The latest terrorist outrage in Nice has driven the dust-up over race in the United States, brought on by shootings of two African American men by white police officers followed by the mass murder of five white cops by an African American sniper in Dallas. President Barack Obama, reaching back to his community organizer roots, held an “honest dialogue” about race at the White House that included police officers, Black Lives Matter activists, and elected officials and was broadcast on ABC television.

The dialogue got a little too honest for the president’s taste when Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick called the president out for his tendency, in Patrick’s view, of being too quick to blame the police when shootings of African Americans occur.

The president is said to have been visibly annoyed, as he often is when he is publically challenged, and denied Patrick’s accusation. Then he went on to claim that disparities exist over how people are treated by the police based on skin color. He lectured Patrick and the other elected officials present that they must not pretend that such problems do not exist.

The exchange between the president and the Lt. Governor illustrated the problem that former President George W. Bush stated, during his speech at the memorial service for the slain Dallas police officers, “Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions.” It goes without saying that Obama has gotten political mileage by stoking African American fears of police just as Patrick scored points back in red state Texas for standing up to the president.

How much of a problem exists in police departments over race and how much such may be exaggerated for political purposes is a matter of debate. The widespread perception in the African-American community that it is being targeted by racist cops, real or not, is an impediment to effective policing and, ironically, the saving of more black lives, which many say matter, from Crime and violence. The carnage now taking place in cities such as Chicago bears witness to that not often examined problem.

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