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Mark Caserta: Race relations get worse under Obama

28 Aug


Aug. 28, 2014 @ 12:00 AM


Despite the progressive rant in the country about racism toward President Obama, nearly everyone in our great nation, liberal and conservative, had hopes that the historic election of America’s first black president would help narrow the racial divide in our country.

But a New York Times/CBS poll published last week says not so.

According to the poll, since Barack Obama was elected president, only 10 percent of Americans believe that race relations have gotten better. The poll found 17 percent of blacks and 8 percent of whites believe race relations have improved under Obama.

In fact, the poll showed 35 percent of Americans believe that race relations have gotten worse during the Obama presidency, including 40 percent of whites and 21 percent of blacks.

What an historic opportunity squandered!

Now Obama deserves credit for being a good role model as a father and for his success in life becoming president. But he’s never displayed the ability to unite Americans. In fact, it seems his campaign promise of unity has given way to the instigation of a racial divide this country hasn’t seen for decades.

In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting, one expects the likes of Al Sharpton to show up and spew his divisive rhetoric, inflaming racial overtones. But one would not expect support of Sharpton from our attorney general.

 al and eric

At the opening of Sharpton’s annual National Action Network convention in March, Eric Holder thanked Sharpton “for your partnership, your friendship and your tireless efforts to speak out for the voiceless…” despite Sharpton’s incessant race-baiting.

One also would not expect President Obama to heighten racial tension by taking Americans on an emotional flashback of the civil rights era by personalizing the shooting of Martin as he did at a White House briefing in July 2013.

“You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” Obama said. “I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.”

Last week, while speaking to residents in Ferguson, Mo., following the shooting of Michael Brown, Eric Holder said he understands why many black Americans don’t trust police, recalling how he was repeatedly stopped by officers seemingly because of his race.

“I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me,” Holder said during a meeting of community leaders at St. Louis Community College.

Our nation doesn’t need to relive the civil rights demonstrations of the past. Why stir up racial unrest among a generation blessed to have been born in an era where unity largely aligns with the dreams of those who struggled for such equality years ago?

President Obama should seek to further unite Americans by promoting the healing from a bitter past, not by reliving the hurt.

three race baiters

Unity will certainly not emerge from divisive discourse.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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