At the memorial for the five heroic police officer killed during the ambush attack last week, former President George W. Bush left the audience speechless with his touching comments – and then President Obama took the stage and went in a very, very different direction.
In the first few moments, President Obama spoke of each of the fallen officers, their lives, and the families they leave behind.
Rather than leave the focus on the fallen officers, the President pivoted sharply to the focus of racism and police brutality – even seeming to justify the Dallas attacks in some way.
“If we are to honor these five outstanding officers, then we will have to act on the truths that we know… we’re going to have to be honest with each other and ourselves…
“We…know that centuries of racial discrimination and slavery and subjugation and Jim Crow, they didn’t simply vanish at the end of lawful segregation. They didn’t just stop when Dr. King made a speech…
“But America, we know that bias remains. WE know it. Whether you are black or white or… we have all seen this bigotry in our own lives at some point… if we’re honest, perhaps we’ve heard prejudice in our own heads… we know that. And while some suffer far more under racism’s burden, some feel to a far greater extent discrimination…none of us is entirely innocent. No institution is entirely immune. And that includes our police departments. We know this.”
Notable lack of applause from police behind Obama after remarks re: race relations w/ law enforcement pic.twitter.com/S9nyl8zlyy
— Brian Ries (@moneyries) July 12, 2016
“Study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently… when moms and dads… still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door… kids being stupid.. .might end in tragedy… more than 50 years after the passage of the civil rights act, we cannot simply dismiss those engaged in peaceful protests as troublemakers, or paranoid. As a symptom of political correctness, or reverse racism.
“To have your experience denied like that… again and again and again, it hurts. Surely we can see that. All of us.
Compare that to President Obama’s speech from Warsaw, Poland following the deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, where the President said:
“Even those who dislike the phrase Black Lives Matter should be able to relate to stories about Alton Sterling, who always cooked enough for everyone, or Philando Castile, a gentle soul, “Mr. Rogers with dreadlocks.”
The President made no reference, in either speech, to Sterling’s history as a multiple felon and registered sex offender who was actively resisting arrest and possibly reaching for a firearm he was illegally carrying.
Mr. Rogers with dreadlocks? Please tell me President Obama did not say that.
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) July 12, 2016