Last week's executions in the United States - of five police officers and two young black men at point blank range - should have the shock value to wake up that nation, but it won't. Politics has immediately taken hold, with the black president a sitting target. Apparently it was his job to fix racism because he's black. Apparently he has failed.  

On CNN at the end of last week one of the commentators, sad face on, remarked that “this (the Dallas shootings of police and the latest two police executions of black men) is not America”.

News flash: gun violence is exactly what America is, and its victims are overwhelmingly black..

The immediate politicization of the shootings and the inevitable blame game were heightened by the fact that the country is in the midst of probably its most bizarre election cycle ever.

One of the more obscene angles is that it is all the fault of President Barack Obama.

The ‘logic’ goes that he is the first black president of the United States and he was supposed to fix the racism/discrimination issue.

However every initiative he has taken to curb the proliferation of assault rifles in the US has been blocked overwhelmingly by Republicans. Republicans are so terrified of the powerful National Rifle Association’s ability to have them turfed out of their seats that they will not permit any gun control, not even the ability to refuse a gun to a person who is on the No Fly List.

Too dangerous to get on a plane, but can’t curb their sacred Second Amendment rights.

To these people the Constitution is a living document, except when it comes to the arms  the Second Amendment declares every American has a right to bear.  

Apparently the Founding Fathers were OK high calibre killing machines. 

The presumptive leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, has recently in his typical fact free way pronounced word for word the slogan of the NRA - that the only answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

His ‘research‘ being that if everyone in the Orlando nightclub were 49 were massacred, was armed, fewer would have been killed.

Fast forward to the Dallas shootings of 11 police, five of them fatally.

They are/were apparently the ‘good guys‘ in Trump’s fable, yet one bad guy with a gun took down 11 of them.

Argument blown.

Or so you would think.

But no. Trump and supporters including Sarah Palin are never wounded by logic.

Their strategy is to double down, and double down they did.

The guilty for them are those black people who protest at the police killing their black sons, brothers, fathers. The have taken to the streets under the banner of Black Lives Matter (BLM). Palin, Fox and other right wing commentators also blame politicians who support BLM and of course the media.

Palin took to Facebook to announce

“Shame on our culture’s influencers”.

“Shame on politicians and pundits giving credence to thugs rioting against police officers and the rule of law in the name of peaceful protests”.

It is the media, she claims, that has blood on its hands “for perpetrating the perverted message evil men thrive on to intimidate and wrap malleable minds that would believe one race matters  more than another. Blood is on your complicit hands when you naively or purposefully refuse to tell of this movement’s truth” 

No, she is not talking about the perverted messages of the Trump presidential campaign where truth is as hidden as pocket lint.

Apparently according to Palin. “every life matters”. 

Hand hitting forehead moment - yes Sarah, that’s the point. 

Shooting black kids and men matters just as much as when the police (virtually never) shoot white kids and white men.

Trump declared the police in the US to be the “force between civilization and total chaos....every American has the right to live in safety and peace”.

Yes Donald, that’s the point.

Yet it is clearly an inconvenient point because his concern was solely with the dead police officers, not the other “every Americans” killed in the same week.

This from the man who makes his political gain out of stirring up racial tensions.

The ‘backbone” of his campaign is to allow angry, predominantly white, disgruntled voters the right to say what they really think about ‘foreigners’.

Like some hideously dangerous cheerleader he has empowered them to hate Mexicans, Muslims, women (who don’t top his creepy 10 scale), people with disabilities, the media (which has actually been a key Trump enabler), lawmakers he doesn’t like because they are suing him, war veterans who are prisoners of war and therefore losers, losers in general, anyone with actual policy knowledge, anyone who questions him, and anyone else his disaffected bunch of supporters basically don’t like.

A key target is the black president.

Trump was the obsessed ‘birther’ in chief.

When he couldn’t prove that Obama was not an American, he went for him in overtly racist ways in his claims that Obama is responsible for destroying America.

That appeals to an audience which has been primed to believe they now have a right to say anything about anyone they don’t like and attack those they disagree with - such as BLM protesters at Trump rallies, and even turn up to the BLM Dallas protest and pull an illegal gun (but not shoot) on the protesters.

Yet who was arrested at that rally? A black protester with a permit to carry the rifle he had.

Obama has failed these Trump types because he is black and it was his job to fix racism.

However if Obama calls himself “African-American”, Palin has news for him...”people who hyphenate their racial backgrounds further divides our nation”.

According to public Trump “America’s first black president has only worsened racial tensions...our nation has become too divided”.

Private Trump intends to ride that division all the way to the White House.

This notion that Obama’s blackness means it is his job to fix racism is perplexing.

In the Times of London under the headline “Obama has done nothing for race relations” Justin Webb accuses Obama of failing to act black and to fix the poverty and imprisonment and violence of and against blacks. He hopes however that when Obama is freed from office “he might even decide to be black” and help.

Obama has been subjected to racism his entire presidency and it will continue until he leaves office.

When unarmed black kid Trayvon Martin was shot Obama told the nation that Trayvon could have been his son walking home from the store; he revealed he knows how the colour of his skin meant he was followed by security in stores.

He is consistently lambasted for being soft on ‘black’ and soft on ‘muslims’.

That is racism.

His single most grievous failure is also racist in its claim.

The first ever black president of the United States was to undo the consequences of the  injustices of 245 years of slavery and then a further 150 years or so of discrimination against blacks in America.

From 1619 ‘foreigners’ were brought to the USA as slaves.

Slavery was (officially) abolished in 1865.

Now between 2008 and 2016 one man, one black man, was supposed to undo hundreds of years of damage caused by white men because he was elected President.

His task was to do it with all the forces of modern day government against him.

The task was his because he was black.

The white guys before him had failed.... if they even tried...and the problems have multiplied.

That is a doctrine that believes race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities.

That doctrine is called racism. 


Comments (7)

by Ian MacKay on July 13, 2016
Ian MacKay

On this Wednesday Morning Report they played a speech by Obama which was pretty strong. He wondered how far USA had come since Civil Rights 50 years ago. And mourned the high risk for black people being stopped on the street for anything.

Obama starts from 2minutes.

by Katharine Moody on July 13, 2016
Katharine Moody

What brought change in SA? Rugby.

What would bring change in the US? Football.

Black NFL players have a wonderful opportunity to prove to Amercians that Black Lives Matter. When the whistle blows, sit down.

by Lois Griffiths on July 15, 2016
Lois Griffiths

But there are steps Obama could have taken and steps that he shouldn't have taken. Before being elected Obama spoke of strongly of the importance of providing all suspects, including terrorist suspects, the right of judicial review. But instead  Obama has appointed himself as judge, jury and executioner  of  whoever gets assassinated by remote controlled drones. All lives 'should matter' , including the lives of non-Americans.

America is over militarized and America is violent. Violent abroad and violent at home. They go together.  How do you think the Dallas gunman got his sniper training?

The American police are seeing themselves as  soldiers facing the enemy, not as public servants. Many police  department-heads are receiving  training from  Israelis so that is not surprising.

And the outlook is discouraging. Hillary Clinton receives massive financial support from military corporations and Donald Trump is too.. what can one say... too  unpredictable. Many Americans, fearing a future of never-ending wars, oppose both candidates. Unfortunately the American election system makes it impossible for a third Party to get a look in. The only political candidate of any stature is the Green Party candidate Jill Stein. She made an interesting comment really, saying that in those countries where the police are unarmed, the public do not fear the police and the police do not fear the public.

  But back to comments on drone warfare. The world should demand that international humanitarian laws and the Geneva Conventions apply to all countries with no exception.  Obama has not been the 'peace ' president the American people hoped for. Neither will the next one be.

by Rab McDowell on July 17, 2016
Rab McDowell

Gun violence kills too many people in the USA. No question. Jane is right; its victims are overwhelmingly black.

But a study of 2015 shootings by the Washington Post showed its perpetrators are also overwhelmingly black. Most blacks are killed by blacks. Blacks make up 13% of the population but commit 75 per cent of all shootings. Also, from this study, cops killed twice as many whites as blacks, black cops are more likely to shoot blacks than white cops are and blacks are more likely to kill cops than be killed by cops.

To highlight the recent deaths and blame them on racism and republicans is a left/liberal response that ignores the real problem and does nothing to resolve it.

When it comes to mass shootings, i.e. four or more or more people killed in a public place, very rarely is America kept in perspective. In the seven year period Jan 2009 to Dec 2015, on a population basis, 11 European states had higher death rates from public shootings than the USA and 10 of them had a higher frequency of mass shootings. Switzerland, for example, on a population basis, had over 3 times as many mass shootings and 60% more deaths than the USA.
The news coverage doesn’t convey that reality. These figures are just about guns. Mass killings using bombs, trucks, planes, knives, etc are another story again.

by Charlie on July 17, 2016

Jane, this post is as biased and uninformed as your previous efforts on the middle east.

A few corrections and additions to give balance:

"gun violence is exactly what America is, and its victims are overwhelmingly black"

As are the perpetrators!

Overwhelmingly black people are shot by other black people in the USA. There is overwhelming statistical evidence to prove firstly that police shootings show no bias in terms of race and secondly black people get arrested, imprisoned and yes sometimes shot because they commit vastly more violent crime.

It is also the case that most of these shootings occur in Democrat dominated cities where possession of guns is constrained by local bylaws. Thus demonstrating that it's not the weapon that's the problem, but the people pulling the triggers. Gangs will always find a way to arm themselves, regardless of the law.

"One of the more obscene angles is that it is all the fault of President Barack Obama"

Actually he's only half black.

When the opportunity arose for Obama to quell racial tensions, he has repeatedly followed the lead of the race-baiters in the black community (Jackson, Sharpton et al).

Have you forgotten the Trayvon Martin case? When Obama chose intervene in a state trial, get the District Attorney removed because he refused to take the case to court and then basically accuse the defendant in the media? (All of which would all be an offence here in NZ - sub judice)

When the truth came out in court, it was shown the defendant  was on his back having his head bashed in against the pavement by the supposedly innocent Trayvon, when he shot him.... Facts that barely got an airing afterwards because it didn't suit the progressive agenda of the President his allies in the media.

by Rab McDowell on July 19, 2016
Rab McDowell

Never let the facts get in the way of your bias, especially if you are a bleeding heart liberal.
To add to the facts and statistics provided by myself and Charlie above.

Further analysis of the Washington Post data shows that, of those killed by police in the USA in 2015, 90% were armed with a lethal weapon at the time and 97%  were resisting arrest at the time of the shooting.
Now for the bit that none of the news stories have told you.
For every 10,000 white people arrested for violent crime, 38 were killed by police.
For every 10,000 black people arrested for violent crime, 21 were killed by police.

That’s right. The odds of an arrest going bad and ending up in a death are much higher for a white man than a black man.

The Economist magazine reports similar findings.
There are too many killed by police in the USA. But being killed by the police is not a racist issue.  
Maybe that’s because an action that disproportionally affects whites does not fit the liberal definition of racism.

by Stewart Hawkins on July 21, 2016
Stewart Hawkins

Other commentators are correct here Jane. The piece is poorly researched and does you no credit...witness "To these people the Constitution is a living document, except .."

is meaningless. Cops of every colour in the USA spend their entire working lives frightened that they will be the victim of random violence and murdered. Every time they do their duty they are looking out for a member of the public to pull a gun on them. You have not considered this horrendous and proud duty that they perform. I accept there are some shootings by cops where the video evidence makes me uneasy some cops are truly bad -both black whie and Hispanic. Some screw up in the heat of the moment.The VAST majority of video evidence and court evidence from independent witnesses, including in cases you have mentioned, confirms my view that if I was that cop I would have shot to kill in self defence. And so would you Jane. Stop being pathetic on this issue.. search youtube for the events you describe and see the events for yourself.

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