By Selywn Duke
Many millions of people have been murdered throughout history due to ethnic and racial hatred. It’s a deadly flaw that man, being tribalistic by nature, tends toward. This is why there are few things more destructive and evil than using lies to stoke the fires of racial animosity. This brings me to the recently discussed video of Barack Obama’s 2007 Hampton University speech.
As some already know, the video shows Obama feigning an Ebonics accent (not always very well) while addressing the university’s mostly black audience. This is eyebrow-raising not just because the president doesn’t normally speak that way, but because he surely never did. Remember that Obama never actually lived in a black neighborhood, having grown up in Indonesia and Hawaii. In fact, even when he became a community agitator later in life, he didn’t live among the project dwellers he was agitating but in racially mixed Hyde Park a 90-minute commute away.
Most damning, however, is what 2007 Obama said about the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. As Thomas Sowell presented it:
Departing from his prepared remarks, he [Obama] mentioned the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster relief to contribute 10 percent as much as the federal government does.
Senator Obama, as he was then, pointed out that this requirement was waived in the case of New York [after 9/11] and Florida [after Hurricane Andrew] because the people there were considered to be “part of the American family.” But the people in New Orleans — predominantly black — “they don’t care about as much,” according to Barack Obama.
Such race-baiting is always bad, but there’s something that makes this far, far worse: two weeks before Obama’s speech, the Senate had in fact voted to waive the Stafford Act for New Orleans. Moreover, that city ultimately received more federal tax money for reconstruction than New York and Florida combined.
But it gets worse still. As Sowell writes:
Unlike Jeremiah Wright’s church, the U.S. Senate keeps a record of who was there on a given day. The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007 shows Senator Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 Senators who voted against — repeat, AGAINST — the legislation which included the waiver.
So let’s put what happened in plain terms:
Obama votes against funding for the disaster-stricken black people about whom he purports to care.
The measure, however, passes despite his resistance.
He then appears in front of other black people a mere two weeks later and claims that no such funding was forthcoming.
Furthermore, he sends a clear message that this is due to white “racism,” vile racial demagoguery sure to evoke hateful feelings.
The only thing left to settle is what circle of Hell this behavior warrants. That is to say, since the Stafford Act waiver was embedded in a larger bill, there’s an outside chance that Obama didn’t realize it was part of the legislation and that it had been waived for New Orleans. After all, given his admitted laziness, perhaps he was as out-to-lunch during the Senate vote as he was in last week’s debate. But how likely is this given that he mentioned the act in his Hampton U. act? And even if it was the case, it only means that his contemptible demagoguery was facilitated by terminal malpractice and incompetence—as opposed to an outright lie.
Yet the media tells us that this story, which more than most anything else reveals Obama’s character, is old news. Well, to use a variation on one of Thomas Sowell’s examples, the Pythagorean Theorem is 2000 years old, but it is assuredly “news” to the schoolchild who learns it today, and it is knowledge that could be valuable in a career he may have tomorrow.
Then, remember that there is a kind of very old news called history, and it’s actually more significant than new news because it’s endured long enough to grow old. And we know that if we fail to learn from it, we’ll repeat its mistakes. If we don’t want to repeat the mistake of 2008, we’d better learn from 2007.