President Obama’s appearance in Dallas yesterday after the ambush of police officers “was a highly charged and delicate moment for the nation’s first black president,” reports the Dallas Morning News. He spoke of unity and community, heroes, and public servants. He held a mirror to the anti-police protesters and to police and the public alike, and demanded they each see fellow human beings instead of threats.
“The deepest fault lines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed, perhaps even widened,” he said.
Obama’s most rabid critics have accused him of inflaming racial division in the lasts week. The Morning News calls it a pattern: “Americans often give presidents more credit for good times than they deserve and more blame for bad, given how much control leaders really have over social forces, longstanding grievances and geopolitical dynamics.”
More than a dozen times, Obama has wrestled with a response to a mass shooting. His demands for gun control have gone nowhere — he’s met fierce resistance and recurring cries that he is politicizing a tragedy to advance an anti-gun agenda. Yesterday, he left no room for detractors to dismiss him as anti-cop or anti-white. He called the five murdered officers heroes and deemed the shootings an “act of demented violence” and “racial hatred.”