The Election of a Black President Has Meant Nothing

The greatest hope most Americans — including Republicans — had when Barack Obama was elected president was that the election of a black person as the country’s president would reduce, if not come close to eliminating, the racial tensions that have plagued America for generations.

This has not happened. The election, and even the re-election, of a black man as president, in a country that is 87 percent non-black — a first in human history — has had no impact on what are called "racial tensions."

In case there was any doubt about this, the reactions to the George Zimmerman trial have made it clear. The talk about "open season" on blacks, about blacks like Trayvon Martin being victims of nothing more than racial profiling and about a racist criminal justice system, has permeated black life and the left-wing mainstream media.

I put quotation marks around the term "racial tensions" because the term is a falsehood.

This term is stated as if whites and blacks are equally responsible for these tensions, as if the mistrust is morally and factually equivalent.

But this is not at all the case.

"Racial tensions" is a lie perpetrated by the left. A superb example is when the New York Times described the 1991 black anti-Semitic riots in Crown Heights, Brooklyn as "racial tensions."

For those who do not recall, or who only read, viewed or listened to mainstream media reports, what happened was that mobs of blacks attacked Jews for three days after a black boy was accidentally hit and killed by a car driven by a Chasidic Jew.

A Brandeis University historian, Edward S. Shapiro, who wrote a book on the events, described those black attacks on innocent Jews as "the most serious anti-Semitic incident in American history."

Blacks stabbed a Jewish student to death, injured other Jews, and screamed, "Heil Hitler!" and "Death to the Jews!" while carrying signs with messages such as "Hitler didn’t finish the job."

And how did the New York Times report the most serious anti-Semitic incident in American history?

As racial tensions.

One of the Times reporters who covered those riots was Ari Goldman, now a professor of journalism at Columbia University. Last year, eleven years after the riots, this is how Goldman described his former newspaper’s reporting of the events:

"In all my reporting during the riots, I never saw — or heard of — any violence by Jews against blacks. But the Times was dedicated to this version of events: Blacks and Jews clashing amid racial tensions."

As a New York Times editorial described the black attacks: "The violence following an auto accident in Crown Heights reminds all New Yorkers that the city’s race relations remain dangerously strained."

That was the entire left’s take: "strained relations" between blacks and Jews. "Racial tensions." Both sides equally at fault.

Once one understands that "racial tensions" is a euphemism for a black animosity toward whites and a left-wing construct, one begins to understand why the election of a black president has had no impact on most blacks or on the left.

Since neither black animosity nor the left’s falsehood of "racial tensions" is based on the actual behavior of the vast majority of white Americans, nothing white America could do will affect either many blacks’ perceptions or the leftist libel.

That is why hopes that the election of black president would reduce "racial tensions" were naive. Though a white person is far more likely to be murdered by a black person than vice versa, all it took was one tragic death of a black kid to reignite the hatred that many blacks and virtually all black leaders have toward white America.

Let’s put this in perspective. Ben Jealous of the NAACP, Al Sharpton of MSNBC, Jesse Jackson, and the left-wing media compete to incite hatred of America generally and white America specifically. Over what? A tragic incident in which a Hispanic man (regularly labeled "white") said, with all physical evidence to support him, that fearing for his life, he killed a black 17-year-old (regularly labeled "a child").

The very fact that George Zimmerman — who is as white as Barack Obama — is labeled "white" bears testimony to the left-wing agenda of blaming white America and to the desire of many blacks to vent anger at whites.

And that is why the election of a black president has meant nothing. Indeed, to those whose lives and/or ideologies are predicated on labeling America and its white population as racist, it wouldn’t matter if half the Senate, half the House and half the governors were black.

Dennis Prager’s latest book, "Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph," was published April 24 by HarperCollins. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.Com.


  • Bob Olden

    Has President Obama ever made speech in which he says, “In keeping with my promise to unite all Americans, my administration is doing the following…”

    Exactly what promise HAS he fulfilled?

    Apparently you don’t have to worry about promises you make when campaigning, as long as you have the mainstream media and Hollywood and the black caucus on your side.

    Dennis, please keep pointing your spotlight on the hypocrisy of the left!

  • Josh

    Black people, in general, are a huge part of American culture today — a very positive part of it. From hip-hop/pop culture which is widely embraced to professional sports being more popular than ever, and a nation’s bending over backwards to apologize and make right any perceived slight, America, by and large, openly embraces and practically grovels at the feet of our African-American community.

    We’re doing any and everything we can to apologize for things most alive today had no part in, and for things which most alive today are not directly affected by. But still it’s pushed on a lot of young black males like religion that the white American establishment is against them — schools, neighborhoods, employment opportunities…everything.

    There is no equality in America in this regard, and some wouldn’t have it any other way.

    There is historical precedent and there are instances where these things only happen because of a person’s skin color. But the trouble is that America is “profiled” every single time anything negative happens to a black person. It has to be because of their skin color. At least if the person on the other end is white.

    The President speaks about context, but context is the one thing lacking when particular instances like the Zimmerman/Martin incident make the front page.

    Zimmerman, even assuming he was a white man who stalked and murdered a black child, is an outlier in this nation. Media proves that fact consistently by their intense focus on only one Zimmerman, not millions of them as race hustlers would have us all believe.

  • george

    this president is about tearing apart our country. In listening to his comments on the Treyvon Martin tragedy. He has taken sides, and gives permission to his core to demonstrate/riot. That was his plan to divide and conquer, and he is doing a very good job of it. I wish that THIS black man was not our first black president. HE is a disgrace to the black population. He is a racist

  • JohnInMA

    Funny, I see the nation as quite different post election/reelection of the first black president. We are now hyper-conscious of race more than any other period in my lifetime. It may compare to the 50s and early 60s, but I cannot judge that.

    The lack of sound argument and the near absolute dependency on emotions and opinions about the Trayvon Martin death proves the point. While I haven’t been searching, I still have read many (two dozen??) linked pieces from the progressive/liberal precincts. Salon. NBC. Daily Beast. Etc. Through all I have read so far, I haven’t found one mostly factual nor reasoned piece. The narrative is all that matters, and its support has become more militant since the arrival of our first black president.

  • Wheels55

    It’s sad that so many people do not think for themselves or use common sense. They listen to the media and believe what they hear and read. Sheep.
    I was never happy about Obama becoming President, but was happy that the first “black” President happened. Time to move on from race? Obama will unite us all? He won the Peace Prize, so the world will be more peaceful?
    Nope, not at all. The world has not changed one bit. That is too much to put on one person, but the left did just that. The Sheep believed all of that stuff too.
    Pointing fingers at the other party, simply talking to world leaders as if they are impressed with his Presidency, saying Trayvon Martin looks like the son he never had – none of that has worked. Obama does not work except to build his power base.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Racial tensions feed the left wing agenda and vice-versa. Disaffected minorities can always be counted on to vote against tradition (status-quo), particularly when they feel victimized by it. Turns out fuelling victim hood is as easy as pouring gasoline on a fire. It should come as no surprise that race mongering specifically furthers an anti- American agenda. Divide and conquer is a strategy that’s older than history. Sadly, it seems to be working. The march to collectivism continues apace.