Yael T. Abouhalkah

Kris Kobach’s disturbing view of President Obama and black criminals

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, shown here celebrating his re-election last November, made some disturbing comments about President Barack Obama recently.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, shown here celebrating his re-election last November, made some disturbing comments about President Barack Obama recently. THE KANSAS CITY STAR

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says a lot of controversial stuff about immigration and voter fraud. He’s also not a big fan of President Barack Obama.

Kobach makes these statements partly to cater to his ultra-conservative base on talk-radio shows. But a few days ago, even for Kris Kobach, he went shamefully overboard.

Kobach told listeners it was “not a huge jump” to think Obama might try to stop future criminal prosecutions of black people in America.

You can hear the full exchange here, but the basics go this way:

First, listener says, “I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch, Kris, to envision an announcement that any black person accused of a crime, charged with a crime, is not going to be prosecuted, regardless of the crime...”

Then listener says, “So the word is going to come down that there just won’t be any prosecutions of black criminals. And I can see it happening. I don’t think I’m nuts for envisioning it.”

This is where Kobach, a lawyer as well as a paid elected official representing the people of Kansas, could and should have said this:

“Well, yeah, you are nuts. The president of the United States doesn’t have the power to put in effect any policy telling federal, state or local officials not to prosecute black people. By the way, no president would ever do that.”

Alas, Kobach didn’t say that.

Here’s what he did say about prosecutions of black Americans: “Well, it’s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws. So I guess it’s not a huge jump, I think it’s unlikely, but you know I’ve learned to say with this president, never say never.”

Actually, yes, it is a “huge jump” to basically claim you think the president would entertain the notion of not prosecuting black criminals across the United States, totally outside of civil rights cases.

It’s just another case of Kobach being Kobach, further embarrassing the good people of Kansas.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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