ANALYSIS Barack Obama’s Presidency has been a disappointment to anyone hoping that America would change direction. To date, he has launched attacks on six countries through drone strikes and assassinations that could one day be copied by nations like Russia and China. And with troop build up once again in Iraq, as well as an extension of the stay in Afghanistan, the Nobel Peace Prize winning President has proved to be little more than a black Ronald Reagan – shiny with little else behind the steady smile. But it’s the scenes emerging in Ferguson and Cleveland following the deaths of two young black men at the hands of law enforcement that are proving to be the defining images of this Black President’s two term stay at the White House.
They are Michael Brown who was shot dead by a white police man, who the Grand Jury has just decided will not face any charges, and 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was shot dead by policemen.
Tamir was playing with a replica gun when police were alerted by a caller clearly alarmed by the sight of an armed black man playing on the swings. In both cases law enforcement believed they were acting in self defence – Michael was shot several times, whilst Tamir twice. Yet, the protesters in Ferguson some of whom have been violent, and those in Cleveland clearly do not accept the offered version of events, for they like most African Americans see nothing of the American dream – they never have and probably never will. The only difference now is that the word racism has been taken out of public debate, for America has a black president and he won twice. Never mind that the conditions in which African Americans, as well as Native Americans, have to endure every single day of their lives. America’s founding communities are trapped in a cycle of poverty, poor education, non existent health care with zero prospects of bettering themselves – all of which is backed up by a law enforcement that civil rights campaigners say has simply incorporated anti terror measures into policing Black neighbourhoods, at a time America is enduring a deep and still unfolding recession. So, as the skies of Fergusion and Cleveland, as well as elsewhere, light up with scenes of protest and violence from demonstrators and law enforcement, perhaps the most telling comment about the state of race relations in modern day America after six years of having a black President at the helm comes from Mayor Gulliani. Blacks, he said, were more likely to be killed by another black than a white police officer.
TEMPLATE NEWS 2014