My Only Disappointment in the President

The headline is perhaps misleading in that it may suggest satisfaction with all but one of President Obama’s endeavors. This is not the case with me, as I was among those who, during the previous presidential campaign, found themselves immune to Mr. Obama’s charms. To be disappointed is to have expected other results, and indeed nothing that has transpired since his inauguration, from a lagging economy to an imploding health care system to a foreign policy in collapse, comes as a surprise to anyone who judged then-Senator Obama by his record rather than his rhetoric. 

But there is one crisis – and it is a genuine crisis – that Mr. Obama was uniquely situated to address yet has failed to do so. I refer to the horrific level of inner-city crime in America, the root cause of which is the appalling number of children whose fathers are little more than sperm donors. It is considered crass to discuss such things but facts are facts, and the fact is that no ethnic group in America has a higher rate of illegitimate births than do blacks, at 72.5 percent. And nowhere is the link between fatherless children and crime more vividly illustrated than in Mr. Obama’s adopted hometown of Chicago, where more than 400 people have been murdered thus far in 2012.

Mr. Obama, by all accounts a devoted husband and father, had the opportunity to use the prestige of his office to lower the illegitimacy rate among Americans in general and blacks in particular, not through the sort of government intervention of which he is so fond, but rather through the example he sets in his own family. How many speeches on Obamacare did we endure, how many appearances on The View did he make, how often were we expected to marvel at his acumen in selecting his brackets in the NCAA basketball tournament? He was an unavoidable figure on television, from C-SPAN to the news channels and even to ESPN, all to promote himself and his agenda of an intrusive federal government burrowing ever more deeply into every aspect of American life. 

But on this, on the single biggest problem facing black America, he has remained silent, and therein lies my disappointment. I have been a police officer for more than 30 years, the bulk of that time spent in neighborhoods in Los Angeles where, like parts of Chicago, violence is so common as to be banal. I have seen the aftermath of hundreds upon hundreds of shootings, the great majority of them involving a young black male gunning down another young black male who, in most measurable respects, was exactly like the one who shot him.

In my naiveté, I once thought President Obama might at some point have devoted a few words from his countless speeches to condemn this behavior and the diseased culture that engenders it. Instead, through his associations with the likes of Jay-Z and the “Pimp with the Limp,” he has endorsed that very culture. And in Chicago and elsewhere the carnage continues.

When President Obama resumes his life in Chicago – and I pray that day is near – he will return to his home in Hyde Park, where under the protection of the Secret Service he will nightly hear the not-too-distant wail of sirens as police officers, paramedics, and firefighters race to the scene of another Southside shooting, there to find the latest victim of this relentless slaughter, about which he has for too long held his tongue.

What a disappointment. What a disgrace. What an awful, awful shame.