Sunday Commentary II: Nation Forced to Face Reality on Race Relations

Associated Press Photo
Associated Press Photo

This week a New York Times/CBS News Poll found that nearly 60 percent of Americans, heavy majorities of both black and white alike, “think race relations are generally bad, and that nearly four in 10 think the situation is getting worse.” This is a marked contrast from November 2008 when two-thirds of Americans believed that race relations were good.

The Times reported on Thursday, “The swings in attitude have been particularly striking among African-Americans. During Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign, nearly 60 percent of blacks said race relations were generally bad, but that number was cut in half shortly after he won. It has now soared to 68 percent, the highest level of discontent among blacks during the Obama years and close to the numbers recorded in the aftermath of the riots that followed the 1992 acquittal of Los Angeles police officers charged in the beating of Rodney King.”

In our view, what is happening here is easily explainable and, while conservatives have lumped criticism on the President that he has become “the divider in chief,” what is actually occurring is much more basic.

First of all, part of what has happened here is that for blacks the excitement and enthusiasm of the nation’s first black president has given way to reality. In the days and weeks following the 2008 election of President Obama, many media and black leaders believed that this was a sign that the world really had changed. The black community never really believed that they would see a black president in their lifetimes, and when they did they were hopeful of change.

That hope faded as many of the attacks on President Obama, which were largely partisan and ideological in nature, began to take on a racial component. Claims that the President was not a natural born US Citizen, that he was Muslim, and so on, had racial components. Those partisan attacks mixed with true racist attacks to form a backlog that created the perception that race relationships were declining.

Second and perhaps more fundamentally is the notion of the revolution of rising expectations. This borrows from other theories, but basically it is the idea that revolutions occur when things reach their nadir, as people become demoralized, and when expectations then rise faster than reality.

In this country, optimism surrounding the election of Barack Obama quickly gave way to reality. You had racially charged partisan attacks, and a series of highly publicized incidents of racial profiling and officer-involved shootings that quickly showed people that their hope for change was fading.

This explains why blacks, who often had to face the reality of race relations in their daily lives, had a much more negative view of race relations than whites in 2008. However, in the glow of Obama’s victory, that number was nearly cut in half, only to rise again to even higher levels of discontent in the reality of American race relations.

For white Americans, our view is that their newer view of race relations is a dose of reality. Unlike blacks who have to live with constant reminders of inequality and race relations, whites are more insulated. As a result they have often had a better view of race relations than their black counterparts.

The series of incidents that have occurred in this country, starting with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, continued to the death of Michael Brown, the riots in Baltimore, and more recently with the shooting in Charleston has forced whites to rip off their bandaids, so to speak.

There is, of course, a divide between how blacks and whites perceive these events. In 2013, a PEW Research poll found that 48 percent of whites said a lot of progress has been made since 1963, compared with 32 percent of blacks.

The police issue is a huge divide. In a survey shortly after the Ferguson shooting, 80 percent of blacks said the incident raised important issues about race, compared with 37 percent of whites. Blacks have far less confidence that police treat the races equally. Seventy-one percent of whites expressed a great deal or fair amount of confidence in local police to treat blacks and whites equally, compared with just 36 percent of blacks.

There is nothing new about that – the gaps were similar when the question was asked in 2007 and 2009.

However, the recent Charleston shooting shows another divide. The Times notes, “Despite the perception that the shootings inspired a moment of empathy and reconciliation, the poll suggests that attitudes toward the flag remain deeply divided between whites and blacks, and not just in the South.”

The Confederate flag is seen by a majority of whites (57 percent) as an emblem of Southern pride. However, a majority of blacks (68 percent) argue it is a symbol of racism. The view that the flag represents heritage more than bigotry was shared by 65 percent of white Southerners, including three-fourths of white Southern men.

Our view, however, is that none of this is a sign that race relations are getting worse. These incidents are not increasing – rather it is simply that the media has chosen to report more on these incidents. This goes to one of the strongest powers that the media actually have over public opinion.

Study after study in the social sciences have shown that the media slant does not have a strong impact over the views that people take. The coverage does not have an effect on whether people take a positive or negative view of a particular police action.

That is largely due to the fact that most people who are watching the news have strong filters of partisanship and ideology. Those with weaker filters are much less likely to watch and pay attention to news coverage.

Instead, what a series of experimental trials has shown is that the more a story line is shown on the news, the more important the public views that issue. So if the media reports on a bunch of officer-involved shootings, the public will see that as a more important issue.

That is what is happening here – the public suddenly sees Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and now Sandra Bland and it sees the issue of police conduct and race as extremely important. However, the media coverage is not impacting how people see these events – so whites are more supportive of the police than blacks.

Our view then is that race relations are not getting worse – these police incidents have been happening every year. It is simply that right now the media is covering them and so it is harder for people to ignore the reality that is out there.

We have come a long way on race in the last 50 years, but we still have issues that need to be addressed. They are not issues that are simple and they are not nearly as “black and white” as the issues of legal segregation were prior to the 1960s. That makes it far more difficult to get to the root of the problem.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Barack Palin

    In our view what is happening here is easily explainable and while conservatives have lopped the criticism on the President that he has become “the divider in chief,” 

    The conservatives have it right.  Obama has divided this country more than any other president in recent memory.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i don’t think so – i think these issues were present but ignored prior to the last year. the country was already divided in 2007 on these issues, it’s just that no one was paying attention other than the black community.

    2. Dave Hart

      Yes, Barack, I, too have decided everything that goes wrong on a daily basis is the fault of Barack Obama.  Literally everybody agrees with you on this:  However, until there is a positive effort to launch a truth and reconciliation process to confront the monstrous legacy and injustice of chattel slavery and its bastard child, Jim Crow and the era of lynching, the institution of racism will eat away at the fabric of U.S. culture and social and economic organization.  We really can not have our white supremacist cake and eat it too.  It’s poisonous.

        1. Dave Hart

          Three questions:

          1.  Do you actually believe that because something happened a long time ago that it no longer matters?

          2.  What information do you have, Miss Palin, to assume I am a Democrat?

          3.  In even the most general terms, how would you address the reality of institutional racism?

      1. Frankly

        Do you actually believe that because something happened a long time ago that it no longer matters?

        First, that was a silly question as worded.

        Maybe you might explain what is your statute of limitations for using historical events in arguments about modern times.

        Here is what I think.

        You are a progressive, no?

        Assuming so, a progressive can never admit to progress since criticism over the lack of progress is his stock and trade.

        Said another way, if you are a progressive you will never let go of historical references that can be rehashed to bolster your modern criticism.

        Troubling but true.

      1. Dave Hart

        Unfortunately, I wish he were the ultimate candidate.  He is such a buffoon, we would not have to worry about having a Republican president.  Regardless of the volume, his candidacy is and will remain a sideline and a joke.  You can quote me.

        1. Barack Palin

          Trump will fade away, he always does.  Unfortunately for you and other Democrats you’ll still be stuck with your own buffoon in Hillary.

        2. Frankly

          Bernie Sanders is leading the Democrat ticket in a lot of areas.

          Two grumpy old blowhards getting attention for spurring the debate about important things.  Neither has a chance in hell of being elected.

          1. Don Shor


            Bernie Sanders is leading the Democrat ticket in a lot of areas.


            Where is Bernie Sanders leading? Any poll? Any where?

            Frankly posts a favorability poll.
            So, again: Where is Bernie Sanders leading? Anywhere?
            Hint: he isn’t.
            Or did you mean something different by ‘areas’ than ‘places’?

          2. Matt Williams

            As is always the case in the early stages of these battles, the people who are heard (through polls and other forms of communication) are those who are connected to the political process and/or champions of a particular cause. How can we forget Howard Dean in 2004?

            The vast majority of people right now fit in the “don’t know” or “don’t bother me” camp. I’m willing to bet you that when that not engaged middle does decide it is time to either come up to speed or care to pay attention, they will recognize the name “Clinton” much more than they will recognize the name “Sanders.”

            Further, if Bernie Sanders is going to beat Hillary it is going to be because of two words … George Bush (whether with a W or an HW).

            Finally, it is impossible to overestimate the impact of the 13% voter satisfaction with Congress and/or the fact that the majority of voters think most members of Congress do a lousy job and probably have sold their vote for cash or to a contributor.

        3. Frankly

          Come on Don, you have five Democrat candidates against the titan of liberal love and you are going to quibble about my point that Sanders is leading in areas (and his polls are upward) to Donald Trump who is in a field of 16 candidates?

          My point is that Sanders is at least as popular with Democrats as Trump is with Republicans (more so in fact) but there is no press about all the quirky things Sanders says… and he says a lot of quirky things.

          I welcome their direct attacks on our broken policies because otherwise the debate gets whitewashed.  But neither has a chance in hell of being elected.

          I know you just love to try and paint the Republicans as a bunch of racist white folk, but Trump is just a mouth piece and entertainment… his polling today, like Sanders today, is just from people happy that someone in politics finally has the eggs to say something important.  Instead of idiots like O’Malley that apologize for saying “all lives matter”.  What an actor that guy is.

          1. Don Shor

            I know you just love to try and paint the Republicans as a bunch of racist white folk,

            Really? When have I done that?

            you have five Democrat candidates against the titan of liberal love

            There is no love for Hilary Clinton, particularly among liberals. But she will still get the nomination.
            Actually, maybe I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. Five? Who? What?

        4. tribeUSA

          Frankly–I mostly agree with you about why people are happy with Trump in the polls, he’s not a politician first like the others–not nearly as smoothly vicious and traitorous enough for one thing. I hope he hangs in there for a long while though; wish he would have gone independent so he could be a so-called spoiler (Hillary and Jeb are already rotten eggs; what’s left to spoil?) I’d love to see him in a debate with the other candidates–Hillary is tough and quick enough on her feet to take and give some jabs with Trump, but I think he’d tear Jeb apart without his cue cards and expose him for an unprincipled fool.

          Mr. Hart disparages his Trump–definitely his perogative, but on the flip side the thought of either Jeb or Hillary as president makes many people, myself included, feel ill–each of them make me want to vomit, I can’t stand the sight of them–Wall Street errand boys like presidents Bush & Obama. I’d love to have dinner or a drink with Mr. Trump, I think it would be a lot of fun and could have a good honest talk; however I would anticipate just another social trial with Hillary or Jeb, I wouldn’t look forward to it.

        1. Don Shor

          I do not believe “the Republicans” are “a bunch of racist white folks.” I believe there is an element within the Republican Party, centered on the Tea Party, that has viewpoints that could certainly be called xenophobic. I think that Donald Trump’s recent comments inflamed that, and that the other candidates took too long to criticize him for that. I do not think most of the candidates for president in the GOP are xenophobic. I do not think most Republicans are. I think it’s an ugly streak in part of the party’s base that should be called out and criticized whenever it presents itself.

  2. MrsW

    “…revolution of rising expectations…”

    My hope has not diminished in the least.  In fact, it has increased with the national attention being paid to the disparities.  We can’t change it, if we can’t/won’t  see it or describe it.

    “…nearly 60 percent of Americans, heavy majorities of both black and white alike,…”

    Locally, we Americans are also Asian, Hispanic….looking forward to the day when the reports on attitudes by race and the discussions of race are inclusive.

  3. Anon

    Study after study in the social sciences have shown that the media slant does not have a strong impact over the views that people take. The coverage does not have an effect on whether people take a positive or negative view of a particular police action.

    I guess not everyone agrees with the Vanguard’s perception that media slant does not have a strong impact over the views people take.


    Mass media have played and will continue to play a crucial role in the way white Americans perceive African-Americans. As a result of the overwhelming media focus on crime, drug use, gang violence, and other forms of anti-social behavior among African-Americans, the media have fostered a distorted and pernicious public perception of African-Americans. ”


    Many media outlets reinforce the public’s racial misconceptions about crime by presenting African Americans and Latinos differently than whites – both quantitatively and qualitatively. Television news programs and newspapers over-represent racial minorities as crime suspects and whites as crime victims. Black and Latino suspects are also more likely than whites to be presented in a non-individualized and threatening way – unnamed and in police custody...”

  4. Frankly

    This is a nice job spinning a tale that protects a liberal from having to accept responsibility for the damage his broken worldview has wrought.   Things are going badly after taking charge, quick who can we blame?

    1. CEOs and corporations – Yes! Yes!   They are hoarding money.  They are greedy and keeping all the profit at the expense of the poor worker.

    2. Successful people – Yes! Yes!  They are not paying their fair share.  They are fortunate and should give up more of their fortune to help others less fortunate.

    3. White (non liberal) people – Yes! Yes!   They are racist even if they don’t actually do or say anything racist.  They are responsible for holding the black man down just by a look and a wink and a nod.

    4. The police – Yes! Yes!  They racial profile.  They mistreat blacks and unfairly target them and their communities.

    5. The court system – Yes! Yes!  They incarcerate blacks at a greater rate and give stronger punishment to blacks.

    6. The Confederate Battle flag – Yes! Yes!  This is upsetting people and is responsible for their current misery.

    All of this is BS.

    I do think that there is something to the explanation of higher expectations that happened when a black man was elected to the highest office in the world… in this country that liberals can’t stop claiming to be so racist with a constant psychotic reference to 200 years ago.  You know, a black man that got over 50% of the popular vote in a country that is only 19% liberal.

    Here is the REAL story.

    With the exception of real economic growth and value that developed from computer industry in the 90s, the US economy has been artificially-inflated by stupid economic policy.   That truth became apparent in 2008.  The new President and Congress should have take steps to reform and rebuild our economy from a position of what is real.  We should have implemented all the policies to help spur economic growth and job creation.

    Instead, the President and Congress, controlled by Democrats, did just the opposite.

    The Democrats had been waiting for their chance in power, and they were going to do their liberal Democrat stuff no matter what.  They were going to push their giant healthcare bill.  They were going to ramp up business-killing environmental regulations.  They were going to expand social programs and increase taxes to pay for it all.  And lastly they were going to ensure the flood of poor and uneducated immigrants from south of the border… reliable Democrat votes for decades to come.  Lastly, the Dems were doing to pay back those unions that helped them get elected.  No education reform here… the giant adult jobs program it would remain.

    All of this has led to poor economic opportunity for the black community.

    And that is ALL of the explanation for why hope has plummeted in the black community.

    But blacks will vote again for Democrats… probably liberal Democrats.

    And they will continue to suffer a lack of hope while those same Democrats milk the black community victim mentality and misery to retain their hold on politics.   And the main media, so deep in bed with Democrat politicians, will excel in helping dish out the propaganda to keep the gig running.

    It will only be when the black community sees that they are being used by Democrats and start to vote for political leaders that will push for economic growth and job creation, that their lot in life will improve.

    1. Don Shor

      What have conservative leaders done to improve race relations since Obama was elected? Since another poster brought him up, what has Donald Trump done to improve race relations since Obama was elected?

      1. Frankly

        Conservative leaders have been trying to return to a business friendly economic, tax and regulatory policy.  Conservatives have been demanding education reform.  Conservatives have been shot down by the Reid and Obama show… with help from well-Botoxed “I need to vote for it so I can read it to see what is in it” Pelosi when she had the office and was two steps away from the Presidency God save us.

        Conservatives see the black community issue as being primarily a lack of economic opportunity, but also the result of moral decay in the back community.  Conservatives also see a connection with so much crappy urban K-12 education.

        The conservative view is that the liberal view is primarily responsible for the plight of blacks today.

        1. Don Shor

          Conservative leaders also stated, encouraged, or winked at the birther controversy throughout Obama’s first term. Some referenced his “anti-colonial values” and touted the “2016” movie. There was an ongoing theme from early in Obama’s presidency questioning his Americanism and his constitutional legitimacy. The first African-American president met furious resistance at every level as he attempted to enact the policies for which he was elected. And his every utterance on race has been picked apart and criticized.

      2. Dave Hart

        Crickets! The fact is, institutional racism goes deeper than either the Republicans or Democrats are capable of going. If either party had really done a single thing on this issue, we could point to it. As wacky as Bernie may be to Frankly, he is also struggling with how to take on the issue. It’s our national nightmare.

    2. Matt Williams

      Frankly, you have defined to respective alternate apexes of a pendulum swing. Somewhere in the middle between those extremes lies reality.

      1. Frankly

        When the bat is stuck on swinging left, someone has to whack the machine hard to bring it back to switch hit again.  But ultimately I agree that somewhere in the middle of the left and right extremes is the good reality.

        1. tribeUSA

          Frankly–I agree with you and Matt–the most accurate picture is somewhere in the middle (although, frankly, a little more to Frankly’s side in my view). Frankly’s postings are very important in bringing attention to other factors in the race relations issues besides the standard manufactured ‘progressive’ edifice of talking points (which are absurdly pompous and biased in my view); factors which are real but which are consistently ignored by most politicians and politicos and the major media.

  5. tribeUSA

    Re Title: “Nation forced to face reality on race relations”

    Really? Which reality, the one contrived via the repetitious prattle of politicos and the media, and who is forcing whom?

    How about “Nation subjected to another round of narrow, divisive propaganda on race relations”

    1. David Greenwald

      That’s why the 2007 polling I cite is so important. It showed that prior to the recent incidents, 60 percent of blacks felt that race relations were bad. What has changed is that the recent string of incidents have brought whites into a view similar to what blacks have consistently held other than the brief period of optimism following the election of Obama.

      1. tribeUSA

        There are other hypotheses–one of these is that it is not the core incidents themselves, but the reactions surrounding the core incidents by politicos, activist organizations, and the mainstream media–that wedge politics and identity politics are continuing to be pushed to a place of prominence, misinformation is promulgated, and tensions between the races are stoked, resulting in deteriorating race relations into the foreseeable future as long as such narratives are bolstered and given the main spotlight–this is why I think race relations have gotton slightly worse; there may be some well-meaning people involved with these civil rights issues, but the way these issues have been addressed has done more harm than good.

        Meanwhile Obama (like the Republicans in congress) supports amnesty and more legal and illegal immigration, and is pushing forward for the TPP and TAFTA–all of these huge policies will have enormous effects on the lives of our children and grandchildren, and will result in diminished economic prospects for nearly all americans, and particularly for low-skilled labor–these policies are pretty well guaranteed to harm, not improve, the chances for poor americans, including african americans, to be able to pull themselves out of poverty.

  6. tribeUSA

    To counter the downbeat note of my last post, I offer a suggestion for a different tack on the problems facing many minority communities in the USA: Reframe the problem in terms of culture and economic class, instead of the more genetic issue of race (after all, we all have some power to adjust our cultural fit and shift our economic class; though it is certainly not easy). The topic of culture has been touched on by Frankly and others. I’d like to touch on the issue of economic class: poor people in the USA of all races, black, white, hispanic, asian, share many common problems, among them problems of high rates of community crime, high rates of illegal and dangerous drug use, gangs (although they are less prevalent in poor white and asian than in poor black and hispanic communities) more policing and arrests and contentious interactions with law enforcement in their communities, and difficulties with the educational system in their communities. How about regional and state programs and policies, with programs led by panels of white, black, asian, and hispanic people that live in poor communities, that meet to address the problems that are common to all these economically depressed communities–that is, instead of dividing off people by race, unite the races in common goals that all these economically depressed communities can share?

    1. Anon

      Amen.  Let’s stop fixating on “racism”, but instead fixate on solutions to lack of job opportunities, better education for all, affordable housing, the decay of the stable family unit.

      1. Frankly

        Amen #2.

        Racism is a de minimis contributor to the problems we should be focusing on; but it is the primary focus from one side of the ongoing political fight while the main media keeps it stoked.

      2. Davis Progressive

        it’s easy to say stop fixating on racism when you’re not black.  and we saw in 2007 with the polling that whites were not fixated on racism.  however, blacks were because they had to live with this on an everyday basis.  on the other hand, it has taken months of heavy coverage of some of these issues to get the issue onto the radar of whites.

        there is a fascinating article today in the times where they interview a Texas A&M sociologist joe feagin, who argues that white advantage is discretely and inextricably built into the framework of the country – if that’s true, how do you not fixate on race.  i know a lot of people do not believe it to be true.

        As a result, major racial inequalities have been deeply institutionalized over about 20 generations. One key feature of systemic racism is how it has been socially reproduced by individuals, groups and institutions for generations. Most whites think racial inequalities reflect differences they see as real — superior work ethic, greater intelligence, or other meritorious abilities of whites. Social science research is clear that white-black inequalities today are substantially the result of a majority of whites socially inheriting unjust enrichments (money, land, home equities, social capital, etc.) from numerous previous white generations — the majority of whom benefited from the racialized slavery system and/or the de jure (Jim Crow) and de facto overt racial oppression that followed slavery for nearly a century, indeed until the late 1960s.

        1. tribeUSA

          I come from Irish stock both on my mothers (100%) and fathers (75%) side. On my mothers side, her ancestors were dirt-poor irish farmers (working on estates owned by the engish in ireland) who, on the verge of starvation during the potato famine, took nearly free passage on a ship transporting poor irish to a remote coal mining town in Nova Scotia–this was a company town that owned everything–the land and tenements (leased to coal mining workers), all the stores, and even the railroad which was the only mode of transport (no roads) to the nearest large community over 100 miles away. Coal miners were paid barely enough to survive, all their money went to their rent (tenements owned by coal mining company) and food and other life necessities purchased from the company store; laborers did not earn enough to afford a rail ticket out of town. Though many of the Irish laborers could be promoted to foremen down in the mines; all of the management were english and you can be sure that none of the irish were promoted to management. This was before safety regulations in the mines, and numerous mine workers died of tunnel collapses or flooding, suffocation or asphyxiation and/or poisonous fumes, fires and explosions, accidents with heavy machinery, etc. Boys as young as 8 were expected to contribute to work underground (such small boys were runners, message and water carriers, etc.) If you survived all the hazards of mine work until your 40s, you would be forced to retire early due to black lung, a few more years of life where each breath is a struggle & give up the ghost. Although nominally and according to nova scotia law the irish laborers had some rights; in practice because of the remoteness of the mining town and the lack of advocates they effectively had nearly no rights; they were effectively slaves, much like the indentured irish servants in the early days of the american colonies. My great-grandfather was born in this mining town (2nd generation there) and got promoted to foreman as a young man and managed to escape (on a ruse) via the train. He found work at the riverport of Montreal as a foreman, had a couple of children one of whom he managed to help send to college and who became a school superintendant at a school for ethnic french children (my maternal grandfather). Those who know a little of the history of eastern Canada know that it was completely dominated by those of English heritage, in both governance and business; the french and irish were allowed only menial employment (irish need not apply, you can be sure); the eastern canadian version of Jim Crow. Things got a little better after WW1 and has also gradually improved since WW2,  my grandfather managed to send all three of his children to college, who then became a stockbroker, a public relations man, and my Mom kept busy raising 6 kids. My fathers side of the family has a similar story, starting out in the mid 1800s as poor family farmers in Maine, on land so rocky and of such poor soil that they could barely manage to support themselves farming; and the farm was abandoned (and has stayed abandoned since) and next my irish paternal ancestor signed on as a common american sailor, whom you may know back in those days were treated like dirt, especially if irish.

          So where is the white privilege in my ancestory?

          Furthermore, until the mid 1800s or so, most white americans were farmers, and most of such farmers were not at all wealthy; most were what we might now consider lower middle-class; they worked hard and generally had hard lives. Only about 2% of southern farmers owned slaves, most of the rest of the whites toiled away on their farms to support a very modest lifestyle. You could argue there were even worse hardships thru the industrial revolution for whites and blacks alike; wasn’t until the 1920s that many americans enjoyed a decent living standard; then there was the depression, and then after WWII the period of widespread prosperity, the golden age of which we are now regrettably on the far side, just over the cusp and starting a long gradual downward slide.

  7. TrueBlueDevil

    David takes a negative viewpoint of the past 7 years, ignoring an objective review of history while he focuses on race.

    1. President Obama, young and inexperienced, came of of nowhere and bested a formidable, wealthy (white) Congresswoman (Hillary Clinton). Plenty of white Independents voted for his “hope and change”.

    2. The GOP and George Bush Jr. gave him unprecedented access to Presidential power as he started to pump money into the economy even before he was sworn into office.

    3. His first 2 years in office were Camelot. He hadn’t accomplished anything, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He controlled all three branches of government, so could effectively do whatever he wanted to do.

    4. He passed massive “health care reform”, and passed a massive government spending bill to stimulate the economy at approximately $910 Billion. It didn’t work. We also later discovered that he lied about his ACA.

    5. His wonton youth and drug history were largely given a pass, so who needs the birther debate. His wise mentor who he wrote about in the first edition of his first book (subsequently stripped out) is Franklin Marshall Davis. Why does the media ignore this character? I believe his Father was a communist, as are the parents of Valerie Jarrett.

    6. David writes: “That hope faded as many of the attacks on President Obama, which were largely partisan and ideological in nature, began to take on a racial component.” David leaves out that Obama and Holder drop the race issue at the drop of a hat. The examples are endless, and often are used when a young black man is involved in criminal behavior. 

    7. His policies failed; his Stimulus failed. Contrast that Big Government approach (2% growth?) to Ronald Reagan’s vision, which produced a GDP growth rate of over 7% some years! BO has added $7 Trillion in new debt.

    8. The highly publicized racial incidents were driven by the liberal media, liberal politicians, and Eric Holder, Barack Obama, and company.

    9. Whites are not “insulated” from issues regarding race. The left is obsessed by it, won’t let it mellow out, and urban crime is a reality for any white American in any metropolitan area. Whites are seen as targets in urban areas, as easy prey in prison, etc. Was Kate in San Francisco insulated from racial issues?

    10. Many formerly “white” suburbs are now integrated, and even many wealthy areas have plenty of East Indian, Chinese, and other immigrant groups who largely live in peace and harmony with their neighbors. Are there subtle cultural differences? Sure. But not the victimhood mantra.

    David wants to make it a racial issue. I’d say it’s more proof that Big Government doesn’t work. Fail.

  8. Anon

    I come from Irish stock both on my mothers (100%) and fathers (75%) side. On my mothers side, her ancestors were dirt-poor irish farmers (working on estates owned by the engish in ireland) who, on the verge of starvation during the potato famine, took nearly free passage on a ship transporting poor irish to a remote coal mining town in Nova Scotia–this was a company town that owned everything–the land and tenements (leased to coal mining workers), all the stores, and even the railroad which was the only mode of transport (no roads) to the nearest large community over 100 miles away…

    Thanks for the “history lesson”.  A good description of this situation of young boys working down in the mines of Nova Scotia is depicted in the excellent movie “Pit Pony”.  Unfortunately too many people seem to think whites live as Hollywood shows the American way of life.  But the reality is that most white people live very modest lifestyles, and many are dirt poor.  Go to Appalachia or the Louisiana bayous, the mines in West Virginia, the small towns in Pennsylvania as depicted in the movie “Deer Hunter”, etc.

    1. Davis Progressive

      you’re correct.  part of the history of racism is that poor whites often had more in common with blacks than they did with the wealthy plantation owners.  the wealthy feared that poor whites, indians, blacks, others would join together and overthrow them.  so they created a system of race based discrimination as a means to keep not only the blacks but poor whites down.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Not sure how widespread this really was. We were a young country, times were tough, we were a frontier nation. People working hard at hard physical labor.

        Now with democracy and capitalism, we have / had a large middle class where even factory workers could own a home, a car, and have a good life. Our success eclipsed that of even Western Europe.

        But this is quickly slipping away when we import H1B visa workers on the upper middle income end, and 30-40 million illegal immigrants on the lower end. Yesterday I read on drudgereport that 20% of El Salvadorians live in America. The numbers for Mexico are equally high.

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