Thomas Hawk

In a recent interview with a reporter from Black Entertainment Television (BET), the President stated that racism is “deeply rooted“ in America.

With the recent events in Ferguson and the Staten Island death of Eric Garner, I understand why the president feels he needs to interject race. However, I believe the President has blown an opportunity to bring the races closer together and instead, created more polarization.

He could have used his pulpit to say that although racism exists, things are a lot better today than in the past, and that his presidency is living proof that many people of all colors want to move past race.

Who could have dreamt this scenario, that the man who electrified the nation with a message of hope and change in 2008, would today sound like another disgruntled racial opportunist grumbling about the grievances and injustices of the past?

It’s disappointing. True leaders don’t cry about adversity; they rise above it. Imagine how this world would be if Winston Churchill had told his countrymen that surrendering to the Nazis was practical because of intense bombings, or if Roosevelt had told the nation that because the Japanese sank most of our battleships at Pearl Harbor, the best thing to do was surrender.
However, this president wants many African Americans to believe he’s an ineffective president because of a few Republicans that might be racist.

He should have given the predominantly black audience straight talk about what’s wrong with the black community, explaining that, yes, racism exists and whenever the Obama administration finds blatant discrimination, everything possible will be done to exterminate it.
However, he also should have said policies cannot make sure your kids are in school instead of on the corner. While blacks should be outraged about Ferguson and the death of Mr. Garner, they must show the same passion when Jaquon shoots Lil Wee Wee over a pair of Air Jordans. They should have marches and protests over gang bangers that shoot innocent children over blocks and corners. African Americans who are so outraged about injustice and racism should go after the industries that portray blacks in an unflattering manner, such as Hollywood and the music industry. They should stage rallies against absentee fathers, players and pimps that disrespect black women by smacking them around.

If the President were serious about addressing African Americans and the criminal justice system, he would have told them, yes, we should always be vigilant on racism, but blacks need to take responsibility for their behavior. He should have emphasized that the reason whites aren’t getting locked up as often as African Americans is because they don’t draw attention to themselves. You don’t see whites caught on tape red handed, strong arming someone over Cigarillos or Swisher Sweets. Nor are they out in broad daylight having street fights or carrying on on buses and trains.
Suggesting racism is “ deeply rooted “ in American society sends a wrong message to future generations of African Americans that no matter what you do, you will never be accepted because you’re black.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” and I feel African Americans are destroying an opportunity by urging our president towards a blacker stance.
I encourage president Obama to be the man that once electrified the nation with the rhetoric of hope and change and refrain from divisive rhetoric that doesn’t brings the races together but divides people.