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Obama offers a ideal response to a Confederate dwindle wavers

When President Obama arrived in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, a coarse steer awaited him: about 10 demonstrators opposite a travel from Obama’s downtown hotel fluttering Confederate conflict flags as a presidential motorcade pulled up.

Such a nod of a nation’s initial black boss would have been abominable underneath any circumstance. It was all a some-more unfriendly given of what it followed — a flag’s significance to a indicted torpedo in final month’s South Carolina church electrocute — and by what it preceded: Obama’s revisit to a jail Thursday to showcase a problem with sentencing policies that have filled a nation’s prisons with pacifist offenders who are disproportionately African American.

“[P]eople of tone are some-more expected to be stopped, frisked, questioned, charged, detained,” he told a NAACP this week. “African Americans are some-more expected to be arrested. They are some-more expected to be condemned to some-more time for a same crime.” With one in 35 black group behind bars (versus one in 214 white men), “around one in 9 African American kids has a primogenitor in prison.”

Oklahoma was only a latest sign of how small swell has been done in what was naively greeted with Obama’s choosing scarcely 7 years ago as “post-racial America.” In May, Obama assimilated Twitter — and was met by a inundate of extremist tweets. In June, a gunman killed 9 people during Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The think had allegedly acted with a Confederate conflict dwindle and posted a extremist declaration online.

This month, only as South Carolina was finally holding down a Confederate conflict flag, Republicans in Congress due safeguarding a dwindle on sovereign lands, and protesters greeted Obama with a dwindle in Tennessee as good as in Oklahoma. Meantime, Donald Trump’s recognition among Republicans has surged given he began his debate of racially-charged tongue on immigration.

Following an unconstrained tide of military assault opposite unarmed black men, it’s adequate to expostulate one to despair. The dejection comes by in a deeply desperate new book, “Between a World and Me,” in that a Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates binds out small wish for white Americans, who mistreat themselves by vital an halcyon “dream” of wealth done probable by constructional racism. “The pillage of black life was drilled into this nation in a decline and reinforced opposite a history, so that pillage has turn . . . a default environment to which, expected to a finish of a days, we contingency constantly return,” he writes.

Of white Americans, he advises: “[D]o not pin your onslaught on their conversion. The Dreamers will have to learn to onslaught themselves, to know that a margin for their Dream, a theatre where they have embellished themselves white, is a deathbed of us all.”

But a new distortion has also coincided with a change in Obama’s open proceed to race. Obama had been bashful about competition for most of his presidency, and when he did speak, as The Post’s Janell Ross noted this week, he would mostly “lecture black America about a behavior.” Now, she wrote, Obama might sound “something like a black boss some white Americans opposite a domestic spectrum feared (or hoped for).”

I’m one of those white Americans who had hoped for it. It’s not Obama’s pursuit to finish racism, and he is substantially in a no-win position on competition (as illustrated by his “If we had a son, he’d demeanour like Trayvon” Martin remark) though I’m buoyed to have a boss vocalization as aloud as a haters.

In a Jun 22 podcast with comedian Marc Maron, he pronounced finale injustice is “not only a matter of it not being respectful to contend ‘nigger’ in public.” On Tuesday before a NAACP, he spoke of a “legacy of hundreds of years of labour and segregation, and constructional inequalities that compounded over generations.” In between, on Jun 26, came his eulogy in South Carolina — maybe a best tongue of his presidency, though also a call for movement over words. “Every time something like this happens, somebody says we have to have a review about race,” he said. “We don’t need some-more talk.”

What we need, for one thing, is a sentencing reforms he spoke about this week. As some-more pacifist drug offenders (often black) have been put away, a United States now has 5 percent of a world’s race though 25 percent of a prisoners. The emanate has Republican support, that raises a probability of singular late-term legislative achievement.

Nobody thinks such a law will erase racism. But, as Obama pronounced this week, “If we keep holding stairs toward a some-more ideal union, and tighten a gaps between who we are and who we wish to be, America will pierce forward.”

It’s a ideal response to a Confederate dwindle wavers.

Twitter: @Milbank

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Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obama-offers-the-perfect-response-to-the-confederate-flag-wavers/2015/07/17/a909f1f6-2c7e-11e5-bd33-395c05608059_story.html