President Barack Obama converted the commemoration of five Dallas police officers killed by a cop-hating African-American into an extended speech in support of the radical Black Lives Matter movement.
“If we are to sustain the unity we need to get through these difficulties, if we are to honor these five outstanding officers who we have lost, then we will need to act on the truths that we know … America, we know that bias remains,” he said at the Dallas event, without criticizing or demanding anything of his supporters living in violent, undereducated, poor African-American communities.
Throughout his speech, Obama insisted he’s correct, even to the point of suggesting the murder rate in Dallas is declining — “The murder rate here has fallen” — although it has been rising since Obama began supporting the BLM movement and began demanding changes in police practices in 2014.
He insisted 25 times times that “I know” or “we know” the cause and cure for many political and social problems that are the subject of decades-long arguments by libertarians, conservatives, liberals and progressives.
He began the speech embracing the role of consoler-in-chief;
I know that Americans are struggling right now with what we’ve witnessed over the past week. First, the shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, the protests. Then the targeting of police by the shooter here, an act not just of demented violence, but of racial hatred.
All of it has left us wounded and angry and hurt. This is — the deepest faultlines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed, perhaps even widened. And although we know that such divisions are not new, though they’ve surely been worse in even the recent past, that offers us little comfort.
Faced with this violence, we wonder if the divides of race in America can ever be bridged. We wonder if an African American community that feels unfairly targeted by police and police departments that feel unfairly maligned for doing their jobs, can ever understand each other’s experience.
We turn on the TV or surf the internet, and we can watch positions harden and lines drawn and people retreat to their respective corners, and politicians calculate how to grab attention or avoid the fallout. We see all this, and it’s hard not to think sometimes that the center won’t hold and that things might get worse.
I understand. I understand how Americans are feeling. But Dallas, I’m here to say we must reject such despair. I’m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem. And I know that because I know America. I know how far we’ve come against impossible odds.
But the bulk of his speech broadcast the progressive claim that America is racist because racism prevents all groups from prospering as well as other groups.
“America, we know that bias remains, we now it,” he said, one day after the media reported on a comprehensive new study showing no evidence of bias in police practices.
“None of us is entirely innocent — no institution is entirely immune,and that includes our police departments, — we know this,” he said, as more anecdotal evidence emerges of African-American bias against police.
“We will need to act on the truths that we know, and that’s not easy, it makes us uncomfortable, but we are going to have to be honest with ourselves,” said Obama, as he began a left-wing criticism of America for supposed racism.
We also know that centuries of racial discrimination, of slavery, and subjugation, and Jim Crow; they didn’t simply vanish with the law against segregation. They didn’t necessarily stop when a Dr. King speech, or when the civil rights act or voting rights act were signed. Race relations have improved dramatically in my lifetime. Those who deny it are dishonoring the struggles that helped us achieve that progress. But we know…
But America, we know that bias remains. We know it, whether you are black, or white, or Hispanic, or Asian, or native American, or of Middle Eastern descent, we have all seen this bigotry in our own lives at some point. We’ve heard it at times in our own homes. If we’re honest, perhaps we’ve heard prejudice in our own heads and felt it in our own hearts. We know that. And while some suffer far more under racism’s burden, some feel to a far greater extent discrimination’s stain. Although most of us do our best to guard against it and teach our children better, none of us is entirely innocent. No institution is entirely immune, and that includes our police departments. We know this.
And so when African-Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment, when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently. So that if you’re black, you’re more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested; more likely to get longer sentences; more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime. When mothers and fathers raised their kids right, and have the talk about how to respond if stopped by a police officer — yes, sir; no, sir — but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door; still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy…
As a society, we choose to under-invest in decent schools. We allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment. We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs.
We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.
And then we tell the police, “You’re a social worker; you’re the parent; you’re the teacher; you’re the drug counselor.” We tell them to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience; don’t make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind. And then we feign surprise when periodically the tensions boil over.
We know those things to be true. They’ve been true for a long time. We know it. Police, you know it. Protesters, you know it. You know how dangerous some of the communities where these police officers serve are. And you pretend as if there’s no context. These things we know to be true.
… And that’s what I take away from the lives of these outstanding men. The pain we feel may not soon pass, but my faith tells me that they did not die in vain. I believe our sorrow can make us a better country. I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace. Weeping may endure for a night but I’m convinced joy comes in the morning.