Why Obama Does Not Address Connecticut Shootings

Jack Cashill
The American Thinker

A week ago, as is well enough known, Omar Thornton shot and killed eight of his coworkers while being escorted out of the building after having been terminated by his employer, a Connecticut beer distributor.

As I write this, President Barack Obama has yet to address this subject in any public way. He is not alone in his restraint. The media have soft-pedaled the motive — the whole shooting, for that matter. Four days after the fact, my wife, who watches CNN and listens to NPR, had not heard about it. Unlike, say, Oklahoma City or even Columbine, the tragedy served no useful political purpose. Just the opposite.

“You probably want to know the reason why I shot this place up,” Thornton told the dispatcher in his final 9-11 call. “This place is a racist place. They’re treating me bad over here. And treat all other black employees bad over here, too. So I took it to my own hands and handled the problem. I wish I could have got more of the people.” For a media desperately seeking a whiff of Tea Party violence, this was not welcome news.

To the degree that the media have covered the subject, they have largely taken Thornton at his word. “Beer warehouse shooter long complained of racism,” read the headline of a typically sympathetic Associated Press article. The AP shies from concluding what it should have: The complaints may have been real, but the inspiration for those complaints ranged from the trivial to the imaginary.

During Thornton’s well-paid tenure at Hartford Distributors, there had been no claims of “racial insensitivity” made by him or anyone else through the company’s anti-harassment policy, the union grievance process, or state and federal agencies. The company asked Thornton to resign only after he had been caught stealing beer.

Given the higher threshold of proof HR managers require for protected classes, especially blacks — “If you’re white, male, and under 40,” one HR exec joked to me, “we just kick your butt out” — Hartford did not terminate Thornton until Thornton was caught on video stealing. It was not his first offense.

For Obama, this should have been a teachable moment. He could have shown black Americans the extraordinary safeguards the corporate world has put into place to protect their rights. He could have explored the historic roots of the deep-seated paranoia that undermines black self-confidence and explained the burden that paranoia puts on black ambition, but he has done no such thing. In that void, many blacks, and not a few whites, will insist on seeing Thornton as more of a martyr than a madman.

The article continues at The American Thinker.

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