President Obama recently claimed that race relations have improved in America. Have they, or have they not improved?

Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-President Obama is a tremendous persona and as black as I am, I’d love to agree with him. However, at this moment, I need to take the back bench. America is what it is.

When I think of disloyal, pompous, and backbiting individuals, America comes to mind. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many decent and morally prosperous people residing in America, but the majority is spray paint. Everyone seems happy and friendly, until your back is turned.

White supremacy is still at the fore. If you’re not white, you’re treated less than a dog, and trust me, white Americans love their dogs.

The Americans have also made it quite obvious that non-whites are inferior races. It’s not only happening in America, but everywhere else. In a recent video I encountered on Facebook, a white lady pretty much went on a racist tirade because a Hispanic woman went to join her friend at the cashier in the lane. She made it quite clear that the Hispanic woman should “go back where she came from.”

Another occurrence with a white police officer and a black American woman dictates the same. The black American called the police because her white neighbor choked her son (about 7 years old if I can remember) because he was seemingly littering. When the black American woman stated her case, the white police made it quite clear that he didn’t give a damn about that woman and her son. To make the story short, the black American woman and her daughter was actually man handled and cuffed, even when they were the ones who called for help.

Does that signify an improvement in racial relations? I’ll allow you to draw your own conclusion.

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-Race relations have not improved under Barack Obama, but he believes otherwise as he recently patted himself on the back for making groundbreaking headway into issues of racial inequality as was reported on NBC News.

He stated, “One of the things that I’ve consistently said as president is that I’m the president of all people. I am very proud that my presidency can help to galvanize and mobilize America on behalf of issues of racial disparity and racial injustice.”

Obama has only added fuel to the fire concerning racism and initiated and ignited a negative narrative from his candidacy on into the presidency, particularly concerning police and their alleged actions against black Americans.

Race relations have always been troubling in America. Slavery, discrimination, issues of human rights and voting rights have all existed prior to and beyond the founding of the country, but Obama has only served to dismantle and destroy any positive progress that has been made on all fronts through the passing years. It is a shameful yet predictable that he did what he did for both spite and political gain.

There are a number of race related cases that occurred during his presidency that were incited through his responses and involvement with them and his direct and indirect manipulation of the situations through his words, actions and inactions. His intentions were clear and none of them solved or resolved any of these conflicts in a clear, reasonable or lawful manner. He took stark issue with criminal investigations and input his personalized rhetoric with each and every one of them, none of which contributed to improving race relations.

The Trayvon Martin shooting death (by George Zimmerman) and the ensuing politicization and stirring of racial tensions were one of Obama’s more stellar moments when he exclaimed, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.” What followed was a Justice Department rampage towards George Zimmerman that ended with the withdrawal of the investigation and the later acquittal of Zimmerman. Then there was the Michael Brown case (“hands up, don’t shoot” scenario) followed with the Ferguson debacle and Obama’s comments on peaceful protests there. Obama had to be reminded by the authorities just how the judicial process works. Another botched accusation was apparent in the controversy surrounding the arrest of Harvard professor, Henry Gates, when Obama stated that the Cambridge police acted “stupidly” in arresting Gates for disorderly conduct.

The list goes on with Obama’s 2008 campaign comment about calling his grandmother (who was white) a “typical white person who has fears about black men.” Then there was the 2010 Black Panther voter intimidation incident in which the Obama administration dropped federal charges against the Panthers and their actions in front of a Philadelphia polling place.

Other racial issues that impacted Obama included his history with Jeremiah Wright’s church and the controversial comments made their concerning race and religion as well as his responses in an “Essence” magazine interview in which he commented that he did not believe that it’s possible to transcend race in this country. Even more controversial racial comments occurred with Obama’s “war on police” in which he politicized violent acts against black Americans while he ignored the attacks on and murders of police officers and others.

Obama’s final commentary concerning racial relations was indicated in his last presidential address in which he stated, “the idea of post facial America was never realistic,” and continued on to say that “race relations were better than they were 10, 20, 30 years ago. “ “After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America. Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic.” He didn’t bother to mention the eight years of his administration and the controversies he provoked and inflamed concerning race. He continued on with the statement that race continued to be a “potent and often divisive force” in society.

Polls taken by the New York Times/CBS News that were conducted earlier indicated that nearly six in ten Americans think race relations are generally bad and four of those ten think they have gotten worse. It is apparent from the polls and Obama’s abysmal and inflammatory approach to race relations along with his outrageous politicalizing and theorizing over the issue that his approach to race relations is just as disastrous as his entire presidency. With race relations at a lower level than ever, there is nothing to look forward to other than an improvement through a new administration and a different attitude to what makes race relations more effective and less controversial.

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-There are two levels of race relations in this country: what gets reported by corporate news outlets or popularized on social media, and what happens one-on-one between average citizens that no one ever notices or talks about.

The former level is all about bad news, negativity, stressing the problems, fanning the flames of disagreement, finger-pointing, and taking sides. The latter level is about how most of us interact with people of different races on a regular basis.

Even so, would the corporate media and government claim racism today is as bad or worse than race relations in the 1960s? We had large-scale riots in the streets of several major cities that took lives and caused millions of dollars of damage. We had an active Ku Klux Klan, government-sanctioned segregation, and de facto segregation. Today we have generally peaceful protests by Black Lives Matters and other groups, a Civil Rights Act that is the law of the land, and diminished segregation and overt racism. How is that not an improvement in race relations?

Have we achieved complete racial equality today? Of course not. But things have improved. It’s just in the best interest of corporate media to turn every problem into a crisis because people want to be entertained by news these days. Boring news, or “good news,” doesn’t sell nearly as much advertising as breathless, up-to-the-minute live reporting of the latest difference of opinion between groups that might turn into a disaster.

Every day, people of all colors manage to buy and sell from each other, serve on committees together, work side-by-side, live next door to each other, attend sporting and cultural events with each other, go to school with each other, befriend each other, date each other, often marry each other. Yet, somehow they manage to avoid lashing out against their friends and neighbors and fellow citizens in the name of race relations. And with mixed-race parenting becoming more common, children of those parents have no choice but to try to get along with both groups since it’s impossible to argue with or protest against yourself.

Race relations are improving organically as America becomes more racially diverse. The benefits of peaceful coexistence far outweigh the short-term gains of racial conflict that some may think they can achieve. President Obama was right. Race relations are improving, but it’s not because of anything he did during his presidency other than break the color barrier to the most powerful office in government.

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-To evaluate race relations in this country, you really have to look at two sections of society. The question is far too multifaceted to give a simple answer.

First is the daily contact level. This is Joe Six-Pack and his workmates, or pretty much any mixed social or employment group around the country. There, in the “real” world, race relations are pretty good. Take my weekly poker game, for example. At any given table of eight, there are a rainbow of political beliefs. We talk politics at the table, and even disagree at times, but if race ever comes into the conversation it’s in a respectful manner. I, for example, am a white guy who was raised in a suburban household. While I’ve had some tough times as an adult, been homeless and had my back against the wall many times, I don’t pretend to be able to understand what it’s like to grow up in the projects, so I keep my mouth shut on such things.

However, on the national level, we are fast racing toward a racial schism the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Watts went up in flames. On one side, we’ve got Black Lives Matter and other activist groups who are agitating for social change, even if they can’t quite define what they want. They know the system isn’t working, but they don’t have alternatives to offer. On the other side is the Fox News-fueled entrenched white power base, which has every intention of keeping the status quo fully intact and making sure the 1 percent stays the 1 percent. They suspect there might be a problem, but they know that acknowledging it and trying to do something about it will cost them some of their beloved cash, so they remain blindered.

Mr. Obama was and is given to broad pronouncements of the sort of happytalk that an office without corners seems to engender, but he was dead wrong.

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