Bryan Fischer
Pres. Obama and the tired politics of race
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By Bryan Fischer
July 25, 2009

As I watched President Obama's desperate, impromptu and face-saving press conference on Friday, one thing emerged clearly. He is simply refusing to acknowledge what is now clear to every objective person in America: he was wrong, he instinctively and without justification evaluated the situation through a racially-distorted lens, he falsely accused a good man of ugly, inexcusable things, and he jumped to conclusions without having the facts in front of him. In other words, he was just plain wrong — and he refuses to admit it. These are not the actions of words of a man who taught constitutional law and should know better.

And these are not the actions and words of a man who has the character and integrity to occupy the Oval Office.

The president does not seem to realize that he is the president of all Americans, not just black Americans or Americans who belong to some favored racial minority. The president does not seem to be able to get past the issue of race. Nor does Prof. Gates. Prof. Gates is a black man who holds a lavishly compensated position at the most prestigious university in the world. He lives in a city with a black mayor, a state with a black governor, and a country with a black president, proof positive that for African-Americans with talent, ambition, education and a good work ethic, America is a land of boundless opportunity. Neither the president nor Prof. Gates seems to grasp this simple fact, which is obvious to every clear-thinking American.

America is ready to move past the tiresome racial politics of the past, and judge people based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. But unfortunately our president is not. It was not Sgt. Crowley who made this an issue about race. It was the president of the United States, who used a tired and outdated template from the past to immediately judge Sgt. Crowley based on the color of his skin. America is ready for a post-racial president, but Barack Obama is not yet ready to be a post-racial president.

And this, by the way, is where the president's philosophy of making judgments based on empathy leads us. He reacted with "empathy" towards his good friend Prof. Gates, excused his friend's inexcusable behavior, and placed all the blame on a man who was completely innocent and simply doing his sworn duty to protect the safety and security of Cambridge neighborhoods. As Sen. Sessions said, speaking of Judge Sotomayor, empathy towards one is prejudice towards another, and the president unfortunately has illustrated that sad fact for all the nation to see.

And yet the president continues to try to finesse this issue, to dance around it, to find some way to deflect the justified anger of the American people without admitting he was just plain wrong. It cannot and will not work. As Jesus famously said, a man who tries to save his life will only lose it in the end. The president is trying to save his life, and what is left of his reputation and his moral influence. Only by losing his life — be admitting he was wrong and issuing an apology to Sgt. Crowley — can he save it and redeem it. America is watching, Mr. President. What will you do?

© Bryan Fischer

 

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