumbo

  1. I did not watch the speech, mainly because I have learned that Obama personifies the old joke “…because his lips are moving.”

    My take was that Obama was elevated by the democrat party as a rebellion to Hillary in 2007/2008. Hillary had (and has) some earnest enemies within her party, and they could not jump ship fast enough, given any other choice. Eight years gave Hillary and the Clinton crime syndicate time enough to make sure she got the nomination last year, by any means necessary. Now all they have is the Scooby Doo excuse (it would have worked if it hadn’t been for those pesky kids! or Russians, or something…)

    Then they had to protect Obama the entire time (Harry Reid killing bills in the Senate, and so on) because he was terrible in a leadership role. This entailed wrapping him in a cocoon, as Jack describes, which allows him to come up with this absurd assertion.

    Will we get the same with Trump, who is every bit the narcissist Obama is?

  2. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Like I said in the other post, this morning on social media every black person I am connected with was RAPTUROUS and begging Obama to stay, one even asking if there was any way we could make him president for life, while almost every white person (a few were silent, none, including the die-hard dems, were rapturous) was sneering at him or poking holes in his overblown rhetoric and excessive self-reference.

    I’m not surprised, black votes for black, it really is that simple. You can run the most progressive or even radical white person, but only when the candidate is black do the preachers and imams thunder at their congregations to get out there and support this candidate, pass the plate multiple times in multiple denominations (if you can donate $50, if you can donate $20…now whatever you can donate), spew slogans like “each one bring one” meaning make sure you don’t go to vote without at least one other voter, roll out the church and mosque vans to get everyone to the polls who can’t find a ride otherwise, and so on. Only when the officeholder is black do the constituents rebuff ALL criticism and tell you you’re a racist if you dare speak an unkind word, true or not. Now all we will hear from the blacks for the rest of history is how great Obama was, and he could have been better except those mean ol’ white Republicans wouldn’t even meet him halfway, and if you dare disagree, you’ll be called a racist and the person will try to ruin you.

    If anything, Obama has pushed the races further apart. I think he may also become the David Dinkins of the presidency, and prevent any other black presidents, better, worse, or about the same, from being elected by his incompetence.

    • Inquiring Mind

      I think there is a chance for another African-American president… he or she will have to be Republican, though.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        That, and the first woman president will probably come from the GOP, although my sister-in-law burst out laughing and told me it was too early in the evening for fantasy when I said that.

  3. Wayne

    I don’t think Obama is clueless. Rather it’s a matter of being a pathological narcissist who must cling to the idea that everything he did as president was wonderful. To admit that race relations have taken a drastic downturn during his presidency would shatter his fragile self esteem.

  4. luckyesteeyoreman

    I watched Obama make his speech just long enough to hear what I expected to hear from the crowd, eventually. I was not disappointed:
    “FOUR MORE YEARS!”

  5. Neil Dorr

    Jack,

    If called on it, he would probably claim “race relations” means with regard to African American opportunity which was better 30 years ago. Were I black in this country, I’d much rather have been born (or coming of age) today as opposed to 30 years ago.

    That said, I realize race relations are at an all-time recent low, but LOWER than 30 years ago? I’m not entirely sure I buy that …

    -Neil

    • Obama said better. we can debate about “worse.”

    • Phlinn

      He said “10 or 20 or 30”. I’d have been sympathetic if it was just 30, but comparing it to 2007 is enough to make it a lie I think.

    • Isaac

      Keep in mind I was just a kid at the time…but it at least FEELS like things were actually on the right track back in the 80’s. There was optimism, an emphasis on friendship and the need for unity between races…and it didn’t feel like a race war was just around the corner.

      Again, my perspective was limited, but I’d give the edge to 1987 over 2017.

  6. It seems arguable to me that race relations are better than they were 10 or 30 years ago. There are a lot of indicators on both sides. Why call someone who says this a liar. Mayn’t they just be mistaken? (Not to mention, possibly right?)

    • Because they aren’t right, and know it, Bob. What indicators are there on the “better” side? I know of none. If there are any, let me know. Please. Most Blacks think they are worse. Most Whites think they are worse. Academics in the field think they are worse. Race relations, like gender relations, are obviously worsening on college campuses. Does this
      http://www.mediaite.com/online/house-democrats-threaten-to-assault-gop-peers-for-removing-painting-depicting-police-as-pigs/ …seem like a healthy environment of racial trust to you? When was the last time a new President was greeted by civil rights leaders fear-mongering that they feared a return of Jim Crow?

      • Chris

        I think he may have a point that race relations are better than they were 20 or 30 years ago. Better than 10 years ago? No. Note that he said “10 or 20 or 30 years ago,” which may have been an effort to self-correct; hardly in keeping with Obama’s usual careful speaking style. The extremely broad, vague time period makes it hard for me to see this as a whopper, rather than just a careless statement. He’s wrong, but I don’t think his motive was sinister or that this is evidence of deep-seated narcissism (some of his other statements are, but not this). He was trying to deliver a message of hope and misstated some of the numbers.

        • You are too kind. I mean it. Way too kind.

          • Chris

            If Obama had simply said “20 or 30,” would you still have problems with the statement? I think the problem comes only from the number “10.”

            • Of course. This is the worst I’ve seen relations between the races since the early 70’s. But it isn’t just the dishonesty—it’s the complete lack of accountability, Obama’s trademark. This is him, and Holder, and a deliberate divisive strategy by Democrats, and it has been shocking and striking to me since the start. Look at yesterday’s hearings on Sessions. There was no reason to slam him with accusations and innuendos of being racist, except to make blacks fear him. Nothing in his record, a long one , suggests he’s a racist. The head of the NAACP basically said he was a racist because he was a Republican. Cory Booker, who had co-sponsored legislation with Sessions and pronounced it an honor, viciously attacked his character without offering any evidence at all. So did John Lewis. No evidence. Then two black lawyers who testified for Sessions, in contrast, had specific facts to offer. Now, what is the pint of that? It’s indiscriminate use of the race card to promote distrust of the Justice Department, as a pure political maneuver. It isn’t going to defeat Sessions. It’s hate and fearmongering for political gain. There were no mainstream writers like Jamelle Bouie or Ta Nihisi Coates 30 years ago, playing with fire, stoking a race war. Police weren’t simultaneously criticized for not protecting black neighborhoods and for racist murders when they had to respond with violence. I was on the front lines of aa major professional school’s wrestling with affirmative action 30 years ago. There was far less resentment of policies favoring blacks. The bias against Asian-Americans was nothing like it is today. 30 years ago, whites assumed that by now, claims of discrimination would be over, because affirmative action would have eliminated most of the disparities. The white privilege trope is deeply resented—why is the ummarried birth rate among blacks over 70%? Why is the solution to too many blacks being in prison to argue that we should eliminate crimes? Especially among whites who ate struggling as much as the disadvantaged end of the black population, the color preference in this administration’s policies are incomprehensible.

              The Rodney King riots were not nationally divisive, because most Americans agreed that King was brutalized, the LA cops were especially thuggish, and it was a regional, inner city problem, not a national one. This is very different.

              Race relations are dangerously bad. Obama’s clueless statement–I am 85% certain it is dishonest—is the domestic equivalent of Kerry’s pride in the Syrian calamity. It is Obama’s “I am not a crook,” his “I did not have sex with that woman.”

              • Chris

                You can’t possibly be using accusations of racism against Sessions to prove that race relations are worse today. This is a letter from Coretta Scott King in 1986 arguing that Sessions should be blocked from a federal judge nomination due to his racism. Was she simply “fearmongering” and “stoking a race war?”

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/10/read-the-letter-coretta-scott-king-wrote-opposing-sessionss-1986-federal-nomination/?utm_term=.c805a2d7997f

                Just because you haven’t bothered to Google the evidence of Sessions’ racism doesn’t mean the evidence doesn’t exist.

                • How about reading my post when Sessions was appointed? https://ethicsalarms.com/2016/11/18/the-sessions-nomination-president-elect-trump-flunks-a-responsibility-test/

                  I’ll accept your apology.

                  Proof of Sessions’ alleged “racism” was dubious at best, and jokes and remarks, plus an accuser who was later disbarred, are not strong evidence. Coretta Scott King misused her influence…she had nothing but hearsay against Sessions, and her opinion means precisely nothing. (The same goes for John Lewis today.)

                  Yes, going out of the way to claim Sessions is a racist when he has never, apparently, done anything that shows racist bias, and when it will not change the Senate vote, is intentionally divisive, irresponsible, and indicates toxic race relations. And because I knew Democrats would behave in this disgusting fashion, I condemned the nomination.

                  I now see that you DID read that post, so you should know that I didn’t need to check “Google,” and was well informed on the old care against Sessions.

                  • Chris

                    I apologize for not remembering that you had written about the accusations against Sessions before. In the comment I was replying to, you said there was “no” evidence that Sessions was racist, when your earlier article seems to directly contradict that; now you say there is no “strong evidence” that Sessions is a racist. Regardless, I still don’t see how you can use allegations of racism against Sessions today as evidence that race relations have worsened, when Sessions has been steadily accused of the same thing since at least 1986.

                    • Because, Chris, there were no allegations, just assertions, essentially based on the fact that Sessions is white and a Republican (and, I suppose, from the South.) He’s been in the Senate for almost two decades: nobody pointed to any statement, interaction or event involving him since the Reagan Administration that suggested racism.

                      Cory Booker, whose testimony was a true “Et tu. Brute?” moment, said,

                      If confirmed, Senator Sessions will be required to pursue justice for women, but his record indicates that he won’t.

                      He will be expected to defend the equal rights of gay and lesbian Americans, but his record indicates that he won’t.

                      He will be expected to defend voting rights, but his record indicates that he won’t.

                      He will be expected to defend the rights of immigrants and affirm their human dignity, but his record indicates he won’t.

                      His record indicates that as Attorney General he would obstruct the growing national bipartisan movement toward criminal justice reform.

                      His record indicates that we cannot count on him to support state and national efforts toward bringing justice to a justice system that people on both sides of the aisle readily admit is biased against the poor, drug addicted, mentally ill, and people of color.

                      His record indicates that at a time when even the FBI director is speaking out about implicit racial bias in policing and the need to address it; at a time when the last two Attorneys General have taken steps to fix our broken criminal justice system; and at a time when the Justice Department he would lead has uncovered systemic abuses in police departments all over the United States including Ferguson, including Newark; Senator Sessions would not continue to lead urgently needed change.

                      But Sessions’ record says nothing of the kind. If it did, don’t you think Booker might give specific? In addition to being unfair and a betrayal of a colleague who was noted for being more willing than most to be non-partisan, this is pure race-baiting, let’s make sure blacks don’t trust the new administration so we can mobilize their anger and fear cynical politics. Why would the Democrats set up Booker to do that? The answer is that promoting a racial divide has been a Democratic tactic for along time, accelerated and intensified during the Obama years, with his participation.

                    • Chris

                      Because, Chris, there were no allegations, just assertions, essentially based on the fact that Sessions is white and a Republican (and, I suppose, from the South.) He’s been in the Senate for almost two decades: nobody pointed to any statement, interaction or event involving him since the Reagan Administration that suggested racism.

                      The article that you wrote condemning Sessions’ nomination says otherwise.

                    • Gee, you must be referring to some OTHER article I wrote about Sessions…or one that was written in a parallel universe. There is not one word in that post alluding to any Sessions conduct in the past 36 years.

                    • Chris

                      Sorry, I completely missed your subtle moving of the goalposts when you said there were no allegations of racism against him “since the Reagan administration.” That may be true, but how it’s relevant, or how it justifies your original statement that there were no allegations of racism against Sessions *at all,* I’ve no idea.

                    • Huh? These were witnesses, testifying about what THEY know about Sessions from personal experience. That’s what testimony is. Anyone can read the 1981 transcript. And a record for public service is official conduct. Even in 1981, there was no conduct indicating Sessions was a racist.

      • deery

        Because they aren’t right, and know it, Bob. What indicators are there on the “better” side? I know of none.

        Both interracial dating/marriage, and positive attitudes towards it, have gone up since Obama took office. So that is at least one data point.

        • Spartan

          Not to mention economic mobility for educated Blacks. It’s probably easier to become an engineer, doctor, or lawyer than it was 30 years ago.

          • Isaac

            Black employment hit a 28-year low under Obama. 46 percent of Blacks are now on food stamps (it was 21 percent with Carter, 24 percent with W. Bush.)

            And even the drummed-up, superficial gains in employment (which turned out to be mostly part-time jobs anyway) didn’t benefit African-Americans, whose unemployment rate stayed the same as everyone else’s increased. Household income plummeted more than twice as much for Blacks than it did for Whites. The gap between races in test scores increased under Obama (it had narrowed under Bush.) Not a lot to spin positively, though I supposed more acceptance of interracial couples (and other things that aren’t in any way related to the White House) would count.

            • Chris

              African-Americans, whose unemployment rate stayed the same as everyone else’s increased.

              Where are you getting this from? In 2010, at the height of the recession, black unemployment was over 16%. Today it is about 8%. In other words, black unemployment has been cut in half since the recession.

              https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000006

        • That is not what race-relations means. Race relations means peace, cooperation, respect and trust between races. The law is not “relations.” Dictionary: “the relations between members of two or more human races, esp within a single community” How the races are faring within the community independently is not race relations. If Obama wants to say that blacks have made progress to ward justice, opportunity and equality, that’s debatable, but its also the relationship between blacks and the state.

          • Spartan

            Well, I agree with you that the broader definition is more appropriate, but it’s not just mobility within the black community. Many whites now accept blacks in prestigious positions now — that’s progress.

            • Pennagain

              I don’t know about mobility within the legal profession, Spartan, but as far as medicine goes, since the nursing profession was elevated and “managed care” came in (especially since then: the trend goes back another decade or so), women and people of color — if I can use that lefty-speak since it fits so well — have been more welcome and better funded in medicine than ever before. Part of the reason is general acceptance by the public, whether or not it was being coerced by insurance companies and the hospitals they control. . . (most recently: “you canNOT keep ‘your’ doctor”), and part of it is that these are two groups who did not have the same expectations of being showered with gold as were the incoming god-doctors of previous generations. Result: more work, lower pay, less respect.

      • Much of the black unhappiness has been connected with the lack of opportunity. By all measures black opportunity is improving: pay, unemployment rates, education levels, representation in just about every field is improving relative to whites.

        As a group (and I know that’s a problematic way to start a sentence) blacks are closer to whites by any measure than ever before. They’re better, and on the way to better still. And all through history discontent has risen as conditions have improved.

        So lots of people think relations are getting worse. Hence, arguable. Mistaken, not lying. C’mon, the l-word should be used carefully, and the mistaken (if that) person given the presumption a priori of being only mistaken, not lying.

        • But Bob, when an individual deliberately misleads for his own benefit, there is a rebuttable presumption of a lie. Progress in civil rights and group economic progress isn’t “race relations.” It’s civil rights and economic progress. This is the fallacy of Changing The Subject (Digression, Red Herring, Misdirection, False Emphasis). Obama’s a smart man; he knows the difference between “We have made progress in equality and civil rights” and “race relations have improved.” Indeed, the Obama administration and Democrats have intentionally pressed the narrative that progress has been systematically resented and opposed by whites. Thus black Americans could make progress while race relations have degraded…and that’s exactly what’s happened.

  7. Reading the Pew report you cited, I don’t see that the Obama presidency brought a plunge in perception of race relations. If you look at the graph accompanying it, it shows most of the time he was president it was in the positive region, only the recent past has been in the generally bad region and the plunges tended to be in reaction to particular events that caused outrage, not to Obama’s presence as POTUS.

  8. I think this looks like a distinct bubble statement. Depending on your bubble, race relations might be improved. So no actual data here- just lived experience.
    Where I live with my circle of friends, etc, they are better. There’s a great deal more interrelation, understanding and in regular daily life, race has in many ways become almost unremarkable *at all*. Now does that factor into the whole country with verifiable data? Heck, no.
    If you live where there aren’t many other races, relations haven’t improved, but they might not have gotten worse, either. Stasis requires something to change for anything to get unbalanced, and in many communities without a lot of diversity, racial balance is NOT something that’s changed.
    My take on it, though I haven’t watched the speech.

    • But Becky—two major race riots, several smaller ones, Black Lives Matter, calls for segregation on Campus—this is quantifiable evidence of race relations break-down. African Americans can see their condition improve and still hate white people more that ever. Progress in race equality is not race relations.

      • Spartan

        But progress in race equality is usually indicative of improvement in race relations since it is hard to have the former without the latter.

        • Why do you say that? Race relations were just fine during slavery in the US, until the 19th Century. There was no talk of race relations at all. Few riots, politeness, status quo stable….no organized resistance. Slave owners didn’t hate slaves. Slaves were dependent, and mostly submissive. Would bad race relations have made the top 10 issues concerning colonists?

          • Chris

            Why do you say that? Race relations were just fine during slavery in the US, until the 19th Century. There was no talk of race relations at all. Few riots, politeness, status quo stable….no organized resistance. Slave owners didn’t hate slaves. Slaves were dependent, and mostly submissive. Would bad race relations have made the top 10 issues concerning colonists?

            I really think you should walk back this clueless statement. I don’t even know where to start on how historically inaccurate this is.

      • bexhrob

        But I’m not saying it is better. I’m saying it’s a bubble where someone can think it is, from inside the bubble. Race relations, as a whole, probably are demonstrably worse by several measures. But if you are in a bubble, you don’t think what you’re saying is untrue. You are living in your bubble.

        • But isn’t this just the “you have your truth and I have mine” dodge? There is no bubble on this issue. The riots were real. The Ferguson effect is real. The sharp division in polls are real. Maybe there are African Americans who genuinely believe that race relations have improved (which would mean that they are—improving???) but what I see is pro-Obama partisans who know that this is a major failure, and are, as they have been, spinning to protect Obama. For years I have heard and read the opinion that if a white President was in the White House, there would have been 5X the unrest, another March on Washington, etc, and nobody would be trying to argue that relations are anything but sinking fast.

  9. Pennagain

    My experience over the last four years – in my half-baked melting pot of a city – has been that the economic status has improved for self-identified non-whites who were already educated and on career paths. As far as social status goes, however, there has grown up a new “separate but equal” world mandated as Black which does not welcome non-melaninated visitors. This is not the Harlem of the 20s! It has a presence in nearly every neighborhood and does not require white financial investment, advertisement nor approval. It speaks its own language (particularly body language) that eschews the obviousness of Ebonics but has instead a sly, wry, deliberate anti-Establishment pronunciation to it that isn’t heard in the weekday workplace. Black people I did not previously so designate, those whom I have worked with for decades in many different jobs and at least three different professions, are not unfriendly; if anything, they are better comrades and easier bosses than ever before. But there is no longer any doubt that we will not be discussing Travon or Trump. The gates are closed.

    There is a disconcerting barrier between us, one that has grown thicker and climbed out of sight into the clouds like that beanstalk. I just recently realized what it reminded me of: the subtly altered attitude of my schoolmates and their families after several Hungarian Jewish refugees came to stay with us. They were uncomfortable: we all were. The more our friends tried to admire us for taking in the “huddled masses” and be curious and generous and so very nice to the visitors — too thin, too serious, too correct, with bad teeth and halting English — the more our guests took on the airs and graces of equality in spite of all their needs. There was nothing defensive or superior about it; it was quite genuine: they saw themselves as immutably different, forever incomprehensible to everyone who was not them.

    Meanwhile, back in the ghetto, Black Lives Matter gets a firm grip on the larger – and ever-growing larger – black underclass, those who couldn’t “discuss” their beliefs if they wanted to. And meanwhile, back in the Democratic clubs, the members plan their next demo and overthrow of their government, while giving lip service to all black demands: free black prisoners, block arrests of black drivers, black people can only be tried before all-black juries; pay a few thousand to each as reparations for their (automatic, if not genetic) slave ancestry; shore up the parity whether as affirmative action or freedom to cut into line at the movies (with compulsory 25% black-made films being given Oscars); and provide all the free services they already have but do not access because the givers are not … black…enough — free food, health care, education — and make sure there’s enough for the new immigrants, too.

    No, I have not seen an improvement in “race relations.” On the contrary, I have seen everything black and white folks have ever tried to make work, separately or together, torn apart by selfish, stupid (educated stupid, which is the most dangerous of stupid), short-sighted, arrogant, cowardly, careless, intentionally deaf and demagogue-led lemmings and it makes me sick.

    Thanks for the space, Jack.

  10. This whole conversation on race relations brings back memories of another lengthy discussion we had back in August on the topic; Wait, I’m Confused: I Thought Racial Segregation Was BAD….. I think there is a lot of relevant material in that thread that directly relates to this thread.

    • Forgive me for sharing this again, but it’s just as relevant today as it was in August 2016.
      —————————————————————
      I’ve heard some of my nearly life-long black friends opinions shift in dramatic ways that I never would have expected, and it’s all happened since Obama was elected President. The change in attitude and rhetoric has been absolutely astounding. I think I’ve had no less than a dozen of my black friends unfriend me on Facebook for reasons that they never would have 10-15 years ago, and some others have just ceased to communicate. Some of these people have been friends from 25 to nearly 50 years – yup long before Facebook and computers when people had real face-to-face conversations and shared our lives offline. I still consider these people to be my friends and I miss their company, but some of them have built impenetrable walls between us and gone to a very dark place – racism is a very, very dark place.

      Maybe the last 7+ years have unleash some dormant feelings in some of them; maybe what some of them used to consider racist behavior from blacks has become so common place that now it’s somehow “popular” to be a black racist; I’m absolutely positive that one of them bowed to peer pressure; maybe some of them that I used to go out to dinner with on a regular basis have just moved on in life; but one thing has been perfectly clear with most of them – any disagreement with an Obama policy was immediately deemed racist even when they knew full well that I had been against the same kind of policies in the past but yet my opposition in the past wasn’t considered racist. We’ve agreed and disagreed over the years on may things but nothing has changed their attitudes and rhetoric as it has since Obama was elected President. Furthermore; it has been abundantly clear that some of them completely flip-flopped long-term political views on some policies simply because Obama supported the opposing view.

      “Something’s happening here”

      …ya damn right there is…

      “What it is ain’t exactly clear.”

      …it’s clear to me…

      What it is, is divisive racism brought on by continual race baiting that has been “inspired” and ignored by Obama, pushed by the political left, and now dominates the psyche of many blacks across the country and, to top it off, the media fuels the fire with unchallenged illogical justifications of the nonsense. The propaganda related to race baiting is a very dominate feature in our society now and that is new since Obama was elected President! Did race baiting exist before Obama, yes, but its wide-spread usage in the political theater and the negative consequences of it’s wide-spread usage is new since Obama’s election and the cannot be denied! Racism is now viewed by some as a means to an end – whatever end they choose – racism is now viewed as a power to dominate; demonize the opposition into absolute capitulation by using deflections that paint them as racists. It is complete “the ends justify the means” moral bankruptcy!

      I want the divisive racism to stop and I want my old friends back!

      Unfortunately, I fear that some of those old friendships “might” now be irretrievably broken. It’s truly sad.
      —————————————————————

      “Now, I’ve lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10 or 20 or 30 years ago, no matter what some folks say.” President Obama January 2017

      I say President Obama is intentionally lying to try and build his legacy on a foundation of quick-sand; he’s completely full of shit.

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