According to multiple sources, Barack Obama has signed on to deliver a speech to Wall Street in September for which he will be paid $400,000. For the time being, however, he is charging nothing. And judging from remarks he made Monday at the University of Chicago, he is worth every penny.
The speech marked his first public engagement since leaving the White house, and the subject — the lingering inequities of race in the U.S. — was distressingly familiar not only coming from America’s first black president but from a man who is on pace to become one of the nation’s richest.
In the speech, a video clip from which appears below, he spoke of the “stereotypical profile of somebody who has a good likelihood of shooting or getting shot here in Chicago.”
“What was striking when you sat down with these guys,” he continued, contrasting youths he had met to the six “young leaders” who joined him on stage, “was they are young.”
If you had listened to them talking, you would recognize them as not that different from any other young man 18 to 24. What was different was their circumstances.
They had grown up in some cases in foster care or their mother was a drug addict and they had been neglected, so even within the city boundaries a lot of times we will characterize our neighbors as something entirely different than us, that we can’t understand and that we are afraid of and we can’t communicate with. Political rhetoric reinforces that. They need to be heard too.
If the six of you had been in that conversation, you would have come away not saying, ‘these are some thugs or super predators that I can’t relate to.’ You would actually say, ‘man, if I had gone through what they went through, I’m not sure how things would have worked out for me, either.’ [Emphasis added]
Super predators? Where did that phrase come from? For the answer you would need to go all the way back to 1994, to the presidency of Bill Clinton, whose much-in-the-news-then-as-now wife said in support of her husband’s tough “three strikes and you’re out” crime bill (beginning at 0:42):
Not just gangs of kids any more. They are often the kinds of kids who are called ‘super predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they end up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.
(h/t Christian Datoc, Daily Caller)