You won’t believe what you’re reading. A bunch of rappers and activists, whose careers and rhetoric are often violent and divisive, were the guests of President Obama at the White House on 15 April. The highlight was when rapper Rick Ross’s (a.k.a. William Roberts) ankle bracelet went off—as in beeping—during the event. Why an ankle bracelet? Ross had been arrested for allegedly pistol-whipping a man who had been doing repair work on his house. He was also charged with kidnapping when he prevented the alleged assault victim from leaving his property. Ross also is known for these delightful lyrics from his “U.O.E.N.O. song (which he apologized for after losing his Reebok endorsement deal): “Put molly all in her champagne/ She ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that / She ain’t even know it.” Ironically, the April 15 event was meant to encourage black youths to stay on the right side of the law. In NRO, Victor Davis Hanson reports:
Rapper Rick Ross — on bail pending trial on kidnapping and assault charges — had his ankle bracelet go off at a White House ceremony. Black Lives Matter and Ferguson activist Charles Wade abruptly declined his White House invitation, apparently because he had been recently arrested for pimping and human trafficking. Marquee rapper Kendrick Lamar’s Pimp a Butterfly album cover portrayed black men hoisting champagne bottles and displaying hundred-dollar bills on the White House lawn, in merriment over the corpse of a white judge with his eyes X’d out. Reality mimicked art when Lamar (whose video sets include singing from a vandalized police car) was invited to the White House — or perhaps when five fatally shot policemen on the ground in Dallas superseded Lamar’s image of a prone and eyeless dead judge. Obama, remember, has cited the police-hating Lamar (e.g., “And we hate Popo, wanna kill us dead in the street for sure, nigga”) as his favorite rapper and the dead-judge album “as best album of the year.”
President Obama, ever since he first appeared on the national political scene in 2008, has systematically adopted a rhetoric and an agenda that is predicated on dividing up the country according to tribal grievances, in hopes of recalibrating various factions into a majority grievance culture. In large part, he has succeeded politically. But in doing so he has nearly torn the country apart. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to suggest that no other recent president has offered such a level of polarizing and divisive racial bombast.
When Obama invited Black Lives Matter founders to the White House in February, he praised them by asserting that they were “much better organizers” than he had been at a comparable age, adding that he was “confident that they are going to take America to new heights.” Prior Black Lives Matter marching death chants to police should have been known to Obama at the time.
Under President Obama’s administration, “America has become a society that celebrates separatism and violence and that pardons the venom of Black Lives Matter and its more extreme manifestations, or that exempts Hillary Clinton from all legal accountability…” Perhaps America no longer is able “to exercise a position of world moral authority after all,” writes Mr. Hanson.