Here is as much as I could take of Dylan Byers\’ article, for politico.com, in which President Obama explains/rationalizes what is happening in Baltimore. His words are in rust, mine are in blue:
President Barack Obama on Tuesday said America needs to do some “soul searching” to break the cycle of clashes between police and the communities they serve. That is, approximately, the 3,482,647th time someone has explained away lawless rioting and looting in an urban area by admonishing the country, not the lawless rioters and looters. I give President Obama an “A” for predictability – and meaningless drivel.
Obama spoke hours after Baltimore was gripped overnight by looting and riots in reaction to the death of a 25-year-old black man injured while in police custody last week.
During a press conference in the Rose Garden, Obama struck a stern tone in saying America needs to get serious about lifting up impoverished communities, to help alleviate the tension that simmers under the surface and breaks through during confrontations with law enforcement. Translation: it is not the fault of the people doing it. It is the fault of someone else. What a great line…guaranteed to make every rioter and looter think twice about his/her actions, I\’m sure.
“I think there are police departments that have to do some soul searching. I think there are some communities that have to do some soul searching,” Obama said. “But I think we as a country have to do some soul searching. This is not new.” No it is not new. It is the same routine we hear every single time this happens.
Obama also said there is “no excuse” for the riots and violence. No excuse? What about his own words, that we were just discussing in the previous two paragraphs? Holy excrement, how does he have the cajones to say that?
“It is not a protest. It is not a statement,” Obama said. “it\’s a handful of people taking advantage of the situation for their own purposes, and they need to be treated as criminals.” This begins and ends the part where President Obama blames the rioters and looters – taking care to minimize their responsibility, of course, by assuring us it is just “a handful” (which sounds like a few people here and there, not the hundreds and hundreds we saw on our TVs). Now back to the regularly scheduled blaming of everyone else.
But he said the deeper problem is a lack of education opportunities for many kids and a criminal justice system that is a “pipeline from schools to prisons.” This is where I stopped reading. I almost choked on President Obama\’s lament about “a lack of education opportunities”, knowing that he personally did everything he could to destroy Washington D.C.\’s charter school program…while his children sat pretty at Sidwell Friends school.
Here\’s a hint for Mr. Obama: if he wants to blame someone or some thing for the mess that Baltimore is in – and I\’m not just talking education – he might take note of which political party runs the city, and has for decades.
The last Republican Mayor of Baltimore, Theodore McKeldin, was elected in 1963 and left office in 1967. That\’s almost a half-century ago. And the Baltimore City Council, consisting of 14 members and one at-large? Every one a Democrat. So who do you blame, Mr. Obama? Who runs this city?.
I would love to see the situations in cities like Baltimore (it\’s far from the only one) markedly improve. But that will never happen until people are expected to take responsibility for their own actions. And when no less a personage than the President of the United States – joined by so many other members of his party – makes it clear that he considers the fault to lie elsewhere, how is this supposed to happen?
When will they ever learn? How will they ever learn?