Racing away from scandals with a race card.
In his second term, as scandals were exploding all around him, President William Jefferson Clinton boarded Air Force One along with a few close personal friends, like BET CEO and richest black man in America Robert Johnson, and a bunch of other businessmen and politicians, along with the ubiquitous Jesse Jackson, for a jaunt to Africa.
The trip cost a mere $42.8 million, which would have been enough to feed a sizable chunk of Africa, and featured an entourage that would have shamed Alexander the Great or Jay-Z. It took 1,300 people to make Clinton’s Great African Getaway possible including 205 personnel from the Office of the President, 60 from the State Department, 9 from the Department of Transportation and 1 from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Somehow Fish and Wildlife stayed at home.
The Department of Defense flew 98 airlift missions and 110 refueling missions. It might have been simpler to just invade and get it over with.
Despite the mass mobilization, Clinton wasn’t going to Africa so much as he was getting away from Washington, D.C. where every television news show was full of women accusing him of a One Man War on Women.
Two months earlier, Bill Clinton had wagged his finger at America and Hillary Clinton had blamed a vast right-wing conspiracy for her husband’s inability to keep his pants on. Now as Lewinsky’s lawyers were discussing immunity agreements, President Clinton invoked executive privilege, in more ways than one, and flew off to Africa.
It was the first black president’s first trip to Africa where he hoped to use the horrors of slavery to put his peccadilloes in perspective. Sure, the victim of the vast right-wing conspiracy might have actually had sexual relations with that woman and tried to force himself on countless other women, but who can attach any importance to that when contemplating the thousands chained up and dragged away to a life of slavery?
In Uganda, Clinton made history by apologizing for the slave trade. Uganda, however, was in East Africa and no slaves had gone to America from there. It was a case of, “I did not engage in slave trade with that part of the continent.”
None of the 1,300 people involved in the Great Apology Safari had bothered to research where the slaves came from because it didn’t matter. Bill Clinton was using Africa as a morality prop, the way that liberals so often use black people as props in their morality plays. In the little picture, he might be immoral for cheating on his wife, but in the big picture he was morally superior because he apologized for slavery.
Now as congressional Republicans were trying to figure out which scandal to investigate first, Barack Obama headed off to Morehouse, a historically black college, to offer some condescending words of wisdom, telling graduates, “It betrays a poverty of ambition if all you think about is what goods you can buy instead of what good you can do.” Far be it from the Morehouse Men to follow his example.
Obama cheerfully declared that he was an “Honorary Morehouse Man”; an honor that the Harvard and Columbia alum, who would never have been caught dead at Morehouse, prizes nearly as dearly as Clinton prized the lives of all the East Africans who were never enslaved.
“We know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices,” Obama told Morehouse grads, even as Congress was busy investigating the bad choices that he had made with the IRS and Benghazi. “Growing up, I made a few myself. And I have to confess, sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down.”
Fortunately that is a lapse that Obama has grown out of. It’s probably been an entire week since one of his surrogates compared the Republican Party to the KKK and declared that any investigation of his crimes and misdemeanors is another lynching.
But aside from the usual ObamaCare pitch, the race card was what the appearance was largely about. In 2012, Obama went to Barnard College, an elite women’s liberal arts school affiliated with his Columbia alma mater where the tuition it is double what it is at Morehouse, in keeping with his theme of a War on Women. (A war that history records Bill Clinton successfully winning when he dodged impeachment.)
In 2013, Obama needed to suddenly remind everyone that the world was trying to keep a half-black man down after twice selecting him for the highest office in the world. At Morehouse, Obama praised grads for their critical race theory awareness in being able to recognize “the burdens you carry with you, but to resist the temptation to use them as excuses.”
Obama, who has never carried a burden heavier than a golf club bag, has exploited their burdens as his excuse for everything. He got elected by exploiting the guilt and anger over a history of slavery that he had as much to do with as the Ugandans did. And he stayed in office by flipping open his wallet and flashing his race card every time he was pulled over because the taillight of national defense was out and the muffler of the economy was dragging a hail of sparks along the road.
Instead of going to Africa, where he actually has some relevant history, Obama went to Morehouse, where he has none.
Obama’s roots aren’t African-American. They have as little to do with the country’s tangled past as Uganda does. The son of a diplomat and the grandson of the Vice President of the Bank of Hawaii, he lived a privileged life that had little in common with the “brothers who have been left behind” mentioned in his speech.
“The brothers who have been left behind – who haven’t had the same opportunities we have – they need to hear from us. We’ve got to be in the barbershops with them, at church with them, spending time and energy and presence helping pull them up, exposing them to new opportunities, and supporting their dreams,” Obama told them.
Meanwhile under Obama, the unemployment rate for the “brothers” stands at 14 percent. For teen brothers, it’s 43 percent. Brothers with college degrees, like those coming out of Morehouse, have double the unemployment rate of white college graduates.
Bob Johnson, who went on the Great African Lewinsky Escape safari with Bill Clinton, said, “This country would never tolerate white unemployment at 14 and 15 percent. No one would ever stay in office at 14 or 15 percent unemployment in this nation.”
But Johnson is wrong. If unemployment ever hits 15 percent or it it’s revealed that the IRS will allot kidney transplants based on the contents of your prayers and four embassies are destroyed in a single day, Obama will just head back to Morehouse to impress white liberal supporters with another one of his inspirational speeches about not using race as an excuse.
And if that doesn’t work, he can always try Uganda.
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