Reporter to Obama: People Expected You to Do More on Race Relations

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Dec 11, 2014 2:00 PM
Reporter to Obama: People Expected You to Do More on Race Relations

It was a controversial topic, but Fusion/Univision anchor Jorge Ramos didn’t shy away from asking President Obama about his failure to ease racial tensions in America after becoming the nation’s first African-American president.

Here’s how Ramos opened the heated conversation:

On another issue, the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, clearly shows that we don’t live in a post-racial society as many expected when you were elected.

Obama was immediately defensive and defiant, saying he, at least, “didn’t expect that.”

Ramos continued to press Obama, wondering if he was angry about the current race relations in America. Yet, the only thing the president seemed to be frustrated about, was the anchor’s tough questions. When Ramos insisted there has not been much improvement in the country in regards to race, Obama responded:

Well, but, you know, the folks who say there’s not a lot of improvement I don’t think were living in the ‘50s and remember what it was like to be black or Hispanic and interacting with the police then. They don’t even remember what it was like 20 years ago. There has been improvement. The question is what more do we need to do, and what’s clear, when you look at some of the reports that have occurred around the country, is that not only is there still a lot of suspicion and mistrust between police officers and communities of color. But what’s also true is that there are still instances in which a young black boy or brown boy is not being evaluated, in terms of risk, precisely in the same way as a white young person might be by the police. Now, that can be solved through better training, better accountability, better transparency, and so the task force we’ve put together is designed to do precisely this.

Clearly, America’s race relations have improved since the 1950s. Yet, that’s not what Ramos was asking. 

He may not have expected race relations to improve while in office, but a lot of his voters did – 70 percent, to be exact. Certainly, with an African-American president, citizens were justified to think that race relations would improve. As we’ve witnessed, especially this last year, that has certainly not been the case. If anything, they’ve gotten worse.

The cases of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner – if not the incidents themselves, then certainly the corresponding protests – have proven that racial tension is still an unfortunate and dangerous presence in our country. Yes, it’s true the president could not have predicted these incidents while he was in office. Yet, Noah Rothman at Hot Air explains how Obama is not “blameless” for current racial animosity:

When it served his campaign, his political operatives incubated a toxic form of victimhood in 2012. The president did nothing to tamp down poisonous concept of coded racism, a practice in which liberals parse ordinary comments with the aim of divining latent racism. The willow witching of prejudice from everyday occurrences and statements became a favored pastime for Obama supporters during his campaign, and it was irresponsible to allow this rampant practice to continue. But the Obama campaign did nothing to stop it.

It seems, as long as Obama is in office, we won’t see any responsibility coming from the White House.