Way, way back in 2008 when I started this blog, one of things that has stuck with me was in speaking with some of my black (African-Canadian?) friends, I recall speaking with them about their views the importance of having an African-American president. They argued it's importance, and I argued what was more important was competence. An ineffectual, ideological president would make matters worse because he would make it that much harder for their to be a second African-American president. I argued supporting a presidential candidate because of is skin color was being blind to the person as an individual and being racist in your voting selection. A good leader is a good leader regardless of skin color. Supporting Obama's candidacy because of race, I argued, would set matters back, not move things forward, unless Obama followed up his election with positive results. My argument was that he did not possess the qualities needed to achieve success - namely, experience and a solid understanding of economic fundamentals. That sank in with one of my friends but not the other two. There are a number of other things I'd add to that list today, such as personal humility as opposed to being a national apologist.
But, and keep in mind this is coming from a likely Repbublican candidate for president, looking back there's been some corroboration of my pre-Obama-era assessment.
Ben Carson says race relations have suffered under this president. It's hard to disagree.
"I actually believe that things were better before this president was elected. And I think that things have gotten worse because of his unusual emphasis [on race]" he stated.Carson cited Obama's criticism of the police in the Henry Louis Gates incident and his remarks that his son would look like Trayvon Martin and accused the president and other progressives of trying to "manipulate, particularly minority communities to make them feel that they are victims." And that the president "absolutely" plays the race card, but he said the president was attempting not to do so in the aftermath of the grand jury decision regarding Officer Darren Wilson.
This is just one example where Obama has set things back rather than moved them forward when it comes to African American issues, but it's an important one.