President Obama was 34 years old in 1995. He was no longer a child, or a teen, or even a particularly young adult. He was a fully mature fellow, ready to run for the State Senate of Illinois. And here’s what he thought about the nature of race in America, particularly in times of economic turmoil:
In an environment of scarcity, where the cost of living is rising, folks begin to get angry and bitter and look for scapegoats. Historically, instead of looking at the top 5% of this country that controls all the wealth, we turn towards each other, and the Republicans have added to the fire.
Does this sound familiar? It should. That first sentence is almost a direct quote of President Obama’s infamous 2008 comments in San Francisco, when he ripped anyone who was not a toe-the-line liberal: “it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Obama was on this subject a solid 15 years ago. And it’s never left him.
Unfortunately, it’s supremely typical leftist-speak. Leftists believe that there is something pathologically wrong with those who disagree with them. Worse, it’s based in the notion that America is irredeemably racist, incapable of moving beyond skin color and making judgments based on logic. The idea that Americans immediately turn to blaming minorities demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the progress achieved in civil rights over the last fifty years. More than that, it dramatically underestimates the American people, who are manifestly not racist, and cannot be made so by bad economic times.
The second sentence, too, speaks to the modern Obama. It sounds like the most radical rhetoric of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Apparently, Americans aren’t wrong to scapegoat people for bad economic times – they’re just not scapegoating the right people. They should be scapegoating “the top 5% of this country that controls all the wealth.”
Why is it that the top 5% are innately responsible for the impoverished in America? Obama explains by citing his international background:
It’s about power. My travels made me sensitive to the plight of those without power and the issues of class and inequalities as it relates to wealth and power. Anytime you have been overseas in these so-called third world countries, one thing you see is the vast disparity of wealth of those who are part of power structure and those outside of it.
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