Victor Davis Hanson writes about the state of racial affairs and while doing so references the now infamous video showing the white transgendered victim being beaten unmercifully by two black women at a McDonald’s restaurant:
Add up the following: the attack on the “stupidly” acting Cambridge police, Eric Holder’s “cowards” and “my people,” Justice Sotomayor’s “wise Latina,” Van Jones’ rants against white polluters and mass murderers, the president’s declarations like the following: “And if Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘we’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us….'” Or the following, “We can’t have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.” Or the race, class, gender video appeal to “young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 [to] stand together once again.” What, then, is left of a supposedly racially neutral presidency?
In other words, if Obama had modeled his presidency after a Colin Powell’s or Condoleezza Rice’s tenure as secretary of State, then race would have been seen as incidental, not essential, to his character and agenda, and support for his presidency would have been predicated solely on principles rather than appeals to particular identity groups. The current rising racial awareness is no accident, but essential to focus support for liberal issues in traditional terms of polarization, victimization, and increased racial identity — especially as independents get frightened and peel off. Since 2009, we are less seen as an integrated, assimilated, and intermarried melting pot, but more a mosaic of competing interests that predicate their rival claims on society based on race, class, and gender.
Bloc voting and identity — the “base” — aid the Obama agenda; race as inconsequential does not. Before Obama, the now explosive and globally viral video of two young black girls’ savage beating of a white transgendered victim in a McDonald’s would have been one of many tragic morality tales about the generic dangers of drifting into the wrong places at the wrong times in an unsafe contemporary America. But after the precedent of the Skip Gates presidential intervention, the question naturally arises — when and when not does the president intervene in local issues, in symbolic terms, to offer the nation a teachable moment on racial bias: when an elite professor is inconvenienced in private or an adolescent is almost beaten to death in public? (Where is the Malibu outrage in the tradition of Matthew Shepard?)
The outrage isn’t there because there is no existent political benefit. And Obama won’t be using this incident as fodder for a teachable moment because he knows that it’ll alienate his Attorney General and the Jeremiah Wright wing of his political base.
The man who was sold as he who would transcend race seems instead to be fomenting racial regression, even aggression.
It could be a very hot summer.