During a 2008 primary debate for the Democratic presidential nomination, the candidates were asked to discuss their positions on reparations.
Barack Obama replied, “I think the reparations we need right here in South Carolina is investment, for example, in our schools.” The crowd roared. “I did a town hall meeting in Florence, South Carolina, in an area called the ‘corridor of shame…'”
He described the dilapidated conditions of the buildings he’d seen and told his swooning audience there were corridors of shame all across the country and that his administration would right this wrong.
“That’s the kind of reparations that are really going to make a difference in America right now,” Obama said.
Well, that was then.
The former president is currently collaborating on a new Spotify podcast with long-time friend Bruce Springsteen. The name of the eight-part series is “Renegades: Born in the USA.”
The pair discussed reparations during an episode released on Monday. Contrary to the exemplary response which had drawn so much praise nearly thirteen years ago, he told “The Boss” he believes reparations are justified.
He never raised the issue of reparations during his presidency due to what he saw “as the politics of white resistance and resentment. The talk of ‘welfare queens’ and the talk of the ‘undeserving’ poor. And the backlash against affirmative action.”
“All that made the prospect of actually proposing any kind of coherent, meaningful reparations program struck me as, politically, not only a nonstarter but potentially counterproductive,” he said.
In Obama’s opinion, “There’s not much question that the wealth…the power of this country was built in significant part — not exclusively, maybe not even the majority of it, but a large portion of it — was built on the backs of slaves.”
Later in their discussion, he said “it’s perfectly understandable why working-class white folks, middle-class white folks, folks who are having trouble paying the bills or dealing with student loans, wouldn’t be too thrilled” with the idea of “a massive program that is designed to deal with the past but isn’t speaking to their future.”
Rather than healing the racial divide in America, the first black U.S. president actually drew attention to racial tensions in the country and, in my opinion, magnified them.
Then, circa 2016, when Democrats learned that the label “racist” could be so useful in denigrating not only President Donald Trump, but most Republicans, systemic racism suddenly took center stage in U.S. politics.
Racism, of course, is present in America, as it is in every society. But the truth is, the opportunities for minorities in America are greater than in any other country on the planet. If that weren’t so, why would so many people want to live here?
Elizabeth is the founder and editor of The American Crisis. She is also a contract writer at The Western Journal and a previous contributor to RedState, The Dan Bongino Show, and The Federalist. Her articles have appeared on HotAir, Instapundit, RealClearPolitics, MSN and other sites. Elizabeth is a wife, a mom to three grown children and several beloved golden retrievers, and a grandmother!