Patterico's Pontifications


President Obama: Race Relations Have Improved, Except When They Haven’t

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:15 am

[guest post by Dana]

In an interview with NPR, the president answered questions regarding current race relations in the US:

Is the United States more racially divided than it was when you took office six years ago, Mr. President?

No, I actually think that it’s probably in its day-to-day interactions less racially divided. But I actually think that the issue has surfaced in a way that probably is healthy.

It’s understandable the polls might say, you know, that race relations have gotten worse — because when it’s in the news and you see something like Ferguson or the Garner case in New York, then it attracts attention. But I assure you, from the perspective of African-Americans or Latinos in poor communities who have been dealing with this all their lives, they wouldn’t suggest somehow that it’s worse now than it was 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

For the president, it’s better to focus on perceived improved race relations rather than focusing on the economic conditions of the black community under his tenure:

The unemployment rate for African-Americans has fallen by 1 percent per year, down from 16 percent in February 2010 to 11 percent in November 2014. That rate is double the national average, and it matches the high unemployment rate among low-skilled people who did not graduate from high-school, and who are now losing jobs to machinery and low-wage immigrants.

But Obama has made the employment situation worse for African-Americans by ending enforcement of immigration laws and by offering work-permits to roughly 6 million illegals, guest-workers and future immigrants. Overall, almost half of the jobs added since January 2010 have gone to migrant workers, not to Americans. In fact, fewer Americans held jobs in December 2014 than held jobs in 2007.

Obama dodged the uncomfortable fact that African-Americans’ wages have drifted down amid the surplus of low-skill labor. The median weekly wage for blacks was $601 in 2009, and $644 in the fall of 2014. That’s a $15 decline, once inflation is considered.

On one hand, the president will tout that race relations under his watch have improved, yet when considering the economic condition of black America under the same watch, those relations really haven’t improved all that much:

“I’ve been consistent in saying that this is a legacy of a troubled racial past of Jim Crow and slavery. That’s not an excuse for black folks… they’re starting behind, oftentimes, in the race.”


40 Responses to “President Obama: Race Relations Have Improved, Except When They Haven’t”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  2. but what do you actually think, peckerhead?

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  3. Er, I know one person’s experience is not proof of anything but, as far as my experience goes black&white race relations are on much touchier ground than they were 6 years ago and blacks are either a heck of a lot more likely to assume bias or a heck of a lot more likely to proclaim that assumption. Asian&white I’ve noticed no difference and latino&white are still pretty much the same, maybe a little more strained but maybe not.

    max (4fdf98)

  4. Nobody complains about racism more than African-Americans. And nobody practices racism more than African-Americans.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  5. The president spoke stupidly.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  6. I think the big mistake progressives made was in thinking that Obama would be some kind of racial divide healer. For one thing, he’s not interested in that because his political fortunes are largely entertained with stoking a sense of grievance (and not just racial) that has to be addressed by Big Government. For another, he’s not a deep enough thinker to address race relations with anything other than the most banal and predictable left-wing talking points.

    JVW (60ca93)

  7. Ugh, that should have been “entwined” rather than “entertained.” My fingers aren’t keeping up with my thoughts.

    JVW (60ca93)

  8. obama knows his propaganda whores at NPR and elsewhere can be counted on to paint republicans as bigots

    so he glides around on the surface of these things like a snoopy dog

    there’s gonna be time enough for deep thinking when he can get some sleazy publisher to pay him for it

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  9. Obama has lost that new car smell.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  10. Race relations have drastically deteriorated during Obama’s presidency. He promised to deliver a post-racial America in order to get himself elected, then nominated a known crook who also happened to be a racist for the office of Attorney General. Eric Holder then promptly looked the other way when his people (New Black Panther thugs) were video taped intimidating White Senior Citizens on election day, one of the NBP’s was later video taped calling for the murder of White babies.

    Undeterred, Holder pressed on refusing to investigate voter fraud if Democrats might be involved but spared no effort or expense to ferret out manufacture imaginary GOP irregularities. Holder’s Civil Rights division refused to protect Whites from abuse by organized minority corruption – under Holder’s leadership the Civil Rights law serves to protect only minority rights not the rights of Whites.

    And, it only got worse from there. From the despicable lies about Trayvon Martin’s crime and the official subversion of justice in a massive attempt to railroad the White Hispanic, George Zimmerman, to the outrageous lies about the Gentle Giant, Mike Brown’s strong-arm robbery and subsequent attack on Officer Wilson, to the ongoing effort to disconnect the calls for dead cops from the inflammatory rhetoric of Obama, Holder, and de Blasio.

    Racists in high office have rubbed race relations raw.

    ropelight (de9823)

  11. But Obama has made the employment situation worse for African-Americans by ending enforcement of immigration laws and by offering work-permits to roughly 6 million illegals, guest-workers and future immigrants

    Don’t say that!

    This keeps on being repeated, by people who otherewise pay no attention to black or other unemployment, but it’s a crackpot economic theory and I wish I kne wthe name of the defunct (probably late 19th century) economist who thought that up. All history is against this notion.

    To believe that, you have to believe in the lump of labor theory.

    If you believe that, then the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which opened up many jobs to blacks, or at least made accelerated a trend, should have led to higher unemployment or lower wages among whites.

    In reality, there are as many jobs as there are people looking for them. This works in practice even if you cannot figure out how it works in theory.

    An increase in population results in higher wages, not lower wages, because it is less difficult to find a new job.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  12. Wages have drifted down because of the slower pace of the creation of new businesses.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  13. Obama here is trying to reconcile two positions – that there is soemthing legitimate about the Ferguson and other protests – and that things have improved while he is president.

    He makes a plausible sort of argument, but it has nothing to do with the truth – it’s just a position tht will reconcile contradictions.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  14. max (4fdf98) — 12/29/2014 @ 9:43 am

    as far as my experience goes black&white race relations are on much touchier ground than they were 6 years ago and blacks are either a heck of a lot more likely to assume bias or a heck of a lot more likely to proclaim that assumption.

    But Obama has got to say the opposite.

    Now he knows that treatment of blacks by whites cannot possibly have really gotten worse, and if they did, it makes him look inefffective for one thing.

    Now it’s true – the actual treatment has not gotten worse. But Obama is also denying that opinion does not reflect reality. That it is the rssult of false propaganda.

    So he claims that the people answering the survey are simply responding to the subset of black white relations that are in the news.

    Does his answer have anything to do with the truth?

    No, except in the sense of avoiding it.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  15. Clearly, race relations have changed under Obama. We now have African-American thugs killing ethnically diverse police officers rather than just killing other African-Americans or Anglos.

    I think we can squarely lay this development at Obama’s feet. It will almost certainly be considered one of the major aspects of his legacy.

    That and the changes he brought throughout the Middle East.

    Jimmy Carter must be so relieved over Obama’s accomplishments in just 6 years.

    WarEagle82 (b18ccf)

  16. bosh and pickles

    obama’s impact on “race relations” has been wholly negligible

    it’s horrific, brutal university-of-virginia-style rape of failmerica’s treasury what’s his legacy

    and that hurts everybody of every kind of race you can think of equally

    it’s terrible

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  17. it’s *his* horrific, brutal… i mean

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  18. Race relations should improve now that 54% of balck people say they need to arm themselves so they can shoot back. The more black people shoot back the more race relations will improve!

    shooter (fef167)

  19. it’s not always about shooting Mr. shooter look at these adorable easter-themed egg cups or peruse this delightful collection of finger sammich recipes aggregated by our friends at Southern Living

    pro-tip: Freezing bread slices until firm makes it easier to cut the sandwiches into small pieces.

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  20. I have it on good authority that Obola is still in Hawaii. The interview was in the oval office, and thus we must presume it was done 10 or 11 days ago. It’s just like this guy to intrude on our vacations with a replay of his previous prevarications. There are some nuggets. Obola still hopes that Iran wants to join the community of nations by renouncing their nuclear program. This will be a nice leadin to the report of their first atomic test. His response, of course, will be usual boilerplate, that the news report is the first he heard of the problem. And his loving cultists will swoon in delight.

    bobathome (348c8a)

  21. New York Post: Book about “killer” gentrication set in Brooklyn

    Poor people are vanishing in droves from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, snatched off the street by mysterious black vans. Maybe it’s kidnapping. Maybe it’s murder.

    The chief suspect: “The Gentrifier.”

    His motive: Drive up real-estate prices, as the downtrodden are replaced by “young Caucasian professionals, their thousand-dollar baby carriages and . . . designer coffee and frozen-yogurt shops.”

    That’s the plot of a new thriller self-published by author Clifford Pulliam, who lives in Maryland but grew up in Queens. …

    …Truth and his motley street crew suspect white-supremacist groups. But they soon discover NYPD “commandos” are working off the books to abduct undesirable residents….

    ….The protagonists are running out of time to recover the 200 some missing Bed-Stuy residents as they battle a conspiracy that appears to involve a real-estate billionaire and crime-
    fighting Mayor Gianelli — based on former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

    “When the neighborhood gets gentrified, it’s a wave that can’t be stopped,” said Pulliam, who wants to turn “The Gentrifier” into a film. “I want the story to show that a grass-roots effort by a united community can just about overcome anything. This is an example of a community deciding to defend themselves . . . led by these misfit thugs.” …

    I guess maybe SONY would make the picture.

    Sammy Finkelman (d542b2)

  22. The context of racial issues in the Age of Obama is healthy, like an outbreak of ebola is healthy.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  23. Sad but mostly true…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  24. Colonel. Ever watch Jeopardy during teacher’s week? It is so obviously dumbed down. Even then they struggle.

    Gazzer (c44509)

  25. Amazing read, Col.

    mg (31009b)

  26. So does Bucky Badger improve the Wisconsin football team?

    When he carries off an opponents perky little cheerleader?

    How does that help?

    DNF (785273)

  27. 24. Black lies matter. Lives, not so much.

    DNF (785273)

  28. Oh, puhleese, Pinkos, how would he know how we’s doin?

    DNF (785273)

  29. #28… I read that one earlier this year, mg, another depressing read. It doesn’t have to be this way, but it’s allowed to be this way. Low expectations and leftwing facilitators.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  30. “The Barack with whom I went to school wasn’t the Barack that debuted on the national stage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, but the president suit was already on, even if it was still too big for him. In law school the only thing I would have voted for Obama to do would have been to shut up. When he made that speech almost exactly four years ago, I wanted to vote for him. For something, for anything.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  31. Once a narcissistic putz, always a narcissistic putz.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  32. If liberalism or leftism were a race or ethnicity, that’s ultimately the only “race,” the only type of “black,” the only type of “gender,” the only type of “sexuality,” the only type of “religion,” that Obama, et al, would give a damn about or deem worth upholding and protecting. Moreover, if 95% of black America were conservative to devoutly moderate instead of liberal to ultra-leftwing, Obama and his minions would renounce their racial heritage and start pining for the era of Jim Crow laws.

    By the same token, if 95% of the GLBT community were conservative to staunchly moderate instead of liberal or ultra-leftwing, Obama, et al, would yell “hey, rip down those damn rainbow flags, you friggin’ weirdos!”

    Mark (c160ec)

  33. I guess blaming black yout who dispatch Bosnians wit hammers of racist xenophobia might be preciosity.

    Any living thing will do in a pinch.

    DNF (d3065a)

  34. As of the latest count, given 398 gun deaths in Chiraq for 2014, just 334 were black.

    DNF (d3065a)

  35. Race relations have gotten much worse with me. Whenever I go to a Target or Walmart in any major city I note the 90% black customers. I immediately become disgruntled, knowing that 100% of them voted for Obama twice.

    tonynoboloney (403cb8)

  36. What is Obama going to say? Unhealthy? Unfair accusations?

    Or, alternatively, that race relations in reality have gotten worse on his watch? (which they haven’t, by and large)

    No, he says the poll is right, and nobody being polled has wrong ideas or is misinformed, but the poll doesn’t mean what some people on the left would want it to mean.

    But he hedges: probably healthy.

    Sammy Finkelman (d542b2)

  37. NPR: Is the United States more racially divided than it was when you took office six years ago, Mr. President?


    I actually think that it’s probably in its day-to-day interactions less racially divided.

    This is actually true. He indeed, actually thinks that, although there’s that caveat probably

    But I actually think that the issue has surfaced in a way that probably is healthy.

    That, I think, we can reasonably assume, he actually does NOT think.

    He knows it is all a bunch of lies.

    But he is a lawyer – he didn’t say the protesters were right! now did he?

    I bet many people missed that. And he’s counting on that.

    And he can make a case that it is healthy, even if the substance is largely not true.

    It’s always good to talk, right? You can find somebody who’s written something like that, somewhere. Although I think it would be very much a minority opinion. But somebody maybe found it for him. although maybe even these people would say that’s because nobody is 100% wrong and misconceptions will get corrected.

    Of course, you have to be college graduate and more to get his drift.

    Now, you see, what Obama said here is actually kind of funny, because of the way he’s forced into this contortion.

    Sammy Finkelman (d542b2)

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