Victor Davis Hanson: Obama’s Racial Crisis






NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author most recently of the just-released The End of Sparta, a novel about ancient freedom.

In the current racial circus, the president of the United States, in addressing an assembly of upscale black professionals and political leaders, adopts the style of a Southern Baptist preacher of the 1960s. He alters his cadences and delivery to both berate and gin up the large audience — posing as a messianic figure who will “march” them out to speak truth to power. In response, the omnipresent Rep. Maxine Waters goes public yet again, to object that the president has no right to rally blacks in this way, when he does not adopt similar tones of admonishment with Jews and gays. (Should Obama try to emulate the way he thinks gays and Jews talk in his next address to them?)

Hope-and-change has now sunk into little more than a tawdry spectacle of racial spoils, as the president of the United States desperately cobbles together squabbling special-interest racial, ethnic, and gender groups in lieu of restoring the nation’s prosperity. Before the age of Obama, I don’t recall that some members of the Black Caucus were so ready to invite political opponents to “go straight to hell,” or to allege that they were veritable murderers eager to lynch blacks and restore slavery.

Unspoken, of course, is the truth that Obama’s statism, deficits, interferences in the private sector, and spread-the-wealth rhetoric have frightened business owners into stasis — and the resulting slowdown hurts blacks most of all. But in this fantasy world of racial spoils, Obama’s profligate spending and borrowing can be faulted only for not being profligate enough. To suggest any other diagnosis would be to call into question the entire federal racial industry of the last 50 years — and those who have benefited the most by administering it.

Instead, a new insidious racism is supposedly energizing opposition to Obama, most expressly on the part of the Tea Party. Generally beloved actor Morgan Freeman alleged just that: Racism, not stupid policies, is what is hurting Obama — and by extension blacks in general....




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