Barack Obama judges people based on their economic class and skin color. It’s only a shocking, outrageous statement until you read and listen to his words.

When discussing the Los Angeles riots on the newly released tape of a speech from 2007, The President said [emphasis added]:

Much of what we saw on our television screens 15 years ago [during the Rodney King riots] was Los Angeles expressing a lingering, ongoing, pervasive legacy; a tragic legacy out of the tragic history of this country. A history this country has never fully come to terms with. This is not to excuse the violence of bashing in a man’s head, or destroying somebody’s store and their life’s work…”

Oddly enough, what this quote reminded me of most was his recent speech regarding the tragedies in Libya [emphasis added]:

“The natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists…”

Here’s the problem: Los Angeles wasn’t expressing some pervasive legacy as a result of slavery. It was rioting over racial injustice; ironically attempting to counter injustice by perpetuating the cycle. In Libya the uprisings were not natural; they are, in fact, unnecessary, and the fact that they exist should bring shame to the civilized followers of Islam. In both cases, the President saw a horrific action, and dismissed it as an unavoidable tragedy of the masses; somehow outside of the control of those people committing the very actions he condemns.

As he says in one breath that Los Angeles is simply living out our tragic history and should not be excused for the violence; it simply begs the question: Which is it, Mr. President? Should we hold people accountable, or are they simply acting out the effects of 300 year old actions?

What about the uprisings in Libya, Mr . President. Are they natural responses, or terrorist actions? If you claim that they are both, then you are claiming that radical Islam, a concept your Attorney General argues doesn’t exist, is behind it. In fact, if you claim that the natural Islamic reaction, without caveats, to free speech is violence, you are an Islamophobe. It is not sane to believe that Muslims are incapable of controlling their emotions or actions. All people should be held to a higher standard than that.

You say you are fighting for the poor and oppressed, but your philosophy ingrains dependency on the very people you claim to be helping. You claim to fight for inner-city schools, but stand against school choice, locking inner-city children into the cycle you claim to abhor. You fight for racial preferences over merit in university admission; disproportionately punishing Asian-American students. You fight for a world where people of different races and religions have “natural” disagreements that flare into violence, and the only solution is to stop blasphemy against the prophet of Islam. You live in a world where you see “Police, decked out in riot gear and death,” and where “the Police acted stupidly” is a statement that flowed easily from your lips. You expect less from a population based on their income level or skin color.

Mr. President, you are engaged in bigotry. Ironically, it is the very bigotry that President Bush identified so perfectly in his most eloquent moment in public life. Mr. President, you have fallen victim to the soft bigotry of lowered expectations.

Luke Stibbs | University of Fraser Valley | @LukeStibbs