President Obama’s election in 2008 supposedly ushered in a Post-Racial Era in America. But actually Race ugliness vis a vis the President started early in 2008 with the birther nonsense caused by Hillary Clinton supporters sending out thousands of emails calling into question Obama’s citizenship. The controversy crossed the aisle and was picked up by the GOP through the Drudge Report and extended the controversy into 2011.
But perhaps the turning point in the Post-Racial Era was signalled by GOP representative Joe Wilson shouting “You Lie” at President Obama in a Joint Session of Congress in 2009 – an unheard of event . This coincided with the backroom machinations by Senator Mitch McConnell who back in 2008 as Obama was being inaugurated formulated a policy of sabotaging any bipartisanship with Blanket Legislative No-votes to deny any policy victories for President Obama. The calculation by Senator McConnell was that failure to deliver infrastructure jobs, tuition and tax relief, and other Obama relief programs could be stalled in the Senate[with cynical repeated use of the cloture vote requiring 60 vote majorities] while the GOP could disguise their tactics by calling for more bipartisanship from the President. In the 2010 and 2014 elections the tactic worked as the Presidents popularity fell and the GOP gained control of the Senate while enlarging its majority in the House.
Then a series of shootings by police and pseudo-police across the USA erased any notions of a Post Racial breakthrough as witnessed by the number of unarmed blacks killed by police over the last year:
Apr 30 2014 in Milwaukee Dontre Hamilton shot 14 times by a police officer outside a Starbucks.
May 31 2014 in Cleveland Ohio an unarmed black couple, Timothy Russell and Melissa Williams, are shot at 100 times. After stopping after 25 minute traffic chase, shooting had subsided but Officer Brelo got on the hood of the car and shot through the windshield 15 more times. 5 were fatal shots. A white Cleveland judge just cleared Brelo of any charges.
Jul 17, 2014 in NYC Eric Garner is choked to death by police even after calling out 11 times “I can’t breath”.
Aug 5 2014 in Dayton Ohio John Crawford is shot by police because he was carrying a bb-gun.
Aug 9 2014 in Ferguson Missouri is shot death despite being unarmed. DOJ declines to prosecute.
Aug 11 2014 in Florence California unarmed Ezell Ford is shot dead by police officer, once in the back.
Aug 12 2014 in Victorville California Dante Parker, father of 5, is tased to death. Investigation ongoing.
Nov 13 2014 in Cleveland Ohio Tanisha Anderson is killed when police bash her head against the pavement.
Nov 20 2014 in NYC unarmed Akai Gurley shot by police in stairwell walking with his girl friend.
Nov 22 2014 in Cleveland Ohio 12 year old Tamir Rice was shot within 10 seconds of police arrival on the scene as police officers “mistake” a toy gun for the real thing.
Dec 2 2014 in Phoenix Arizona Rumain Brisbon is shot dead by police when a bottle is mistaken for being a weapon.
Dec 30 2014 in Bridgeton New Jersey Jerame Reid is shot dead while exiting with hands up from car.
Mar 6 2015 in Madison Wisconsin unarmed Tony Robinson is shot 3 times by police officer.
Mar 30 2015 in Vineland New Jersey Phillip White dies in police custody,. There is ongoing investigation.
Apr 2 2015 in Tulsa Oklahoma unarmed Eric Harris was shot when officer “mistakenly” used gun instead of taser.
Apr 4 2015 in Charleston South Carolina unarmed Walter Scott is shot in the back by police officer.
Apr 19 2015 in Baltimore Maryland Freddie Gray dies of spinal cord injuries in police van.
18 unarmed Black deaths by police provide ample proof that the racial divide, especially in policing, is still well entrenched.
Finally Salon magazine did a story about the President getting a Twitter account. I had a bad feeling:
And Twitter followers did not disappoint my expectations of bad Tweets for POTUS – lots of trolls, name-calling, 140 characters of incivility and an ample layering of racial hate mongering. And so there you have it, Racism is alive and well in the USofA!