Obama reminds us today once again that for all his talk of “no red states and no blue states” he is the perennial inner city, black-oriented politician, modeling his initiatives after the dreams of his youth and his spiritual father, the late Harold Washington of Chicago. He never gets more passionate than on an issue like his “Brother’s Keeper” initiative. And while I agree with some of this effort in principle–American blacks need an economic and moral renewal, and this must particularly come from a change in young men–it’s not so clear how this or any initiative can work against our degraded economy, Obama’s common cause with thugs like Trayvon Martin, the degraded morals of young black women that lead to 80% illegitimacy, nor our anti-working-class immigration policies, all of which Obama also supports.
And, this effort is ultimately too halfhearted. Obama faces the same paralysis that too many minority leaders face. He blows the same uncertain trumpet. He is torn between solidarity with and condemnation of the bad apples. He just can’t condemn them in a full throated way, because it means saying 20% or 30% of this population are bad apples. It’s a sobering thought, but liberals supposedly pride themselves on their technocratic, science-based fearlessness of reality? Never when it comes to this subject, it seems.
And he never ever ever seems to take account of whites as whites, their fears, their concerns, their interests. Does he think it’s just mean-spirited racism that drives whites to move out of neighborhoods when a critical mass of minorities move in and change its character? Does he ever think of the whites who don’t get jobs or promotions due to affirmative action? Has he ever had a moment of pause for the whites who actually must compete, like American blacks, with Mexicans and other newcomers willing to work for peanuts and live barracks-style ten to a room? For him, as for our white elites, these kind of people do not matter at all. For our elites, not only are they not brothers, they are not even human.
American politicians need to help the working class of all races. And that will require separating the problem-children who commit serious crimes and act anti-socially and punishing them mercilessly and without apology. It will require some honesty about cultural mores and racial differences, whether we’re talking the “knockout game” or mass rioting and incivility and public events. It will mean denouncing the false ideology of free trade and open borders. And it will mean recognizing that while there are many white doctors, lawyers, and CEOs, the vast majority of whites are struggling without college degrees or affirmative action and with fierce competition from globalization, unrestrained immigration, and an elite that never considers their interests as worthy of concern.
The one potential positive of the Obama presidency, the one that I think led many moderate whites to vote for him, has never been exploited at all. He could have, like Nixon going to China, called out all the charlatans, frauds, flatterers, phonies, and crooks that have demoralized and brought shame to America’s troubled black community. Instead, and perhaps reflecting an insecurity of identity due to his mostly white upbringing, he has only stated the party line or remained silent on these issues. At the same time, he has done little to show he cares or understands America’s whites. So he has become a leader of a coalition of the alienated, and an alienator of the rest of the nation. Like Mayor Dinkins and Mayor Washington, he may unwittingly unify the very whites who were so hopeful that he would do something to reverse the festering dysfunction and hostility of “urban” America.