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Deteriorating Race Relations an Obama Legacy

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 13, 2016

Typically, a president’s last State-of-the-Union address is not focused on future legislative action, given the chief executive’s lame-duck status.  Instead, focus is on legacy building for the departing president.  Unfortunately for Barack Obama, it is hard to see a positive legacy given the myriad of chaos internationally, as well as an economy that is weakly limping along.

tavis_smileyObama’s legacy will also be damaged by the state of race relations within the United States during his tenure, an area that should have been a strength for this President.  Obama was elected with a mandate to bring hope and change to the country.  Here was the Country’s first African-American president who could bridge the gap between races.  Instead, the President used race to further his political agenda and the results of been catastrophic as race relations in the United States has significantly deteriorated s under Obama’s.  This has been exemplified in the various American cities where racial tensions have broiled over to rioting.  While the reasons and/or justifications for the rioting can be argued, the fact that these events have increased during Obama’s tenure is undeniable.

It is natural for those who are right-of -enter to be critical of a liberal president.  But, when this comes from individuals that are left-the-center, it is hard to argue that partisanship is the cause.  Such was the case this week with the comments made by PBS host Tavis Smiley during an interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News that included the following exchange

Kelly – “On the subject of race, are we better off now than we were seven years ago?”

Smiley “I’m not sure we are, and I think ultimately the president missed a moment”. Who further went out the state: H “on every leading economic issue, on the major economic issues black Americans have lost ground in every one of those leading categories.  So for the last 10 years it hasn’t been good for black folk.”

This is the president’s most loyal constituency that didn’t gain any ground really in that period.  Now, the debate’s going to be for years to come whether he wasn’t bold enough, or whether he obstructed.

Smiley correctly concludes: “I think the answer’s both.  Historians are going to have a field day juxtaposing how in the era of the first black president, the bottom fell out for black America.  Black people are still in many ways politically marginalized, socially manipulated, and economically exploited.  That’s a lot to try to square how all that happened in the era of the first black president.”

Why, given this history of failure under Leftist policies to improve the well-being of minorities in America, do African-Americans continue to give nearly unanimous support to the Democratic Party?  It is time for reasonable people on the Left including Mr. Smiley, to bring this question to the forefront of political discourse in America.


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