The racial divide fanned by Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder has a new highlight reel, courtesy of four black adults in Chicago who allegedly held hostage a white man with special needs and humiliated, beat, slashed him, while screaming slurs about white people and Donald Trump. The video of their alleged crimes was streamed live on Facebook.
Not everyone, of course, will agree that the President should be held to account for this hate crime, and the President did condemn it. But I think that when the President of the United States and former Attorney General repeatedly accused police officers (who were merely doing their jobs) of racial prejudice and when he failed to strongly condemn riots in Baltimore and elsewhere he set the stage for acts of perceived retribution by violent minority individuals.
No President of the United States in recent history has ever shown more of an inclination to look the other way when cities burn, police officers are killed or, for that matter, when terrorists commit crimes against our nation (and are then set free by him from Guantanamo Bay). Because no President in recent history seems to have been gripped by such deep conviction that America—and, particularly, white America has so much about which to be ashamed and so much payback coming.
The truth is that terrible crimes against black people have been committed by white criminals. But the President’s psychological stance, on public display, has made equality look like the freedom for minorities to be hateful to other races, too. And that profound tragedy, as I see it, is Barack Obama’s legacy, more than anything else.
I still remember Oprah Winfrey saying she had “done [her] homework” on Barack Obama when she endorsed him for President, nearly eight years ago. What sort of homework did she do, I wonder? Where is Ms. Winfrey now, beloved by so many of every race, to clarify her views on whether she is disappointed by the racially-charged rhetoric of Mr. Obama and his cohorts?
If there’s any blame left to go around, by the way, maybe Mark Zuckerberg could take a look in the mirror and wonder why young adults seem to think it is just fine to videotape horrific acts, as though they are stars in a macabre movie. Because he provided the platform that degrades the empathetic instincts of millions of Americans and turns them into attention-seeking, mini-reality TV versions of themselves.
It will be a monumental task for President-Elect Donald Trump to heal the nation, which is a necessary part of making it great, again. The healing will include a psychological reawakening—reminding people that the best in them is the part that knows their worth, and insists on it being honored, but is also capable of forgiving past transgressions.
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.