Pot, meet Kettle
"Asked about what the questioner saw as an increase in racial tension Thursday, President Obama said a 'tribal attitude' can come as a result of economic hardship," CBS News reports:
"Historically, when you look at how America has evolved, typically we make progress on race relations in fits and starts," he said at a town hall event with young Americans.
He then suggested that the recession has played a part in driving racial antagonism while he has been in office.
"Often times misunderstandings and antagonisms surface most strongly when times are tough. And that's not surprising," Mr. Obama said, arguing that Americans are less worried when things are going well."
He added that anxiety over not being able to pay bills--or having lost a job or a home--sometimes "organizes itself around kind of a tribal attitude, and issues of race become more prominent."
This is a not-unfamiliar theme: "It's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to . . . antipathy to people who aren't like them," Sen. Barack Obama said in 2008.
This column rejects not only the economic determinism of the president's answer but the premise of the question. We think actual race relations are better than they've ever been, and the "increase in racial tension" is a myth propagated by the liberal political class in the hope of discrediting Obama's opponents.
The propagators of that myth include the president himself, and it takes chutzpah for him to accuse his opponents of pandering to "a tribal attitude." Here is the president himself, trying to rally a crowd in Philadelphia on Sunday:
"See, what the other side is counting on, what they're counting on is you're going to stay home. They're counting on your silence. They're counting on your amnesia. They're counting on your apathy. They're counting on young people staying home and union members staying home and black folks staying home and middle-class families staying home. They're counting on the fact that they made the argument so ugly in Washington that you just completely turned off and you're not going to vote for anybody. And if that happens, they win."
Of course there is a strategy behind Obama's explicitly racial appeals to "black folks." Politico.com lays it out:
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Study [sic, actually Studies] released a report Thursday that shows that the black electorate is large enough to sway 20 competitive House races in 14 states, including those for Reps. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Tom Perriello (D-Va.) and John Spratt (D-S.C.), who face some of the toughest races in the nation. . . .
"The extent of the Democrats' losses will depend on their ability to turn out their most loyal voters, and no voting bloc will be more important to them than African-Americans," David Bositis, the center's senior political analyst, wrote in the report. "If they can mobilize a strong black turnout, the Democrats can significantly reduce their potential losses."
Here's Obama again, from the Sunday rally:
And, you know, a lot of folks in Washington think that they're running a smart strategy. They're saying the other party's supporters are more enthusiastic, more excited. They say all y'all are going to stay home. You might not come out like you did in 2008. They say you might not care as much. They think, oh, well, Obama's name is not on the ballot, maybe they're not going to turn out.
In 2008 blacks could proudly cast their ballots for Obama. This year he cannot appeal to pride, only fear. Thus it serves his interests to perpetuate the falsehood that America is beset with racial tension.
Barack Obama is nothing but a race-baiting fear monger. He's not concerned about what is best for this country, he is only concerned about remaining in power.