The President & Charleston

President Obama dropped in at the White House press room the other day on his way to his Father's Day vacation in Hollywood country to announce in the wake of the murders in the Charleston S.C., Emanuel AME Church that the blood of mayhem lies in the fact that guns are too available to citizens, thus politicizing a tragedy, a total lack of sensitivity. This was the knee-jerk reaction expected from him, so what else is new?

There are 52 weekends in the year but the prez picked Father's Day to requisition the huge entourage (mostly men) needed for one of his golf-forays—secret service, Air Force crews, ground crews, chauffeurs and all gofers...another example of total insensitivity. Concomitantly, Michelle Obama requisitioned a nearly duplicate outfit, perhaps enhanced by hairdressers, wardrobe-keepers and the like, so that she and daughters could do a European tour. Shades of Hillary Clinton, who visited at least 76 countries while hubby Bubba was prez!

This reminds of the “Big Apple date” the Obamas managed soon after he took office in 2009, requisitioning three Air Force planes, the usual secret service army, ground crews, chauffeurs, the NYPD—the whole nine yards for one night...all while the nation spiraled into deep and continuing recession. That, along with the dual insensitiviries last weekend, are about as “in-your-face” as it gets. Let the citizens eat cake.

Predictably, the media has made the Charleston affair into a virtual cause celebre. Everyone from psychiatrists to people in the street to preachers to cops has been interviewed, especially on cable, in an effort to figure out why a 21-year-old nutcase shot up a church, as if anyone has an answer to that. That's about the same as trying to figure out why Obama, especially in light of Charleston, says partial birth abortion (murder of a partly delivered baby) is okay. There were nine simultaneous murders in Charleston, but the partial-births are just one-at-a-time—maybe that's the answer.

Interviewed on radio by comedian Marc Maron, the prez apparently reckoned that it was time for him to get some shock-and-awe going by dropping the term “nigger” on the public...after all, he can say that word but nobody else better do that. The newsies, at least some of them, have been aghast; but, come on, the prez was just making the point that racism is alive and well though it is much less a problem than in the 50s-70s for young black men.

He's wrong about that. Race relations have worsened exponentially during his tenure, worse now than six years ago, not least because of the war he and his AG declared on the police, especially the white police if for no other reason than that there are so many more of them, not surprising since the population is more than 70% least for now. It's no wonder the Baltimore mayor publicly admitted that she made the police give the professional protesters (Sharpton's gang) both slack and space so they could burn and loot part of the city because a two-bit drug dealer somehow died in custody, though three of the six charged police-persons are black, as are the chief and 54% of the Baltimore Police Department.

Predictably, there's the usual furor concerning the confederate flag that flies on the capitol grounds in S.C. The president said it belongs in a museum and probably most folks either agree with that or that it should be burned. It's a state-thing and the people in S.C. should vote on it. It's in poor taste but railing against it because Dylann Roof, the Charleston murderer, used it in a photo op with himself is quite beside the point, which has been sore for a long time.

To many South Carolinians, it's a freedom-of-speech thing, even though it's tasteless. The Civil War began in Charleston, S.C., and for all practical purposes ended there as the virtual terminus of Sherman's march. The state had been wrecked but that's no excuse for flaunting the confederate flag.

Last summer, it was Ferguson. This summer, it's Charleston. Evil white folks. That's the message. Meanwhile, in the president's hometown of Chicago there have been 208 homicides (1.2 per day) through 21 June or 14% more than this period last year (180 or so), with 76.6% and 18.4% (95%) by blacks and Hispanics, respectively, with nearly all victims (198) blacks/Hispanics.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark