Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 2:32 am | Fair 36º

 
 
 

Henry Schulte: America’s Racial Divide Has Widened Under Obama’s Watch

More than 150 years ago, 620,000 soldiers/citizens (some say as many as 850,000, more than all other wars combined) died fighting and in many cases against his brother, uncle, cousin or even a father to put an end to slavery. More than 40,000 black soldiers died fighting for the Union.

The Civil War tore this country apart but did so for a very noble and just cause. One of our great all-time presidents made a strong, decisive and difficult decision that slavery was not what this nation was about and secession of the South could fragment the country. But it’s what a leader does; it’s what an American president does because they are elected to serve all the people not just a specific group and to do so using common sense, intellect and not ideology.

One hundred and fifty-three years later, the United States voted in its first black president with an over 60 percent approval rating. With only 14 percent of the country black, the rest of the voters were Hispanic, Asian and predominantly white.

With such a plurality of white support, how is it possible in only six years our first black president has managed to split this country apart like it’s never seen since the '60s? President Barack Obama had been given not only the opportunity of a lifetime for his personal accomplishments, but he’d been given a golden ticket to make America even greater, to bring the nation together like he promised. But Obama took his golden ticket and threw it in the wind and never looked back.

What could have been one of this country’s greatest achievements to unite the nation has widened the color chasm to a new level, pitted the achievers of America against the less fortunate, painted women as a gender that needs help from the government, and driven our debt to such a level that there will never ever be a way to pay it down.

But to stay focused on the racism issue. There is racism in America, there always has been and there always will be, and we all know that, but one thing that never gets reported is that racism is a two-way street and always has been as well. We could debate ad infinitum over the reasons why — black oppression, history of slavery, police targeting blacks — but the truth remains that a certain percentage of blacks hate whites and always will regardless of the facts, and the same holds true for whites and their feelings toward blacks.

So we need to get past that segment of society and focus on the country as a whole. And the whole is not like that. Some of the highest paid citizens in America are black. A large number of our athletes are black and are paid multimillions of dollars a year. And how do they achieve such a reward for their athleticism, from predominantly white fans? A football stadium with over 70,000 people cheering is largely white. But they’re not concerned about the teams they’re watching being largely black. They’re excited for their chosen players, they’re paying the ticket prices, they’re buying the clothes, and they are happy and excited for the athletes. The same holds true for basketball and so on.

To say that Americans, especially the police, have it out for black America is a ridiculous commentary. Americans embrace Americans regardless of color. It’s the media who buy into this nonsense and perpetuate this garbage, and it’s also the likes of Al Sharpton — a crook in his own right — Jesse Jackson, college “professors” and numerous activists who keep fueling those flames and advance racial divide.

The country is in a bigger mess today since the election of our black president and growing exponentially worse. The media try a case when it’s white on black before any facts have been presented, but you don’t hear a thing when a white man was nearly beaten to death by a roving band of black kids for simply asking them to get off his truck. And we’ve all seen the trickle down effect in certain precincts where police are now being openly challenged. If I were a cop in those areas I’d be looking for another job. Or we can copy the European model and just not go into certain neighborhoods and let them police themselves. See how long that will last. Chicago, Baltimore and Oakland are but a few examples of utter chaos taking place and they’re controlled by Democrats.

Obama has really missed this boat. Had he used his skin color in a different way to show that it didn’t matter and that we can work as a united team, think of what he could have accomplished. It’s a terrible shame that given this amazing and great opportunity he blew it. And for what? To advance some sort of personal agenda, or is it merely he didn’t really know how to deal with it? I personally think it has more to do with the latter.

His heart may have been in the right place, but his political agenda was misguided. Who knows how long it will be before another man or woman of color sits in the White House? I hope it isn’t that long, but I do hope whoever it is will take full advantage of the opportunity when given and finally do the right thing.

— Henry Schulte of Santa Barbara owns and operates Dos Pueblos Ranch. He has been politically active in the community for years. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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