Trump Follows Obama's Example
When five Dallas cops were murdered last year, the 44th president faulted police as well as the killer.
President Trump sees himself as the antithesis of President Obama, and that’s true in ways large and small. Both men, however, share a fondness for the identity politics that continue to poison U.S. race relations.
If you were shocked that President Trump had to be pressured into condemning by name neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists, then you probably haven’t been paying enough attention. His Saturday remarks on Charlottesville, Va., where protesters clashed violently over a statue in a park of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, showed again that Mr. Trump has little use for Oval Office norms. But his initial reaction also evinced an Obama-like reluctance to denounce despicable behavior forcefully and in no uncertain terms.
When five policemen were gunned down in Dallas last year, Mr. Obama said there was no justification for violence against law enforcement—but then he added a comment about racial inequity in the criminal-justice system. After violent demonstrators pillaged Baltimore in 2015 following the death of a black man in police custody, Mr. Obama dutifully condemned the rioters—but not without also noting that “we have seen too many instances of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals, primarily African-American, often poor, in ways that raise troubling questions.”
Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator.
This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal