(NaturalNews) The election of Sen. Barack Obama as America's first black president was supposed to signal a new era of better race relations and ethnic healing not seen before in our history. Indeed, Obama's initial campaign message of "Hope and Change," itself seemed to conjure images of a country united by its common history, not divided by its varied ethnic factions and the white majority that elected him.
In the months after his historic election, as Obama enjoyed high approval ratings among all ethnic groups, polls showed something else - that, overwhelmingly, Americans believed the issue of race had finally been solved. At the beginning of Obama's first term, according to a survey conducted by Hart Research Associations and Public Opinion Strategies, 79 percent of whites and 63 percent of blacks held a favorable view of American race relations.
Today, however, those figures have plummeted. The same polling firm found in an early July survey conducted for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal that just 52 percent of whites and 38 percent of blacks now have a favorable opinion of race relations in America. More from The Daily Caller:
Negative views on race relations have also increased substantially. According to the poll, 45 percent of whites and 58 percent African-Americans now believe race relations are very or fairly bad, compared with 2009, when only 20 percent of whites and 30 percent of blacks held an unfavorable view.
Although the NBC/WSJ survey addressed the politically fueled Trayvon Martin controversy only obliquely (asking how the acquittal of George Zimmerman in Martin's shooting death had affected respondents' views of the legal system), the survey's historical time frame - which shows the steepest declines in positives and increases in negatives coming in the last two years - suggests the firestorm over the Martin case played a role in diminishing the high solidarity between whites and blacks that was exemplified by Obama's election.
The president gets much of the blame
Not everything about the deteriorating state of race relations in America can be blamed on Obama but clearly he has done much damage himself:
-- When a Cambridge, Mass., police officer arrested Harvard professor and Obama friend Henry Louis Gates, who is black, inside his home for disorderly conduct, before even knowing all of the facts (which the president himself admitted) Obama criticized the cop and the department in racial terms, saying, "I don't know - not having been there and not seeing all the facts - what role race played in that, but I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home." The comments rankled tens of millions of Americans because of its implied racist overtone, and earned the ire of the Cambridge P.D. police chief Robert Haas. For the record, the officer who arrested Gates, Sgt. James Crowley, who is white, "is a police academy expert on understanding racial profiling and has taught a class on the subject for five years at the Lowell Police Academy after being hand-picked for the job by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black," NBC News reported.
-- "In a radio interview that aired on Univision in 2010, the president urged his Latino supporters to 'punish our enemies and reward our friends,' in the upcoming election," FrontPage Magazine reports. "That was the same year he made an unsubtle reference to Rosa Parks and segregation in order to belittle Republicans. 'We don't mind the Republicans joining us,' the president told supporters in Rhode Island. 'They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.'"
-- And , of course, the president weighed in early and often in the Trayvon Martin shooting, beginning in March 2012 that if he "had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." Going a step further, in July - after the jury in a kangaroo court cleared Zimmerman of murder charges - Obama, in making a pointed effort to address the verdict, said, "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." By that, of course, he meant a young black male who was being profiled because he was a young black male.
What should we expect?
Helping the president destroy race relations, of course, is a litany of professional race-baiters and race hustlers - think Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson - who make a living out of keeping racial tensions high among blacks and whites. What's more, none of them - from the president on down - ever accentuate the positives regarding race relations in America, and there are many. They always portray them in a negative light. Why is that? Why is no one in the mainstream media asking?
Given these developments and examples, it's no wonder racial tensions are at all-time highs. It's just too bad our president is one of the worst offenders, but that's what happens when you elect a "community organizer" and lifelong activist.