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June 19, 2023

Obama: ‘People Are Rightly Skeptical’ of Racial Reconciliation

The former president campaigned on “Hope and Change” but now argues he achieved nothing for blacks.

Today is Juneteenth, the day on which all Americans of every color can unite in celebrating the freeing of the last slaves in 1865 and the immense progress we’ve made ever since in securing the basic truth of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Unfortunately, too many Americans in one particular political party are bent on a racial agenda that grossly distorts what might otherwise be a unifying holiday and instead divides us. The Left’s constant race-baiting is why we’re fond of oversimplifying things for effect: Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating how Republicans liberated slaves held by Democrats.

We say that mostly tongue in cheek, though history backs us up. It was largely Democrats who practiced and defended slavery. By contrast, the GOP was founded as the abolition party. It was largely Democrats who implemented and enforced Jim Crow laws. It was a Democrat president (Woodrow Wilson) who showed “Birth of a Nation” at the White House. It was Democrats whose “Great Society” programs were meant to ensure that blacks remain beholden to the federal government — and the Democrat Party. It was President Lyndon Johnson who said of those programs, “I’ll have those [racial slur] voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

Unity won’t happen until there’s a reckoning for that history. Almost humorously, however, Democrats demand that Republicans face that reckoning.

Barack Obama, as you may recall, is half white, and he was at least partly raised by his white mother’s white parents. Yet he looks black and identifies only with that half of himself, reaping incredible financial and political benefit for it along the way.

Nevertheless, Obama wants the rest of us to remain ashamed that many blacks don’t share in his riches. He mocked the idea that America is a land of opportunity for anyone, regardless of race.

Obama was a guest on the podcast of his former adviser David Axelrod, where the host asserted that Republicans think racial discord is “part of the past and we don’t need to worry about it so much.” He asked Obama to comment on GOP presidential candidate Tim Scott’s belief that Republicans are “doing a fabulous job of making progress” on race.

Obama insisted that Scott and his fellow minority candidate Nikki Haley don’t prove anything about equality of opportunity or have the right message on race. In fact, he argued, despite the “long history” in the GOP of minority candidates “who will validate America and say, ‘Everything’s great, and we can make it,’” there still has to be an “honest accounting of our past and our present.”

If a Republican who may even be sincere in saying “I want us all to live together” doesn’t have a plan for how do we address crippling generational poverty that is a consequence of hundreds of years of racism in this society and we need to do something about that. … If somebody is not proposing, both acknowledging and proposing elements that say, “No, we can’t just ignore all that and pretend as if everything’s equal and fair. We actually have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.” If they’re not doing that, then I think people are rightly skeptical.

Sheesh, whatever happened to Hope ‘n’ Change? That the nation’s first black president admits his presidency doesn’t seem to have moved the needle at all on race relations or black advancement is quite the indictment of his record.

Scott, who recently took on the race-baiters of “The View,” is certainly guilty of being conservative while black — something forbidden by the Left. And he’s simply not going to keep telling blacks that the only thing holding them back is white racism.

As you might imagine, he had some thoughts about Obama’s dour message. “He missed a softball moving at slow speed with a big bat,” Scott noted. “You can’t miss this opportunity. America was hungry for bringing our country together, this coalition building where you can see black kids and white kids and red ones and brown ones, as MLK spoke about, joining hands and singing with new meaning, ‘My country 'tis of thee.’”

“Democrats deny our progress to protect their power,” he added. “The Left wants you to believe faith in America is a fraud and progress in our nation is a myth.”

As if to emphasize the point, he also observed, “If anyone should be standing and shouting at the mountaintops that America is not a racist country, it should be the man that Americans supported twice for the nomination and becoming president.”

Haley likewise rebuked the former president. “Barack Obama set minorities back by singling them out as victims instead of empowering them,” she said. “In America, hard work and personal responsibility matter. My parents didn’t raise me to think that I would forever be a victim. They raised me to know that I was responsible for my success.”

Which is more empowering for blacks? The message that they can make it if they work hard and that America is for people of all colors, or the clear implication that blacks somehow uniquely can’t make it at all without constant handouts from government and maybe even something like reparations?

For 200 years, Democrats have been telling blacks they’re nothing without Democrats. We’re “rightly skeptical” of that patronizing and divisive message.

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