Last weekend marked the 50th anniversary since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the march from Selma to Birmingham, a "bloody Sunday" in which police officers attempting to stop the march launched tear gas and brutalized dozens. President Obama traveled to Selma to mark the historic moment by leading a memorial march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The address he gave has been warmly received. Many were heartened to see the President more publicly embracing his role as America's first black president. Others, like The Atlantic's James Fallows, praised the President for offering an inspiring articulation of the American dream.
Republicans are getting a lot of heat for their conspicuous absence from the event. At best, it's being ridiculed as a terrible political gaffe; at worse, reviled as a symptom of the "dark vein" of intolerance that still persists in the Grand Old Party. Doubtless these theories hold some truth. There are certainly plenty of tone deaf, foolhardy politicians out there, and unfortunately bigotry and racism will always be with us. But I would suggest that there is another important factor at play, which is that the issue of race in America has been hijacked by the Progressive Left to such a poisonous extent that authentic dialog has become virtually impossible. And despite his unique and historic opportunity to do otherwise, President Obama has done nothing to improve the situation; in fact he's made it worse.
It may seem like ancient history at this point, but President Obama's habit of inflaming racial tensions and fostering division on this issue goes back to the very beginning of his presidency. Some may recall his actions following the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. Without knowing the full details of the event, he said that the police acted "stupidly" and implied that race was a motivating factor in Gates' arrest for disorderly conduct. What then followed was the now infamous and awkward "Beer Summit," in which the President attempted to transmogrify a routine law enforcement episode into a lesson on racial sensitivity. This kind of ideologically loaded approach to race coupled with his lack of charity towards law enforcement officials would only be the first of many by his administration. And the message sent to the American people, to borrow a phrase from the President himself, was crystal clear: If you don't adhere to the Progressive narrative on race in America then you have no place in the discussion. In other words, you are either with us, or you are against us. more >>
This week several University of Oklahoma frat boys were caught on tape singing a vile, racist song (and, no, it wasn't "unconscious" racism or "coded" racism — it was straight up segregation-era hate). The video triggered a tidal wave of outrage on and off campus. A top football recruit "de-committed" to OU and committed to Alabama, the national fraternity expelled the local OU chapter, and students, coaches, professors, and administrators marched in protest.
To this point, the matter is rather simple. The SAE students engaged in racist expression, and private citizens countered with expression of their own — doing what the marketplace of ideas does best, countering bad speech with better speech.
University of Oklahoma President David Boren announced Tuesday that the school has expelled two students from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity of brothers for their role in instigating and promoting a racist chant targeting black students that was made public in a viral video posted online Sunday.
"President Boren today expelled two students identified as playing a leadership role in the singing of a racist chant in connection with an SAE fraternity event. Boren said that students who played a leadership role had created a hostile learning environment for others. The chant was not only heard by those on a bus, but also impacted the entire university community as it was also distributed through social media," noted a press release posted to Boren's Twitter account Tuesday.
"I have emphasized that there is zero tolerance for this kind of threatening racist behavior at the University of Oklahoma. I hope that the entire nation will join us in having zero tolerance of such racism when it raises its ugly head in other situations across our country," said Boren. more >>
As the University of Oklahoma continues to reel from the fallout of a racist video of members of the now suspended local arm of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity singing that there will never be a black fraternity brother, the second and last black member of the fraternity group says the video has left him grieving.
"At first I felt I should have known better. ... I put a lot of faith and trust in an idea and knowing that that could come back and bite me some time and just hoping it never would, and then feeling that that faith and trust was misplaced was my initial reaction," said William Bruce James II, who told KFOR that he was the last black SAE member at OU 14 years ago.
It appears, however, that the SAE fraternity brothers who were singing the derogatory chant to the tune of a popular children's song 'If Your Happy and You Know It' in the now viral video posted to YouTube on Sunday, were unaware that they had black SAE brothers. more >>
A Ferguson, Missouri, police official has been fired and two others placed on administrative leave after a new report from the Department of Justice on the city's police department revealed "direct evidence of racial bias" in emails where President Barack Obama is depicted as a chimpanzee and Michelle Obama is shown as a bare-chested African woman.
During a news conference held Wednesday to confirm reports about the disciplinary actions being taken against the offending officers, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said, "This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Ferguson Police Department."
The DOJ report highlighted that evidence of racial bias was seen in emails from and interviews with "influential Ferguson decision makers," which include police commanders and court supervisors, all of whom are current employees, according to USA Today. more >>
A socially conservative African-American organization commended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore for his court's order halting gay marriages in the state.
The Moore court issued a ruling Tuesday demanding that probate judges halt giving marriage licenses to gay couples following a judge's recent ruling declaring Alabama's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Moore recused himself but supported the ruling.