Blame is holding an individual responsible for, and making negative statements about, their actions that are allegedly morally irresponsible; in plain language it means the person has done something wrong. In the bizarre world of corporate conservative media, everything wrong in America is President Barack Obama’s fault regardless that most of the nation’s ills either were, or are, created by past and current Republican policies.
The latest “blame Obama” crusade is reaction to the President’s request for funding to train and outfit racist cops with body cameras. The President’s proposal also calls for a review of, and pledged to tighten, the standards for transferring military equipment from the battlefield to local police in the wake of the Ferguson police’s military response to peaceful African American demonstrators. It is noteworthy that President Obama did not come up with the idea to fund better police training or provide police departments with body cameras unilaterally. He held a series of meetings with law enforcement personnel, civil rights leaders, and Cabinet officials to devise reforms to ease mistrust towards trigger-happy racist cops in predominately minority communities.
Of all the President’s proposals, outfitting racist cops with body cameras is reported by the Department of Justice to be a major tool in reducing the use of force by law enforcement. According to the 2014 DOJ report, in one city alone the “use of force by officers dropped 60 percent, and citizen complaints declined by 88 percent” and that “similar findings applied to other cities with body cameras.” The Justice Department found other benefits such as assisting the resolution of citizen complaints against police, particularly reducing the likelihood of false complaints against law enforcement. In fact, according to UK studies, body cameras reduced the amount of officers’ paperwork, improved their ability to determine whether a crime occurred, and increased the chances of a case ending in a guilty plea instead of a criminal trial. A separate report by the DOJ’s “Community Oriented Policing Services” (COPS) Office, several chiefs of police “heralded the use of body cameras as a means to collect evidence.” However, research and facts are irrelevant to racists in right-wing media and with a convenient Black man to blame, there was no dearth of finger-pointing at President Obama.
According to a concerted right-wing media assault on the President, conservative pundits claim the President should stop blaming “racist cops” for shooting unarmed African Americans and start focusing on job creation and increased education funding for the African American community. Seriously, that was the crux of their condemnation of the President’s proposal; he has spent six years not focusing on jobs, or education, and needs to stop criticizing law enforcement or proposing funding for better training for racist police officers.
On his radio show, conservative Mark Levin assailed the President for not making any effort to address unemployment rates because he is too busy concentrating on the “racist cops” instead of “the desperate socio-economic conditions the President created.” Levin said the President “doesn’t want to fix the situation” because he would rather “lecture the nation on racist cops and white guilt.” Although Levin’s assertion the President has made no effort to create jobs is astonishing even coming from a conservative, it is his claim that the President created the lingering unemployment resulting from GOP-championed job outsourcing, the Bush-Republican Great Recession, or that the President is responsible for Republicans in Congress blocking each and every one of the Administration’s job creation proposals.
On Fox, the outrage at the President’s request for funding for police training and body cameras was no less absurd than Levin’s. Gretchen Carlson claimed that instead of addressing something as stupid as police accountability, the President “should start a conversation about race relations and the lack of jobs” she said the President “is not really addressing here.” Joining in on Fox was Steve Doocy who said the President should focus on “more pressing issues than police training” such as job creation, education, and the lack of opportunity “instead of trying to guarantee that police are held accountable for their actions.”
According to Bill Kristol, the uber-conservative who finds everything this President does an abomination portrayed the President’s call for police to wear body cameras “beating up on the cops and a terrible idea.” Instead, Kristol suggested the President’s best course of action to resolve racist cops shooting unarmed African Americans is for “Obama to wear a body camera when he meets in private with civil rights leaders.” There is no printable commentary for that most absurd conservative counsel to address racist cops to date. Kristol sincerely believes that calling for police accountability to stem the epidemic of gunning down unarmed African Americans is attacking law enforcement.
On Tuesday, the President was blamed again for the racist cops’ actions in Ferguson by another Fox pundit, Martha MacCallum, who claimed the President’s reaction to an unarmed African American being murdered was divisive because instead of attacking Michael Brown for being murdered, or condemning the peaceful hands up demonstrators accosted by militarized Ferguson police, he was “pointing the finger of blame at the racist Ferguson police by calling for better police training and funding for body cameras.” MacCallum said, “You see how divisive all of it has been and it looks like race relations have deteriorated in the wake of all of this. I wonder what role President Obama and Eric Holder could have played if he talked about bringing people together in this instead of pointing the finger of blame towards the police.”
No thinking human being ever expects right-wing media to stop blaming President Obama for all the woes of the country because like unarmed murder victims Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and every other victim of racial violence, the President is African American. Because they are the media arm of the racists in the Republican Party, conservative media cannot possibly assign even a scintilla of blame to the white racist cops gunning down unarmed African Americans. They also cannot possibly blame the lack of job creation or cuts to education on Republicans because there is a highly-visible Black man in the White House and as every Klan member, white supremacist, and confederate segregationist knows, whenever there is any problem, blame the Black guy for something the white guys did. It was the case with Trayvon, Mike Brown, and for the past six years, it is the case with Barack Obama as evidenced by the racists on Fox and right-wing media outlets around the nation.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.