Saturday, July 9, 2016

Said Too Much? Haven't Said Enough?

In the wake of the tragedy in Dallas TX where 5 police officers were killed, President Obama offered his condolences and sympathy. “We are horrified over these events,” he said. “We stand united with the people in the police department in Dallas.”

The President then added, “There has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement. There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks, or any violence against law enforcement. Justice will be done.”

Obama also asked Americans to pray for the slain officers. "As a nation, let's remember to offer our profound appreciation for men and women in blue, not just today but every day."

OK, fairly straightforward stuff. Sadly, President Obama has dealt with this scenario or something like it way too often. 

Still, the President's remarks rubbed people the wrong way. 

“We’d like to see the president make one speech that speaks to everybody instead of one speech that speaks to black people as they grieve and one speech that speaks to police officers as they grieve,” said Jim Pasco, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents 330,000 officers. “We don’t need two presidents, we only need one. We need one who works to unify the United States.”

To be honest, I really don't quite get what Jim Pasco is getting at here. OK, maybe I do. And it's unsettling to see a blatant appeal for political posturing and race baiting in a time of tragedy. 

What's got Pasco's sphincter all tight and itchy is the President's remarks before the shooting in Dallas. In response to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, black men shot by police in two separate incidents in two different cities, Obama had this to say:  

“If communities are mistrustful of the police, that makes those law enforcement officers who are doing a great job and are doing the right thing, it makes their lives harder. So when people say black lives matter, that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter; it just means all lives matter, but right now the big concern is the fact that the data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents.”

The President added:  “And when incidents like this occur there's a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin they're not being treated the same. And that hurts.”

If you are all filled with enormous rage at Obama's hate filled remarks against the police, I must say that I agree... you need to get your eyes checked. I mean, come on! 

You might argue, "If black people would just cooperate and not fight and back talk the cops, everything would be all right." I think Philandro Castile would beg to differ with that assessment. But whatever the culpability the African American community has in the demise of its men by police, the point is there is a big problem here and it needs to be fixed. There is nothing in Obama's remarks to suggest any hatred of the police. Note that the President says a group of citizens "feels" mistreated because of the color of their skin. This is not a blanket condemnation of just the police in this problem. This is a man treading carefully through a proverbial minefield laid down between the policy and people of color.  

Yet the foes of Obama hear other things, assuming they are even listening. No, they're just waiting with their list of prepared talking points to spout off on Fox News. For example, William Johnson, the executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, had this to say on Fox Friday morning.    

“I think [the Obama administration] continued appeasements at the federal level with the Department of Justice, their appeasement of violent criminals, their refusal to condemn movements like Black Lives Matter, actively calling for the death of police officers, that type of thing, all the while blaming police for the problems in this country has led directly to the climate that has made Dallas possible."  

Oh, brother! 

And then there's pile of pig shit in a suit, one-term Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh took to Twitter overnight, sending out a series of inflammatory tweets blaming the Black Lives Matter movement, U.S. President Barack Obama and “liberals” for Thursday night’s Dallas shootings. These are all from Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom), July 8, 2016. 

  • When Obama goes after cops it opens the door for anti cop rhetoric and action. 
  • Cops trying to do their job are killed in the streets. Narrative turns to action. This is a dangerous time. 
  • 10 Cops shot. You did this Obama. You did this liberals. You did this #BLM. Time to defend our Cops. Wake up. 
  • BLM should be categorized as a hate group. 
  • Obama says Cops are racist so 2 uneducated black thugs shoot 10 Dallas Cops tonight, killing 4.  Wake up silent majority. Stand w our Cops.
  • It's time 4 patriotic Americans to stand up & stand against all the Cop haters – from Obama to the thugs on the street.  It's way past time. 

In a tweet that has since been deleted, he said that “this is now war,” telling Black Lives Matter and Obama that “real America is coming for you.”

He was heavily criticized for the inflammatory tweet, with many calling for his arrest. In response, Walsh said:

  • I wasn't calling for violence, against Obama or anyone. Obama's words & BLM's deeds have gotten cops killed. Time for us to defend our cops. — Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 8, 2016

By the way, how did Black Lives Matter activists and supporters respond to the ambush in Dallas? They condemned the attack and distanced themselves from the attackers:

  • #BlackLivesMatter advocates dignity, justice and freedom. Not murder. — Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) July 8, 2016
  • Prayers for the victims of all violence tonight. — deray mckesson (@deray) July 8, 2016
  • My heart hurts for the dead. We must end police & vigilante violence, before it destroys what democracy we have left. #DallasPoliceShooting — malkia a. cyril (@culturejedi) July 8, 2016
  • Anyone blaming this Dallas shooting on the #BlackLivesMatter movement is sick. Those protestors were peaceful. This terrorized them too. — Shaun King (@ShaunKing) July 8, 2016

Oddly enough, one erstwhile Obama opponent was strangely quiet and well behaved. 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump canceled a planned campaign visit to Miami on Friday and issued a statement that called the ambush “horrific” and an “attack on our country” aimed directly at the “men and women who keep us safe.”

“We must restore law and order,” Trump said. “We must restore the confidence of our people to be safe and secure in their homes and on the street.”

Trump offered “thoughts and prayers” to all of the victims’ families and law enforcement officials “who risk their lives to protect us every single day.” But he also spoke of the racial tensions that led to what has been a week of shocking violence in the country.

“The senseless, tragic deaths of two people in Louisiana and Minnesota reminds us how much more needs to be done,” Trump said. “Our nation has become too divided. Too many Americans feel like they’ve lost hope. Crime is harming too many citizens. Racial tensions have gotten worse, not better. This isn’t the American Dream we all want for our children. This is a time, perhaps more than ever, for strong leadership, love and compassion. We will pull through these tragedies.”

That was Donald Trump? He behaved himself? 

Truly, these are strange times indeed.  

Everyone be good to one another. I'll be back with a pair of Doctor Who posts, one later today and again on Sunday.  

Doctor Who: The Dalek Planet - Episode Four

DISCLAIMER:  I'm doing this for fun, not profit. This is not officially sanctioned by the BBC and the producers of Doctor Who.   In c...