Obama Tries To Focus Public On Racist Cops

Neil Munro | White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama’s first move in December will be to focus the nation’s attention on complaints about racist cops in African-American communities.

The move may be part of an effort to grab the political initiative after the Democrats’ massive losses in the Nov. 4 election, and also to keep the public’s attention away from his unpopular Nov. 21 announcement that he will provide 4 million illegal immigrants with work permits and taxpayer-funded aid programs.

Progressives, Democrats and media outlets stepped up their complaints about law enforcement in African-American neighborhoods after a grand jury decided Nov. 24 to not charge police officer Darren Wilson with any crime following his shooting of a black man in August in Ferguson, Mo.

The shooting — and the grand jury’s decision — prompted riots and was cited frequently by Democratic activists during the 2014 midterm campaign.

To grab the public’s attention for December, the White House announced Nov. 30 that Obama has a Dec. 1 morning meeting with cabinet members to talk about federal programs that supply equipment to local police forces.

He’ll also meet with “national civil rights leaders” in the Oval Office, and then meet with a large group of police, elected officials and “community and faith leaders” in a nearby auditorium.

They will “discuss how communities and law enforcement can work together to build trust to strengthen neighborhoods across the country,” according to a White House statement.

He’s also sending Attorney General Eric Holder to give a speech in an African-American church in Atlanta.

The new focus on allegedly racist cops comes after Obama announced he would alter immigration enforcement that would allow millions of illegal immigrants, many of whom compete for low-wage jobs against blue-collar African-Americans, to stay in the United States. He will also grant work-permits to 4 million and boost the inflow of guest-workers into the country.

Each year, the country accepts 1 million immigrants and 650,000 guest-workers for jobs outside agriculture. Four million Americans turn 18 each year.

Currently, only 55.2 percent of African-American adults have jobs, down from 57.9 percent in July 2008. In contrast, 60.2 percent of white adults have jobs, down from 63.5 percent in July 2008.

The percentage of African-Americans with jobs is expected to drop down to 59.8 percent in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A September poll by the GOP caucus in the Senate showed that only 19 percent of African-Americans strongly supported Obama’s immigration policies. The same poll showed that 33 percent of African-Americans would be “much more likely” to support a GOP Senate candidate who says that “immigration policy needs to serve the interests of the nation as a whole, not a few billionaire CEOs and immigration activists lobbying for open borders.”

Under pressure from base voters, GOP legislators will meet Tuesday, Dec. 2 to decide if they will defund Obama’s amnesty.

Obama outlined his new focus on racist cops Nov. 25.

“In many communities of color [people] have a sense that our laws are not always being enforced uniformly or fairly,” Obama told supporters in Chicago.

“That may not be true everywhere, and it’s certainly not true for the vast majority of law enforcement officials, but that’s an impression that folks have and it’s not just made up,” said the nation’s chief law enforcement official.

“It’s rooted in realities that have existed in this country for a long time,” said Obama, who began his political career as a “community organizer” in Chicago.

In his speech, Obama said he’s asking Holder to manage the new focus.

“I’ve instructed Attorney General Eric Holder not just to investigate what happened in Ferguson, but also identify specific steps we can take together to set up a series of regional meetings focused on building trust in our communities,” he said.

Obama also sketched out possible White House regulations, including a possible new effort to ensure that only a small proportion of white police officials are hired in African-American districts.

“We know that when we have a police force that is representative of the communities it’s serving that makes a difference,” the president stated.

“There are specific things we can do, and the key now is for us to lift up the best practices and work, city by city, state by state, county by county, all across this country, because the problem is not just a Ferguson problem, it is an American problem,” he said.

“We’ve got to make sure that we are actually bringing about change.”

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