President Obama journeys to Dallas Tuesday in the wake of the slaughter of five police officers there by Micah Johnson, the sniper who methodically assassinated them specifically because they were officers of the law, and white.
The president’s visit to Dallas is mind-bending, because during his presidency he has sown the seeds of hatred for police officers.
That began with his condemnation of Sgt. James Crowley in Cambridge, Mass., for simply doing his job. Crowley arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who appeared to be breaking into what turned out to be his own home.
It continued when Obama sent then-Attorney General Eric Holder to the funeral of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., after Brown tried to take a white police officer’s gun and was killed by the officer.
The president arrives in Dallas having caused countless police officers severe psychological trauma. He has put officers in the paralyzing position of defending the whole of our citizenry after he has methodically cleaved that citizenry into pieces, with some like shards of glass ready to cut officers down.
And it hasn’t stopped. Even the president’s recent statement that those who attack white police officers are doing “disservice to the cause” implies, psychologically, that protesters have every reason to be enraged, organized and on the march, but that they should try to show restraint.
The president arrives in Dallas having caused countless police officers severe psychological trauma. He has put officers in the paralyzing position of defending the whole of our citizenry after he has methodically cleaved that citizenry into pieces, with some like shards of glass ready to cut officers down. He has implicitly suggested that officers ask themselves if their impulses to protect and to serve are a thin veil for opposite impulses to harm citizens — even to kill them.
Journeying to Dallas in “support” of police officers is another toxic mind game by the president. It apparently wasn’t enough for him to pit whole populations against the police. It apparently wasn’t enough for him to make police question their own motivations and decency. Now he has to deny that he was the instigator of these seditious forces by praising officers and saying he mourns those who were assassinated. This will deprive some officers of their own proper rage at having been wrongly vilified by the president. And denying one’s proper rage is the growing place for depression.
The tug of war inside America, as regards those charged with protecting and serving us, at risk of their own lives, is the product of the Obama administration. The tug of war inside police officers who must protect and serve us while wondering if large numbers of us hate them is the product of the Obama administration.
I believe the president knows very well that dividing is the way to conquer the spirit of our nation and the spirit of those fundamentally decent men and women who protect our laws with their lives.
Keith Ablow, MD is a psychiatrist, and was host of the nationally-syndicated "Dr. Keith Ablow Show." He is a former member of the Fox News Medical A Team.