Barack Obama is lots of things. Some of them are even printable in a family publication.
There are also a great many things he is not. For example, transparent. Despite his early boasts about being open and aboveboard, his has been one of the least transparent administrations in history. One New York Times reporter, asked if the Obama was transparent, responded that it was the “most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.”
He has also not been post-racial, though in fairness he never promised he would be. The hope that he would cement over racial divisions emanated from the over-active imagination of self-deluded voters who ignored his divisive comments, which included calling his own grandmother — the woman who raised him! — “a typical white person” who is “suspicious of strangers of other races.”
Which brings us to yesterday’s declaration by the president. At an ABC News townhall, Obama accorded himself the title of “Mr. Hope.” Sharing his conviction that police departments and the communities they serve can come to trust one another, he said:
Nobody’s more hopeful than me. I’m Mr. Hope when it comes to these issues. I’ve said from the start that we are not as divided as we seem. And I think we’re gonna solve it. [Emphasis added]
That’s a noble aspiration, though it’s hard to swallow coming from a guy who later in the same townhall offered this defense of Black Lives Matter:
It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.
And what would that vulnerability be? He explained that last Friday in remarks from Warsaw on the police shooting deaths of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota:
The data shows [sic] black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents. We have seen tragedies like this too many times.
Actually, the data show nothing of the kind. A study recently released by researchers at Harvard University found that when it comes to “officer-involved shootings — we are unable to detect any racial differences in either the raw data or when accounting for controls.”