President Obama vowed to “transform” America, and he has: Race relations have reached lows not seen since 1995.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Wednesday shows 34 percent of Americans believe race relations in the U.S. are fairly good or very good. That matches the 34 percent tallied after disgraced football star O.J. Simpson was acquitted of killing ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman.
The survey’s findings are a steep drop from the high of 77 percent Obama enjoyed after he was sworn into office in January of 2009.
“This is a very sad chart,” Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm, told the newspaper. “It’s a reminder … what a continued rupture point in our country race is.”
The news will not come as a surprise to Republican presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson. The retired neurosurgeon said while appearing on the “The Hugh Hewitt Show” in November 2014, “I actually believe that things were better before this president was elected. And I think that things have gotten worse because of his unusual emphasis [on race].”
Obama has faced a crucible of racial challenges since the start of his administration, which the new poll suggests he failed. Some include:
- The 2009 arrest of Harvard professor Henry Gates.
- The 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.
- The 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
- The 2014 death of Eric Garner in Long Island, New York.
- The April 2015 death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland.
- The September 2015 race protests at the University of Missouri.
- The rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
WND columnist David Limbaugh covered Obama’s response to the Gates and Martin debacles last December, saying:
“If President Obama were trying to alleviate racial tensions, would he have accused the police department in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of ‘acting stupidly’ in arresting a friend of his, Harvard professor Henry Gates? The statement was stunningly inappropriate because he took sides reflexively without benefit of all the facts and because presidents have no business weighing in on such local matters. Does anyone doubt that race was at the forefront of Obama’s mind?
But if there was any doubt, Obama removed it when ‘the main message’ he chose to impart from the Trayvon Martin matter was implied in this bizarre statement: “My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
Limbaugh also addressed Obama’s response to the Missouri grand jury that refused to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Brown. He said Obama’s decision to continue depicting Brown as a victim, coupled with then-Attorney General Eric Holder’s refusal to close the Department of Justice’s investigation into the killing, fueled distrust and racial animus.
Obama, a former member of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s black liberation theology United Christ Church of Christ in Chicago, largely absolves himself of culpability for deteriorating race relations. He casts the emergence of Black Lives Matter as a natural response to unsolved racial conflict from America’s past.
“We as a society, particularly given our history, have to take [Black Lives Matter] seriously,” Obama said while speaking at a White House forum on criminal justice Oct. 22, WND reported. “And one of the ways of avoiding the politics of this and losing the moment is everybody just stepping back for a second and understanding that the African-American community is not just making this up.”
Ironically, the WSJ/NBC poll found that while Obama has not been able to unite America on most policy issues, they now agree with him that race relations are dismal: 26 percent of African-Americans, 33 percent of whites and 38 percent of Hispanics have a positive outlook on race issues in the U.S.
The survey’s results were tabulated by interviewing 1,000 adults Dec. 6 through Dec. 9. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 points.