Editorial: Obama stuck in the middle

By Andrew Austin

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American President Barack Obama must be counting down the days until the end of his term, Andrew Austin says. Photo/File
American President Barack Obama must be counting down the days until the end of his term, Andrew Austin says. Photo/File

YOU would think that Barack Obama must be counting down the days until his term as United States president comes to an end later this year.

He is probably already thinking of where to put his presidential library and when to start writing his memoirs - and who would blame him.

America is, to put it mildly, very unsettled at the moment. With the country already on edge with the Isis threat, race relations have hit an all-time low with police shootings of black men and the retaliatory execution of five police officers by a clearly deranged black man, Micah Johnson. Caught in the middle is Mr Obama, who is facing criticism from the right for not doing enough to keep people safe and for not condemning the protest group Black Lives Matter's action.

He has also been criticised by African American activists for apparently taking it upon himself to explain to the country how black people are feeling.

Racial disharmony is difficult for any leader to handle and the divisive rhetoric coming from the likes of Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump certainly would not be helping things.

The argument coming from Black Lives Matter is that police officers react more aggressively when in a situation involving black people, especially young black men. It's fairly obvious, even from afar, that cops in America do quite a bit of racial profiling. The problem is that America has been a divided country for a long time and a lot of wounds have to be healed before the situation improves.

The way things are going with a (small, I hope) possibility that Mr Trump could be elected president, things won't get better soon. And don't get me started on that country's obsession with the right to bear arms.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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