According to a new poll from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, race relations in Obama’s America are worse than they’ve been at any point in the last 20 years. Only 34% of Americans now say that race relations are “fairly good” or “very good,” down substantially from the 77% who believed in racial unity immediately after Obama took office.
“This is a very sad chart,” said pollster Bill McInturff. “It’s a reminder of what a continued rupture point in our country race is.”
Tellingly, many news reports noted that the last time Americans saw race relations with this kind of pessimism was in October 1995, just after a Los Angeles jury decided that O.J. Simpson was not guilty of killing his ex-wife and a friend in cold blood.
Today’s decline in racial unity began, according to the pollsters, after the shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and has continued to plummet with other high-profile black deaths, many of which were at the hands of white police officers.
Now enough has been written about these cases to fill a thousand books, and it’s clear that whites and blacks – to say nothing of Republicans and Democrats – have a much different view of these incidents. The Martin shooting, for instance, was seen as murder by the majority of African-Americans. The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson was seen in the same light, and the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson was regarded as proof of a racist system.
But let’s go back to the Trial of the Century for a moment. Anyone who was old enough to follow the trial of O.J. Simpson remembers how blacks and whites were divided when it came to Simpson’s guilt. Whites saw the obvious truth: O.J.’s blood was at the crime scene. The victims’ blood was in his car and on his driveway and on his socks. This was proven beyond any contention by DNA evidence. And those who watched the trial closely know that the DNA evidence was only part of a colossal mountain of evidence that proved Simpson’s guilt – not beyond a reasonable doubt, but beyond ALL doubt.
Simpson’s “dream team” of defense lawyers, however, managed to invent a ludicrous fantasy wherein dozens (if not hundreds) of LAPD officers conspired to frame the football star for murder. And not only did this fantasy ring true to the mostly-black jury, it somehow convinced the majority of blacks in the country at large to view Simpson as an innocent man.
Why? Because one of the police officers once used the N-word.
The entirety of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2015 is built upon fantasies that are no less ridiculous than those that secured Simpson’s tragic acquittal. Yet here we are, all these years later, being asked to accept this kind of nonsense because of America’s controversial history of racism.
“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” is as absurd as “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” And if whites must swallow imaginary conspiracies in order to get along with blacks, then 34% may be a high-water mark in the years to come.