Obama, the Police, and the Rise of the Racial Mob

John F. Kennedy never sought to become America’s first Catholic president. He sought to be America’s president. His Catholicism was incidental to his oath of office. If anything, he went out of his way in word and deed to reassure those for whom his Catholicism was an issue that their fears were misplaced.

In contrast, Barack Obama meant to become America’s first black president. If there were any doubts where Obama would take his presidency, the nation should have listened to the words of an angry Michelle Obama, who could find no pride in the nation that had saved the world from fascism, no pride that is until it nominated her husband for the presidency.

[sharequote align=”center”]Violence is not a means to obtain social justice, but it is a means to destroy the social order.[/sharequote]

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates had a minor run-in with the Cambridge police that never needed to happen if Gates had displayed some of the common courtesy associated with being a citizen who had some respect for the police. Gates fashioned the encounter into a narrative of what black people daily experience in their dealings with the police. Obama recklessly threw the prestige of the presidency behind this minor incident to flush out Gate’s stereotypical characterization.

Most Americans were too enamored of having elected a black president to ask whether the president should have taken sides in this minor event, especially since the president did so before all the facts were not even known. Reconsidering his ill-conceived rush to judgment, Obama later admitted his misstep, but by then the damage was done.

Faced with convictions of Black Panthers intimidating white voters in Philadelphia, the Obama Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, had their sentences vacated. In Holder’s apparent reading of the law, only whites intimidating blacks from voting were liable for prosecution. Black Panthers doing the same thing were immunized by Holder’s understanding of the intent of the law.

A protester walks through tear gas as police enforce a mandatory, city-wide curfew of 10PM near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire yesterday during rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
A protester walks through tear gas as police enforce a mandatory, city-wide curfew of 10PM near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire yesterday during rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. . (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Whatever hopes Americans had that Barack Obama was up to the task of leading America in transcending its sordid history of racism and becoming a true post-racial society were being dashed. Obama was no John Kennedy.

When it came to issues involving race, Obama was a man without presidential character, a man who seemed intent on promoting black bigotry as an antidote to white bigotry, a man who seemed to have no comprehension of the awesome responsibility of the office he held and its power to do good instead of get even.

Then came the episode involving Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. From what we now know, Michael Brown was a thug who moments before his attempt to use his imposing size and strength to disarm a police officer had strong armed a convenience store owner. His accomplice, Dorian Johnson, created the mythical narrative of “hands up don’t shoot” that the “gentle giant,” Brown, was surrendering to Darren Wilson when the police officer shot him.

Johnson’s false narrative found eager reception, not only in the black community but also in the mainstream media which suffers from an advanced case of white guilt and where the progressive view of racist police officers wantonly taking the lives of innocent blacks is the outline that stories need to fit.

The episode led to riots in which the small business community of Ferguson was abandoned to the mob. Finding the rule of law unpalatable if it meant rioters being maimed and possibly killed in the streets of Ferguson, the small business community was sacrificed to mob rule. “It was only property,” came the response of those in charge of the decision. These people were providing justification and sympathy for the behavior of the rioters

No civilization has been able to establish human rights without first establishing property rights. Where brute force can seize property, where there is no rule of law, human rights are an impossibility. By abandoning the property rights of the small business people of Ferguson, the politicians had taken an enormous step backwards in the evolution of civilized society.

His majesty the mob ruled Ferguson. To the people who built and owned these businesses, this was far more than property. It was their livelihood, the consequence of years of building and sacrifice to create a business. Those who believe that if you are successful, you did not build it, to follow Obama’s insipid mantra, had no problem sacrificing other people’s property to the predatory behavior of a bunch of barbarians who believed that breaking into a liquor store was somehow an expression of civil rights.

In Baltimore where there was another high profile case of a black man dying as a consequence of an encounter with the police, riots also ensued. The rioters soon controlled the streets. America watched as the Baltimore police retreated and the rioters advanced using the retreating police as targe practice for their rock throwing.

Again, the rule of law was abandoned. The rioters controlled the streets, burned and pillaged as they saw fit, and the police retreated. The idea of using deadly force to preserve order was not part of the police template. In fact, Wayne County assistant prosecutor Teena Walsh was forced to resign when she opined on her Facebook page that people who throw bricks at police should be shot and that being part of a demonstration did not provide legitimacy for violence. Apparently, Walsh’s superiors concluded that it did.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, later President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, noted with regard to the riots at Columbia University in 1968, that the inability or unwillingness of those in authority to exercise their authority immediately not only prolongs civil disorder it also gives it legitimacy.

Of course, now we have a narrative sustained at the highest levels of government that provide such legitimacy even before the first liquor store is burned or the first drug store is vandalized for its narcotics. This is a consequence of a president who cannot see these conflicts beyond his own myopic lense as a black man, who appears to have more in common with those in the streets than those trying to protect the rule of law from the mob.

No modern society can find legitimacy where there is a union between the elites in power and the mob in the street. Inevitably the elites will be held in the same contempt by the law abiding citizens as they hold the mob. Violence is not a means to obtain social justice, but it is a means to destroy the social order.

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