In a recent appearance on ‘The Kelly File,’ Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. reacted to recent polling that shows more than six in 10 voters believe race relations have worsened since Barack Obama became president.
“It was a wound that had been healing for a number of years, a number of decades, I should say,” he told Fox News host Megyn Kelly, “and he reopened it with his divisive politics.”
Though Clarke concluded Obama was able to turn his “divide and conquer strategy” into two successful presidential campaigns, he said “it’s been very destructive for America.”
Under the leadership of the nation’s first black president, many Americans hoped for an ease in racial tensions. Clarke pointed out, however, that Obama ushered in an even more hostile environment.
“Who would’ve thought that after the election of the first black president in the history of the United States,” he asked, “that we would need a period of reconstruction to try to put this country back together?”
Clarke lamented the fact that Obama has “taken sides” in a number of racially sensitive national conversations without a complete understanding of the relevant facts.
“It started back in the Gates situation,” he recalled. “Remember when he talked about how the police acted stupidly and insinuated that the police were engaged in some type of racial profiling in investigating that?”
In recent months, protests have erupted following speculative accounts of racial profiling leading to the death of black suspects. Instead of “taking a more neutral tone,” Clarke asserted that Obama “fanned those flames” and only made matters worse.
“This was a chance for him to have a Gettysburg moment where he could ask the country to come back together and heal,” he said.
He opined on the issue of race as a whole, imploring blacks to put the sins of slavery behind them and recognize the undeniable advancements in equality on display throughout the nation.
“We have to begin to ask when white society will be through paying for the sins of slavery,” he said. “We’re now punishing people for sins they didn’t commit.”
He concluded that he has “forgiven” and “moved on,” choosing instead to embrace the “opportunities for all people” that America provides.