A recent phenomenon in American politics amid the conclaves of the media and academic elites is the stultifying debate over an outgoing president’s so-called “Legacy.” The nation now finds itself embroiled in this conversation as none other than Barack Obama, by his innumerable self-serving speeches, countless appearances on a multitude of media platforms and myriad gatherings with fawning supporters, has attempted to establish a positive spin on his legacy. He has far exceeded anything the previous occupants of the Oval Office have done to reinforce their image as they leave the White House behind. That he feels compelled to do so is indicative of the fact that Obama knows his presidency will go down in history as a monumental failure.
There is little doubt, except to his die-hard supporters (which includes a vast majority of the mainstream media), that his failures are legion. Perhaps the most telling and egregious of which is the current state of race relations in the United States. As President and a man of African descent, Barack Obama was in a position to permanently mend fences and end the racial politics bubbling beneath the surface over the past few decades. However true to his quasi-Marxist upbringing as well as being steeped in racial identity politics, he chose to exploit and exacerbate racial tensions for political objectives. The end-product of this nihilistic approach is revealed in a poll taken by Washington Post/ABC News in July of 2016 wherein 64% of Americans believe race relations are generally bad as compared to 66% who thought race relations were generally good in April of 2009.
Barack Obama, and virtually all of his fellow travelers, both white and black, on the Left (i.e. the Democratic Party), view the African-American population as both useful pawns in their quest for power and as helpless mascots to be pitied, paraded about and bought off whenever useful to either the overriding political or societal cause.
In August of 1963, as a college student in Washington D.C., I participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom the highlight of which was the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King. Thereafter and for a couple of years I became involved in the civil rights movement working to assure freedom and voting rights in several southern states.
During this period of time I noticed that the vast majority of the white volunteers (and some northern African-Americans) fell into three categories insofar as their motivation to participate in the movement. The first, and most active, were the hard-core leftists who viewed the black proletariat as potential foot soldiers and a gullible constituency to be recruited to aid in overturning the government and establishing a socialist Nirvana. The second, and most common, were those who viewed the African-Americans as a population to be pitied, patted on the head and made dependent mascots so these pompous narcissists could wallow in their self-righteousness. The third, and by far the smallest category of activists, were there out of respect for the humanity of their fellow citizens by attempting to right the civil and political wrongs perpetrated against them.
My involvement in the movement ended when it became clear that the cause had been hijacked by the radical Left, greatly aided and abetted by patronizing liberals and their supercilious mindset. Thus, the rise of militant groups such as the Black Panthers, the Nation of Islam and the Black Nationalist Movement, whose primary motivations were the overthrow of the government under the tattered banner of civil rights. Meanwhile, the condescending attitude of much of the ruling class resulted in the creation of countless failed welfare and social programs which destroyed the pride and coherence within what was once a group of people proud and noble despite the obstacles placed before them for so much of the nation’s past. Thus, rendering nearly an entire race to become dependent on whomever was in power in Washington D.C.
The confluence of the tactics and motivations of these two factions has created a near irreconcilable racial quagmire easily manipulated by the unscrupulous for their political or societal ends, whether through intimidation, overt threats or the exploitation of outright falsehoods. As Barack Obama, the Black Lives Matters movement, the Congressional Black Caucus, innumerable social justice groups on college campuses, and many in the entertainment and media complex have done over the past eight years. These people are among the most despicable in our nation today.
That the President of the United States would deliberately and with malice be party to this exploitation and extortion is beyond the pale and will forever be a stain on what tattered shreds of his legacy remains.
In 1964, while on a voter registration drive near a small town in southern Maryland, I walked up to a small ramshackle house with peeling paint and windows with shattered panes covered in plastic. On the porch quietly rocking in her chair was the bent figure of an elderly black woman. I went up to her. She turned and looked at me as our eyes met. I could see in those dark sad eyes the years of pain and suffering she had endured. After a stare that penetrated to my very core, she insisted I stay saying: “Your eyes tell me you’re one of us.”
Her name was Acadie and she was originally from Louisiana. She told me she was 92 years old, the daughter of ex-slaves, born in 1872. We talked of her youth and hardscrabble existence in the fields; of the terror wrought by the Ku Klux Klan seeking revenge against blacks for the difficult life for all in Louisiana after the Civil War; of lynching and church burnings and near starvation as crops failed for lack of rain or floods; of her and her family packing up their few belongings and with a mule and a cart setting off for Chicago only to find more subtle but still virulent discrimination; and of losing her husband killed in a railroad accident when she was 35 leaving her with 4 children to raise and whom she eventually outlived.
We sat and talked about our life experiences for over two hours, the daughter of slaves and a displaced war orphan from across the ocean, bound together not only by our past life experiences but our optimism about the future. When the time came to leave she gently took my hand and held it in her gnarled fingers long ago deformed by the ravages of arthritis and said: “The times are a’changin, I hope my people will listen to God’s word to forgive and lead a good and honest life. May God, bless you always.” I have little doubt what Acadia would say to Barack Obama if she were alive today.
The time has come for the African-American community to shed the scales from their eyes, to see clearly that despite his skin color and all the hope invested in him that Obama cared not for them but what they could do for him in his insatiable quest for political power. That far too many others both black and white proclaiming their sympathies and solidarity are motivated by self-serving interests. That African-Americans must stand up and cease being the pawns and mascots for others while succumbing to the siren call of de facto bribes to act as such. That intolerance and discrimination based on race, religion, economic status and birth exists in the hearts of human beings of all races and using that as a justification for anger or animosity is self-defeating.
The time has also come for rest of the nation to stop being cowed by the likes of Obama, the race hustlers and social justice warriors out to foment discontent and upheaval. That they need to ostracize and publicly denigrate those who would use their fellow citizens as hostages in their cynical games. And, that the white population must join with African-Americans of good will to stamp out the last remaining vestiges of institutionalized racism and discrimination.
If these steps are not undertaken, then Barack Obama will have a “Legacy” as the President who irreversibly embedded racial tension and animosity in American society.