President Obama spoke at the memorial service for the five officers who were killed in a horrific attack on law enforcement in Dallas last week. He began by expressing his grief at the loss of these heroic lives and praised the entire department for their work.
“We know that the overwhelming majority of police officers do an incredibly hard and dangerous job fairly and professionally. They are deserving of our respect and not our scorn,” said Obama
Conservatives were alright with his speech at this point, but then the president dropped a truth bomb regarding race in America.
We also know that centuries of racial discrimination — of slavery, and subjugation, and Jim Crow — they didn’t simply vanish with the end of lawful segregation. They didn’t just stop when Dr. King made a speech, or the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act were signed. Race relations have improved dramatically in my lifetime. Those who deny it are dishonoring the struggles that helped us achieve that progress. (Applause.)
But we know — but, America, we know that bias remains. We know it. Whether you are black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or of Middle Eastern descent, we have all seen this bigotry in our own lives at some point. We’ve heard it at times in our own homes. If we’re honest, perhaps we’ve heard prejudice in our own heads and felt it in our own hearts. We know that. And while some suffer far more under racism’s burden, some feel to a far greater extent discrimination’s sting. Although most of us do our best to guard against it and teach our children better, none of us is entirely innocent. No institution is entirely immune. And that includes our police departments. We know this.
The President wasn’t done. He continued, insisting that “we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid.” He conceded that the words spoken by Dallas police chief David Brown are true: “That so much of the tensions between police departments and minority communities that they serve is because we ask the police to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves.”
As a society, we choose to underinvest in decent schools. We allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment. We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs. We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book — (applause) — and then we tell the police “you’re a social worker, you’re the parent, you’re the teacher, you’re the drug counselor.” We tell them to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs, and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience. Don’t make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind. And then we feign surprise when, periodically, the tensions boil over.
President Obama then said that these are truths that deep down, every American knows to be true.
We know these things to be true. They’ve been true for a long time. We know it. Police, you know it. Protestors, you know it. You know how dangerous some of the communities where these police officers serve are, and you pretend as if there’s no context. These things we know to be true. And if we cannot even talk about these things — if we cannot talk honestly and openly not just in the comfort of our own circles, but with those who look different than us or bring a different perspective, then we will never break this dangerous cycle.
At this point, right-wingers totally freaked out and completely lost their collective minds.
I’d want POTUS nowhere near my funeral. Families need words of comfort, not his political lecture. #DallasMemorial
— Kimberly Corban (@Kimberly_Corban) July 12, 2016
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) July 12, 2016
#DallasMemorial Defending the terrorists responsible for the attack at the memorial for the victims of the attack is not the answer Obama.
— danny short (@dannyshort4) July 12, 2016
— Joe Pags Pagliarulo (@JoeTalkShow) July 12, 2016
Meanwhile these very same people had absolutely nothing to say about former president George Bush DANCING while a choir sang Battle Hymn of the Republic. Dancing. Smiling, and dancing. Seriously. At the memorial service of five slaughtered police officers, this man is dancing. But that isn’t inappropriate at all. Oh no. Never. Of course not!
President Obama is completely out of line for daring to discuss the pervasive racism that permeates every aspect of life in America for people of color, the very issue that has brought us to this dark day. But it is completely acceptable for this moron to bust a move at what should be a painfully somber moment? Gotcha. For the record, though, the look on Michelle Obama’s face as he rocked it out was absolutely priceless.
You can watch President Obama’s powerful remarks on race here:
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 12, 2016
You can watch George Bush shake a tail feather HERE.
Featured image via Tom Pennington/Getty Images