If you're the leader of the free world, there may be a few things that take you by surprise from time to time. Planes flying into buildings of your largest city, or reporters from your hometown asking you a question in a press conference, one thing is for sure--these surprises will often tell everyone watching a little bit about who you really are.
So if a reporter from your hometown, asks you a question that you probably shouldn't weigh in on then just say, "I have no comment on that at this time."
Also... If you intend on answering questions that you do not have the facts on, don't be blaming the media the next day and claiming they are "distracting" the American people from the important issue. Most Americans believe that the integrity of the President of the United States is a fairly important issue.
But perhaps the biggest lesson you might take away from President Obama's absolute choke-on-his-words finale to this past week’s press conference, is that perhaps the south side of Chicago is not where you should best form your opinion of municipal police departments. For while most of America was patently offended by the sliming of the entire Cambridge, Massachusetts police department in Obama's remarks--not even having the presence of mind to only slander the officers involved--the President didn't believe he had initially said anything wrong.
For you see, if you are from the south side of Chicago there are some things as a black man that you must never be allowed to believe. And if you are a political icon in that same community you are held to twice the amount of expectation on such things. Perhaps some of the most important ones being, "The police are always wrong, they must always be thought of with suspicion, and they always racially profile."
The rationale for some suspicion is probably well founded given African Americans’ history with the city over the years. But on some level it is simultaneously highly irrational given the large percentage of Chicago police officers who are in fact African American.
What I've known about President Obama going back all the way to when I covered his years in the state legislature, is that he is most transparent when he does not think. What we saw in the press conference this week was an example of that, and all the mea culpa since has been pure damage control. In other words when ignorantly (literally not knowing the facts of the case) the President pronounced the police as having acted "stupidly" it just rolled out of him naturally. Because on the south side of Chicago it is what you are taught to think, believe, and joke about with one another as the patrol cars come cruising by.
Jesse Jackson, Rainbow-Push Coalition, and the rest of the industry of outrage that make a living off of spreading such a victimhood mentality in their communities have been doing it for years. To be very honest its one of the reasons newly immigrated blacks from Africa or the Caribbean have a very hard time fitting in to such communities. As immigrants they see the opportunities in front of them as blessings and they cannot comprehend why some domestic, multi-generational black Americans won't seize them. Victimhood is a state of mind first and foremost. Overcoming the barriers that keeps one down is exceedingly liberating.
But on Chicago's south side, fellow African Americans make large sums of money convincing some that they must remain angry, suspicious, and sadly--victims.
One would think that Obama's ascendency to the White House could have hoped to have turned that idea, even just a little bit, on it's ear. One would believe that if a man running for President was going to make the ideas of "hope and change" come about that he would let those fundamentally good virtues take root in his own heart first.
One could probably justify Obama’s misstep and say it had been a hard week, his plans that he had labored long hours over (universal government sponsored health care) were twisting in the wind and up in smoke and that even his own horrible performance in his press conference had left him so exhausted and he simply dropped his guard for the final question.
If that is true then the first thing that should have happened the following morning was a publicly issued apology for tying the Cambridge Police Department to, in Obama word's, "the long history of racial profiling."
He should've also on some level taken ownership and admitted that he was the one “acting stupidly” in calling the Cambridge Police stupid.
It also would go against nature to do so. At least the nature that has poisoned the minds of those who have made a living on Chicago's south side teaching their children to trust gang-bangers more than uniformed officers, especially when significant numbers of Chicago's finest are in fact African Americans, who love and wish to protect the streets they come from.
And one aside here concerning Mr. Gates, maybe next time the President could advise his friend to also respect the police and simply show them his identification, instead of immediately becoming belligerent and calling the officers racist, especially when they've simply shown up to help protect his home.
Clean living and a slow temper solve many of life's problems in advance.
But so does waiting till you have all the facts before slandering those who protect and defend us.
Doing otherwise is just plain stupid!