Last week, during a “national conversation” about race and policing in America, Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick told President Obama that he was concerned America’s police don’t “really in their heart feel like you’re doing everything you can to protect their lives.”
Patrick did not provide a specific reason for why cops would have this impression. Days later, the presumptive GOP nominee appeared to suggest that, even when Obama says the right “words” about police, his “body language” indicates that he actually sympathizes with cop-killers.
Obama has apparently decided to interpret this feedback as constructive criticism. To ensure that nothing about the way he looks distracts from his message of support for police officers in the wake of the killings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Obama has penned an open letter to the “brave members of our law enforcement community.”
In the letter, Obama reiterates his admiration for those who “confront danger so it doesn’t find our families,” along with the central message of his speech at the memorial for the officers killed in Dallas: We are not as divided as we seem, and the government needs to do more to relieve the burden on disadvantaged communities, so as to unburden those who police them.
“Some are trying to use this moment to divide police and communities you serve,” Obama writes. “I reject those efforts, for they do not reflect the reality of our nation.”
“As you continue to serve us in this tumultuous hour, we again recognize that we can no longer ask you to solve issues we refuse to address as a society,” he continues. “We should give you the resources you need to do your job, including our full-throated support.”
Obama concludes with the declaration, “We have your backs.”
No doubt, something in the president’s font choice will lead Donald Trump to suspect that “something else is going on.”