The New George Wallace: Barack Obama - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The New George Wallace: Barack Obama
Barack Obama at John Lewis funeral (YouTube screenshot)

“And I say … segregation today … segregation tomorrow … segregation forever.”

Fifty-seven years ago, the newly sworn-in Democrat governor of Alabama, George Wallace, delivered those words in his inaugural address.

In other words: George Wallace, who was a product of a political party that built its political power by supporting every imaginable policy that divided Americans by race, was at it again. Using the momentary pulpit that was a governor’s inaugural to play the race card — again.

Yesterday there was a new George Wallace. He appeared in an Atlanta church to eulogize the late Democratic Congressman John Lewis, Lewis a certifiable hero of the 1960s civil rights movement.

There were, in fact, three former presidents there, including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. But it was former President Barack Obama and Obama alone who chose to use the literal pulpit to divide by race. Among things said by the former president were these gems:

George Wallace may be gone. But we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators. 

We may no longer have to guess the number of jellybeans in a jar in order to cast a ballot, but even as we sit here, there are those in power, who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision — even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that’s going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don’t get sick.

Say what? First, the protests in question have hardly been peaceful. And vandalizing a federal building named for, as Karl Rove has pointed out over in the Wall Street Journal, a Japanese-American named William Kenzo Nakamura is a disgrace. Mr. Nakamura was sent to an internment camp in 1942 when he was 20 — with his family — at the direction of Democrat FDR’s internment policy. Race card playing to the max. Nakamura made a point of enlisting in the U.S. Army anyway, was sent to Europe, and lost his life at the hands of Nazi soldiers as he managed to destroy two enemy machine gun nests. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously.

As Rove quotes Brian Moran, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington, those who broke into the Nakamura Courthouse and set a fire and spray-painted it with graffiti “are not protesting anything; they seek only to disrupt and destroy, and through their acts, they dishonor Private Nakamura’s memory and his extraordinary sacrifice for his country.” Exactly.

Can you imagine if some Republican — Bush 43 in this instance — had stood up at the Lewis funeral and pushed the Republican agenda? Not to mention if he got up and played the race card?

Yes, you can. All un-shirted hell would have broken loose.

What is particularly despicable here is that the race card was played at a funeral for a man whose famous moment of heroism was protesting … racism. Not to be forgotten here is that the state troopers involved that day in Selma when John Lewis had his skull cracked were in the employ of Democrat Gov. George Wallace.

As I noted in this space a few days ago, Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert has introduced a House Resolution that called out the Democrats for their long, vivid, and horrific history of race card playing.

I pointed to these words from Congressman Gohmert:

Many on the left and their willing accomplices in the media would tell you otherwise, yet a cursory examination of our nation’s factual history and records proves the riots and chaos that have swept across our country in recent months stand as a devastating reminder of the racist policies and values held by the Democratic Party throughout much of its history.

Indeed. And something that former President Bush was too polite to bring up in his eulogy was the hard fact that John Lewis became a hero because he was protesting against Jim Crow laws — laws that were created by the Democratic Party.

It was no accident that the bridge on which John Lewis was marching when attacked was named the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Not mentioned at the Lewis funeral was that Edmund Pettus — a Confederate officer and Grand Dragon of the Alabama Klan — was elected to the United States Senate … as a Democrat.

Which is to say, in his day, like fellow Alabama Democrat George Wallace in the 1960s, Edmund Pettus played the race card to win an election.

Barack Obama is not going to be on a ballot again. But that he used the Lewis funeral to play the race card is self-evident in his words.

The long and short here?

As Congressman Gohmert has vividly documented in his House Resolution, Democrats built their party on race — by playing the race card in electoral perpetuity. That’s what George Wallace was doing in his 1963 inaugural address. And that’s what a former Democrat president of the United States — Barack Obama — was doing from the pulpit of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The self-same church that propelled the young Lewis’s mentor — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — to his own historic and heroic life.

There probably are more shameful things to do in this life. But Barack Obama using George Wallace-style politics at John Lewis’s funeral is decidedly shameful.

And more so when one was able to become president of the United States in the first place because of the actions of John Lewis.

Not good.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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