I cannot say it surprises me that President Obama would invite a rapper who praises cop killers to the White House for an evening of poetry.
Indeed, one of the most memorable moments of the entire Obama presidency was when he said the Cambridge Police had “acted stupidly” following the arrest of his friend Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in July 2009. This despite his own admission that he did not know what the facts were.
Yes, of course, there was the beer summit. But there would have been no need for a summit of suds had the President the good sense to keep his mouth shut. The fact that Obama would make a point of publicly pillorying the police is a strong indication of a deep-rooted contempt towards law enforcement. It is conduct unbecoming any public official, especially the President of the United States.
As someone who has attended hundreds of poetry readings, I have had plenty of occasion to hear poets (especially those of African-American and Hispanic heritage) rant against the police. Now far be it from me to say that law enforcement is above criticism. It isn’t and I don’t discount the possibility that some of these poets have legitimate grievances. But they make the mistake of painting all police officers with the same brush. It is as wrong to judge someone by the color of their uniform as it is to judge someone by the color of their skin.
Now I don’t believe President Obama condones cop killers. But I do believe he is not at all uncomfortable being around people who do. Under those circumstances, it is fair to judge President Obama by the company he keeps.
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