Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Mask Slips

By Melanie Phillips (Spectator UK)

Related:
Bill Cosby ’shocked’ at Obama’s statement on Harvard prof’s arrest


I’ve been travelling and so have only just been catching up with the Obama race row over the altercation between Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge, Mass. police. Strikes me this is no storm in a teacup. Look at the Fox News clip that Tim Montgomerie highlights here for some extremely sharp comments indeed, particularly by Charles Krauthammer. Even after Obama started rowing back, noted Juan Williams of NPR, he was still getting the facts wrong, claiming that Sgt Crowley had led Gates out of his house whereas this was ‘just not true’.

This affair is toxic because it touches many nerves: America’s neuralgic conscience over its historic racism, the monstrously unjust over-reaction to that racism, and the election of a President who supposedly embodied, in both his identity and his approach, a post-racial New Man and an absolution for past national sins. Now the mask has slipped, and even those with Obama stars in their eyes can’t hide their dismay.

As regular readers of this blog know, I have been banging on from the start of Obama’s rise to power about the astonishing discrepancy between how he was presented by the media on the issue of race and what he actually had said and done. His whole background from the earliest days onwards was steeped in anti-white grievance politics of the most bitter and corrosive kind. This was all ignored. His two-decade membership of an anti-white church was ignored, his early anti-white mentors such as Frank Marshall Davis were ignored, his participation on the Nation of Islam ‘Million Man march’ and his association with Nation of Islam cadres were ignored.

And as Krauthammer aptly observed – and as I wrote here – Obama’s major speech on race in March 2008 in which he finally ‘renounced’ his former pastor, the anti-white bigot Rev Jeremiah Wright, which was hailed as the greatest piece of oratory since the Gettysburg address and which supposedly transcended racial animosities to create the colour-blind Brotherhood of Man, was anything but. In this speech Obama actually said Wright should not be renounced, and that Wright’s racism was actually all the fault of white people. The fact that so many people failed to hear or read what Obama actually said and instead heard or read only what they wanted to hear was truly frightening.

Now, thanks to the histrionics of Henry Louis Gates, we can see how Obama’s dysfunctional attitude to race plays out in real time. Gates’s arrest was an honest and understandable mistake by the Cambridge police who were investigating what appeared to be a break-in. It clearly had nothing to do with Gates being black – not least because other officers backing up the arresting officer were non-white. Gates’s protests were preposterous, and vividly demonstrated the pathological resentment and injustice – not to mention the strutting arrogance and narcissism -- of anti-racist ‘victim culture’.

For the President of the United States to get involved at all in such a local matter was off-limits. For him to do so without even bothering to discover the facts was disturbing. For him to damn the Cambridge police as ‘stupid’ whereas it was clearly Gates who was ‘stupid’(and worse), thereby demonstrating how the Presidential knee automatically jerks to the crudest of anti-white (and anti-police) tunes regardless of the facts, was deeply alarming.

But not surprising.

Update: As is pointed out below, although the police were originally under a misapprehension about the apparent break-in at Gates's own house, the arrest was for his disorderly conduct which started as soon as the police spoke to him, as is apparent from the police report of the incident here -- and which appears to have vanished from the Boston Globe website.

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