Monday, August 10, 2009

The Obama Press Conference You Won’t See

At a press conference proclaiming an international relations success, President Obama was asked an unrelated question regarding the brutal attack of independent entrepreneur Kenneth Gladney by men wearing Service Employees International Union shirts out side of a St. Louis Town Hall on Health Care on August 6th. The timbre of the question even inquired as to what the incident said about Obama and race relations in America

The President responded by stating “I should say at the outset that even though the SEIU helped me get elected, so I may be a little biased here. Yet Kenneth Gladney is an America citizen. I don’t know all the facts. What’s been reported though, is that the guy was trying to earn a buck by selling ‘pro American” items at a Town Hall near St. Louis, there were several witnesses including video taken of the beating. So far, so good, right? There were plenty of words exchanged. My understanding is that Mr. Gladney proclaimed his freedom of speech rights and the permission given him to sell his items. And at that point he gets brutally beaten for utilizing his freedom of speech. Now, I don’t know, not having been there and seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say that:
1. Any of us would be very shocked and even angry
2. That the SEIU thugs acted stupidly in brutalizing someone for merely being an American
3. What I think we know, separate and apart from this incident, there is a long history in this country of regular Americans, from all ideologies, being verbally and even physically attacked by members of unions. That’s just a fact. And because the attackers were white and the victim is black, that is a sign that race remains a factor in society. And even though I and others have made tremendous progress in spite of racial barriers, those barriers still haunt us. And now the barriers between those in unions and those not are now becoming more apparent. The more we recognize the danger that unions can instill as well as some of the good they do, relations can improve.”


No comments: