The sole responsibility for the horrible massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church lies with the deranged killer. Nobody else can be held to blame for the evil he committed. He should bear the responsibility for it alone.
On the other hand, responsibility for today’s social climate - which encourages deranged nuts to come out of the woodwork to avenge their grievances, real and imagined - is another matter. For this, the net of blame must be cast wider.
Specifically I am speaking about President Obama. Leading up to the 2012 Presidential election, the President deliberately adopted a strategy of stoking racial animosity with every local crime story that could be misinterpreted by demagogues. First came the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman circus, then Ferguson, MO, and next Baltimore. The goal of The Narrative appears to have been to anger black Americans in order to maximize black voter turnout.
The first group of nuts agitated by these reprehensible tactics were black rioters; in Ferguson, then Baltimore, then elsewhere, looters in the inner city black communities were provoked and encouraged. It was only a matter of time before some white maniac responded in kind. In Charleston, SC, the inevitable happened.
Instead of pushing a false narrative (Zimmerman attacked Trayvon, the Ferguson police officer assassinated an unarmed ‘gentle giant’, etc.), and instead of spreading the lie that the American justice system in general - and the local police force in particular - are out to get African Americans, a responsible authority figure would have responded firmly but fairly every time a crime story threatened to disrupt racial harmony. President Obama should have had a calming influence. He should not have been the one to amplify historical grievances and animosities. He should have been the voice of reason but he wasn’t.
Why is he doing this?
In politics, it is said that he who frames the debate, wins the debate. The left is framing the debate in terms of its agenda items: discrediting Southern culture (i.e. banning the Confederate flag) and imposing gun control. Any conservative who goes along with their arguments is a fool. Instead, conservatives should point out that racial discord occurs whenever people are treated as groups rather than individuals. He who whips up racial grievances for fun and profit only ends up fermenting unintended – and nasty - consequences. But just because those consequences are unintended, it doesn’t absolve the demagogues of their responsibility. The US Constitution is based on the treatment of American citizens as individuals. In a diverse society consisting of more than one race, the only way that everybody can coexist peacefully is if everybody is treated firmly but equally, and judged only by their own individual actions, not the actions of their distant relatives. If an American politician were willing to stand on this principle, he would win the Presidency - easily.
How do I know this? Because that’s how Barack Obama got to the White House. It was his speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 - when he said, “There is no white America or a black America. There is only the United States of America” - that catapulted him to national prominence and jump-started his Presidential bid. It resonated with American voters who sincerely want to put America’s racial problems behind her. As the first black President in US history, he was uniquely qualified to do this.
Too bad he didn’t mean it.