- The Washington Times - Friday, July 26, 2013

Race relations have deteriorated dramatically under President Obama. Both whites and blacks agree: the racial divide has increased over the past several years. The reason is simple. Mr. Obama has deliberately fanned the flames of racial bitterness and hatred.

Just over 50 percent of whites and 38 percent of blacks hold a positive view of race relations, according to a new poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal. This is a steep decline from when Mr. Obama was first elected in 2008. Then, nearly 80 percent of whites and more than 60 percent of blacks held a positive opinion of U.S. race relations. The country is becoming dangerously fractured along racial and ideological lines.

This is precisely what Mr. Obama wants. Contrary to liberal myth, he is not a conventional Democrat in the mold of John F. Kennedy or Bill Clinton. Rather, the president is something new in American politics: He is a disciple of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright — a radical anti-colonial socialist, who espouses black nationalism and despises traditional America. From the inception of his presidency, Mr. Obama’s goal has been to advance a divide-and-conquer strategy. In particular, he seeks to split America into two pieces, grabbing the bigger electoral chunk. Hence, he has used class warfare, demonizing the “1 percent” of wealthy Americans on behalf of the so-called 99 percent. He falsely claims Republicans are waging a “war on women.” And he has repeatedly — and cynically — played the race card.

Principled criticism of Mr. Obama’s major social democratic policies — the nearly $1 trillion stimulus, Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reform — have been denounced by Democratic operatives as “racist.” When Mr. Obama’s friend, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, got into an altercation with a white Cambridge police officer, the president — without even knowing the facts in the case — immediately leapt to Mr. Gates’ defense. Mr. Obama publicly scolded the Cambridge cop. The president’s alleged rationale? That white cops are inherently bigoted against black victims.

Anti-white racism pervades his administration. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has refused to prosecute members of the New Black Panthers for intimidating white voters at a polling booth in Philadelphia. Mr. Holder has ordered the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division not to investigate crimes perpetrated by blacks against white victims. If this is not a racial double standard, then I don’t know what is.

Yet, the most pernicious race baiting took place in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal. During the anti-Zimmerman protests in 2012, the Justice Department sent liaison officers to Sanford, Fla. Their mission: to aid black activists, such as the Rev. Al Sharpton, to foment racial unrest on behalf of slain black teenager Trayvon Martin. Mr. Zimmerman was rightly found not guilty of killing Trayvon. Instead of respecting the jury’s verdict, Mr. Obama personally interjected himself into the case.

Mr. Obama claimed that he “could have been” Trayvon 35 years ago. Moreover, at a hastily convened news conference, the president wallowed in self-pity, decrying that he had been “profiled” as a young black man in department stores and elevators. In short, Mr. Obama portrayed himself as a long-standing victim of white bigotry.

The spectacle was not only politically perverse, but morally revolting. Think about it: The most powerful man in the world, who was elected to the presidency not once but twice, is complaining about being allegedly mistreated as a black man in America. Everything he said was blatantly false. Mr. Obama has been the beneficiary of white liberal guilt and American privilege. He was raised not in some blighted inner-city neighborhood, but in a prosperous middle-class home in Hawaii. Because of affirmative action, he was accepted at Occidental College, then Harvard University, and eventually promoted to be the head of its prestigious law review (even though he never wrote a serious scholarly article). Mr. Obama was then parachuted by supporters into the Illinois state Senate. From there, he was elected to a safe seat in the U.S. Senate. Finally, the liberal media propped him up and misrepresented him to the American public, as he rode a wave of good will into the White House. Yet, all of this doesn’t matter. Like other race-baiting Democrats, when push comes to shove, the president blames whitey.

Mr. Obama has cynically exploited the death of Trayvon. The shooting was a local affair. From the beginning, it was none of the president’s business. He has sought to use the shooting to heighten racial tensions in a desperate bid to galvanize black support for his crumbling presidency. Benghazi, the burgeoning IRS scandal, snooping on the press, and the Orwellian use of the National Security Agency to spy on American citizens — Mr. Obama is presiding over the most lawless, scandal-ridden administration in memory. He makes Richard Nixon look like Calvin Coolidge.

Playing the race card seeks to distract the public from the president’s numerous abuses of power. It may work for a while, but the long-term costs are poisoned race relations that will haunt the nation long after he is no longer in office.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio commentator on WRKO AM-680 in Boston.