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A Reply to My Commenters

Why tear down an Obama critic who acknowledged voting for him?

By 1.15.13

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The comments so far on my most recent piece (“Despair Inside the Beltway”), which ran here yesterday, have usually fit a familiar pattern: tear down the writer who voted for Mr. Obama even though he has now seen the error of his ways and is working for change. In my humble opinion, little progress toward change is made by tearing down those on your side — rather than by seeking to find ways of calmly and politely working together to defeat the president and his allies. Each opponent should seek to work in his or her own way toward a change in direction for our precious country.

My way of working for change has meant that shortly after Mr. Obama was elected I spoke out publicly about my despair over his policies. I also wrote numerous essays that explained my disappointment in detail. Those essays were published on the Internet in this magazine and in others, including PJ Media. One essay was published as a formal statement for the record of the hearing by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding the New Black Panther Party litigation. My statement was quite critical of the failure of the U.S. Department of Justice, under Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder, to properly prosecute the Black Panthers for voter intimidation during the 2008 election. Soon after submitting that statement, I was appointed by the Commission as a member of the Maryland State Advisory Committee to that Commission. I served on the committee for two years and listed my political affiliation as an Independent. Generally, I took a conservative posture in deliberations.

While I am critical of many of Mr. Obama’s policies, because of my background in the civil rights arena, I tend to focus on my deep disappointment about his policies, and those of other black leaders, in race relations. For many months, I have been working on a book that chronicles that disappointment. A draft copy of the title page and the foreword will be found below. Soon I will be looking for a publisher.

I should have mentioned how I voted in the last election. For the first time in a long life, I voted almost exclusively for Republicans, including Mitt Romney for President. He was clearly the best qualified and most honorable candidate for the top position. A major part of my despair for the country is the manner in which our president and the Democratic Party openly worked to destroy the reputation of that kind, decent, honest man. That action was truly despicable. What makes it even worse was that it worked.

 

THE BETRAYAL OF THE DREAM
Racial Absurdities in the Obama Era

Arnold S. Trebach

FOREWORD

The dream of course was that believed in by those of us who were involved in the original civil rights movement of the Fifties and Sixties. We naïve idealists really thought that when we beat those miserable segregationist bigots we would all be living in an era of brotherly and sisterly love and equality. We naïve idealists also thought that black leaders and officials — indeed all minority folks — would never go back and support racial bias and a racial spoils system that discriminated against white people or against anyone not quite like them.

Also we never had nightmares that any criticism of a black official — say one like President Barack Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder — would be labeled racist just because the official was black. It was, we thought, the same as saying that we just got a black quarterback on our football team; be gentle when you tackle him.

We idealist dummies were wrong. Some of us, including me, are royally outraged at the black and other minority leaders who are destroying the dreams we had every right to have. Such biased behavior on the part of black leaders, especially those in the Obama Administration, has been a prominent part of the Obama Era. That has made this book very difficult for me to write because when I started to get down a story about something awful that had happened on the racial front, the Obama-Holder gang did something even worse. I keep writing you can’t make this stuff up and perhaps that ought to be the title of this collection of essays and reflections about how far we have come since my days on the streets of Knoxville as a protester — and how wrong we have been.

These essays cover a lot of years and areas on the racial front. They reflect anger and dismay and at the same time hope for the future. My hope is that they are read now -- and also after Mr. Obama has left the Oval Office. I also hope that we remember the good things he did and move beyond the bad.

Bottom line here: many of my heroes were black civil right leaders who believed in the dream and lived it and in some cases, like Martin Luther King, Jr., died for it. I still believe in those heroes and in the dream that this country has the internal ethical strength and moral courage to be that shining city on a hill of true equality and compassion for all of our people.

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About the Author
Arnold S. Trebach, J.D., Ph.D., the author of several books, is professor emeritus of public affairs, American University. He was involved as a front line protester in the original civil rights movement and has been a federal civil rights official.