While President Obama has been careful to hedge his criticism of law enforcement shootings with praise for good cops, some say that he has not done enough to support the officers who keep the peace every day. By joining the chorus of grievances coming from activist groups like Black Lives Matter, he has instead given those officers more cause to be concerned when they leave their house in the morning.
Speaking about the Dallas tragedy, National Association of Police Organizations director William Johnson said, “The man responsible for the murders was Micah Johnson, but having said that, I do think the president by his inaction has contributed to a climate where these things can happen. This president and his administration absolutely do not have our back and make our jobs more dangerous.”
One day before the Dallas massacre, Obama addressed the recent controversial police shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.
“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 are not being treated the same,” he said. “And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us. This is not just a black issue. It’s not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about.”
That’s a cautious statement. If anything, it would seem that Obama is going out of his way to be objective.
But upon closer examination, that’s not the case. It only seems that way because it’s much more measured than 90% of the rhetoric we hear from the news media.
Measured or not, though, he’s jumping to conclusions. Obama does not know what happened in those two incidents. He doesn’t have all the facts. He’s assuming – like the protesters and the activists and all the rest are assuming – that these were race-based murders and little else. He made that same assumption about Ferguson; a Justice Department investigation later proved him wrong.
By making these assumptions, Obama is encouraging Americans to see all of these incidents in the same light. If something looks bad at first glance, it is bad. If an investigation shows otherwise, then that investigation was corrupt. And even if the investigation was fine, then the point still stands. Somehow. That’s the mindset that leads activists to keep using Michael Brown as a symbol of injustice.
If Obama really wanted to move this discussion forward, he would encourage Americans to wait until all the facts are in. He would caution people not to jump to conclusions. He would remind us that due process exists for a reason.
But for Obama (and most liberals), discussion only matters insofar as it hastens his agenda. He doesn’t want a conversation; he wants everyone to sit tight while he lectures the public. Anyone who disagrees is just “playing politics.”
In the meantime, he’s not just making life more dangerous for cops, he’s making life more dangerous for every American.
Including – and perhaps even especially – black Americans.